Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catch Me If You Can

This is a continuation from yesterday.

    "Get under the table now!  We'll block you with our legs.  He'll never see you."
    I slid right under, not questioning their logic at all.  I'd sluffed from school.  My dad stood at ten o'clock and I refused to get busted in front of everyone at Burger King!  It was a good thing four of my guy friends were on my side and there to save the day.
    "Oh my gosh!  He didn't even order and now he's coming this way," Dave whispered above me.  "Everyone act natural."
    So, my dad sauntered up to the table.  I knew because he wore these huge cowboy boots which put fear into my heart.  He didn't have spurs, but for some reason I imagined what spurs would have sounded like if we lived in the Old West.  I think my dad knew a skunk hid in his midst and that skunk was me!  Maybe he wanted to call me out of that place and either have a shoot-off or ground me for a month.  
    I think my friends imagined the gun-slinging contest too, because I swear their knees started shaking next to me.  After a moment, it felt like I was in a meat grinding machine right there in Burger King!  It was sucky, plus, getting kneed in the ribs, it's not what Heaven is made of!
    "Hey, boys," my dad said.  "What are the odds of meeting you here?"
    Who was he kidding--there were no odds!  When you get caught one-hundred percent of the time, chance is out of the question.  I shouldn't have sluffed school--it was asking for heartache.
    "We're doing . . . fine . . .," Dave said in a small voice.
    "Sir," another guy added, then pushed me with his leg so I had to crawl closer to the wall.
    "It's strange seeing you here, without my daughter.  The five of you are always together lately."
    "Yeah . . . yeah, she's a live wire that one."
    "What do you mean?" my dad asked and I watched as one of Dave's feet kicked another guy in the shin.
    "Ow . . . She's just . . . well, she should have been a red head."
    What was that--enough with the small talk!  Those tiles were nasty and I hated putting my hands where millions of shoes had been.  I could smell someone's feet too.  I wasn't quite sure who I smelled, but I had my suspicions.
    "Uh huh.  You wouldn't happen to know where she is.  Do you?"  Oh, my dad toyed with us!  He toyed with us bad.  Where was my white flag to wave in surrender?  Maybe he'd be easier on me if I just crawled from under the booth and gave up, got away from the stinky feet and took my hands off that greasy floor.
   "She's probably at school, Sir.  That sounds like Elisa, always getting good grades, studying and picking the coolest friends in school."
    How sweet of him to compliment . . . himself!
    "Well, it's nice seeing you here."
    "Bye, Sir."
    My heart beat faster than eggs in a blender.  I wanted to get out of there.  I'd only kissed two guys and being surrounded by a bunch of male legs, well it wasn't my style.  "Can I come out now?" I asked.
    "Shhh.  No."
    After a moment Dave handed me a napkin.  "Your dad just finished ordering and now he's sitting RIGHT behind us," the napkin said.
    What the hell?!  I didn't want to stay there forever.  What was the point of sluffing if I couldn't sit ABOVE THE TABLE and eat! 

    It sucked.  I couldn't write back; I didn't have a pen.  Maybe that's what Helen Keller felt like, unable to communicate with most other people.  I felt bad for Helen then, really bad.
    After a moment, Dave held another napkin by his leg.  He held it a bit too high up if you want to know the truth.  I grabbed the napkin and thought if he did that one more time I might punch him in the nuts.
   "Your father," the napkin read, "keeps looking at us."
   Well what was I supposed to do?  Looking wasn't a crime even in Texas!
    Another napkin. "He won't stop. Hang tight and we'll tell you when he leaves."
   So, they WERE terrified, just like me and my greasy hands.  But men (especially boys) seem to forget about things far too quickly and before long the napkins stopped coming and the guys started laughing and joking about some girl they had all kissed.  There I was UNDER THE TABLE and those "friends" thought they were at a Sunday picnic!
    That made me angry.  Plus, the girl they joked about was my buddy.  I had to get revenge.  But what could I do?  I was stuck under some stupid table.  
    Then a thought hit me; I know it's the oldest trick in the book, but it's old for a reason.  Since I was already down there, I started tying their laces together.  No one forces me to hide (under the guise of protection) and then forgets about me.  I smirked, almost sniggering as I tied all of their laces together except for one guy who had Velcro skater shoes AND was nice to me--he got off easy that day. 
    After A LONG TIME, Dave said in a regular voice, "Your dad's gone.  You can come out now."
   I crawled over the web of laces, pushed their legs aside and stood at the end of the booth.  My hands felt yucky.  My jeans had gross spots on the knees and I bet I smelled like feet.
   "I never want to sluff," I said in a low voice, "ever again."
   "But he didn't catch you.  You got your ninety percent."
   "You don't think he caught me?  Seriously?  That was my punishment.  Since when does my father sit down at a fast food restaurant?  NEVER, that's when.  I'll be out waiting by the car.  And I'm not riding in the trunk this time.  I get shotgun."
    They held their breath--shotgun was a sacred thing.  They didn't even argue, though--I was a woman on the edge.  I turned fast after that and hauled butt out to the car.  I knew they were about to stand and their laces were still tied together.  I didn't want to be around when they hollered and yelled about the new member of their clan who didn't like hiding under tables.

    So, my dad never told on me, he didn't even call me out.  But I will never forget waiting under a booth forever.  I definitely got my ninety percent that day, exactly what I deserved.

