Friday, November 22, 2013

that was just the house settling

Idk how normal families act around each other, but growing up in my family, it was the norm for us to constantly attempt to frighten each other to death. Hiding in closets and under beds, setting booby traps, leaving horrific things under bedcovers, lurking around every corner, surprise blitz attacks--anything we could think of to terrorize each other, no matter how immoral or impractical, we did it.

(Just an FYI to anyone who is in this competition now, or whose children seem to be getting into this behaviour pattern: there are only two possible outcomes for everyone involved--they turn into either hyper-vigilant neurotic nervous wrecks, or they become stone cold sociopaths.)

The attacks do not begin until it is fair to start attacking. As in, it is not fair to try and give an infant or toddler a heart attack, although Lil Bro#1 bent the rules with this quite a bit with his frequent attempts on Lil Bro#2's life, and his inappropriate level of glee at seeing Lil Bro #2 suffering.

Lil Bro#2, Big Sis#2, and myself have honed our abilities to the point where they have just become part of our personalities. We constantly freak people out without meaning to. Basically we have gotten so awesome at stealth, we no longer have to try.

This little game makes life way more entertaining, and just because you're "grown up," that does not mean that the game needs to stop. If anything, it should get better as you get older because everyone playing gets better at their particular skills, until you and your siblings are all old enough that heart attacks resulting from fright become a real possibility, and then you keep going until only one of you is left alive.

So here's some lessons for anyone who wants to start terrorizing their family.

This one is the most important, and takes the longest to master. You need to develop extreme patience--as in, the patience required to remain in one space (possibly a dark and/or confined one) for extended periods of time (Lil Bro#1 holds the record for that, with approximately 90 minutes spent in a trunk) without making any noise whatsoever, and without fidgeting. 

You'll need to get your timing right as well, so your skills of observation should also be developed. That extra 45-60 minutes spent in the cabinet might make the difference between a pretty good fright

and an epic achievement.

Learn your enemy's habits, such as your little sister's ritual of checking the closet and under the bed before she goes to sleep.

And do some mini-attacks when their guard is down, such as when they are exiting the bathroom.

In the end, you could end up as fantastic as Big Sis#2 and myself, with your family constantly accusing you of having the power of teleportation, because no human should be that quiet when entering a room and walking right up beside you.

You need a certain sort of creative cunning to be able to consistently pull this off without your victim developing the habit of checking every corner of every room with a metal detector in one hand and a machete in the other.

I shall use examples of past booby-trappings:

1. The Television.
For a while, when Lil Sis would piss me off, I would sneak into her room when she wasn't home, turn up the volume on her TV to maximum, on a channel with nothing but static, and then turn the TV back off and leave the remote exactly where it had been before I entered the room.

Lil Sis rarely watched the TV in her room. She watched stuff on her laptop instead, in bed.

We both had the exact same televisions in our rooms.

Which meant my remote worked for her TV, and it worked through the wall.

You can see where this is going.

I repeated this booby trap an absurd number of times, always changing it slightly.

...or on the rare occasions she was watching the TV, messing with the volume and/or channels, or just turning it off over and over again.

I still do this to her car, when she blocks me in and won't get off her lazy arse to move it. I move it, and leave the radio on the heavy metal station with the volume loud enough to shatter your eardrums.

2. Radios and cassette tapes.
Sadly this one has pretty much died because of technological advances that erased the use of cassettes. But myself and my cousins enjoyed it to its fullest potential.

Any of ye 80's babies ever play with one of these?

This was hands down the greatest toy ever released in the history of toys. (Or it's at least up there in the top five.)

A fairly simple device - it came with a tape and it had a microphone, so you could record pretty much anything, and you could also speed up or slow down the tape when recording or playing it back, which meant you could alter your voice (or anything else you recorded).

Whoever thought it was a good idea to mass produce this thing for children had a twisted sense of humour, because EVERYONE I know who had one of these used it to torture other people.

Like M, who stole all of his stepdad's Bruce Springsteen tapes, fast forwarded to like halfway through each tape, recorded himself making loud and ridiculous noises, rewound the tapes to their still unchanged beginnings, and then replaced all those tapes back in the car where he found them.

Or my cousins, who recorded thirty minutes of total silence, and then recorded sounds of a door creaking, turned the volume way down on the Talkboy, and then left it playing under one of the beds in their sisters' room right before we all went to bed.

oh yeah and then there was like 5 more minutes of silence before a final very quiet creak, and a blood curdling scream.

I'm not gonna lie. This scared the living daylights out of the three of us sleeping in the room at the time.

3. My Size Barbie.

My friends and I picked up one of these at the end of someone's driveway my junior year in high school. (Don't ask.) She has since disappeared, most likely because of how she ended up on this list.

One day, a couple years ago, Cousin F. and I thought it would be super funny if we propped Beef (that was her name. also don't ask.) up against the door of Lil Sis's closet. Inside the closet, so that Beef would fall on Lil Sis when she opened the door.

This produced hilarious results. So we had to keep going.

For the ensuing two years, Beef popped up to terrorize Lil Sis whenever she least expected it.

even after Lil Sis wasn't scared anymore, I still kept doing it.

...until one day I realized that Beef had disappeared. I asked Lil Sis what happened to her, and at first she couldn't remember.

Then she took me into our bathroom and opened the closet. Lil Sis had apparently left Beef propped up in there beside the laundry basket in an attempt to scare me.

Beef was in the closet beside the laundry basket for over a year and I didn't even notice.

Since then, I think Mum threw Beef away, because she was sick of Lil Sis's screams in the middle of the night.

This one is fairly straightforward.

For some reason, if it's not me attacking Lil Sis, it's someone else attacking me. Big Sis#2 believes that this is because even the best attempts at stealth-terror have not managed to so much as make me flinch for the last ten years....


  1. It's not really like that much in my house but I have somehow managed to become a master of stealth. I'm incredibly overweight yet I'm still so quiet that people barely ever notice me and sometimes forget I exist. I'd probably find it pretty easy to start messing with my family but I have too much of a conscience. Lousy burden.

  2. I soooo love this. When I go back to Utah I shall have to study up and plan some fun. (Only not on Mum, it might actually kill her....). I will enjoy this tutorial when other members of the family stop by on their rare visit...or maybe mum's friend' they don't already have reason enough to dislike me enternally.

    As usual, the drawing are fabulous!!!!!

    Love you!

  3. This post is brilliant Mich, I've had a rough morning and this has really made me laugh. Your stealth jokes especially are hilarious.

  4. This was awesome. And yes, God yes do I remember the talkboy. I wore that thing out and drove my parents absolutely nuts in the process with that thing.

  5. We do this in my family too, but skills at the blitz attack are our highest level of achievement.

  6. Hahaha I loved this! me and my boyfriend have been in a battle of scaring eachother for 7 years. He's winning, but not for long now you've given me some new ideas xx

  7. I have two sisters and one brother so we did our share of pranks when growing up but nobody ever thought about the remote prank! Crank up the volume beforehand and it can become pretty epic!

    Thanks for the laugh

  8. Yes! Talkboy pranks were the greatest. I used to make tapes of pure silence except for one or two incredibly loud fart noises, then hide it in the bathroom while everyone was getting ready for school and work. Immature, but effective.

  9. Is that a tickling attack in the last picture? Good thing your hands were too spindly to pull each other's hair.


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