Thursday, April 22, 2004

Scared To Death

A common expression, "You scared me to death!" Everyone will more than likely use it at least once in their life unless their first scare is so intense that it's the one that sends them to the great breakfast buffet in the sky. One person that has had to say that A LOT is my poor mom. She's easily startled. I noticed this as a kid and would purposely sneak up on her and then talk real loud to see if she'd jump. Looking back, that was pretty cruel. I blame Derek's influence...I know you guys will back me up on that!

Her first big scare was the birth of her second child. She ended up with a giant shock of gray hair after Derek was born. That should have been our clue right there what kind of evil she was bringing into the world!

But this isn't about Derek. This is about Mom. Poor, poor Mom...

When she was in high school, her family traveled to California to visit relatives. The guys all went to a baseball game and the women went to the famous wax museum. There was a Horror Movie section complete with wax figures of Wolfman, Frankenstein, Dracula among others. Mom and her sister were standing at the rail, looking at the macabre display. Dracula was laying inside his coffin. The girls thought he was dead. To their shock, he was only sleeping. This wasn't a wax figure but a real man who shot up to scare them.

Mom says that he jumped the railing to come after them. To use Trevor's phrase, I'm sure he had blood in his eyes. Mom & Aunt Peggy went running, screaming, down the hall. Mom threw her purse in the air and took off, leaving her sister in the dust. Of course, the adults didn't believe them when they said that Dracula had come to life to suck their blood until he came into the lobby laughing with Mom's purse, apologizing for scaring them. He was just an employee who wanted some fun that day.

Now, that's a pretty bad scare to go through...your nightmares coming to life and all, but she didn't have to go through it just once, oh no! Leave it to my dad to replay that sinister event!

When I was in college, I got into reading Dean Koontz. After I finished a book, I passed it onto Mom. One of the books, either Midnight, Strangers or Watchers, I can't remember but one of them had a plot line where some mad scientist-type fellow was deevolutionizing people. They were turning back into apes and were killing people. They loped as they chased. That was the word that Mr. Koontz used and that was the word that caused Mom to be scared while reading the book. Perhaps it brought back memories of Dracula chasing her...

Anyway, she had made mention of the fact that the lopers scared her. She should have known better. She went out one morning to start her car for work. It was dark still and she had her purse hanging over her arm. Suddenly, from the side of the house came a shadow, heading straight for her...LOPING!!! She didn't even think, she just threw her purse in the air and started running up the street in a panic.

"Where do you think you're gonna run to, Karen," came my dad's voice behind her as she ran. He had been the loper and he was laughing so hard he couldn't stand it. Of course when Derek & I found out we were appalled for Mom's sake but we also couldn't help but laugh. It was just damn funny.

Why is it that we find other people's fright so funny?

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