    My dad took me out for my birthday last week and I finally got some guts.  I told him this story and after he finished laughing I asked, "When I was fifteen and sluffing, did you know I was there under the table the whole time?"
    "No," he said.  "I used to go eat there quite a bit."
    "So of all the places for me to sluff, I picked your favorite place?"
    "Pretty much."  He laughed.  "That's life for ya.  You couldn't spit without us catching you."


  1. Priceless story! I'm so glad you talked to him about it years later. How fun, and gross, but fun! Well, maybe a little more gross than fun 'cause we all know what the floors are like in fast food restaurants. Okay, yah....gotta go wash my hands now....

  2. Funny :)I don't think parents are as scary today as they used to be. I think now are kids are holding us hostage..."hey, why aren't you at work, I need a new telephone...." Sometimes it seems like the only time we see are kids are when they want something and I don't thin they were ever scared of us at all. They learned in school at an early age by their first grade teacher who they were on first name basis with, that if we spanked them for being naughty they could sue us....Yep, times have changed.

  3. As you can see by my spelling I never went to school...LOL!

  4. Haha - Awesome story, and definitely punishment, even if he never meant it to be.

  5. I can sympathize. I grew up in a small town with a gigantic extended family, so I never got my 90% either.

  6. So you didn't get caught, but technically guilt tripped yourself into thinking it for all these years..lol...that's a worse punishment than getting caught. Yeah the nasty floor would have messed with my ocd, not for me. So funny you tied their laces together though.

  7. I can't help wonder what happened to your relationship with the boys after they found out their shoelaces were tied together. No more crazy adventures with them, perhaps? I also want to thank you so much for visiting Sylvia's blog. As of this morning, $1,280 have been raised, so now Amy can get her own place and all her dogs can join her. She will be starting another treatment that will be extremely rough on her and it will be so much better for her to be in her own place rather than with friends. Most of the donations were $5, $10, $20 and they all added up. Bloggers are so kind to strangers in need. I have seen it before on the blogs. Thank you again, Inger

    1. I ended up dating the guy with the velcro shoes. It was fun even if we weren't the same religion lol What still cracks me up is how he wasn't the same guy I'd had a crush on in the first place. It's funny how life turns out sometimes.

  8. So funny! I can't believe he really didn't know you were under that table! I thought for sure that's why He was staring at your friends the whole time; waiting for them to crack! lol.

  9. That was an awesome story. Damn, it makes me want to go back in time, smack my nerdy teenage self around, and tell him to have some more fun.

  10. LOL All of that and he really didn't know you were there. Hahaha Guilty concious does wonders ;)

  11. PRICELESS!! I was a shy, quiet kid growing up. I didn't come into my full weirdness until later in life. I missed all that fun!!

  12. What a great story. Reminds me of my Dad catching me walking home from school at 10:00 in the morning with my girlfriend. He never said a word but gave me the evil eye. Dad's are the best.

  13. That's awesome. I have to say, my parents never caught me, but I was a lot sneakier than my brother.

  14. What I find so curious is that you didn't even know that your dad frequented a fast food restaurant! Love that you admitted it to him years later.

    The thing that kept me on the straight and narrow was when I was told somewhere very early on that if nobody else knew...God knew...everything! My folks were pretty neglectful. I could have gotten away with murder, actually. Actually my sister did. Lacked that driving desire to be on God's good side, I guess--LOL! ;)

  15. In high school, I was a generally good kid with good grades, but, like most kids, I wasn't always the perfect angel my parents thought me to be. One afternoon, right after the ending lunch bell sounded, I decided to skip out on the second half of school with a friend. I figured I could easily get away with that and leaving the school wouldn't be anything hard to accomplish.

    Once we made it out of the school parking lot, we were all smiles and were so until about 20 minutes later when I accidentally rear-ended someone at a red light. Needless to say, my parents found out that I had skipped school.

  16. This is too funny. I didn't think you dad saw you, when I was reading this. I can totally picture this scene, complete with the sticky spots on the jeans and clammy fingers from sweat and floor dirt.

  17. Dear Elisa,
    In high school I chatted all the time to my classmates and got Fs or Ds in conduct, but I never palled around with the guys. I didn't know how to talk to them and I was shy. So they came to me for help with what we were studying, but no one was interested in dating me or explaining the intricacies of basketball or how to fix a motor. So, I never had the fun you had. My parents had a b-o-r-i-n-g daughter!


  18. I am so grossed out about being on that disgusting floor. And I still want to know how you set the driveway on fire.


  19. Recounted so vividly, I felt as though I was right beside you.

  20. Oh gosh. Well, at least you came clean to him when he couldn't punish you for it :P

    You shoulda stuck around at the restaurant to see how the guys reacted to being tied together. Although if you're like me, you would've been laughing so hard before they even stood up that the second they realized their shoes were tied together, they knew it was you who did it.

  21. Lol! That is classic!!!! You went to the place he ate at all the time?!?!? Classic! Reminds me of the time my buddy and I skipped school and ran into my mother on her way to work!!!!

  22. How hilarious! I always got caught, too! I think it is even funnier that you thought yo were caught- but your dad really didn't know. What are the chances you would pick his favorite place? Sometimes almost getting caught is worse- because your guilty conscience.

  23. Love this story! Your dad's a hoot! But what I want to know is what did the guys do when they stood up? :D

  24. That's great! :) Haha I to want to know what happened when the guys got up. ;)

    Love this! You are very good at writing. :)

  25. That's great! :) Haha I to want to know what happened when the guys got up. ;)

    Love this! You are very good at writing. :)