Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Terrorizing of Jesse Dicks

Another Blog?

Yes, another blog. I never planned to have one and this is the second one. Why? Why do I have two? Well this one is going to be solely for personal remembrances, rather that for my business purposes. You see, as I've grown older I realized that I was beginning to feel like Mork when he was transformed into an old man. To quote: “How much? I remember when these use to be.... I forget...”

Yes, I'm afraid that some of my childhood memories have begun to slip away. I want to grab ahold of them before they are gone forever. As most, if not all, of you reading this know, my childhood was something wonderful and hysterical. A number of comedic skits were played out in my life and the lives of those I knew. I have decided to record some of those here. I am hoping that others will help refresh my memory by saying things like “Do you remember the time we...” I want to record these things for ourselves, our parents and our children.

So without further ado I raise the curtain on:

The Terrorizing of Jesse Dicks:

Now, back in the day Jesse was a real piece of work. I'll describe him a bit for those of you who don't know him or don't know him well. I'm certain Jesse will both deny and forgive my description. Jesse, in his youth, was... well, he was most like... I guess the closet description would be a disgruntled eighty year old man. He was generally dissatisfied with almost everything almost everyone was doing. He had a bag full of personal tics that could drive almost anyone insane. (He would constantly move the gear shift of his Mustang back and forth, left and right, jiggling it at every stop light for an example.) He was very reactive to anything negative that came his way and took good in life with a grain of salt. If everything was going his way his general outlook was “Things are all right...” whereas if anything went wrong he immediately began “Yea, that figures. They said it was $1.02 in the sales paper, we get down here and it's $1.05! Plus Tax!!”

Some of his better qualities were that he he was dependable and trustworthy. He was also very observant about the humorous faults of other members of our little group. Of course, he was also incredibly cheap, walked around looking like he needed a cane, was willing to fix your car because he knew you didn't know how to do it... etc. Really a full description would take far too long. I'll let the stories paint the pictures of the characters. For the opening of this story it's enough to know that Jesse also had a nervous disposition at times and had given us plenty of reasons to pick on him.

Now at the beginning of our story Jesse was working along with Adam and Jonathan Cooper, as well as myself. We were all working for Mr. Cooper's janitorial service. We had a number of buildings that we cleaned after business hours. I myself worked for food and movie tickets. I never knew whether or not Jesse got paid for his work, in point of fact I still don't know. At the time we really had nothing better to do and a trip to Augusta was more than worth a few hours of bagging trash and vacuuming floors.

As I said this work was done after hours and often after dark. Now, none of the four of us believed in ghosts and goblins. That is to say that we didn't as long as the sun was shining bright. However, each of us had places we didn't like to clean after the sun had set. Why didn't we like them? Well, they were awkward or eerie places after dark. Some of them were just large and we had to split up to get our work done quickly. “What would happen if some nutcase decided to take us each out one after the other?” Pleasant questions such as these were sometimes asked as we walked in getting ready for work.
Jesse was particular easy to wind up with questions like those. He loved to talk about things like that, no matter how much he pretended not to. It was almost as if he liked getting worked up, pre-terrified if you will. Now, I am certain he will always deny that, so you'll have to decide who to trust about what Jesse liked. Do keep in mind that he would lie about it...

Another important element is that each of us had a certain job to do. I took out the trash. I think Adam figured it was the one thing I couldn't mess up. I mean the trash can was either empty or needed to be empty, there aren't any real grades of clean with a trashcan. Adam did something that I never paid attention to. I just knew he did things I found tedious. Wiping things and what not. Jonathan cleaned the restrooms. Jesse... I often wonder if Adam had read my mind... Jesse was in charge of the Vacuuming.

The thing about vacuuming is that you can't really hear anything when your doing it. So if someone were creeping up behind you for instance, you might be blissfully unaware until it was too late. Now, it may be that Adam only had Jesse do the vacuuming because he did a good job. It might not have had anything to do with the fact that because Jesse couldn't hear he was that much easier for me to scare until he was having heart palpitations... Then again, it could have had a lot to do with that. I'm not sure we'll ever know what Adam's full motivations were.

