I don’t know why, but I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the past couple of weeks. I’m not sure what the trigger was, but I’ve been thinking of all sorts of things from my childhood: my grandmother and her endless fussing, the foods Mom used to cook, the stream in the back yard, etc. Unfortunately, not all nostalgia is pleasant. Sometimes, it’s all about your jerkface older brother playing on your gullibility and pre-existing fears.
Thursday, my brother, Matt, came across a photo on Facebook. You’ve probably seen it.
This triggered Mom and Matt talking about that one time she told him there were velociraptors under the basement stairs. She did this shortly after Jurassic Park came out, and apparently, that was where she used to hide our Christmas presents. I’d never heard any of this because, at the time, there was no need to scare me away from the basement. I couldn’t be bribed to go down there for love, money, or My Little Ponies. (Maybe for a doll house. Maybe.) After they spent a few minutes laughing about it, with Matt retelling how much the story had frightened him as a kid, I chimed in with my own story.
A few years later, half of the basement was redone as a media room, and the TV was moved down there. For the most part, the basement no longer scared me and I came and went as I pleased. Around the same time, I’d taken to wearing a hand me down pair of Matt’s cargo shorts. They were mostly still in good repair, but there was a strange black fabric-patch on the rear end, and when I looked inside the pants, I could see that the patch was covering three long rips. Passingly, I thought they looked like claw marks, but I reasoned that they’d happened from some rough playing years ago. But I was curious, and I asked Matt if he remembered where the rips had come from.
And then, he did the shittiest, most awesome thing ever.
The asshole told me the pants had been ripped while he was escaping the velociraptor under the basement stairs.
I was 10 and bought it, hook, line, and sinker, and for the next 4 months, I couldn’t watch TV down there without another person (who would surely sacrifice themselves to the raptors while I made my harrowing escape).
Mom had never heard about any of this and she found it howlingly funny. Then she and Matt high-fived.
I’d like to feel more upset about this, but once I realized he was obviously shitting me, I used to tell the other kids at my elementary school that certain stairwells had monsters hiding in them and that THAT was why the teachers never used them.
Which just goes to show that being A TERRIBLE PERSON runs in family lines.
Probably on your mothers’ side.