Nostalgic Moment #15

Freaking Myself Out

I do this a lot. I suppose it has to do with my nature, but I love Halloween, I love a good scary movie and a scary story. It's probably not the best mix for me seeing how I have such unsettling sleep, but I was raised to embrace the creepiness. I have a pretty open mind. Does that mean I believe in Big Foot? Well... not exactly, I still maintain a little bit of skepticism, but I know there are a lot of things I don't understand. And seeing how one of my most favorite times of the year is just around the corner, I'll share a few humorous anecdotes that deal with strange phenomenon and, to be perfectly frank (because I am a perfect "Frank",) freaked me out quite a bit.

#1 Once, I was driving home and I picked up a hitchhiker. The guy sat in the backseat of my car and stared at me in my rear view mirror. Suddenly, he said "Get your food storage together, boy!" and then he disappeared. All that was left in his seat were some food stamps and a pre-packaged 72-hour kit... I kid you not. Ok, I'm kidding, nothing cool like that has ever happened to me, I just wanted to start things off royally.

The real #1 Psycho Man-Lady - I used to be a Human Resources manager at another retailer a few years ago. It was a pretty good gig. It didn't pay all that great, but my job was mostly stress free and the hours were good. Seeing how I screened all of the interviewees through my office, on occasion I encountered some real whack jobs. One in particular stands out as the most bizarre. It was early afternoon, getting close to quittin' time and I was busy finishing up some paperwork. As I scribbled stuff on paper a dark shadow fell across my desk. There was a figure looming in my doorway. When I looked up, I saw that it was a really large woman standing there. We're talking easily six and a half feet, wearing a black dress with a grey wig on her head.

I was immediately startled by her daunting presence, and my alarm grew as I realized that it wasn't a woman, rather a really large man, probably in his fifties dressed up like a woman. I stumbled over my words as the man started digging in his purse. I strange thought came to my mind... This man was going to shoot me right there in my office for no reason at all. I wanted to scream out as he continued to rummage in his red purse. Turns out, he wasn't going to shoot me, rather he pulled out a pad of paper and a pen. He wrote a mixture of four words and symbols on a piece of paper and handed the message to me. Catalog, Red Gloves, $, ?. I looked back at him and said "I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about." His code was obviously encrypted in some weird language. The man growled and then whispered, "I want to buy the red gloves that are in the catalog. Where are they?" Oh, that's what he wanted.

"Sir... uh... mam, this is the Human Resources Office, let me get someone to help you." I sent him on his way and later discovered that he shopped quite frequently at our store and was actually escorted out once by security for too much revealing in the women's dressing room. I'm not trying to diss on people's preferences, but that really creeped me out. Weird huh?

#2 Limo Ride - When I was in second grade my great grandma Lukikas passed away in New York City. I don't remember much about my great grandma other than she was really short and never stood up. I think I might have cried a lot whenever I saw her too, just because I was a disturbed child. My family decided to take a trip up to New York to attend the funeral. We stayed with my grandparents in Queens and had a great time despite the grim circumstances.

On the day of the funeral, we left the chapel to go to the burial site. I noticed that everyone was climbing into limousines. Everyone, that is, except for the Coles. I was so ticked off that I started wailing because I wanted to be cool and ride in a Limo. Of course, my parents were being practical and besides we had a large black station wagon. It was close enough. I wasn't having it and on and on I yelled until finally the funeral director, a nice lady with a thick accent told my parents that I could ride with her. They didn't object and I was sooo excited. This would be my first limo ride and I was going to enjoy pressing all the neat buttons and drinking stuff from mini-fridges and engaging the eject lever. You know, all the cool stuff that's supposed to be in a limo. Instead, I climbed into the front seat next to the lady and the driver and noted that the interior looked like a crappy station wagon. Where were the cool buttons? Where was the mini fridge? Better yet, where was the radio and the air conditioning? This limo sucked! Also, why was there a strange curtain behind my seat? And what was inside that giant box back there?

Yes, you probably guessed it. I wasn't riding in the limo, I was riding in the hearse. I was a smart second grader and I put 2 and 2 together relatively quickly. I soon came down with an upset stomach, only to worsen when the lady handed me a pack of Rolaids and told me they were candy and that I should share them with my siblings. Share? Yeah right. I ate all the Rolaids and became more sick, so sick that my dad later told me that I had turned green like a frog. To this day, I can't stand the sight of hearses.

#3 The Wall Knocker - We have one of these, if you don't believe me ask my wife. Almost every night, right around the time we put the kids to bed, something knocks rather loudly on my bedroom wall. I'm usually on the computer or reading a book or something in the room and if I'm deep in thought, the knock will literally cause me to jump. Granted it probably has something to do with the house settling or the air conditioning or some faulty wiring in an appliance, but still the knock is a little weird. Heidi is braver than me, because I am a little superstitious. She'll knock back and we all get a good laugh, my laughter is a little forced because I'm alarmed that she would do such a thing, but I laugh none the less.

One night, not too long ago, I was home while Heidi did her scrapbook thing. The kids were all tucked in and I was probably blogging or something along those lines. Suddenly, the wall knocker knocked. I instinctively went to knock back, but stopped myself. The thought dawned on me that what if this was the night that the Wall Knocker wanted to communicate with me. Did I really want that? Was I prepared to carry on a conversation with the thing in my wall? Did I need that sort of disturbance in my life? The answer to all of those questions is no. Instead, I pretended I never heard the knock and decided that we now had cable and I'm sure there was some sort of program I should be watching, maybe even the Biggest Loser... I don't know.

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