By the time my little sister was old enough to understand, my brothers and I had educated her on the dangers of bad men and the importance of being prepared. My brothers and I considered ourselves authorities on the subject; having never missed a week of “America’s Most Wanted.” Many a Friday night would find all of us having a “sleep-over” in one of our bedrooms brought on by that evenings viewing of AMW.
One particularly terrifying episode of AMW had the four of us gathered together in my bedroom discussing the dangers of growing up with ax murderers and pedophiles (whatever those were…). We came to the conclusion that we weren’t going to survive to adulthood if we didn’t take matters into our own hands and so we agreed on a “each man for themselves” course of action in which each of us would be responsible for booby-trapping our own rooms. I, being the eldest, took on the burden of not only setting a trap in my own room but also setting up an early warning system in the hallway outside of our rooms for the bad men that were sure to break down our doors at any moment. We didn’t even want to consider the horrors we would endure if the warning system in the hallways and booby-traps in our rooms failed, the bad men would get us.
We each had our own ideas of how to protect ourselves. Captain was fairly competent with pulleys and levers. He set up an elaborate trap that involved the door opening which activated a pulley resulting in a hammer swinging towards the bad man’s head. Marshall, Logan and I were a little more primitive; our traps ranged from a trip wire to throwing a “My Little Pony” at the intruder. Thanks to my genius with the warning system that I had set up in the hallway, we had no need for the plan B booby-traps.
Everything went exactly as we suspected it would... The bad man silently crept down the stairs, he was barefooted of course so that each of his steps were undetected, he could hear the breathing of the innocent children, sleeping peacefully, dreaming of the lovely summer days ahead to them. Only a dark hallway separated him from his victims. His mind turns as he decides which room he’ll go into first. One step into the hallway followed by another, he pauses a moment listening for any sign of movement, his third step proved his undoing as his soft bare foot stepped down on one of the hundreds of nails I had set up down the hallway.
A cry of pain and a curse of surprise filled our ears as we jumped out of our beds, they had come, the bad men were here. We had heard that voice before; our minds raced as we tried remember which one of the bad men on AMW had a voice like that…
The genius of our booby-traps don’t need to be bragged about, we just did what any educated child would do. I’ll tell you what I later told my mom, if Dad would have been the bad man, he wouldn’t have gotten very far in his evil plans.
And we weren’t allowed to watch America’s Most Wanted anymore.