Hilarious happenings, while guarding a teen's domain.
| Many years ago when I was a perky thirteen-year-old, we lived in a city that had its rough edges. The neighborhood was basically endowed with three story tenements, and a few single-family homes sprinkled amongst them .
One morning, I complained to my mother that I heard noises underneath my bedroom window at night. (Yes, we were on the first floor, this is not one of those alien abduction stories.) My mother in her wisdom told my older and younger brother not to worry Dad, since he had to get up very early for work. She had a plan. (Those famous words could only be matched by the much-famed character "Lucy," from the old sitcom, "I Love Lucy.")
That afternoon, I was hauled off to my aunt's house, pending the capture of the mysterious bogeyman. John, my meritoriously muscular big brother who would bench press three hundred pounds when he wasn't taking some Japanese Karate class at some undisclosed location, took up residency that night, in my bedroom.
Understand that a thirteen-year-old girl has her quirks. Each night I would wind up some endearing little ballerina music box before falling asleep. That thought in mind, picture John, this mass of muscle and bearded stubble trying to wrap my bathrobe around his shoulders to convince a peeper that he was I. Additionally, he was playing that wretched music box incessantly.
Suddenly, he detected a noise outside. He jumped out of bed, alerted my mother and my brother, Joe, and they all set out to seize this perpetrator.
My mother geared up with a rolling pin in hand, Joe equipped with a baseball bat, and big, bad John armed with, well his big, bad arms, (Remember, John is a very large man!) all set out to cover the front and back of the house.
Mom noticed a shadowy figure appearing between the houses. Joe stepped up with the bat and headed toward the figure, whilst mom earnestly held her position by the front porch ready to whack him good, should he happen to elude the boys.
Amid muted voices and thumping noises, Mom demanded immediate answers, lest the rolling pin wreaks havoc. John and Joe returned, laughing over the near miss "death blows" each nearly received from the other as they met in the tiny space between the houses.
Subsequently, the three soldiers of misfortune unable to apprehend the creeper that night did enjoy some Kool-Aid and a snack in the kitchen while plotting out their next move. Mom, always willing to share her knowledge that anything needed in life could be found in the kitchen, suggested sprinkling flour under my bedroom window to capture the footprints of the mysterious visitor. She wisely suggested that some credible evidence of a possible stalker could strengthen their case if they decided to involve the police.
Meanwhile, I enjoyed relaxing on the sandy beach near my aunt's home, as my brothers sweltered in the city heat. I thought about how easy it was to pull off that scheme, and wondered how long it would take them to realize that the nightly "intruder" was probably the landlord returning from work and using the backyard entry to the basement. I hoped it would last until the summer heat vanished.
I guess the joke was on me when the next night's trap caught the size eleven pair of good old Bob Cousy sneaker treads. Moreover, John, (Yes, the massive guy) spent many nights winding up that ballerina music box.
The prints in the flour remained a mystery, because the well-dressed Portuguese man, who was our property owner, never wore sneakers.