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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Night of the Living Dad

As a kid I dreamed about having a party to celebrate the two best days October has to offer- my birthday and Halloween. My parents made this dream come true in 1991. My friends received invitations to my haunted birthday party and were asked to wear costumes. I believe this was the same year as my two headed lady catastrophe, so my costume only stayed on for half the party…but not to worry, I had a glow in the dark skeleton shirt on underneath. It matched my skeleton earrings and went well with my dark blue jams. (That’s right, JAMS! I said it! There! I’m a nerd!)

The festivities began at 7 with cake shaped like a spider and a stern warning from my mom that a convict had escaped a local prison. The news of the convict scared a few of my friends, but not enough to ruin bobbing for apples or the pumpkin decorating contest.
The news did, however, make us a little uneasy about the scavenger hunt my parents had planned for us in our backyard. But when 15 girls get hopped up on candy corn and spider cake, sugar shock makes them a little bold. So we decided we’d scavange through the 2 acres, looking for clues and various hidden items in the grass. With a prize like Bonne Bell lip smackers at stake, you take your chances, know what I mean?

What happened that night is now a blur of memories. But I think the real fun started when my dad, unbeknownst to the rest of us, set off a series of fire crackers from behind a tree deep into the yard. It sounded like missiles. Our screams and flailing bodies were enough to keep us distracted while he got the tractor started, which he then sent screeching up the yard with a bloody head lit up on it’s seat. Fifteen girls, fireworks, screaming, detached heads. Total Chaos.

None of this prepared us for what happened next.

As we ran towards the house, I think it was Suzy who first noticed the sound coming from the bushes. We stopped dead in our tracks, as we had almost reached the back door- our safety from whatever the hell was happening in the backyard. When we turned to see where the noise was coming from, we saw what can only be described as a giant hairy “It”, running through the yard, in all black, with a chain saw roaring in the night.

I’m not an athletic girl. I mean, I was on the swim team for years and took dance lessons all my life, but I throw like a sissy and the only time I was ever described as “fast” was not in the context of running (but seriously, that “fast” was just a rumor.) But I can assure you that day, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. I clamored over my friends, pulling shirts and hair and whatever else would get me ahead of them and into the house the quickest. As we made our way into the den, slamming and locking the back door behind us, Kati started to cry. Then Jessica started to cry.

My mom acted like she had no idea what was really going on. Over the next half an hour, she convinced us that, not only had we just had a run in with an escape convict, but that my dad was missing. Probably the criminal’s latest victim. Was it dad’s head on the tractor?

We would never know. As the night came to an end, and mothers came to our door to retrieve their daughters, most of which had probably pissed their pants, my brother, sister and I stuck close to our own mother. There were a lot of smirks going on amongst the adults, but my worry and fear kept me oblivious to their meaning. When everyone left for the night, we looked at my mom in terror, wondering why the police had not been called, why dad was missing, and what we were going to do about it.

But in the time it took me to get out the words, “This was the worst birthday ever”, my daddy had materialized, coming down from the roof, dressed in a gorilla costume.

His first words to me? Not, surprise! Or, happy birthday! Or, sorry I made your friends piss their pants, but rather, “The gorilla suit was last minute. I wanted to wear something else, but your mom thought this would really scare you guys. It was really hot in there.”

Some of those girls never came back to my house.


At 9:13 AM, Blogger Emiole said...

Hahah - by far the best post on this blog ever! I love your dad, and that party sounds like a hoot. I wish I knew you in 1991! I was 3 years off - damnit!

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Gregg M. Schmidt said...

I just laughed SO hard...that's a great story!


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