By Corinne Wnek
Every now and then when life starts to get too serious for me, I need a ‘breakout moment’. My strategy is specifically designed to push away bad karma and let some good times roll. Never mind that it’s only me having a gray streak and that, as a result of my negative mood, somebody else will become a victim. That thought alone is enough to lift my spirits. Suddenly things are looking up because I’m in the mood for a quality practical joke. What follows is a snapshot of an event that has become known in my family as “the chainsaw incident’.
Who knew that my old college Journalism class would come in handy as I planned the who, what and where of my dastardly scheme. There was no ‘why’. The more I conjured up a plot, the more I felt myself turning into Newman as he prepared to wreck havoc on Jerry Seinfeld. It was also pretty easy picking out the chump. That would be my sister Lorraine, a sweet, reserved type who always has a smile for everyone. The best part of this plan was that it would play right into my sister’s very overly active imagination. I hardly had anything to do but make a few comments. Here’s what happened.
Lorraine loved her job as a flight attendant but the downside was that she was often away from home for a few days each week. She then had to catch up on everything that happened in our family and in the neighborhood when she got home. This became the routine but there was never anything exciting or different to report in her two-day absences.
So one day when she called and asked “what’s new, what’s going on”, I did my usual briefing about nothing and added a very exaggerated something about a zombie-like lunatic running up and down the streets around our neighborhood knocking on doors and windows. I added that there were reports that this person was carrying something that somebody reported looked like a chainsaw, thanks to a commercial I was watching about a remake of “The Chainsaw Massacre”. But, not to worry. These were probably faulty descriptions by senior citizens and there were no new sightings since yesterday.
As I tried to change the subject quickly, Lorraine kept going back to the ‘chainsaw person’. I reassured her that the police were on it and they stepped up the patrolling on our side of town. I hung up with assurances to her that she would probably never see this guy, if he even existed. Besides, her husband would be home with her shortly and I’m practically around the corner. Gotta go. Now here is where my mother’s favorite expression, “what goes around, comes around” was never more aptly demonstrated.
Just as I finished speaking with my sister, my husband came into the house to tell me that he was running out for a minute but would be right back. It seems he picked that very moment to return a chainsaw he borrowed from my sister’s husband a few weeks before. So over to her house he goes, knocks on the back window holding the chainsaw and the next thing he hears is Lorraine screaming on the phone to a neighbor, “He’s here! He’s here! Call the cops now and hurry! He has a chainsaw!”
That poor, bewildered neighbor. Not to mention my confused husband having no idea what the commotion was all about. The police? Well, they came and were satisfied that this was a ‘misunderstanding’. Lorraine? Not satisfied that this was a ‘misunderstanding’.
Me? I’ve been sticking to whoopee cushions. For now.
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