I have a story for you. It’s about the time I answered my front door holding a bayonet and our house’s cordless phone. NOW THIS MIGHT SOUND SKETCHY. And maybe it was, a little.
I was sixteen, maybe seventeen. My parents had decided to go on a road trip with my other siblings to see Barry Manilow perform out of state. I had been taken out of the loop for the trip to see him and I was informed that I was going to be home alone for about a week. Without a car.
I’d never been home alone before. Sure, I’d babysat for my siblings. I’d spent an afternoon hanging out at the house while the family dispersed, left to their own devices. But I was never alone for so long… and I was NOT comfortable with it. You must remember, this was the age of the Scream movies and I Know What You Did Last Summer. I reached out to my friends who were around town to let them know I might need a ride somewhere or that I might call if something went awry. We didn’t really have family friends and didn’t know our neighbors well… so this was the best I could make of a less-than-ideal situation.
Generally everyone was pretty supportive. But one of my old classmates, Rosie, thought she’d play a trick on me. One night, after dark, she came to my front door and knocked on the door. She’d hide. I’d look. No one there. I certainly wasn’t expecting anyone. Knock knock. No one there. Knock knock. No one there. Knock knock OKAY SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.
At this point, I am terrified. My homeland security meter is colored somewhere between crimson and maroon. I’m alone, miles away from help, with knocking sounds at my front door. I scrounge up our cordless phone. I pre-dial 911 but do not press the call button. I go into my father’s office closet and proceed to remove his World War 1 bayonet. LIKE YOU DO.
My father bought this bayonet some years ago, mostly because it is completely bad ass. It is in fantastic shape – a name and year are etched into the blade, along a channel in the side of the blade that allows blood to flow down and out of the person you’ve stabbed with it. It is shiny and it is sharp and it is my first line of defense. I’d be damned if I was going down without a fight.
I open the front door with a cry and look around, bayonet and phone in hand. “JESUS LAUREN WHAT THE HELL” was her, given the circumstances, fairly rational response. There was a brief exchange of expletives and apologies from both sides. I didn’t stab her. She never pranked me again. And we both got a good story out of it. Well, I suppose her version of it might not be as colorful as mine was. But we all laughed about it in the end.