San Marcos Texas, 1971
Cast of characters:
Me, age 12
Step-sister, Terry, age 11
Brother, Brad, age 10
Dad, age 33
Step-mother, Sue, age 31
Little step-brother, Michael, age 3
Dad and Sue were newlyweds and it was Brad's and my weekend to visit Dad which occurred every third weekend.
Poor step-mother, Sue. Here, she had two children of her own, a new husband, and was now inundated with two step-sons, age 10 and 12 every third weekend.
The house was full of bratty kids, believe me. Brad, Terry and I, being 10, 11, and 12 years old, were constantly bored and our only entertainment was to antagonize little Michael as much as possible.
He cried, oh, so easily.
"Hey, Michael! Did you know there's no such thing as Santa Claus? He died just before you were born."
"You kids leave him alone!" cried Dad and Sue in unison.
So, on this particular Saturday, my Dad found out that the local theatre downtown was playing a triple-feature horror fest starting at 1:00 and lasting until 6:00 pm. Five whole hours without the kids!
We were quickly deposited off in front of the theatre. My dad probably barely slowed down and was off with a screech of the tires.
With little Michael in tow, we settled in for our five-hour horror fest.
The first feature was King Kong, the original 1933 version. Even then, we could see how lame it was and remained unfazed.
The second feature was Island of Terror with Peter Cushing. It featured these giant slug-like creatures that grabbed the islanders, dissolved their bones and multiplied every 24 hours. It left us pretty rattled.
Obviously, Dad and Sue had jumped at the chance to be kid-less and didn't really bother to check what was actually playing.
The third feature was Psycho.
Oh. My. God! The shower scene really did my step-sister in. Being eleven years old and seeing that poor woman stabbed to death alone in the bathroom just scared the bejeezus out of her. (I think Michael slept through the whole thing.)
So, my dad arrived at six o'clock to find three very frightened 'tweens on his hands.
Later that evening, Terry was alone in the bathroom preparing for bed. So, being boys, of course this was our chance to frighten her even more.
We sneaked around to the side of the house where the bathroom window was and planned to rap on it with Terry alone inside. (The window was really high up -- we couldn't see in or anything).
Well, we had to reach way up and I guess we rapped a little too hard. There was poor Terry by herself in the bathroom after witnessing Psycho and the window came shattering in!
Terry came flying out of the bathroom, half dressed, and so frightened she couldn't even speak. She was just gasping for air and sobbing. Dad and Sue didn't know what the hell had happened. And of course, Brad and I scattered in opposite directions.
After the mayhem subsided, I guess it all seemed pretty funny to Dad and Sue. Brad and I were let off with a scolding.
And poor Terry wouldn't shower for a month without her mother nearby.
It's become a favorite family story. I'm sure my dad is having a good laugh while reading this.