I’m cured! Yep, 100%... cured... thanks to She who rules the house. I was an addict, oh not like you think, nothing as mundane as drugs or alcohol or even sex... none of that common stuff for me. No, I had fallen hard for practical jokes... any of them... all of them... whoopee cushions, firecrackers, water buckets over the doorway... anything that would scare the crap out of you, I loved them all !
I was king of the practical joke. I was sly, clever, inventive and always on the look out for my next victim. It had reached the point all my friends and colleagues walked on egg shells around me for fear of being next on my list of pranks. With my head swollen with the pride of my ability, I had become a tyrant and loved every moment of it. I was unstoppable!
At least so I thought. Several of the cowards went behind my back... speaking to She who rules the house... my wife, Valerie. They begged her to get me to stop, begged her to rein me in, to save them from my antics.
“I can’t stop you from tormenting them,” she conceded, waving a dismissive hand.
I was secretly thrilled and my head filled with plans of retribution for those that dared to stand against me.
“Just don’t bring it home,” she warned sternly.
A light bulb when on... until that moment, it had never occurred to me to make her one of my conquest. The thought burned in my brain day and night. I argued with myself contentiously... I shouldn’t, I couldn’t. She would make my life a living hell if I did... but if I did, how good would that feel? To good to pass up.
I searched for the next few weeks to find just the right situation until I found an Italian candy. Hidden inside its delightful cherry flavored exterior is bi-carbonate of soda. The instant the hard candy is cracked, the by-carbonate of soda foams wildly and can no longer be contained. The victim foams at the mouth like a mad dog. The more they wipe away, the more there is to take its place... the perfect practical joke.
I bided my time, waiting for the right moment. Days went by, each eating at me more than the day that proceeded it. I could wait no more. I slipped the first piece into my mouth, being extra careful not to crack it.
“Did you want one?” I asked with as much disinterest as I could fake.
“Sure,” she returned quickly.
My heart began to race, adrenaline pumped wildly through my veins and then... and then I heard her piece crack. Every fiber in my body vibrated with excitement.
At that moment, to my surprise, she spit her piece out into her hand... intact.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” she said, her voice full of venom.
“Awh, I was so close. How did you know?
“I knew and pay back is a bitch,” she countered.
“Bring it on. I’m the best. I can’t be beat. You can never get me,” I bragged.
“I will and when I do I will be she who rules the house,” she demanded.
“Deal,” I said foolishly.
To my disappointment a month or so went by without a single mention. I assumed she had simply given up and forgot all about it. At least until... one night at around two in the morning she woke me up.
“Did you hear that?” she whispered harshly.
I tried to sit up, shaking off a deep sleep.
“There it is again. Did you hear it? Someone is in the house.”
I didn’t... I didn’t hear it at all. I strained as hard as I could and still heard nothing.
“Someone is in the house! I think they’re in the kid’s room,” she cried grasping my arm tightly.
Instantly, I was awake. Goosebumps rippled over my skin... I had heard nothing.
“There! Hear it?” she asked, more frightened than I had ever seen her.
I didn’t! I didn’t hear a thing.
“Go! Check on the kids, please,” she pleaded desperately.
I nodded my agreement without a word. My mind swirled with genuine concern. Slowly, I made my way in the dark to the hall toward the kid’s room. To my shock, standing in their door way, with his back against the frame... a man. He stood six foot two if he were an inch. My heart jumped into my throat. My body gave a quick shake of fear and all I could think was “Dear God, please don’t let him hurt me.”
I swallowed hard and then made my move. I lunged for the intruder grabbing him by the neck. We fell to the floor, fighting. I swung with all my power but he held my arms in place. I couldn’t move. I had no choice, panic over took me. I wrapped my hands around his throat and squeezed with all my might but he fought me fiercely. I began to beat his head against the floor to free his grip on me. My panic had now become anger and I was suddenly willing to kill to stop this madman.
Then the unthinkable... his skull gave way... pieces of him began to fly off in every direction.
“My God, I’ve killed him,” I gasped, releasing my grip, standing. I stared at my hands expecting them to be covered in blood and pieces of the man’s brains.
Only then did I realize his head was Styrofoam. Hanging from it a flowered sheet in which I had gotten tangled.
Now I was mad again.
I stomped back to our bedroom, mad as hell.
“Was anyone there?” my wife asked with a snicker.
I was too angry to speak....
I’m cured... all hail She who rules the house.