As I have mentioned briefly before, my father seemed to get pleasure solely from tormenting his two only children. It’s like when my mom told him he was going to have a kid he went out and bought a notebook and wrote “WAYS TO SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF MY FUTURE KIDS” on it in sharpie. I’m telling you this man was an insane genius at making children, often not even his own, cry.
The stories I’m going to share with you are all from my youth when my Dad was a younger man and he had a very imposing mustache. I firmly believe that if he didn’t have that mustache I wouldn’t have been raised the same. My dad never yelled at us growing up except for the occasionally “JESUS CHRIST (insert offending childs name)” He didn’t have to yell. That mustache did the yelling for him. I’m sure children that grew up under the reign of a mustached father will agree with me: those things command respect. For an example, if I or my brother left a light on in a room my dad would call us back in, say nothing at all and just point at the lightswitch while staring at us. His mustache and him just stared. This was of course terrifying and I never leave lights on in rooms I’m not in to this day. That mustache paired with his patented “Dad stare” have and always will instantly whip me into shape, even though now he is sans mustache the look he gives me still scares the shit out of me. I have always loved my Dad but I have got to tell you when that terror stache got shaved off I was very happy.
I love my Dad and Mom very much and I believe they helped shape me into the delightful young woman I am today. You can either take that as a good thing or not, I don’t give a fudge. Growing up with my father though, I quickly became afraid of almost everything but I loved it for some sick reason. Maybe because kids secretly love being scared? Maybe my dad knew that. Or maybe he just liked laughing his ass off. So here are some memories I have of him and his mustache tormenting my childhood.
We grew up in a small community where we could walk to school and our friends houses and not worry about molesters which was a plus, and we had a gorgeous house with a nice front yard which my parents decide to utilize fully on Halloween. Halloween to my father was like a golden ticket to scare the shit out of strangers children and have it be perfectly OK. Any other time of the year you grab a kids ankle and scream in his face, the police are probably going to be involved. So my father did what any other rational human being would do on Halloween: Draw up elaborate plans and contraptions to sufficiently scare children. I don’t know if he roped my mom into it or if she also liked making kids piss their pants but for some reason she also got into the swing of things.
My brother and I would always get grilled at school about what our parents were planning that year and we never told them but we did tell our dad that people were asking and he thought this was fucking hilarious. I also enjoyed Halloween at our house because my Dad was able to focus on scaring several children and not just his own. One year he decided to capitalize on the fact that most of the kids had to walk past our house to get to school so he set up a dummy infront of the door and left it there for like 2 weeks. He is a patient man if he knows the reward will be crying children. Halloween night came and he of course removed the dummy, dressed up like it and sat in the chair next to a bowl of candy. What happened next was 2 hours of him yelling at and grabbing at the kids that helped themselves to the candy.
I should also mention that in previous years if kids were being dickheads to him at the door or he thought they were too old he would reach into their bag like he was giving them candy but instead secretly take candy out. Like I said, he is a diabolical genius.
So during this Halloween massacre I myself am out trick or treating and the few times I walked past our house I specifically remember seeing children crying and being consoled by their parents, or parents trying to convince their kids to go up to the front door while they laughed. This is funny to me now because last year I spent like 3 minutes convincing my friend’s son to go up to a scary house while I stood in the driveway and laughed. I am my father’s daughter.
Another fond memory growing up was my fascination and fear of the movie IT. I walked past the case once at the video store when I was like 9 and instantly became obsessed. I wanted to know what it was about, how it ended, who the clown was and if it was scary but I didn’t want to see it because holy shit did you see the cover?I talked about it to my Dad which was a rookie mistake. I probably should have brought it up to Mom because she, unlike my father, didn’t solely get enjoyment out of scaring her children. She was less of a jump out of closet person and more of a sandwich maker and by god were those sandwiches delicious.
Anyways I don’t even know if my dad had seen the movie or if he was just making it up as he went along. Either way he didn’t really tell me much…until we went to Vancouver for a nice family trip. We went walking in a park that I loved and they had one of those big cages over a sewer grate so big sticks wouldn’t get caught in it and clog it up. I didn’t know that’s what it was for at the time so I asked my Dad what it was
“Oh that’s just where IT lives and that cage is supposed to keep him in” he replied casually and kept walking.
I of course suffered a near fatal heart attack at this answer. I was already on edge because I was staying at my Aunt’s house and she had this one room filled with dolls that I had to stay in. Dolls that my dad told me came alive at night and watched me sleep. So the thought of an IT cage mere minutes away from where I was staying in a room that was filled with potentially murderous dolls sent me right over the fucking edge.
My mom wasn’t with us but as soon as I saw her I ran up and told her what Dad had said. She said “Bob!” in that voice she has used several times in my lifetime and my Dad just laughed. Somehow I made it through that trip but even now if I see a random huge hole I always give it a wide berth because maybe IT decided to change addresses.
My Dad just celebrated his 60th birthday and I was very excited to be there to drink and talk with him as an adult and not have to worry about him jumping out of a hall closet trying to scare me. But, to be honest sometimes I miss those days and by god sometimes I miss that mustache. So Dad, when you read this maybe one of these days you can try to squeeze behind a door and scare the ever-loving shit out of me when I come over. Or maybe you can grow your mustache back, that is if you have any hair follicles left. (Love you Dad) I still have tons more stories to tell you guys and I will once my brain decides not to repress those memories anymore.