Would have-should have, been the prefect April Fool’s jokes, but wasn’t.
Years ago I was among a select few who were writing editorial type columns for a local paper. I felt a celebrity of sorts but that’s not part of this. I did however write up the event and send it in, the manager of the store wasn’t very happy with me, though no one was injured and nothing damaged.
I needed to go purchase the week’s groceries and I didn’t want to go alone. My son however, who was ten or so at the time, didn’t want to go along. I then devised a plan which caught his attention and youthful mischievousness. It involved walkie-talkies.
When we arrived at the big box store, I gave him one of the walkie talkies and I placed the second just inside the top of my purse. I then proceeded to do my shopping while he would move around to the next aisle and talk. Alternating between begging to be let out, laughing crazily or saying hello to the people I passed. Needless to say, I got some odd looks. Needless to say, a few stopped, looked at me, looked around and while most moved away slowly, some would question. When my son would pop around the end of the aisle, they would understand and laughingly move on. There was the one lady who said she knew something was up because I was much too nonchalant about the entire thing.
What was hilarious and the most difficult for me to retain my composure was as I was checking out and my young son was alternating between begging to be ‘let out’ and flirting with the young lady scanning my groceries. When she spotted him with the walkie talking she laughed so hard it was almost impossible for her to finish my check out.
My grandmother, the most gentile, loving, caring, lady…had a mean streak. There was the event where she put into practice that ‘scared straight’ action.
My brother and I were still too young to be allowed down into the woods alone. One day though, way back when the local newspaper came in the afternoon, we-forgot. The paper had arrived and we felt it important that we tell our grandmother. We go looking for her. She wasn’t in her home, she wasn’t in the garden beside her home. That meant she had to be at the garden at the bottom of the hill. Off we went down the hill on our mission. Only we got sidetracked. When we got to where the steps lead down to the creek, we thought it would be fun to try and catch a few crawdad. The creek is a narrow, shallow spring more than anything, creating very little danger.
As we played in the water I thought I heard a noise. Standing up, I glanced around but saw nothing. Moments after returning to play, I thought I heard it again, so I stood and looked around. Seeing nothing, I started to return to play when the noise came again, louder and longer. Sounding like the wailing of lost souls, trapped to wander the earth in misery. This time I not only stood up, but walked part way up the steps.
Down near the garden, between the trees, I saw the shadow. Wailing and undulating, appearing to move forward, toward us. I yelled for my brother to run, monsters were after us. One thing I failed to mention, going down into the woods, meant walking down a somewhat steep hill. A hill that was not easy to run back up. Still we ran, me pushing my brother and begging him to hurry the entire way.Once we broke free of the woods he wanted to stop at grand ma’s to which I told him if he wanted the monster to get him fine, but I was going home. We burst through the trees at a dead run, struggling to breathe and shouting something about monsters. Our dad and cousin who had been painting the house, dropped their brushes and headed for the woods. They returned within moments to tell us it must be gone.It was much later, that we were told that it was grandma, teaching us a lesson, that she taught well. We didn’t return to the woods alone for a long, long time.
We had helped our grandfather plant his garden. He always had a large garden with a nice variety of plants. We were concerned over the birds stealing seeds and seedlings. I went to a local dollar type store and purchased a rubber snake. The only type they had looked like a cobra with its head raised. I took this snake out and placed it in the garden. I planned on moving it from time to time so the birds wouldn’t become to accustomed to its presence. One day, one of the neighbors was driving down the road in his pick up truck with some of his grandchildren in the back. They saw the snake and began shouting. He stopped the truck,, got out and grabbed a big stick. Running into the garden he got almost to the snake, weapon raised, before he realized it was fake. Dropping the stick to his side, he laughed and walked back to his truck.We would have never known, but he told this on himself.
One day I started to hike down through the woods. I walked down the hill, lost in my own thoughts and looking at my camera. Glancing up, to my shock and surprise a tree person stepped out into the path in front of me. Yes, I screamed. Yes, it was my brother in full camo. He was trying to motion for me to be quiet so I would see the deer that were around the pond. The deer that were now long gone. He wanted to lecture me about making so much noise, I defended myself in the fact that it isn’t a normal occurrence to have tree people step out in front of you.
I finished my walk, the stopped in to tell mom what had happened, because I knew that he would. He did, but mom laughed and told him I had already fessed up on that one.
April Fool’s Day, a day of laughter, of fun, of having a good time. We so desperately need that right now.