Whatever the reason, Jesse was on vacuum duty and I took advantage of it. As I said Jesse was of a nervous disposition, at least in the lonely dark places we were working. He wouldn't just jump when you crept up behind him and grabbed his shoulder, he would scream like an eight year old girl! To be honest I couldn't get enough of it. However, Jesse could...

It started off in the Barnwell Country Club I believe, although it really could have been a number of places. In any event, that is a place I remember well. There were a number of spots where you could creep up behind someone without them seeing you. It also had the advantage of having large unlit areas where we didn't need to clean. All one had to do was stand in the shadows and wait. The last, and perhaps most critical advantage of the place was that I could finish taking out the garbage twenty or thirty minutes before Jesse finished vacuuming.

I had plenty of time to plot and plan. In point of fact I could take a quick “Terrify Jesse” break right in the middle and get back in plenty of time to finish up my work. At first it was simplicity itself. I would give Jesse a few minutes to get into the swing of things. I'd let him have just long enough for his mind to wander off on something other than my plotting. Then I'd sneak up to where he was and wait until his back was to me. All I needed to do was run up and slap him on the back with a “Hey Bro! How's it going!”

He would scream and the color would drain out of him as if someone had pulled his plug out. I would laugh and he would complain. Often you could hear Jonathan and Adam laughing in the background as they too had heard his girlish yell. It wasn't long and Adam and Jonathan both were taking the opportunity to scare him as they were moving from one place to another doing their work. It was wonderful! So much laughter, so many near heart attacks.

However, like all good things it had to come to an end at some point. Jesse got use to it... I suppose anyone would given time... It's rather too bad. After only a few weeks he would only jerk when you grabbed him. He often wouldn't even turn around or stop vacuuming. It was very frustrating to witness his nerves turning to steal.

He also started getting very clever. He knew me almost as well as I knew him. I remember one night I had given him what I thought was enough time to forget about me. I headed out on the hunt moving along in the dark. I had gotten to where I could see him working away. I just needed to get behind him. I felt certain he wasn't expecting me. We were in the Country Club that night. The room I was moving through had a wall that was made up entirely of windows. Just as I was getting close Jesse stopped vacuuming.

“I know you're there, you might as well not bother.” He said calmly. I knew he was bluffing, he had to be. I was hidden on the far side of the bar from him, there was no way he could see me!

“You might as well come out! I can see your reflection in the windows!” He asserted. I stood up looking at the windows.

“How could you see me?” I asked almost awe struck.

“I couldn't, but I knew you were there!” Was his smiling reply.

I had been out maneuvered! Jesse had out thought me and foiled my attempt to make him wet his pants. Things were indeed dire. He had gotten more and more observant and could even predict when I had gotten bored enough to look for him.

It took more and more to get him. Fortunately Jonathan was willing to go the extra mile to help me scare Jesse. It's not that Adam couldn't have come up with the goods, he just had too much pity... Jonathan and I never really coordinated our attacks. There was just an unspoken “Kill Jesse With Fear” partnership. Working together we managed to get him a few more times.

The best example was again at the Country Club. Jesse caught me creeping up on him again. He demanded that I stay where he could see me while he finished vacuuming the ladies powder room. He said he would stop the moment I was out of sight. So I had to sit there under his eyes waiting on him to finish. I was helpless to scare him. While I was talking to Jesse I began to think that Jonathan had had time to finish his work. If he was finished he would be looking for me or Jesse one. We were together, so he might well be nearby. I also thought that he would probably approach slowly and assess the situation.

