Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hide and Seek A.K.A. Darwinism for Idiots

Hide-and-Seek taught me at a young age that I lacked a natural instinct for survival. I knew the rules of the game and I knew there were ways to win, i.e.: As a hider, you can fly solo, you can form alliances, or you can turn yourself in to the seeker and tell him where everyone else is hiding, making their downfalls a victory for your inner psychopath. I often chose to form an alliance, because Hide-and-Seek was frightening. For some reason, the act of hiding has always heightened my anxiety and given me terrible gas. Something about having to remain still and silent while someone pursued me has never agreed with my nerves or my bowels. It didn't matter that nothing worse was going to happen than someone saying, Ha! Found you! I reacted to imitated danger the way a skunk would react to actual danger.

OH GOD, I give up, I'm here, you found me.

I withheld this information when I asked my cousin, Shmatthew, to join forces as his older brother, Miguel, counted backward from 30.

"Sure," he said, "Let's go."

We bolted upstairs and into our cousin Allison's bedroom. We ran through the door and glanced around for a spot. Under the bed was out of the question, as it had been repurposed for storage. We were no longer small enough to fit in her life-size doll house, so that was out, too. The only spot left was the closet, which was jam packed with clothing. "What do we do??" I whisper-shrieked.

Matt started for the door, but our other cousins darted past him and disappeared into the other upstairs rooms. From Allison's doorway, we could just barely make out Miguel reaching 15 in the count-down. "Seventeen! ... Sixteen! ... FIFTEEN! ... FOURTEEN! He bellowed. There was nowhere to go, and no place to hide it seemed. We were like two of the slower Romanov's when the townspeople revolted. "We're fucked!" Shmatt said, throwing his hands up.

"There in the closet!" I said, noticing an open patch of space in the otherwise crowded area. The space was big enough for one 8-to-10-year-old, but not two of them.

Not horizontally, that is.

Above the small open space on the floor was a wooden beam. Bingo. I hatched an idea of acrobatic genius.

"Okay," I said, feeling my intestines juggle a fart from one end to the other. "I'll hang from the beam, and you sit underneath me."

"O- okay," Shmatt said with a beat of hesitation.

"Hurry! There's no time!" I said, in italics.

I squeezed in ahead of him and grabbed onto the beam, hoisting my feet and butt into the air. "Okay...." I said, "Now... get underneath me... and support my body."

"Christ," he said, shimmying his way beneath my dangling ass. I felt his small palms cup each of my butt-cheeks and told him to close the sliding door with his foot. As he did it, we heard Miguel yell, "READY OR NOT.... HERE I COME." I felt scared again, and that I might soil myself.

"Oooh," I softly whimpered. My stomach made a gurgle and I felt something shift.

"What was that?" Shmatt asked, his arms pressed straight up over his head.

"Nothing..." I said as quietly as I could, hearing what sounded like the slow, methodical steps of a serial killer ascending the stairs.

"Here I coomme," Miguel said, that sick bastard.

Gurgle, gurgle, my stomach went. Even though I knew Miguel was probably not a real murderer, my nerves didn't seem to know the difference. My palms began to sweat and a live-wire of panic started to creep into my head. I heard Miguel's slow footsteps pass Allison's room, and felt a rush of relief. I re-adjusted my grip and wiggled a little.

"Shmrrgff!" Shmatt grumbled. Apparently, I had over-estimated his strength, and underestimated my own weight. I hadn't thought that Shmatt would be any less able to support my whole body than I would be able to remain suspended for what started to feel like a very long period of time. The comic positioning of it all started to make me giggle and lose my grip.

"Shmatthew," I said, my body quivering as I tried to keep from laughing and farting. "I'm fa- I'm falling!"

"No you're not! No you're not!" He whispered, "I've got you!"

"I ca- I caaaan't hold on!" I said. At this point, a little poot made its way out.

"What the- did you... didyoufart??" Shmatt asked, pivoting his his body from left to right, causing me to thusly turn with him as I dangled from the bar.

"I'm sorry!" I said, unable to hold it in any longer, "Oh no!" The combination of fear and hilarity made me unleash a rapid-fire series of farts directly through Shmatt's fingers and onto his head.

"Oh... oh my god," He said in a deep baritone, still supporting my entire body with naught but his bare hands. As I convulsed with laughter and what might have been the early stages of a heart attack, I lost complete control of my own hands and let go of the bar, crashing down on top of my cousin's head. The collision of our bodies forced the closet door to burst from its tracking and fly outward toward Allison's bed. Our bodies lay mangled in a gassy heap on the floor, our limbs sprawled like a pair of starfish that were tossed onto dry land. The commotion must have been audible from downstairs, because seconds later, I heard someone thunder up the steps.

From the doorway, Allison's mother--Aunt Shmathy--looked down at us and covered her nose with her hand. I could barely see her through the tears in my eyes, but needless to say, she did not look pleased. All she wanted was to have the family over for dinner and now she had to fumigate her daughter's closet and repair a broken door. Miguel on the other hand, looked quite happy leaning up against the threshold of Allison's doorway. We essentially found ourselves for him and managed to make complete asses out of ourselves in the process. But hey, no use in feeling shame, right? Every forest needs a skunk and every coastline needs a dying starfish for vacationing white people to put in a glass jar in the guest bathroom. The lowest rung on the ladder is still a rung, I say! I will be jester to your knight, and I will do it with my ass held high. And by "held," I mean literally, with the assistance of a second jester who likely didn't know what he was signing up for.

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