Joseph is the best jump-scarer in the family.
In 2007, after celebrating Christmas, I went to see a movie with Dad and Joseph, my brother-in-law. We went to a late-night screening of I Am Legend, the Will Smith post-apocalyptic zombie thriller. As a gift, I was given pure cane sugar Dr Peppers in glass bottles. I carried (snuck) one into the movie theater in an inside coat pocket. I opened it as soon as the trailers started; it exploded all over my lap. I watched I Am Legend covered in Dr Pepper stickiness. There was only one swig of the sweet goodness remaining in the bottle. Lesson learned. Don’t sneak Dr Pepper into the movie theater.
The three of us thoroughly enjoyed the adrenaline rush the movie provided. Back at my parents’ house after the movie, I started getting ready for bed, trying to walk quietly down the wood-floor hallway in my squeaky house shoes when Joseph pranked me.
Leaning out into the hallway from a dark room, he moaned like a zombie and reached out his hands toward me. I jumped and startled and immediately started laughing. I took off one of my house shoes and started beating Joseph with it. We were both laughing and being quite loud. Mom rushed down the hallway and whisper-yelled at us, “Will you two be quiet! You’ll wake the girls!”
The only weakness Joseph has in his jump-scare game is choosing the appropriate words.
He scared me once when I was saying bedtime prayers with the girls, jumping out of the closet and shouting, “I love books!”
He scared me once this summer jumping out from around a corner and yelling some random non-sense phrase I no longer remember.
I am one of those people who like a good jump scare. I am glad for Joseph’s contributions to regularly test my fight or flight system, although my laughter instinct is probably not high on the evolutionary survival scale.
Fifteen years ago this November, I welcomed Joseph to the family by officiating his marriage to my sister. They were married in the same church Jamie and I were married in. I have only officiated a handful of weddings over the past 20 years. They are always stressful, even if it’s for family.
Katy (Day #182) and Joseph and Mighty Henry (Day #119) are in town to kick-off the holiday weekend. And I’m officiating a wedding tonight. After getting new strings for Henry’s guitar so he can sing the “Uncle E Song” and before Sophie decorated it to look like mine (complete with the Frank White signature), Joseph and I played catch in the backyard. He took the shaded side of the yard and the new glove which is the best catch-playing hospitality I can extend.
I spotted Mom watching us from the kitchen window. She opened the back door and yelled, “I love seeing my boys smile!”