As I considered all this I thought about what I would do if I were Jonathan. He knew Jesse and I were together and that Jesse would be keeping his eyes on me. He also knew that we had to come through a single doorway when we came out of the powder room. Now me, I would have stood pressed up against the doorway and waited for Jesse to walk out and then grabbed him. As I was considering all this I walked backwards to the edge of the doorway. Jesse was watching me like a hawk, but he looked away for just a second. I took advantage a leaned back through the doorway. I looked right into Jonathan's eyes.

I couldn't help but smile. He was right where I would have been. He was waiting for just the right moment. I felt we were a true team in this effort. I walked confidently out the door with Jesse's eyes glued to me. As soon as Jesse walked through Jonathan grabbed him and yelled. Ah! There was the scream we hadn't heard in weeks. It was great. Those screams were becoming harder and harder to get!

There finally came a day when nothing we did seemed to phase him. He would just yell at us for trying. From terrified to annoyed was quite a drop... I had basically given up. I knew that it would take something really remarkable to get him again. Weeks went by and there was basically no change. I was just going to have to wait for chance to smile on me.

At last the opportunity came! We were cleaning the Wildlife Center in Barnwell. Adam was looking over everything we had to do that night and we were going room by room. One of the rooms had a stuffed deer in it that would “break down” so you could fit it in the trunk of a car. It's feet had been replaced by four steel pins and it head was laying on the floor with another pin with which you could connect it to the body.

Adam looked at it for a moment before he observed “If that thing suddenly came to life it would be really bad. I mean, it wouldn't just be kicking you to death with it feet, it would be kicking you to death with those steel pins!” As I said before, in the daylight I didn't believe in such things. However, in the middle of the night in the middle of a deserted building... well, that was another matter. I took one look around the room and said “Well, this room is clean enough!” I closed the door and told Adam I had no intention of going back in there. We all agreed and set about our work.

Now, the moment I started my work a battle began within me. It was a struggle between superstitious fear and the desire to be mischievous. I kept thinking that the odds of that deer coming back to life were fairly slim. Whereas the odds that I could scare Jesse with the thing's head were fairly good. At last I decided that we all have to go some time and that killed by a zombie deer with steel pins for feet was at least a unique way to leave this world.

I crept into the room and took the deer head. I then moved to the part of the building where Jesse was cleaning away. I moved carefully. I moved slowly. This was too good a chance to miss. If he saw me everything was over. I would never get him with the deer's head if I missed my first chance. Fortune smiled on me. I managed to get right behind him as he was just going into a room to start cleaning. The vacuum was on and everything was ready.

My grandfather used to say “Let the tool do the work.” and I thought that this was certainly a place where this applied. I didn't want to run up on him or grab him or shout suddenly. I wanted the full force of the deer head to hit him and nothing else. I walked slowly up behind him holding the head by it's stake handle right in front of my face. As I reached him a tapped him gently on the shoulder. He jerked! He relaxed and slowly stood the vacuum up straight and turned it off. This was the moment and I knew it! He turned around to give me an ear full and then it hit him!!

He spun around and looked straight in the eyes of that deer's head. He could have kissed it had he wanted to. What happened? A scream! In fact, one might say THE scream. I had never heard anything like it. I'm not sure I ever want to again. After the scream he collapsed on the floor. His arms and legs were twitching and he just kept saying “Mama... Mama...” over and over again.

Adam came flying down the hall. “What did you do to him!?!?” “Nothing! I mean, I just scared him with this deer's head.” We bent over Jesse shaking him and asking him if he was okay. Finally the light returned to his eyes. His brain was on again. He looked up at me and said “What in the @$%% is the matter with you?!”

I felt relief, Jesse was going to live! For a moment there I hadn't been sure. That was the end of it... I knew that I could never do better. To go any farther would kill him and that was not the goal. I had done all man could do. I had achieved. I had truly terrorized Jesse Dicks!

I hope you enjoyed that. Lord willing, I will put more down soon.

1 comment:

  1. I just had to read this again tonight since you and your dad are helping Adam's mom clean some offices tonight. Sure hope you don't get the urge to SCARE her. This just makes me laugh like crazy every time I read it.