For those of you who were lucky enough to avoid me last week, I have a new obsession. His name is Dominic, the Scary Birthday Clown, and parents are paying him to terrorize their children. No, seriously. I’m not making this up. Parents pay the guy to send their rug rats threatening texts and prank phone calls for a week before he nails the kid in the face with a pie.
I know, right? Therapists, start your billing. This should be good for at least a 5-series Beemer.
I thought the discovery was a seriously good score, like, make-yourself-feel-way-superior kind of score. I’ll be the first to admit I’d be a dreadful parent, but even I know this is not a good idea.
So, naturally, I showed everyone I could corner.
My coworkers were all, “Yeah, yeah, Rom, we get it. We’d also like to note that it’s interesting how you can’t pay attention in any staff meeting ever, but you’ve been focused on this for almost three hours.”
Clearly, my coworkers did not understand so I went to Boy Genius next. He squinted at the article. “You know,” he said after a moment. “It kind of looks like that mask your dad had.”
Well, crap. So much for feeling superior.
The mask in question was, actually, scarier than Dominic. I’m not sure where my parents found it, but they dragged it home to add to my Halloween collection. (Side note: Halloweens at our house were the best. We had dry ice for a cauldron, a Styrofoam coffin, and an entire chest full of yard-sale costumes that my sister and I never considered might be infested with lice. It was awesome.)
But back to my dad who came into the kitchen with the mask on and roared. My sister and I looked up and took off. Or, at least, I took off. Poor five-year-old Merrill had been sitting on the floor and, when she jumped up to flee, slammed her head into the bottom of an open drawer. She shrieked, jumped up again, slammed her head again, and hit the floor.
Now everyone was screaming. My dad pulled off the mask—probably expecting laughter to ensue—and the shrieking just got worse.
“You ass!” My sister screamed…or she would’ve screamed if she knew that word at the time. Even so, I still think he got the message loud and clear. My sister is an adorable, tiny, reincarnated Honey Badger—and before she leaves me a nasty comment (Hi, Little!!) let me explain that the temperament was grown entirely out of self-preservation.
Because this wasn’t the last time we, um, teased her.
There was the severed plastic arm rammed into my mother’s mini-van seat cushions, the plastic spiders on her towel…then there was the time she was watching television in the living room alone so I went outside in the dark, walked around to the living room window, and hurled myself against the glass. She almost had a heart attack.
“You ass!” Mer screamed because, by this time, she did know the word. But we were both laughing.
“I know,” I said, almost hyperventilating. “But it sure was funny.”
“Totally,” Mer agreed. And we laughed and laughed until she smacked me in the ear. “Totally,” she agreed.