Garrett and Justin wanted to see “Ghostbusters.” I knew they were too young to see the new one, so I rented the original. They loved it. LOVED IT! They kept running around the house for days pretending to ‘bust’ ghosts. Whenever we got into my car (once referred to as “The Hotmobile,” now referred to as “Ecto-1”) they would request the “Ghostbusters” theme music on repeat and sing it as loud as they could over and over and over as Garrett made the siren sounds with his voice.
That all changed when the DVD of “Ghostbusters 2” arrived at the house. What started with excitement and anticipation ended in tears and a fear of going to the bathroom alone.
While the boys loved “Slimer” and “The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man” in the first movie, they were a lot less jovial after seeing “Vigo the Carpathian.” Garrett didn’t seem scared. I would describe his reaction as ‘reserved.’ Justin was clearly bothered by the character and covered his face a couple of times.
I should have been a little more observant and understanding of Justin’s fear, but I wasn’t thinking. All I saw was a way to have fun scaring the kid who’d spent all week trying to scare me.
While the boys continued to watch the movie, I went to my computer, printed out a picture of Vigo the Carpathian, taped it to the inside of Justin’s toilet seat, and then quietly closed the lid. My trap had been set. I just needed Justin’s bladder to set this prank in motion.
When it was time for dinner, Justin asked for us to pause the movie…and he never returned to it. Hours later, it was time for bed and I asked Justin to get ready. He put on his pajamas, brushed his teeth, and then climbed into bed. Knowing that the trap had not yet been sprung, I asked Justin to go potty. He told me that he didn’t have to.
“Justin – go potty before you go to bed.” I said.
“I don’t have to,” he replied.
“Justin – you’re going to have to go in the middle of the night. You might as well go now,” I reasoned.
“I don’t have to,” he said, again.
“C’mon, Justin. Just go!” I said in my deepened dad-voice as a ‘do-it-or-else.’
Begrudgingly, he got up, walked into the bathroom, turned the light on and then turned the light off and got back into bed.
“Justin! There is no way you went potty. At least lift the lid this time!” And then I waited………
Once again, he got up, walked into the bathroom, turned on the light, flipped the lid…..and then he SCREAMED a scream I had never heard before. At first, I was very pleased with myself. I got him and I got him good! I was expecting him to come out of the bathroom smiling with an “Oh dad. You got me so good” look on his face. That was not the look I saw when he came of the bathroom.
What actually happened was that he raced out of the bathroom and into his bedroom with tears streaming down his face and he was white as a ghost. He collapsed on the floor where I was standing and he began to shake while screaming, “HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME????” My prank had blown up in my face and now my son was a crying blob on the floor who refused to go into the bathroom by himself for any reason.
Thankfully, Garrett was the one who saved the day!
As I got Justin into bed and tried to calm him down by telling him that everything would be ok, there was a moment of silence as we both heard Garrett walk into the same bathroom. I thought, “oh shit, it’s gonna happen again.” In silence, Justin and I stared at each other as we heard Garrett pull down his pants, then lift the lid…….and then, we heard him quietly laugh to himself……and finally, we heard the sound of him peeing. As if nothing was amiss, Garrett pulled up his pants, closed the toilet lid, flushed, and walked out.
Justin and I could not contain ourselves. We erupted in laughter. The thing that almost scared the (literal) crap out of Justin actually made Garrett laugh as he went potty!!
So, now we know, a Carpathian in the crapper isn’t for everyone!