Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I Was A Teenage Criminal Part III

I was thinking the other day of some stuff and this popped into my mind. I knew I had to write it down and put forth another installment of King Erasmus: Criminal. If you haven’t done so already, read Part I and Part II.

Early in my junior year of high school I moved back to my father’s to live. The high school I started in at this point was great, and everything in my life improved. I even ended up with some very good friends that my parents approved of – which only means they didn’t know half of what we were up to at any given moment.

Through some work my dad did with a chainsaw (which did not involve blood or body parts) I ended up with a car to drive. It was an old Toyota Corona (Corona, like the beer, not Corolla). It wasn’t the best looking car around, but it was mine, and I could drive it wherever I wanted.

So one night a couple of my friends and I were driving around and we happened to drive by another friend’s house. We saw his car in the driveway, and we knew he’d probably be leaving soon. I suddenly had an idea. At least, I think it was me. We all thought it would be a great joke to play. Somehow I ended up being the one to execute the plan, which involved me sneaking up and getting into the back of his car without being seen. When he got in and was getting ready to leave I’d jump up and scream like an Ax Murderer, scaring him into shrieking like a little girl. It was a good plan.

I parked my car across the street, because nobody would notice a strange car with three teenage guys in it watching out the window… I got out and with skills borne of years of teenage deviance, sneaked across the street and up the short driveway. It was imperative that I not be seen. Everything depended on it, and I can still picture myself with a steely look of determination as I sneaked. I quietly opened up the driver’s side back door and slipped inside. I shut the door with a cat-burglar’s stealth.

As I lie on the floor of the car I fantasized of how this joke would add to my already legendary status as a practical joker at school. This would rival getting my picture taken for the school yearbook with my feet up on the Principal’s desk as I sat in his chair. It would certainly eclipse my involvement in tricking the same yearbook staff into printing a picture of a chemistry club that did not exist. Of course, my Pièce de Résistance would always be the egg-launching trap I set up in a friend’s locker, which consisted of two rails and several raw eggs which were launched at him as he opened the door. But I digress. Back to the fantasy: Women would fall at my feet.

It seemed like hours passed before I heard the screen door open on the house. I heard footsteps as they approached the car. This was the risky part – would he just get in or did he have something to throw in the backseat? Ahhhh, safe. Nothing thrown in the backseat. As the car started I decided to peek up.

I’m sure that as the blood drained from my face I must have aged several years. My fantasies of teenage women swooning in my presence collapsed. You see, it was not my friend Brian who had gotten in the car, and was even now backing it out of the driveway. I didn’t know who was driving, and I also didn’t know where he was going.

Thoughts raced through my head. Could I have gotten into the wrong car? No, I was pretty sure it was Brian’s car. Where were we going? Why did he have to be so big? Could I jump out and escape? I resigned myself to the thought that we were probably heading to Maine or somewhere equally distant. As we finished backing out of the driveway and he put the car in gear I consoled myself that my friends who waited in my car would follow to pick me up. Then I remembered. The keys to my car were in my pocket. My friends weren’t going anywhere.

I had made up my mind that at the first stop I would fling open the door and run for my life. There were woods nearby that I could run into and hide, but I’d have to be quick. Then something happened. He slowed down and pulled off the road. I had a moment of fear – had he realized I was hiding in the backseat? Was I about to be on the receiving end of a severe beating? We stopped. He shut off the car. Then he got out. I braced myself for the inevitable opening of the door next to me. I waited. Finally, I began to relax. He had gone.

After a couple of minutes I got out of the car, shaking. I was just a little ways down the street, and I quickly jogged back to my car. My friends were near unconsciousness, having used up all the oxygen in the car laughing. It was several minutes later before they could actually talk, and I was long gone from the scene of the crime. They told me that they had waited and watched in anticipation, and had been surprised when the man came out of the house. Then he got in the car, and their excitement level went up. They didn’t know that I had peeked up at him and were expecting me to jump up and scare him. They thought he’d kill me. They’d gotten even more worried when he started to drive off. They had no idea where we were going or where we’d end up. They also realized at that point that I had the car keys. They sat in the car wondering how everything could go so wrong as I was driven away to my certain death.

When they saw him pull over they thought it was because I had executed the plan. They didn’t know what to think when he calmly got out of the car and started walking back to the house. It seemed that he was simply moving the car. They described how I looked when I meekly got out of the car and fled back to my car. Apparently, I looked like the scared little girl I was hoping to make my friend Brian scream like. They were hassling me something fierce, but I didn’t care. I was alive and unharmed.

We went back to school on Monday. To my knowledge, Brian never heard about our little joke. It is worth noting, however, that my fantasy came true – sort of. We didn’t tell many people about the incident, but I remember two women who swooned. While laughing. At me.