Tell us about a time when someone had you completely fooled, where the wool was pulled right over your eyes and you got hoodwinked, but good. Was it a humorous experience or one you’d rather forget? What was the outcome?
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My mother was a chicken. Not literally, but figuratively speaking, she was a chicken, a scaredy cat, a nervous person and through observation, she created little chicken-scaredy-cats out of her very own offspring, especially the younger children, of which I was one.
My younger siblings and I were so scared of the dark that we begged our mother to stay in the room with us as we fell asleep, thus creating a night time ritual.
Mom was home alone with her children every night of the week since my Dad was either out playing with his band or selling lessons and instruments at his music school. One particularly warm summer night, the bedroom windows were open, allowing a slight breeze into the room along with typical traffic sounds from the highway on which we lived and occasional ambulance sirens as they raced to the hospital down the block.
My sister lay quietly in her bed with our mother while I laid in mine, listening to the increasing volume of our mother’s heartbeat. I wondered what mom was afraid of when suddenly she whispered, “Do you hear that?”
After a few seconds of concentrated listening and not hearing anything, not even the sound of mice scurrying around the bedroom floor, I questioned, ”Hear what?”
”Come here, on this bed, I think they’re outside.”
”Who? Who’s outside,” I whispered as I crawled into bed with mom and my sister.
”I think it’s some hillbillies and it sounds like they’re drunk!”
My mind immediately conjured up images of the hillbilly family that recently played on the Andy Griffith show, the Darling family, particularly the jug playing patriarch, ‘Pa’.
”Can you hear them now? I can’t tell if there’s one or two of them!” Mom was literally scared stiff as she whispered.
”Yes, I do hear something but it’s really quiet.”
We listened with frozen bodies and eyes wide open – why do we open our eyes wider to hear better?
And then I heard it! Mom heard it too, the sound of a man whistling, the kind of whistle a man does when he sees a pretty girl; but mom stopped listening as thoughts of terror filled her mind. I, on the other hand, kept listening and identified the whistling sound from a tv/radio commercial for Pepsodent.
”Mom! Mom! It’s a commercial!”
”Listen, it’s a radio commercial! I don’t think anyone is on the front porch. I think the radio is on and turned way down low!”
Mom gathered all of her feminine heroism to quietly slip out of bed. She felt around in the darkened room where the radio was located and there, under a pile of clothes to be ironed, the green glow of its power light shone more brightly as mom pealed away the clothes, revealing the radio – the radio that disguised itself as drunken hillbillies on our front porch.
”WJJD, Chicago, Chicago, That’s my hometown…” was playing as mom turned off the radio and left the room without saying another word. My sister and I knew that mom was mad. We decided that we were better off to be scared of the dark than to get beat, which is what mom would do if we irritated her any further, by asking her to stay with us until we fell asleep.
”You can sleep in my bed with me,” Carey meekly invited me to share our fearfulness together, in one bed.
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Here are more thoughts on the Daily Prompt – Brilliant Disguise: