Throw Back Thursday: A Babysitter’s Worst Nightmare

Stamford, CT: Sometime in the 90’s

When I was younger, I used to get into some sort of trouble pretty often.  From little things such as picking fights with my brother and friends to throwing eggs at cars on Washington Boulevard, I always would find a way to put myself into predicaments, many of which I got away with. One of my favorite things to do is pull pranks on people. The classic “dollar tied to fishing line” trick, the “glue a quarter to the ground” trick, or the famous “tape the hose on the sink so it sprays your mom” trick. Some of the best pranks I’ve pulled involved my brother and cousins, and one of them to me is probably the most memorable prank we’ve ever pulled. Cue Wayne’s World flashback scene.

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One night, too many years ago, my brother and I were staying at my aunt’s house with three of our cousins while one of our family friends babysat us for the night. I was probably 10, my brother 8, and my older cousins in their teens. My aunt’s house is at the end of a cul de sac near North Stamford, which meant that at night time it got pretty dark, perfect for mischief. This was around the time that the movie Scream was relevant, which gave my older cousins Brett and Ricky a great idea for a prank to pull on the babysitter. Chances are they probably thought that my cousin Randi wouldn’t go along (or they just wanted to prank her too), but they told my brother and I to meet them upstairs at Ricky’s room. Not knowing what the deal was, but wanting to be in with our older cousins, we decided to venture up the stairs to see what the deal was.

This Prank Will Be a Scream!

Once we got to Ricky’s room, he and Brett laid out the game plan for their prank. They were going to tie us to a tree, put ketchup on us, we’d pretend to have been attacked while they run around the house dressed in scream masks to terrorize Randi and the babysitter. Hesitant at first, we decided to play along. Ricky had a ladder set up outside his window where we’d sneak out of the house and set the prank up. We climbed out of the window, got tied to a tree, had ketchup poured on us and waited to see how the plan would come to be. Ricky and Brett split up and communicated to each other via walkie talkie. Now that the pieces were put into place, the prank was about to go into full effect.

It started to get dark, the scenery resembling almost every scary movie I’ve ever seen. “Ricky! Brett! Philly! Willie!” the babysitter screamed as she stormed from room to room looking for us. We watched as she’d pass the kitchen window nervously, searching every nook and cranny. She finally made her way outside where she saw my brother and I tied to a tree with what looked like blood on our shirts. After the color immediately left her face, she let out the kind of scream that would wake a deaf man in his sleep. Not being the best of actors, Willie and I laughed uncontrollably. This was when the color came back to her face, this time bright red, and MAN did we get yelled at!

Just When You Thought It Was Over…

After what felt like an interrogation session, Willie and I never gave up where Ricky and Brett went. Randi, unaware of anything that’s going on, is shaking uncontrollably from the fear that something isn’t right. Suddenly, a clutter of loud thuds came from the giant window in the living room where two scream masks appeared out of nowhere. Again, the babysitter shrieked, this time accompanied by a higher pitched scream from Randi. The masks disappeared and started banging on another window in another part of the house, sending the girls in a frenzy. Finally, Ricky and Brett decided to come clean and revealed that they were the ones behind the mask. Randi went upstairs to her room, shaking from the fear she encountered, and Willie and I went off to our respective sleeping spots while Ricky and Brett got one of those “I’m upset” speeches from our babysitter. I couldn’t exactly tell you what happened after that, but I’m sure it includes some form of punishment to all of us (except for Randi, dealing with us was punishment enough).

Overall, most of the trouble that I got myself in was all in good fun. Sure, the babysitter and Randi didn’t deserve the torment that we had given them, and looking from an outsider’s perspective it’s kind of fucked up. At the end of the day, we look back at that night and laugh. Life without some sort of mischief or a little bit of excitement isn’t much fun in my opinion, even if the end result was being grounded for a week or two. If you always play it safe, what fun is that?

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