Running Rampant (Imaginations) - 12.12.97|
Through the ages of about 4-12, my days were spent at a babysitters. I was actually happy when school was going on because it gave me a chance to escape from the house of the babysitter-one full of whining kids and the smell of messed diapers.
During the summer, I had to rely on other things to keep myself busy and out of the house. Most of the time, a good friend of mine and I would come up with something fairly interesting to keep ourselves busy. There was the Star Wars stage where I was Luke Skywalker and my friend would be Han Solo. Sticks would turn into lightsabers and laserguns for days on end and we would save the universe (my babysitters backyard) from the forces of evil. Next, we went through an Indiana Jones phase. Since their was only one Indiana Jones, we had to be fair somehow. We decided that Indiana had a long lost twin brother called Iowa Jones. It was corny, but we were equally great adventurers. Swinging on branches and climbing trees would save us from our imaginary foes. One lucky rock per day would become the sacred jewel that our mission was based around. Sometimes, we knocked over other kids (evil professors), because they got in the way of recovering artifacts for the museum. This would usually end with us sitting in opposite corners of the yard with our heads in our hands thinking about what we had done. In actuality, though, it just gave us time to plan our next adventure.
One day, we opted for the game Bugbusters instead of our usual routine. We had both recently seen the movie Ghostbusters and we couldn't wait to adapt it to fit our needs. We had some small water guns and we knew exactly what to use them for. They were only little pistols, but they were perfect for firing off a couple rounds of H2O. Getting in trouble by shooting other kids wasn't our goal, we were the Bugbusters, and we were going to hold true to our names. After loading up fully and grabbing an extra jar of water, we headed out back to find the enemy. The grass in the backyard was fairly sparse from little kids (myself being one) running around on it all the time. It was the perfect breeding grounds for ants and their anthill architecture. The first hole that we found was a large one. Little red ants went briskly about their business without realizing the tsunami that was about to take place on their home. We snuck over and carefully took aim at the hole. We let loose with our water guns and the little dirt pile gradually turned into a muddy-mush. Some ants ran for the nearest escape while others desperately swam in small puddles formed by our massive attack. After thouroughly satuating the miniature dirt mound and the area around it, we moved on to another hole. After flooding almost all the holes in the backyard, we were satisfied and bored with ourselves. What we really needed was a new target.
We both agreed that the next victim of our extermination should be the flying grasshoppers that always gave us the willies. Their scratchy legs always sent chills up our spines when they landed on our arms. Now, we had a chance to get back at them. After soaking them with water, they would flop on the ground until we had a chance to run over and step on them.
We had probably squashed about 20 of them by the time late afternoon rolled around. Parents were starting to come and take their kids home for the day. It would have been the end of the day for us, too, if we hadn't noticed the small, metal phone box back behind the house. It only stood about 2 feet tall and was about a foot wide, but it intrigued us because of the company it housed. My friend and I could see some small insects flying in and out of a small hole near the top of it. By this time, we had gotten quite into our roles of Bugbusters. On our stroll to the back of the yard, we even adapted the song of the movie and hummed a bit of theme music for ourselves. We were the bug-guys coming to save our baby-sitters house from a pest invasion.
After filling up on ammo, we sprang into action, spraying at the hole in the phone box. After fully draining our pistols into the hole, we sat back and waited. For awhile, nothing happened. No bugs flew out, and nothing flew in. Being experts, we thought that we had killed them all with our barage of swell firing. After about 30 seconds of looking into that little hole, something finally happened. All at once, wasps flew out of that same hole and filled the air around us. Before we knew what was happening, the stinging set in. The brave exterminators began to scream and flail their arms around. It really wasn't part of our plan. This time, even the heroes needed someone to save them. In this case, it was the older daughter of our babysitter. She was even pretty, so she fit into the plot quite well.