Thursday, July 31, 2008

Latch-key kid fun

I feel you deserve a story, my good readers. You've read about my tech woes for too long now. I know, I'm just giddy because all is well for these few brief moments. Let's enjoy them together.

When I was growing up, the hour between when school let out and when my Mom's car hit the driveway was perhaps the most dangerous hour of our day (surpassed only by the hour when Dad found out about what we had done). You've heard about the dragging out mattresses so we could jump off the roof. The way we stretched the phone up to the roof so when our neighbor called our Mom we could "prove" to Mom we were in the house ("Crazy Nora!").

There were other days when we merely tortured one another.

One day, after Batman was over of course, my brother Skip offered my brother Rod "a hundred bucks" if he ran around the block naked. Of course he didn't have a hundred bucks. This was around 1977-78 and the kids in our world didn't have more than the 10 cents needed for the ice cream man.

But Rod didn't think that way. He's a lot like Neil. Or Neil's a lot like him.

Rod countered with: "I'll run around in my underwear for 50 bucks?!"

Skip knew a good deal when he heard one. We didn't live on the biggest block, but it was big enough. Probably a 10 minute run to make it all the way around.

Plenty of time for us to close and lock every window and door in the house. 

Rod in his skivvies showed up to a house locked up tighter than a drum.

He started banging on doors, banging on windows, screaming and yelling, desperately searching for the clothes he had left by the front door (Did you really think we would leave those out there?).

Skip and I would run from window to window and LAUGH at Rod. He was MAD, MAD, MAD. We were highly entertained. We would open a window and call to him, and he would run over just in time for us to slam it shut and lock it with the trusty stick meant to keep the bad guys out.

Rod managed to force his way into the garage, and he started banging on the door from the garage to the house. It was my brothers' bedroom. He was BANGING and BANGING and BANGING on the door.

Skip and I were laughing so hard our sides hurt. This was just good fun.

That's when Rod grabbed a tire iron and RAMMED it through the middle of the door.

Oh, crap.

Skip and I looked at each other.  It's that moment when your stomach sinks and you realize you have gone too far. You are in deep doo-doo, and Dad is going to kill you.

 (I can still see that tire iron sticking through the door, twisting around vainly.)

We let Rod in and tried not to panic. We tried pushing the door pieces together. I found some white paint in the garage. It didn't look so great. And we got a little on the door frame which was painted red so we had to hunt up some red paint. This was going from bad to worse.

We tried taping it. That didn't help.

Finally, we put two posters up -- One on the garage side and one on the bedroom side. We then tried to act casual -- for years. For whatever reason, my Mom never asked about the posters.

My brothers lived with those stupid posters and a red & white bedroom with little tin soldiers on the wallpaper for 7 or 8 years ("No, Mom. We love the room. Don't paint it." "Don't touch that poster. It's my favorite.") before my Mom finally took them down and discovered the hole.

We confessed. It was clearly Rod's fault.


Ken B said...

Oh my god, what were you thinking!! why didn't you video tape it. Youtube would love you.

JoAnn said...

Oh, I wish we had YouTube. Can you imagine what we would have done in that hour with a Flip video camera and YouTube?

nancy said...

You guys were just evil!! But that's just too funny. And the posters? Genius!!