Saturday, April 17, 2010

Memory Monday (except that it's Saturday): Random Childhood Flashback

I recently watched the Marriage Ref because, let's face it, I was curious. It was one of the earlier episodes, and highlighted in it was a fight over whether the wife should be allowed to keep her deceased first husband's urn and prosthetic leg in the house. Immediately, I was transported back in time to age 6...

As you may know by now, I grew up in CT as a part of a large, close-knit family. Our agreed-upon family policy on birthdays was to celebrate (with parties) the birthdays of my generation through age 16. Whenever we had birthday parties at my house (for me, obviously), all of my cousins would come over and we'd all play together. Usually, we were told to "go down in the basement" because there were so many of us that I'm sure the calm to chaos ratio was far from manageable. Down in the basement, the chaos was allowed to build on itself as we all ran around in the unfinished land of sporting equipment, canned goods, a furnace, antique farming tools, old furniture, and various home and yard products.

One of the games we would play (you know, when running around ceased to satisfy and our innate need for rules in play became apparent) was haunted house. There would be two teams. After the long and drawn out process of choosing sides and then finding the most perfect names for these teams, we were ready to play. Playing entailed one team (let's call them the Avengers, as that was a popular choice) waiting at the top of the stairs as the other (let's call them Wayne Power- inspired by Dwayne Wayne or Wayne Gretsky, I'm not sure, but both are equally likely) set up their haunted house. When team Wayne Power was ready, the Avengers would have to walk through the haunted house. After every member of the Avengers had been through it, the teams would switch. At the end, we'd loosely discuss whose haunted house was scarier.

Team Wayne Power usually won, as their scare tactics included not only the use of antique farm equipment and the old rocking chair with the hole in the seat, but also the use of my grandfather's first prosthetic leg. Avenger after Avenger would walk by the bag where we kept Poppy's leg and scream as it appeared to creep closer and closer. At the time, my grandfather, Poppy, was still alive and partying upstairs with the rest of the adults. Looking back on this event after his passing, however, makes it seem all the more ridiculous. Especially since we kept all of his prosthetics after he updated to newer, better models. I can't imagine the fear we would have felt for three legs creeping our way.

Flashing back to the episode of the Marriage Ref, I can understand why that woman would want to keep her deceased husband's legs; we did, after all, keep Poppy's for quite a while. That being said, it's still inherently creepy. What if her kids are playing haunted house with it?

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