Yesterday I talked to a man who passes out cold when he gets a shot. He can watch other people get a shot, like his kids, but point the needle his way… KABOOM! He’s gone! Out like a light! To top it off, he says he always has a nightmare about it that night, which in turn, wakes him up for hours. So the shot knocks him out, but results in a nightmare that keeps him awake. Hmm. It’d fun to jump out from behind a bush one day with a hypodermic needle just to see what would happen!
Everyone has something that creeps them out. You usually just don’t know what it is. Unfortunately, this is the month everyone seems to face some kind of fear. There’s even a Halloween horror movie marathon running the whole month on cable. Non-stop horror movies is not my cup of tea!
Even so, I was channel surfing Sunday and got caught up in a “suspense” movie, which lo and behold, turned out to be a horror movie. Horror movies to me are like shots to my friend. And it doesn’t take much. The Ghost of Mr. Chicken with Don Knotts is scary to me! Even so, in my younger days I watched every horror movie there was, at least until my senior year in college.
In college, I worked a second job one summer at a funeral home because I wanted to learn about the death process. I figured if I was going to go into counseling, I better understand first hand death, grief and loss, but it was completely, totally, absolutely out of my comfort zone!
I mainly worked visitations at night after my day job. One night there was a 28 year old man who had died in a motorcycle accident. His family had been to the visitation and left saying no one else was coming, but I had to keep the doors open until 9:30 PM.
I was working alone, at night, in a funeral home, with a body in the other room, and did I mention, alone? I was, antsy! Yeah, antsy sounds brave. To make time go faster, I vacuumed around the place for something to do. I vacuumed several rooms and started on the carpeted floor in the state room where this guy was in a coffin. I got lost in my thoughts….until, until I bent over to vacuum underneath the table that held up his coffin and was eye level with the guy inside.
He was obviously laying there perfectly still, but every horror movie I’d ever seen came to fruition! In my mind, his eyes opened and he lunged at me to grab my neck. I dropped the vacuum cleaner handle and backed ten feet away. The vacuum was running on the floor while I stood several minutes, terrified, breathing heavy, and blood pressure around volcanic eruption force.
The funeral home owner had told me to close the “occupied” caskets every night before leaving because a friend of his, who also owned a funeral home, found out the hard way that he had a rat problem. Let that sink in for a minute.
Anyway, closing the casket alone that night was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, and to be quite frank, I may have closed it in world record time. I vowed then and there never to watch another horror movie!
But hey, that was a long, long time ago. So Sunday, that movie — that lousy, waste of time, good for nothing movie was on. I couldn’t stand watching it, but couldn’t stop. By the end, I was as jumpy as the Easter Bunny in a trampoline store!
What’s worse, the movie got stuck in my head, not in the day time, but at night. As soon as I laid down, it replayed over and over in my mind, like a horror movie loop of impending doom.
It weird. Human nature seems to be that the more you try not to think about something, the more you think about it. It’s like a song that gets stuck in your head!
It sticks in your head like a commercial that always sticks with me (no pun intended here), “I am stuck on Band Aids, now Band Aid’s stuck on me”. And once that song is stuck, it’s stuck! Don’t think about the song ‘I Am Stuck on Band Aids’ for very long, or you’ll get it stuck in your head too! Then you’ll sing it over and over in your mind.
And even if you get rid of it by replacing it with something like the ‘Oscar Meyer B-o-l-o-g-n-a’ song, when you’re brushing your teeth tonight, you’re gonna think about the Band Aid song again. And just like that! It returns like a bad migraine! It plays repeatedly in your consciousness and can drive you bonkers, especially when you’re laying in bed trying to sleep.
Maybe, if you’re lucky, the song will be sung by a cute little kid with no front teeth — “I am thuck on Band Aidths, cauth Band Aidth’s thuck on me.” Yep, having a song stuck in your head at night is about as bad as having the scariest movie you’ve ever seen stuck in your head, except, not scary. So a word to the wise: when you brush your teeth tonight, whatever you do, do NOT think about the Band Aid song!
Anyway, that horror scene got stuck in my head, at night, in the dark, in the eerie quiet, when all you can hear are the subtle strange noises of things that go bump in the night. Laying there wide eyed, a movie advertisement I saw earlier sends another shiver up my spine about a family haunted by this cute little toy doll that turns into a terrifying, dangerous, evil ghost at night. Creepy! It’s like a remake of a Chucky movie on steroids! And because of Chucky movies, most people are set back a bit when they see little boy dolls with big goofy grins.
I have a friend who sleeps late and thinks the best cell phone alarm would sound like little doll feet scampering across the floor into the closet. What a great idea! Who’s going to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep after hearing that?!
When my oldest son was ten, he snuck into the living room late one night and watched a Chucky movie. It apparently scared the living bejeebers out of him! I didn’t know anything about it until a couple of years ago when he and his brothers were confessing some boyhood antics. If you try to talk to him about Chucky, even now as a grown man, he’ll just shake his head and walk away.
I’ve never even seen the movie, but it scares the gall stones out of me too! An easy test to see if a kid has watched a Chucky movie or not is to just say the name in a deep, ominous tone of voice….”Chucky”! If a kid has seen it, he’ll immediately get the hibbie jibbies and want you to stop talking about it.
But here’s the fun part! If that kid is a snot nosed little brat, well in my book, that’s just a license to torment him…..”Chuuuuckyyyyyyy. Come out and plaaaay!?” You can clear out a room full of loud, rowdy, obnoxious boys with just that! Trust me. Works every time!
They’ll all be awake, but quiet and pretend to be asleep. A little boy would rather pretend to be asleep than let all the other boys, who are also pretending to be asleep, know he is wet the bed terrified!
And if you want to scare a little girl, it’s easy as pie — give her a clown. As I kid, I remember when clowns were nice, good and funny. Not now! Uh uh. Clowns are up near the top of the phobia list for most people! So if your Christmas list includes a girl who’s spoiled rotten, gets under your skin, and has a snooty little I am a Princess and you are my pauper servant attitude, then give her a nice, big, face painted clown!
Sure it’s passive aggressive, but nothing says I’m gonna get you as soon as you fall asleep as much as a nice clown doll to snuggle up with. So, (wink, wink), Merry Christmas and enjoy your gift….PRINCESS!!
What scares people? It’s different for everyone, but this month, everyone will come face to face with at least the thought about their worst fears. For me, no more horror movies, but the real challenge? To get rid of this song stuck in my mind, cause Band Aid’s stuck on me!