My aunt Betty on my mother’s side of the family died when I was in college. I know that is hard to believe but I miss her. Even though it was almost 20 years ago, I remember most that she always spoke her opinion and trust me she always had one. One day when I was a kid I remember my parents getting called up to my grandpa’s.
We got there and my dad walked into the hallway. She called through the bathroom door. “Help, LaVerne.” That was his name, given to him but my grand parents. He spelled it La capital Verne.
He reached for the door and it was lock. “What’s wrong?” he answered through the door.
“My toe is stuck in the faucet.” she answered.
“Well, how the hell did you do that,” he exclaimed. It had turned out that she got into a hot bath and laid back and relaxed. As she rested she moved her toes around the faucet. Somehow her big toe became lodged in the opening.
He worked at the door jam until the door gave way and there was my aunt in the buff. She screamed and I came running. Just as I got to the door dad scooped me and out of the way. In reflection I am glad he did that. The cost of a therapist is outrageous these days or so I have heard. After what seemed like forever. My dad managed to get a towel in there to cover the poor woman up. I can remember it took a long time working her out of the tub. Once she was out we left.
That wasn’t the last time we had to save the poor woman. My dad had to go up there for spiders and bugs. Once we made a trip up there to find her and my sister on a table. When dad asked, “Why are you standing on top of the table?”
She exclaimed, “Rat!”
He search the house and came up with nothing.
“No, Vern, you find the rat!” she screamed.
In the end, the rat turned out to be a common field mouse. He found the poor think hiding under the couch. He chased it out the front door and my aunt disappeared into the bathroom. Dad called through the door “Don’t get stuck in there, I’m not coming back.”
That wasn’t the only time she got scared of a mouse. Once I was alone in my room and my mother knocked on the door. She opened it and asked if my aunt and she could come in. I to tell you the truth was a little freaked at the sight of the two women entering my room. They were on a field trip to see my mice. Mom had told her that kept mice in my room.
She looked in long enough to see that they were secured and left my room swearing never to return. I took offense to my aunt comments. So hatching a plan, I left my room and headed down the stair into my parents room. In my mom’s jewelry chest was a rabbit’s foot on a key chain. It was made to give luck to the person who owned the object. Just as I closed the case my mother open the door to her room. To my surprise, once I explained what I was doing my mother jumped at the change in to help. I think she was just glad she wasn’t on the receiving end of one of my pranks, but that is another story.
I went back up the stairs and my mother announced, “We have a special treat. My son James will be bringing his pet mouse down to show use a trick.” She didn’t tell everyone that I planned to make a grown woman disappear.
“HE BETTER NOT!” is what I heard from the lips of my aunt.
I put the rabbit’s foot into my balled up hand, I remember it didn’t look alive, so I put the key ring around my pinky finger. Stepping into the Dining room I notice everyone gathered around the table. I walked up to my aunt and produced the fake mouse. She looked on and didn’t jump as I had predicted until I wiggled my little finger and the fake mouse wiggled.
A lot happened in just a few seconds. I heard language come out of my aunt’s mouth that I won’t repeat here. I will leave it to your imagination. She stepped back reached for a handful of salad and throw it in my direction. I heard a few more choice words and she disappeared into my parent’s bathroom.
Leaving the key chain on the counter and I went back upstairs to my room. I might add that I never saw the rabbit’s foot again.
A few minutes later I heard foot steps and my door opened. Just as I looked up from my bed a pan of ice water hit me in my chest. The door closed and I ran to see my aunt bounding down the stair. The only think I can remember thinking was, “Man can she run.”