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My next memory, during the same school year, was watching scary movies with my dad. Jaws, The Blob, The Birds, The Exorcist – all the good old classics. He had seen them all many times before. The typical movie night at my house looked like this: my sisters and I in our pajamas, lying stretched out on the floor in front of the television with a bowl of popcorn in front of us. My dad sitting behind us on the couch. Looking back now, I realize that was the best seat in the house if you were my dad. Just as a scary part would come up, all my dad had to do was grab one of the eight feet there before him and let out a yell. The owner of the foot he grabbed would jump and scream, thus scaring the others who would also jump and scream. My dad would sit back on the couch, laughing his jovial sinister laugh. We girls would laugh it off and get engrossed into the movie again, only to have my dad catch us again later in the movie. Of course my mother didn’t like him scaring us like that because she was the one who had to deal with the nightmares as my father could sleep through a hurricane.

He also loved to tell ghost stories. I can remember my two sisters, Melinda and Elizabeth, and I were sitting in a circle with my dad just before bedtime. The three of us girls shared a bedroom at the time. My oldest sister, Julie, and my brother, Doug, had grown past the ghost stories before bed and retired to their own rooms. So there we were, ready for my dad’s story. We in our pajamas, my dad in his with his bathrobe on, sat in the dim light from a lamp on the floor. He told us the story about the man with the hook for a hand that would kill teenagers in the park as they made out in the car. His story ended with the typical, “and they never found the killer.” That is where it normally ends, but my dad had three young girls (Melinda was 10, Elizabeth 8, and I was 5) totally into this story. So he asks the question, “Do you know why they never found the killer?” We all shook our heads “no” and he yells, “Because it was me!” and pulls back the sleeve of his robe where he was holding a pair of 90 degree needle-nosed pliers. Of course, to us it looked like a hook. We all scream, jump away from him, some of us in tears (I won’t mention who), and all he could do was laugh hysterically, get up and say “good night, sleep well,” and went to his room. My mother, meanwhile, is yelling at him, something to the effect of “Bill, damn it! How many times do I have to tell you not to scare the kids before bed? Now they’re not going to be able to sleep. Thank you very much!” He then turns around and comes back in, still giggling, and gives us hugs and kisses, reassures us that it is just a story, it is not true and that he loves us very much. By this time we have calmed down and I have stopped crying, and we all had a good laugh (except my mother who was still scolding my father under her breath as she came in to tell us goodnight). Needless to say, we slept with the light on that night and if I recall correctly, for a few nights there after.

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The following comments are for "My Dad - Chapter 2 - Thrillin Choice of Movies"
by leftylink

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