Looking back, I have no idea why this was so fascinating. We thought it was a hoot to knock on someone’s door or ring the doorbell and run. But we did this quite frequently. Anytime we had a sleep over, sneaking out was part of the plan. At least until I was old enough to go out without sneaking. But that took the fun out of it.
The year was 1977. I was having my 11th birthday. Wait. That’s not right. 2012 minus 35, add 5 for leap years, carry the 2. No, it was my 12th birthday. My friends Robin and Terry came to spend the night. We played games until we were sure Mom and Dad were asleep, and then we crawled out the window. I have no idea why we didn’t just use the door. Maybe it wasn’t sneaky enough to use the door.
We made our way to the neighborhood streets behind us and started our ring and run game. Then we felt the need to up the ante. We decided to see who could ring the doorbell the most times and still run away without getting caught. It was my turn and I stepped on a front porch, but Terry said, “Hold on before you ring. I have to go to the bathroom.” He then announced that he had to do number 2. Just great. Now we’ll have to go all the way home.
Terry came up with a great solution to the problem. “I’m going to go in this guy’s front yard.” Robin and Terry laughed hysterically. Or should I say, wheezed hysterically. They were trying to be quiet. Sure enough, Terry squatted right there in the yard. Then I got an idea. A terrible, awful, no good, yet ingenious idea! I felt a Grinch grin spread across my face. I’ll just take my turn while Terry does his business.
I started ringing the doorbell rapidly. I kept ringing. Not only would I surprise Terry, but I might just break the record.
I didn’t hear a single footstep, but the door flew open in mid-ring. What’s more, they guy flipped on the flood lights. And guess where the lights were pointed? Terry looked up to see that he was on center stage, and the curtain was up. I darted my eyes back to Terry and saw the most shocked expression I had ever seen. The home owner was merely inches from me. Fortunately, his attention was drawn to the 12 year old squatting on his lawn.
I couldn’t run, so I just flopped over in the bushes. Through the space under the bush, I saw Terry jump up and start running. In his panic, he didn’t pull up his pants, but instead started running with an 8 inch stride. I was laughing so hard I was sure I’d give my position away. I tried to stop, but I was dying under the bushes as I watched Terry slowly disappear from the flood lights. Fortunate for me, the stunned resident didn’t notice the bush that was wheezing and shaking with laughter.
To this day, I never told Terry that I rang the doorbell. He thought the man heard him and Robin laughing. I guess the cat’s out of the bag now. Terry, if you read this, it was an accident.
Eddie Snipes 2012
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