Whenever I’m stuck inside the house, as I’ve been more or less for the past week, I cannot help but think of my childhood.
My father worked nights and absolutely hated babysitting the five of us when we were home on summer break. As a result, we got to choose: play inside or play outside. Whatever we chose, we would have to do until lunch, and then again until our Mom came home around dinner time. For the most part, the choice was easy, play outside. I mean, if the weather was gorgeous, who would stay inside, confined to a bedroom, bored off his/her butt? Yet, that’s exactly what would happen whenever it rained outside.
Because we would sometimes find ourselves stuck in the house, we would do everything in our power to entertain ourselves. Many a summer days were spent with Paul and I putting our Michael Jackson records on our dinky little record player and playing them backward, swearing that the One-Gloved Wonder was telling us to swear our allegiance to the devil. But even more summer days were spent with us playing the most wonderfully bizarre games that we made up on our own.
One game that was quite the sensation among the five of us seems fairly normal – we’d sit in strategic locations with one person standing in the middle of the room and then would pelt that person with spitwads. You’d think that Allen or Jamie, being the youngest, would be the ones in the middle. But nope, most often that person was me.
I really do believe this explains a lot about myself.
The other game we played, which to this day makes us giggle when we think about it, was called Bus Driver. Two of us would climb up on the top bunk of the bunk beds Jamie and I shared. Each would sit on the end of the bed. The person on the left was the bus driver. The person on the left…
Wait for it.
…was a vampire.
The bus driver would drive down the road, stopping to pick up and drop off passengers, swerving past pot holes, and other bus driverly duties. The vampire would lay back on the bed, and at some random point, the vampire would sit up, look at the bus driver and say, “I vant to suck your blood.” The bus driver would look at the vampire, scream in mortal terror and then leap from the top bunk. With the game complete, someone else would climb into the bus driver’s seat, another would take the vampire’s prone position, and the game would loop until we grew bored and began shooting spitwads.
To be honest, we don’t know if there really was a point to Bus Driver, but that never stopped us from playing it. We told Brittany and Alexis about it, and they looked at us with such bewilderment in their eyes…kind of like that same look you’re giving me right now.
The games were weird, and after a while we would grow bored at being stuck in the house. We’d long for escape…or the sun to shine so we could go outside after lunch. One day, however, Jamie had enough. She screamed she was escaping, then she rushed to the window, threw it open and jumped out. Sounds innocent, I’m sure, except our bedroom window was nine feet off the ground, and she was all of four years old.
We could only see her hands clutching at the sill, and the four of us rushed to the window to gaze down upon her. She just dangled from the window, staring up at us with large, fear-filled eyes. Then with a NOOOOOOOOOO! she dropped into the chasm below.
Just kidding. Her scream was so loud that dad woke up and rushed into the room to find her hanging from the window. He hauled her back inside and promptly grounded the five of us.
We were trapped even longer! 😦
Stuck inside the house, we decided to come up with some new games to entertain ourselves.
Because the three of us girls shared a bedroom, we had two sets of bunk beds in the room, parallel to one another. We decided it would be fun for us to leap from the top bunk of one bed to the bottom bunk of the bed across the room. Paul went first, leaping across the void and deftly landing upon the bed across from us. We all went a few times, then I was up to jump again.
I perched upon the end of the bed and looked across at the jump I was about to take. Then Paul decided to be funny.
He pushed me.
I flew across the room, flipping foward. I nearly made a complete 360 flip, probably would have had I not run into the bed. I landed with my back hitting the wooden frame of the bed, completely knocking the air out of me.
And people wonder why I didn’t get along with Paul for the first 25 years of my life.
But karma really is a witch. And about an hour later, she got Paul back good.
I was laying up on the top bunk with Jamie, and Paul was on the bunk below, pushing up the top bunk with his feet. Jamie and I were just bobbing around, having fun. I believe the game we were playing was called Washing Machine. But then the washing machine went off track…literally. The top bunk shifted, and as it came back down toward the frame, it was out of alignment. The top bunk plummeted down, smushing Paul like a bug.
Jamie and I rolled off the bed and freed Paul from his mattress tomb. He cried so hard.
Seriously, don’t make karma angry.
I’m sure we made up more games, but those are the ones that really stick out. Others may think we were all a bit nuts, but I tell you what, those games were so much fun to five kids who were bored off their rockers.
Oh and hey, “I vant to suck your blood.”