Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Scribbles and Scrambles - Pratfall Pat #2

Continued Pratfallian Memories..... Yesterday we visited Pat's silent dance of fall avoidance. Today we have the audio version.

The next tumble I remember witnessing was one of great sound and no visual. My brothers (though it seems there was usually only one brother’s name on my parents' lips) borrowed tools often.

Apparently, a project needing a screwdriver and basement stairs had been completed earlier that fateful day.

Someone didn’t get the screwdriver returned to its proper home but had instead left it lying on the wooden basement stairs.

This was in the day of glass soda bottles.

Full glass soda bottles containing sugary soda lined the basement stairs.

Pat returned home from work as the children innocently did homework at the kitchen table or helped with dinner preparation.

No man in his right mind would stop and ask the children if anyone had created a death-trap on the basement stairs.

No right-minded child of Pat’s would dream of creating a death-trap with Pat’s name on it.

So we’ll chalk it up to childish oopsidity.

Pat began his descent.

I think we’ve all forgotten what he needed from the basement.

A roar. A crash. A thumpity-whumpity-whump-thump poured out of the dark basement doorway. A crescendo of tinkling shattering glass then joined the rhythmic whump, thump, bump.

To say that all blood left the faces of the children in the kitchen would be an understatement. With large alien eyes we glanced nervously around the room bouncing our eyeballs from one sibling to the next to the mom who stood statue still with a tomato in one hand and a lip firmly captured between her teeth.

A long few seconds followed where no one breathed.

But suddenly, a giggle tickled the base of my brain. The sounds, the crash, the thought of my father sweeping the steps clean with his body began to torment me. I too, chomped on my lip.

A fist, holding a screwdriver appeared from the basement, followed by my non-too-thrilled father. “Who put this screwdriver on the stairs?” The words were a bark which only added to my need for a guffaw.

The boys scattered, a noise, issued forth from Pat. A snort. A chuckle? He shook his head, Mom put her hand to her mouth and let loose a nervous giggle. The flood gates opened.

We laughed and then we cleaned up soda pop.

Next week I'll share the private and public side of Pat's amazing pratfalls.