carolyne_k (carolyne_k) wrote,

Howl O'Scream....or ways my husband makes me laugh

I happen to adore my geeky hubby - in fact, that's one of our strengths - I'm moderately geeky in ways he is totally ignorant in and likewise he compliments the areas I could care less about. It was a point of contention between the in-laws when we married; I registered at Home Depot, he registered at J.C. Penney's. They could foresee doom and worried about possible children, I laughed and checked the insurance policies just in case.

Halloween is and will always be one of our favorite holidays - the year we married, the hubby started the tradition of taking my then 7 year old out to shop for her chosen costume, assisted with the decorating of the homestead, and dressed up just like one of the kids to make the neighborhood rounds. The eldest child was never going to say "no" when having her Dad all dressed up and going with her just meant she'd have more candy (loot!) at the end of the evening. The following year, when our middle child was barely old enough to hold a plastic pumpkin (loot holder!), "Daddy" dressed up as an invisible pedestrian (black sweat suit with with tire tracks in white paint alllll over the body - yeah, the neighbors got in a good laugh in the construction process of THAT costume.)

Two years and one more child later, "Daddy" comes through the front door with his beloved Radio Shack catalog - just in time to decorate for our special holiday.  His eyes glaze over and he takes a quick breath, "Oh HUN! You just GOTTA see this! We OUGHT to do this in the front yard!!!" The object of his child-like lust was advertised as a "remote control ghostie spook" that actually ran down a practically invisible cab
le, howling as it descended, guaranteed to make the kids squeal, scream, etc., etc.  I couldn't deny him his fun, so off to Radio Shack he went, kids in tow.

The following morning the household was knee-deep in preparation for the following weekend's festivities; all the decorations were coming out of tubs and boxes, costume shopping already done, it was time to bake cookies, and the hubby was busy on the roof preparing his "spooktacular" ghoul display of the ghostie-on-a-rope. I'd seen the contraption - the "eerie howling" was generated by a thin cable with raised striations rubbing against a metal bar and the noise was amplified thru a small speaker in the back of the "spook" - the remote control being two small servos operating a pulley system. Simplicity itself, but remember - while he is a cyber genius, I'm the one that rewired the fuse box on the Volvo station-wagon. He was so excited when he finished the installation that he came into the house all breathless, "OK, honey, we're all set. YOU get to push the button for the FIRST descent of our GHOST!!"

I smiled, put the baby on one hip and went out to test his project. Our littlest one was a squirmer, so I passed her off to Daddy and took the remote in turn to a clear "line-of-sight" place in the front yard. When I pressed the button, I heard the distinct "click" of the little servos releasing the frail gauzy fabric form to descend down it's thin wire to the middle of the ash tree in our front yard - what I was unprepared for, and what left me prostrate in the grass, laughing so hard I couldn't get up or catch my breath, was the noise emanating from our robotic ghoul.  What was supposed to sound like a low, groaning moan, instead sounded like a long, drawn out bout of flatulence. I saw that the hubby was totally speechless and astounded at the noise, but not only was the baby giggling, but his wife had lost her mind and was writhing on the ground in near-hysterical glee. The older kids were laughing, each wanting to re-set the ghost and have it make that noise again and again - but Daddy took the ghost down, quickly, and nothing more was said.

Fast forward 15 years. We have a new home in the country, it has a lovely ash tree in the back yard so tall that it would make a lovely launching point for the new and improved "remote control ghouls and ghosties" - but the kids are grown and we'd only receive a rare trick-or-treater in this neck of the woods. Hope and willful amnesia spring eternal in my beloved's heart - he wants to launch yet another remote-control creature this Halloween. Part of the problem is with the ascent to the potential launch site.

You see, our new home is in the hinterlands - we rely on a septic tank for waste elimination and have a hybridized greywater system to address the water needs of our lower pasture. But, if we receive more than a few inches of rain this wonderful system tends to back up and render the back yard a mud pit of reeky stink. We're working on improving the drainage, but it all takes time - and backhoe rental. In the meantime, the soil at the back of our lovely ash tree is a bit mucky. Not at all good for holding up a ladder; especially a ladder supporting a hefty gentleman - yes, I've fed my hubby well. All of this aside, just as he was determined in years previous, so is he now - and this time, he KNOWS how to make this thing work.

The remaining part of the hubby's problem he remains blissfully in denial of: the kids are almost and mostly grown - and they remember everything Daddy taught them. When Daddy began to wax reminiscent of his past Halloweens the kids knew the warning signs of "daddy is going to try something silly again" and this time the evil grins were inevitable. They are smart enough to know that Daddy loves his Radio Shack...and all the goodies "radio-control" and more. OK - I peeked. If my beloved hubby decides to reprise his "farting ghostie" the kids have managed (please god and goddess, I really don't know WHERE they get this..) to either record or capture the gawd-awful screaming sounds of something vaguely reminiscent of brake pads on poorly turned drums.  It makes me grimace in pain to hear it, but the kids don't know that Mom is wise to their plans. Mom has earplugs and a faintly hidden grin. The kids are going to sabotage Dad's ghoulie-ghostie.... and Mom will tag it as: "The Screacher From The Poop Lagoon."

See if he postpones the household chores list ever again.......

Tags: family traditions, ghosts, halloween stories
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