Monsters

I recently read that Will Smith is producing a movie called Monster Hunter (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0460872/). It’s a comedy about a child psychologist with the ability to see the monsters that hide in kids’ closets and under their beds. On his latest case, he encounters a particularly formidable opponent. Sounds interesting…hate to have that job, though.

Recently, Merritt, our 7-year-old has taken to pulling back the shower curtain before she uses the restroom in our upstairs bathroom. This drives Penny a little crazy, so she asked her why. She said, “I just wanted to make sure there was nobody in there.”

Merritt — I’m right there with you.

Occasionally, when I’m here by myself, I check closets, doors, under the bed and, yes, even behind the shower curtain, once in a while. It’s funny how I’ve grown up my whole life like that and my fears of the bogey man still surface once in a while.

(http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0080850/)Not counting Jaws, I can only remember seeing one horror movie my whole life, He Knows You’re Alone (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0080850/). I saw it when I was in high school in the early 1980s at Kay Meyer’s house with a bunch of other folks. Bit of trivia: it was Tom Hanks’ first movie…minor role.

It was about this lovelorn psycho guy that gets dumped by his fiancée, snaps and then starts killing brides-to-be all over the place — with this big knife. There was a lot of jumping out from secret hiding places, sneaking up behind people and the like.

There was this scene (minor spoiler — like anyone’s going to see that movie these days) where this girl came home to her empty house — or so she thought. Before it was all over, yep, her head was at the bottom of the fish tank with her neon tetras and guppies nibbling on the bottom of where her neck used to be.

Listen to me when I say this — never ask “Is someone there?” — just start screaming, swinging and running all at the same time. Of COURSE someone is there…or if you’re wrong, the worst is that you just got a good workout.

Then there was this victim in a movie theater that the killer stabbed through the seat timed just right with a scary, screamy moment in the movie (that they were watching in the movie). I still size up folks sitting behind me in a movie theater…and lean forward a little.

Even in college, I was in the shower in my dorm room one day and I freaked out when I saw the shadow of this hand coming up over the shower curtain. You guessed it — my own hand. Shouldn’t have told my roommate, though. Next day he really scared the the fool out of me…

Then, when we were kids, my dad used to tell us stories about this John’s Island Bigfoot of the Marsh sort of the creature that the locals called “Plat’ Eyes (http://books NULL.google NULL.com/books?id=JBDDhQ9ZXAUC&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=plat+eyes&source=web&ots=EQZe0PlvI_&sig=uV1SqXHvvM9bIC3nKj33mEcm7B4)” because it was supposed to have really big eyes, the size of small plates…or something. Anyway, so my younger brother, Mark, and I go out shrimping one night when we were maybe 11 and 14 respectively. We’re out in the Kiawah River casting the shrimp net in the shallow water. It’s dark and we’ve got these lights on the sides of the little boat we’re in. We’re scanning the marsh 20 feet away every now and then, keeping an eye out for ole’ Plat’ Eyes…just in case.

But Plat’ Eyes was sneaky, just like in the movies — he attacks from the rear…or so it seemed. In reality, it was a school of dolphins surfacing loudly behind us that enabled us to set the world record for the highest vertical distance ever jumped by two white kids in a boat on the Kiawah River. We later determined that we may have also set records for audio decibel levels produced by human vocal chords, but we never really called in either one, so I guess we’ll never know.

2 Comments on "Monsters"

  1. Warner McGee (http://www NULL.warnermcgee NULL.com) says:

    What a great story. I think we all have those memories that stick in our brain that paint our childhood in a certain color. Thanks for sharing your story and reminding me of the many that I have from my childhood. -Warner

  2. jairy hunter (http://jairyhunter NULL.com) says:

    Yeah, my three year old has taken to adding “And Jesus don’t let any monsters get me” to the last line of her prayers. I always tell her that there’s no such thing, blah blah blah…and she says, “but can God get the monsters?” I usually just say “yeah; He can.”

    Also, the plat-eye is supposedly a spirit-apparition that can take many forms in the Gullah culture. I heard show by Walter Edgar on it a couple years ago; always been fascinated by that stuff…

    I’m like you–a big chicken–and although I LOVE Jaws now, I couldn’t bear to watch it as a kid.

    THE CREEPIEST movie I ever saw (was forced to by a girl I liked) was “Angelheart,” with Mickey Rourke (his one good movie) and Robert DeNiro as Louis Cypher (get it?)….still gives me chills. You should rent it.