Make My Day: STAY OUT OF THE ATTIC!
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ever since I was a small boy, and watched them on tv o= r in the theater, I've always had strong feelings when it comes to horror a= nd scary movies. I hate them.
That is, they scare the bejeezus out of me. Whenever I make the stupid m= istake of seeing a scary movie, I have nightmares, I jump at strange sounds= , and I'm convinced that all the monsters in every scary movie I've ever se= en -- including the shark from Jaws -- are hiding under my bed. And they're= all on my side of the bed. They stay away from my wife's side of the bed, = because they know she owns a shotgun. They also know that I do not.
It's = weird, because I'm not afraid of psychological thrillers like Silence of th= e Lambs, Basic Instinct, or Copycat. In fact, I enjoy them, and have seen t= hem several times, and not because Sharon Stone gets naked either.
But I've also seen The Shining, Children of the Corn, Dawn of the Dead, = and Silent Night, Deadly Night (a shopping-mall Santa goes psycho and kills= people with an axe), and I stand by my original statement: I hate them.
It doesn't matter whether I'm at home (the monsters are in my closet), at a=
friend's house (the monsters are in his closet), or at the movie theater (=
the monsters are hiding in the popcorn, waiting for me to get a refill), I =
am scared ... uh,
So why is it that no one takes me seriously. Just a few weeks ago, my wi= fe, my sister-in-law, and her husband absolutely demanded that I go see The= Others, the Nicole Kidman-Tom Cruise pre-divorce production, and they prom= ised me "it wasn't so bad."
The Others is a "supernatural suspense thriller" about a young mother (N= icole Kidman) and her children (two pasty-faced English kids) who live in a= house on the Channel Islands. The kids believe there are ghosts in the hou= se, and Kidman gradually realizes her kids may just be right. One reviewer = called it "the scariest thriller of the year."
"The scariest thriller of the year!" I told my wife, a week later. "You = made me see the scariest thriller of the year."
I begged and pleaded with= them not to make me go. I swore up and down I didn't like scary movies. " = 'Supernatural thrillers' is just a polite way of saying 'horror flicks'!" I= sobbed. But I was outvoted, as if we were actually living in a democracy a= nd not some scam designed to make me go to scary movies. Of course, the mov= ie scared the ... uh,speech right out of me, and I swore in front of God an= d everyone that we would never, ever buy a copy of that movie.
When we got home that night, I turned on every light in the house, and m= ade sure I was the first one in bed, so my wife had to turn all the lights = off herself. My hope was that the monsters would mistake her for me and get= her instead, but their sense of smell is uncanny.That, and she was carryin= g her shotgun.
The last time I watched a scary movie was August 1989, 24 hours before I= was supposed to start graduate school. I hadn't seen a horror movie for se= veral years, and thought I could watch Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I tol= d myself, "I'm 21 years old, I'm a college graduate, so I should be smart e= nough and mature enough to watch The Shining."
Rule Number One: If horror movies scared you as a kid, they'll sc= are you when you're an adult.
When the movie was over, I went to my dad's house, where I was staying t= hat summer, sleeping in my sister's old room. I told myself repeatedly that= I wasn't really scared, that it was just adrenaline, and everything would = be okay in a few minutes. I did an eight-foot standing long jump into the b= ed, since monsters only have six-foot arms. I pulled the covers up to my ch= in, held very still (monsters have very poor eyesight, and can only see you= if you're moving), and fell asleep a fewminutes later.
As one would expect, I had nightmares that night, and woke up in a sweat= , covers still up to my chin. I slowly pulled the covers back with my feet,= since the movement would be hidden by the covers, and did the unthinkable:= I opened my eyes.
Rule Number Two: Never open your eyes, because if you make eye co= ntact with monsters, you're a goner.
As I opened my eyes, I saw something hovering several feet above me. It = was a small white blob, about 12 inches across. Of course, my eyesight is s= o bad without my glasses, it could have been the Queen Mum, and she still w= ould have looked like a blob. However, since it was 4:00 in the morning, I = knew there shouldn't be anything hovering several feet above me, Queen Mum = or not.
I was convinced I was either seeing a disembodied head, a smallghost, or= one of those energy blobs from Star Trek. But it was too late.I had made e= ye contact, or rather blob contact, and I couldn't look away. It just hover= ed there, waiting for me to try to escape, so it could pounce, and drain aw= ay my life's energy. I laid there for severalminutes, aware that my heart w= as beating faster, I was sweating profusely, and if I didn't get to the bat= hroom fast, I was going to havea bigger problem than just having my life fo= rce sucked out by some white blob.
As time passed, I began to remember the setting of the room, thevarious = items my sister had left there from years past, and it suddenly hit me: I w= asn't looking at a ghostly white blob or the Queen Mum at all! It was just = a stupid Winnie the Pooh mobile she had when she was a baby. I guess she ha= d been nostalgic for her days as an infant and hung the stupid thing over h= er bed. I had been lying there for 30 minutes, trying not to wet myself, wa= iting to be pounced on by Winnie the Pooh and his friends!
I breathed a huge sigh of relief, but was so disgusted at my ownwussines= s, I stormed out of the bed, stomping on several monster hands,and went to = the bathroom. Afterward, I was still too scared to go back to sleep, so I w= atched infomercials until I had to get up anyway. And until I was dragged k= icking and screaming to The Others, it was the last time I ever watched a h= orror movie.
But as soon as I get my own shotgun, I can watch as many as = I want.