Wednesday, December 15, 2010

E.T. In The Shrubbery

Did you ever have a place in or around your house when you were little that was closed off? Or dark and hidden and maybe a bit scary? You weren't sure what went on in there when you weren't looking but you knew it was probably weird, because little kid imaginations tend to work that way.

There's something going on in that little room. Something sinister. Ooh! Power Rangers is on!!

This can't have just been me, right? ...guys?

Well, either way. There's this big ol' clump of bushes in the front yard of my house and back when I was like six or seven, me and my dad were playing with a wiffle ball or something and I hit it into the bushes. Now, they're not terribly intimidating to me now, obviously. But back then they were taller than I was and more along the lines of

Yeah, that's about right

Just as I was riling up my kindergarten gumption to go in, the ball rolled out of the formidable bush. Now, I don't properly recall what led to what happened next, I assume I must have recently seen Steven Spielberg's E.T., and I also assume I must have asked how the ball just seemed to magically roll out of the Nightmare Shrub because my father ended up telling me something along the lines of "E.T. the alien is living in that bush, and he rolled the ball out to you because he doesn't want you to go in there"

He likes his alone time

Now what my Dad didn't know, because I didn't tell him until years later, was that I was, frankly, freaked the hell out by E.T. I mean, sure he's nice and all, but he's creepy looking! That long bendy neck, his weird wrinkled skin and his creepy croaking voice, Little Me was not a fan. And now I was under the impression that he had made himself a home in the front garden, which led to things like this:

So yeah, eventually I reached the age where I realized that E.T. was a fictional character who did not live in my front yard but in the frightening planes of Steven Spielberg's mind. So there's a weird part of my childhood for you. Anyone else absolutely certain that some character or other was living in their closet or under their bed when they were little kids? Surely I can't be that weird. I mean, I also used to play Magical Kung-Fu Adventure with my Barbie dolls but that's another story for another day...

This is Sugary Cynic, fondly recalling when Barbie and her friends used the power of magic artifacts and spinning kicks to defeat the Undead Dragon and then played in the dreamhouse. 'Night!

(Me, my brother and my dad are in the kitchen when Dad motions towards me)

Dad: (all subtle-like) "C'mere"

Me: "Yeah, wha?"

(he shows me a gift he's buying my brother online)

Me: "Oh, cool"

Jared: "What are you guys looking at? Can I see?"

Dad: "No, it's just this...strange website"

Jared: "...That's the best you could do?"


  1. being scared of ET as a child isn't weird. I used to be (still am) terrified of Oompa Loompas. Also scared of Octopusses(octopussies? Octopussi?)

  2. I had recurring dreams that Howdy Doody (Google it) was hiding in my closet with a large knife waiting to kill me...ET was ooky to me too.

    Octopi however do not scare me...good source of protien...sushi...mmmmmmmm. :)

  3. Dude, ET is the baby from Eraserhead. True story.

  4. Ameer: Octopi I think, or if you're James Bond, Octopussy.

    Papa Bear: BANANA! I was truly perplexed by his master plan :p

    Ron: Having googled pictures of Howdy Doody I feel like you were totally justified in your fear of that nightmare puppet and it's dead, dead eyes

    Simon: No! I can't unsee these things once you say them!!


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