I was your average kid growing up, really. I just had a talent for finding creative ways to entertain myself. Snakes, firecrackers, army men….you know the usual interests and toys for a kid. One day a package came in the mail and it was addressed to me and my brother. It came from an uncle I think, but I honestly didn’t give a shit. I just wanted to open it and see what I got. No such luck, my mother took the package and said we had to wait for my dad to come home. I was not happy, but knew better than to give my mother any shit. If I pissed her off she’d take the gift and give it someone else. And the package was way to heavy to be clothes or some other lame-ass gift.
My mom used to love to torture me, I’m sure of it. In fact, she’s probably the one responsible for my more colorful personality traits. My dad was way to stoic to be blamed. My dad came home and me and my brother were on him like rabid raccoons. Were we happy to see him? Hell no, we wanted to open the damn package! But no, my mom said we had to wait until after dinner. Bitch! I think she laughed a little as my jaw dropped.
Finally, dinner ends…table is cleared….and all that other unimportant crap surrounding a family dinner is done. It’s time. My mom tries to hand the package to me and my brother, but he’s no match for me. I shoulder check him and grab the package. I start to tear into it and as I open the box I almost drop it in amazement. Walkie-talkies!!!!! Not the shit plastic ones from the toy store, these were the real deal. Wow!!! Now of course, here comes the buzz kill that all kids get from their parents when the get something really cool.
“Now these aren’t toys, and you’re not allowed to use them unless your father is with you.”
Awwwwww crap! As much as I wanted to ignore this rule, the walkie-talkies were way to cool to risk losing. So for about a month my brother and I followed the rules. Then one day, much to my surprise my father came into our room and handed us the walkie-talkie box. “You guys know what the rules are with these. As long as you follow them, I don’t need to supervise you.” YES!!!!!!!! FREEDOM!!!!!
My brother and I had a blast playing with the walkie-talkies for about another month. But just like all toys, they started to get boring. Or at least the traditional methods in which one would use them did. It was about that time when the little red dude with the horns on my shoulder gave me a great idea for how to use the walkie-talkies. After considering the brilliant idea bestowed upon me by the little red bastard I realised I would probably need a fall-guy, so I decided to bring my brother in on the activity. After a quick briefing he's on board and as excited about it as I am. We wait until just before dinner that night. My parents and sister are in the kitchen already. My brother and I are in our room when we are called for dinner. “Ok, we’re gonna wash our hands.” Yeah…right. We break out the walkie-talkies. We stash one under my brothers pillow. The other we turn on, volume all the way up, and place at the bottom of the clothes hamper in our sister’s room. After a quick rinse of the hands in the bathroom, we get to the kitchen without raising suspicion. YES!!!
Flash forward to bed time. My brother and I are doing all we can to hide the excitement we are feeling. Our evil plan is about to go into motion. We jump into our beds and fight to keep from laughing as we hear our mom and dad tuck in or sister and wish her a good night.
Now it’s important to explain at this time that my mother is a hardcore Irish-Catholic. We were raised with a healthy understanding, and fear of the devil. I think this is probably why most Catholic kids are afraid of the dark. Even my sister, in her early childhood, understood and feared the Devil.
Ok, so me and my brother manage to keep straight faces as our parents stop in our doorway to say good night. They walk down the hall to their bedroom and we hear their door close. “Wait!” I say to my brother. The dumb-ass already has the walkie-talkie out. “Give them a couple minutes to fall asleep.” After what seemed like forever, the house is silent. “Ok.” I say and my brother turns on the walkie-talkie and hands it to me. “You ready?” I ask. “Yeah!” he says.
I push the button on the walkie-talkie and in the lowest and most evil whisper I can muster up I say, “This is the devil.” I said it slow, listening to that last word hissing from the bottom of my sister’s hamper. And almost simultaneously came the most terrified, high-pitched wail of a scream from my sisters room. Followed by her panicked cry for mom and dad.
My brother and I can’t contain our laughter. So proud of our accomplishment we forget that the equal and opposite reaction is about to come down on us from our dad.
In what seemed to be only seconds my parents door flew open. My dad completely bypassed my sister’s room and was in our doorway. “GIVE ME THE GOD-DAMN WALKIE-TALKIES!!!” Knowing this was not the time to screw with him, I handed it over thinking "So much for the fall-guy plan. “WHERE IS THE OTHER ONE?!?!?!” I jumped out of bed and ran into my sister's room. Straight past her, scaring her into hysterics again, and over to her hamper, I extract the other device and hand it to my dad. At this point I was expecting the beatings to begin, but much to my surprise they didn’t. In a loud enough voice for my brother to hear in our room he said, “You have lost your walkie-talkie privileges.” With that he went back to his room and slammed the door behind him. I think even my sister was shocked, because she had stopped crying and was sitting in her bed with a confused look on her face and her mouth hanging open. I didn’t waste any time contemplating what just happened. I ran out of my sister’s room before she could start crying again and jumped into my bed, hoping my dad wouldn’t realise he forgot to beat me.
We never saw the walkie-talkies again.
Later in life the event came up in conversation and when it did, much to my surprise my dad was laughing as much as me and my brother. Maybe we didn’t get beaten that night because the little kid inside of him was jumping up and down, laughing and being proud of us. Hmmmm, maybe my dad did have something to do with my personality.