Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

October 31, 2011

Frightened

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

It is the season for scary things!  I can remember a time when it was such fun to scare people!  Those are by-gone days . . . and I am so glad.  I don’t like to be frightened.  I don’t care for horror movies and such.  I do remember several times in my life when I was frightened . . . but I much preferred to be the one  that scared others.

What fun is there in terrifying people?  I look back at such days and I truly ask myself why I thought it was such fun.  Now I am not condemning costumes and children dressing as a scary character — I am talking more about “adult” actions.  Or at least I am talking about my antics.  Perhaps sharing with you such a prank will illustrate what I mean.  And this one brought a change in my behavior!

In the city where I attended college, the highly publicized movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was showing.  It was the talk of the campus.  Almost everyone went to see this movie.  One night, several of us were sitting around talking about it.  One of the fellows had bought a mask that looked so much like the character in the movie.  One laughter led to another about how scary it looked.

Within a few minutes, our plan was executed.  I put on the mask with a large hood covering the top and back of my head.  I put on a black coat of a fellow who was so tall the coat went almost to my feet.  There was little exposed of me except the facial mask. A pillow was tucked under the coat to appear to be a deformity in my back.  I began to bend over, drag a foot, and imitate the Hunchback!

I began to approach stopped cars at traffic signals and tap on the window — only to hear screams and witness panic!  Many were truly frightened . . . and some simply laughed.  We went to the campus and  I began to approach some students coming from the library.  Many laughed . . . others turned to walk a different direction.  But some were scared and would run and go into a dorm or some open building.  The other fellows were enjoying the show!

Then I saw a young lady that I knew very well.  She was walking alone across the campus.  I waited until she approached me . . . and I stepped out with this terrible mask and posture.  She began to scream . . . and scream . . . and scream.  I realized that she was petrified . . . unable to run. I jerked off the mask and began calling her by name.

But it was too late.  She was so terrified that she could not hear me.  The other fellows came toward her to console her.  That frightened her even more.  She could not run . . . only stand and scream.  I removed the coat and walked back into the bushes and came around another way as if I was just coming up on the scene.  In recognizing me, she began to calm.  I will never forget the feeling I had that night.  I knew I had done a terrible thing.  But it was too late.  I could not undo what I had brought to her life that night.

Never again would I ever, ever try to have fun this way.  I grew up some that night.  Perhaps that is why I am so adverse to having fun at someone else’s expense.  And I must say, I got what I deserved.  I had to pay for my “crime.”  A few minutes after that, our car was stopped by both the city police and the campus police.  Reports had come in about this prank.  The next day I had to report to the dean of the university!  I won’t bother to tell you that story!

Yes, that was a night of maturing for me.   Oh, there have been small pranks through the years, and even times when I truly frightened a person . . . but unintentionally.  But . . . there is one time I deliberately and intentionally sought to scare someone.  And it was a ‘prank’ that God gave to me for the safety of our family.  Rather than repeat it here, go to my blog The Robber and The Mask, www.lawsonjolly.com/2010/03/17. You would approve of this mask and attempting to frighten someone.

Lawson

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