Hide’n Scare – Juvenile games, episode 1
She was picking up the groceries from the forward rack. Her back was turned against me. It was night time, and the store was more or less deserted. It was, as Elmer would say, vely vely quiet. And she had no idea I was sneaking up on her. This was the perfect opportunity. And so, I pounced…
Her: (nonchalantly) Very funny.
Me: Come on. Must have scared you a little bit. You weren’t expecting that, were you? You WERE scared. Admit it.
Her: Uhm… Was that supposed to scare me?
Me: Ya, ya. Act like you weren’t scared. You don’t fool me
Her: When will you grow up? (and walks off)
It is certainly condescending when somebody tells you to grow up. And trust me, it is even less appealing when the comment is made by your younger cousin, four to five years your junior. But, in my defense… I really thought I had her that time. Hmmm… maybe next time.
A practical joker, I am not. I’m not the guy who’d wear a fake flower on my shirt, squirting water on anyone who comes close to inspect it. I am more the guy who dispenses stupid verbal puns, such as “Yes, doctor. I think you’re a fine dentist. You know the drill“, actively making people all around ever so slightly more open to poking their brains with sharp metallic objects. But I’d have to confess that I HAVE been guilty of trying to scare people with a surprise yell… Now why do I persist in doing this? It’s certainly not because of the impressive success rate. Most of the ‘victims’ stifle a yawn and walk off. What exactly do I plan to achieve? What happens after I really manage to scare someone? Grin like an idiot and say “I got you there”? It’s the fine art of ignoring questions like those that makes me me.
But for stupidities like those, I guess what’s really important is the victim. You read my account on the less-than -successful endeavor with my cousin up there. She’s not easily fazed by simple tactics like those. She’s got nerves of steel. Then again, she’s been subjected to numerous idiocies by yours truly. So she more or less expects these things.
What you need is the jittery nerve-racked string-o-wires kind-of victims. The ones who do intense acrobatic back-flips every time they see a shadow of an insect on the wall. And I knew JUST the gal.
My good old friend, Sherry. She lives alone. She stays out late at times, and when I drop her back home, I get solid entertainment watching her paranoia. She makes me wait in the living room while she takes her magnifying glass and tries to check if random strangers are hiding away in the closet/ attic/ cupboard/ bathroom/ etc etc. She even opens her large suitcases and does a thorough search. Who knows? Maybe the incredible shrinking man from Taiwan crawled in with a wrench.
Now, I don’t blame her for the paranoia. Bangalore has been the breeding ground for two legged vermin. You can’t pick up the paper without seeing bizarre criminal attacks on households. But I still get amused by her antics.
“Have you checked inside the bean bag? Sometimes, these guys remove most of the beans and hide inside.”
“Oh my God!!”
I am such an asshole. But this day, she was taking much longer than usual. Maybe she had a few extra suitcases stashed away. I was getting tired waiting around, and I was making my irritation known…
“Hey, I’m leaving. It’s late. I have to go.”
“Just a second, Hammy. Just wait.”
“Nope. Me leaving. Good night.”
And I opened the door. Of course I couldn’t leave her like that. She’s a small creature, to look at her, but when she gets mad, the bravest of knights shed their shining armor so that they can run faster..So I shut the door.
“Hammy!! Don’t go! Are you there??? You better not have left, dammit!!”
Hmm… Don’t answer. Let’s see how scared she gets. Quick! Hide. No, you idiot. Not behind the aquarium. It’s transparent. Duh! Quick. Under the bed. Are you kidding? You’re never gonna fit under that.
“Hammy!! ARE you there?”
No time. Quick. Hurry. Ooh, ooh. The pillar. I can hide behind the pillar. Yes!! So there I am, ready to pounce on poor little Sherry. She’ll come to the living room, expecting to find me waiting. She won’t see me, cos I’m smartly hidden behind the large pillar. Then she’ll start thinking “Crap. He really left. Just wait till I catch him next. He’s gonna pay big time.” and suddenly, without warning, I’ll jump out from behind the pillar and shout ‘boo’.
I have weird ideas for fun.
But wait. I hear footsteps. Here she comes. Get ready now.
“Hammy… Where are… Oh”
He he… Any moment now. Get ready to jump.
“Hmm… I see you, Hammy. Just come out.”
Huh? She’s bluffing. She’s joking. Well, maybe not. But what is she laughing so hard about?
“Ha ha haw haw he he hoo hoo” etc etc etc…
Ok, ok. So I come out. I squint my left eye, arch the eyebrow, and ask what’s so funny…
“He he he.. You hid pretty well, Hammy. But I still saw you. Your stomach stuck out from behind the pillar.”
Ouch. I really should get serious about a diet! Dammit, stomach. Bad tummy. Baaad tummy.