Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Adventures in Babysitting..

I was 6,and my little brother Mark was 3,when my parents decided that my 12 year old sister was mature enough to babysit us while they enjoyed a long overdue night out for themselves.
I loved my sister,but I wasn't too sure about how this whole thing was gonna work out.The good news was that dad said we could stay up late to watch Red Skelton,which came on right after Huckelberry Hound.
Mom and dad got ready to go,while my sister got Mark ready for bed,and started making some rice Krispy treats for us to snack on while watching TV.
Mark was asleep,and night had begun to fall,when sometime during Huckelberry Hound,my sister thought she heard a strange noise.
"Probably just the wind",..she assured me...Only she didn't appear to be all that sure herself.This was her first time home alone with her little brothers after all.
Now,I don't know that I ever actually heard any thing,but I could see my sister making furtive glances toward the back of the house,and becoming more and more agitated,until sometime during Red's "Freddy the Freeloader" act,she anxiuosly grabbed me by the hand..
"There's somebody in the house!"..and we both ran hell-bent out the front door into the yard.
In those days,if Tony Perkins didn't come screeching into the shower to plunge a carving knife into your torso,then you still stood the very real chance of being spirited away by Caryl Chessman..In any case, clearly a homicidal maniac had found his way into our home,intent on the wholesale slaughter of whomever dwelt within, and...
"CRAP!"..."Mark's asleep in the bedroom!"..
"Wadda we do,wadda we do??".."Think,think,think!"..
"We can go around the side of the house to the bedroom window,and haul him out to safety!"...Brilliant!..Sis was on the job.
It's Summertime,so naturally the window is slightly open.(Apparently,our parents were not all that concerned about Tony,..or Caryl)
"Pssst...Mark..Mark..",my sister coaxed in a whisper,so that the intruder would not be alerted to our presence.."Wake up!"..
No response..
"Hand me some dirt clods from the planter"...And she began heaving chunks at the bed,in the hopes of rousing him to the alarm..."He's not moving"...
This calls for some drastic action,and my big sister is up to the challenge.
She grabs the water hose,unreels it to the window,and issues the command,"Turn it on!"..
She held the nozzle in a death grip,spraying the entire room as if she were the machine gunner in one of those Robert Mitchum flicks...
There could only be one conclusion.
No doubt,the psycho,axe murdering,kidnapper had dispatched him while he slept.The hypnotic blip,blip,blip of water dripping from the ceiling sounded his death knell.
Now,and this made perfect sense at the time,my sister decided the best course of action would be to,"Wait on the front porch for mom and dad to come home,and explain to them how little Mark went and got himself murdered"..
Turns out that we hadn't waited too long,when a group of my sister's friends came along.
She told them about the noises,the dirt clods,the water hose,and how even now Mark lay in his bed hacked to bits,looking all the world like a muddy bowl of Shredded Wheat.
The boys in the group screwed up their courage and,(partly to impress my sister,partly 'cause they wanted to see the dead kid),burst into the house,down the hall,and back to the bedroom.
Little Mark was fast asleep,oblivious to all the drama due to some asthma medication I'm told.
"This is just too good to be true!..We can clean up this mess before.."
The boys beat a hasty retreat,Dad is yelling,Mom is having palpatations,my big sister is trying desperately to explain herself between sobs,and Mark is finally awake,soaking wet,and wailing in the middle of a bed full of dirt clods.
Me?..I'm keeping a low profile,..secure in the knowledge that none of this is my fault.

I was 6 years old..and life was good in Little Sling's Domain.

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At 7:17 PM , Blogger rosemary said...

Sometimes being 6 is a good thing. I loved Red. Did you ever see any of his clown paintings?

At 8:29 PM , Anonymous jan said...

So the next time your sister got to babysit was...never?

At 9:49 PM , Blogger Sling said...

rosemary-I've seen many of Red's paintings!
My mom collected clowns,and Red was a favorite artist of hers. :)

Jan-lol..In spite of the fact that the story is 99% true,she did get to babysit many times afterward. ;)

At 11:00 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

I love the reasoning of children. Thanks for sharing that memory.

At 11:46 PM , Blogger more cowbell said...

whoo-hoo, so glad I stopped in here before hitting the hay.

At 7:13 AM , Blogger Princess Banter said...

When we were little, my parents left my bro and I under the care of my sister -- can I just say, a common enemy can totally unite 2 opposing forces hahahaha!

At 8:13 AM , Blogger Monica said...

kinda has the feel of one of those jean shepherd tories. you know, the dude who wrote a christmas story? poor mark, waking up in a pile of filth that he didn't make. HA HA HA

At 11:47 AM , Blogger the rube said...

they should have left you in charge.

a 6 year old young man has better judgement than a 12 year old....

i better not finish that thought.

At 12:11 PM , Blogger jp said...

So, wait... what happened to the axe murderer? Did you run away when your parents got home before he could finish his axing?

At 2:38 PM , Blogger Middle Child said...

It all makes perfect sense to me...what else would you do in those circumstances...?

At 5:14 PM , Blogger Sling said...

danielle-There is a fundamental purity to the reasoning of a child that is difficult to argue with.
Glad you enjoyed the memory.

more cowbell-..and I'm glad you dropped in!

princess banter-when you think about it,it was pretty brave of my sister to try and rescue Mark..even though we figured he was dead and all..;)

monica-I love A Christmas Story!..It really does capture the 50's.

the rube-*cough* girls *cough*...

JP-The ax murderer became the leader of my cub scout pack,703-C,...but that's a story for another time.

MC-Some things can be reduced to their most simple conclusions. :)

At 5:22 AM , Blogger Dan said...

LOL! This is one of your funniest posts Sling. Nothing is funnier than real life.

One question though -- were you guys that goofy family we lived next door to when I was a kid??

At 10:48 AM , Blogger apositivepessimist said...

I remember babysitting a little mongoloid kid once. He bit me on the nose and thought it was terribly funny.

I like the way yer sister dealt with the ordeal.

At 4:09 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...


At 4:39 PM , Blogger Sling said...

dan-my sister and I have laughed about that incident a lot over the years..
We could have been that family..Remember the time my dad ran out of the house in his underwear because he thought the milkman was a burglar?..Good Times.

Apos-My sister was my hero.
Today,she teaches kindergarten at a Christian school in So.Cal.
She's been at it so long,that she is teaching the children of former students.


At 12:19 PM , Blogger Allan said...

That was hilarious! I want some of that asthma medicine, I think.

At 3:02 AM , Blogger HORIZON said...

This was brilliant Sling-the writing just flowed and could imagine you typing furiously as the memories flooded back.
Laughed out loud at, “The hypnotic blip,blip,blip of water dripping from the ceiling sounded his death knell." and then kept laughing.
This really takes me back to my childhood although slightly different telly viewing. l was the big sister of 4- totally understand how your sis felt and you- you little bugger letting her take the blame!-lol.
My brother still owes me for a few clever cover ups- perhaps l'll cash them in??? ;)
Bests and thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

At 12:12 PM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

oh Goddess I love that...and by the way..what was the name of that asthma medicine..i could use some of that..

At 12:12 PM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

oh Goddess I love that...and by the way..what was the name of that asthma medicine..i could use some of that..

At 4:46 PM , Blogger CS said...

That as very, very funny. Thanks.

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