After Easter dinner several members of my family were sitting around, talking, enjoying each other’s company. My father had retired for an afternoon nap down the hall. My nephew had gone back home to watch a live stream of the League of Legends tournament finals (I created a gaming monster … yay!). My niece was trying to get the rest of us to play a game, but we hadn’t quite settled from dinner yet.
“I’m bored.”, she said. It is important to note that one should be wary of 13 year olds, for they are easily bored and quick to mischief.
“Hey grampa’s asleep.” A glimmer sparked in her eye. “We should mess with him.”
See what I mean. Of course, I did what any irresponsible uncle is supposed to do. I made a suggestion.
“Well, you could draw a moustache on him.”
Her eyes shone with Christmas intensity during her pause. “That would be awesome!” She raced to the drawer where the writing and drawing implements were kept. “What color should I get?”
“Well, black is traditional … just look for anything that says Duramark or Sharpie on it. Those are the best.”
My sister glared at me disapprovingly, “You know, in five years, you’re the one who gets to bail her out of jail.”
I shrugged, “It’s worth it.”
My niece rummaged through the drawer and pulled out a fine line Sharpie. “Hey, will this work?”
“That should do it.”
“No, don’t use that.” My mother intervened. “There are washable markers downstairs.” She was of course not opposed to the idea of the moustache being drawn on her husband. She was simply less enthusiastic about the prospect of going out on date night later that week with a man that has the remnants of a crooked Sharpie handlebar on his face.
After my niece returned and selected an appropriate marker, she looked both nervous and excited. “Is it seriously okay if I draw a moustache on grampa?” Everyone in the room gave her the go ahead. Steve, my sister’s boyfriend, grabbed a phone to try to take a picture of her while moustaching grampa. She nervously tiptoed down the hall, with Steve behind her. She quickly came back looking scared and excited.
“How do I know for sure if he’s really asleep?”
“If he’s breathing really deeply, he’s probably asleep.” my mother replied.
“But he’s not breathing really deeply.”
I thought for a moment, “Quietly ask him if he wants a cookie. If he’s up at all, he’ll answer.”
“Just tell him he needs to come to the kitchen if he wants dessert.” My Mom added, “that should do it.”
Paige and Steve went down the hall again while the rest of us stayed in the dining room. We were all very amused with the nervous energy she displayed in all of this and tried to imagine what the outcome would be.
“You know what would be funny?” my Aunt Jean wondered, “If she got really close and he popped up at the last minute and startled her. She’d scream for sure.”
I chuckled. It was a probable outcome. But something bubbled up from the deepest, darkest recesses of my screwed up brain, took the form of words and exited my mouth.
“Yeah … but it’d be funnier if he were dead.”
My aunt’s reaction was unique. She was laughing, but it was mixed with horror as well as guilt for laughing at something she also found horrific. I explained further.
“Don’t get me wrong, it would be tragic … and Paige would probably be in therapy for years, BUT, picture trying to explain to the paramedics how we sent a little girl down the hall to draw on her dead grandfather. Better yet the paramedics trying to explain it to the mortician. ‘Dude, honest, we just found him that way.’ And then later on, when the morticians have to respectfully remove the moustache and prep the corpse for the funeral … all the while, fighting the giggles. That’s funny.”
It was about this time from down the hall we heard a sudden rumbly “RAWR!” followed by a high pitched “AEEEEEEIII!” and the thumpthumpthumpthumpthump of my niece sprinting from the scene.
… he is risen …
My Mom and Steve came back into the room laughing. “So what were you guy’s laughing about? We heard you in the hall.” my Mom asked.
“Nothing. Nothing at all.”