The nicest people I’ve ever been kidnapped by

Yesterday evening I had an unexpected adventure. I’m glad to be alive to tell you about it today.

In the late afternoon, out of the blue, I got a phone call from The Brother. Who happens to be one of my own brothers. He said that him and his gang were coming to kidnap me from my apartment, and I didn’t have any say in the matter. I knew better than to argue, though I pleaded for 15 extra minutes so I could toss myself into the shower and out again before my kidnappers arrived to drag me away, and he agreed. The Brother is a big dude, but he’s a pushover compared to the rest of the gang that was coming for me.

At 7:15, the car pulled up outside. I was a little late to emerge, but they were very patient, waiting right outside my front door. I didn’t try to make a run for it out the back; I know better.

I slung my canvas chair and some blankets out to the car, as I had been instructed. The Brother was driving; SassyMama was behind him in the back seat. And sitting beside her was the one to really look out for, if you know what’s good for you. Smiles the Kid.

I’ve known Smiles for a long time; pretty much his entire life, you could say. He used to make me dance when I’d come into his place — you know, like the clichéd thing from old westerns, where some tough outlaw shoots at someone’s feet and tells them to dance? Like that. Except with less gunfire, and a much greater possibility of stuffed-animal involvement.

I had to get into the passenger seat, right in front of Smiles, who was ensconced in his special chair as always. It’s not enough for Smiles to sit in the back, like gangsters and high-powered business types always do; oh no, he’s got to have his own chair, so he sits higher than anyone else in the car (though he still ends up being the shortest one — but I wouldn’t tell him that). Smiles smiled, as he does, and we set off across country. Listening to music for kids, chatting politely with The Brother and SassyMama, but really there to obey Smiles. If he wants a hand-puppet to pop up over the seatback in front of him and talk in a silly voice, well, that’s what you do. If he wants to see a little two-finger walking person hop around on the seatback and on the sill of his door and be goofy, you listen. The sun had the audacity to shine in Smiles’s eyes partway there; he told it off straight away. “Get out of here, sun!” You know someone’s got pull when they tell the sun what to do.

(The sun didn’t actually listen to him, I have to say. Tough old ball of fire; I guess it’s been around long enough to have heard plenty of two-year-old trash talk in its day. Better it than me, is all I have to say.)

It took a while, but eventually we got off the highway, headed into a small town, turned right at the square and headed straight back out again. On the edge of town we joined a long line of cars, which displeased Smiles. He demanded to know why we had to wait, asking “Why??” over and over. The Brother and SassyMama tried to appease him; I had to do the hand-puppet routines again, which mollified him most of the way to the front. We finally got our chance to pass the gate, wind our way through the treeline and into a field, where The Brother pulled up. Many cars had already parked; others were still coming in. It seemed we would have some time to kill. Gulp.

The Brother pulled out chairs, while SassyMama announced she had (brace yourselves for this one) snacks and drinks. Smiles had his own special provisions, a peanut butter sandwich. (You know you’re someone when you get your own peanut butter sandwich.) SassyMama spread a blanket on the ground beside the car and set out some of Smiles’s favorite toys. At which point I had to sit on the ground and run Smiles’s second “digger,” so I could help him fill up his dump truck with pretend dirt. We “dug” and drove the backhoes around on the blanket for the better part of an hour, with brief breaks for other toys.

Hauled out of my house, stuffed in a car, pitched out on a field and told to pretend-run a backhoe. You’d be forgiven for thinking it couldn’t get worse. And then it did.

When it started to get dark a big screen at the end of the field lit up. It started playing some movie about cars, which are one of Smiles’s favorite things. I sat in my canvas chair, with a woolen shawl around my shoulders, and Smiles had the audacity to sit in my lap and watch the screen. Even though he had his own special chair along, he had to share mine.

It got darker, and the movie went on, and Smiles was sometimes quiet, sometimes wiggly. Eventually he got tired of sitting down and wanted to lay down on his blanket, still laid out on the ground by the car — not just lay on it himself, but he wanted me to lay down beside him and watch the movie too. Later on he spent some time with SassyMama and The Brother, but he came back in the end to my chair, and I had to pick him up and share my blanket again, with the night getting chilly. He looked up now and then and said how there were a lot of stars “stuck up there,” and I looked up and watched them too and agreed with him (can you blame me? If you were in this situation, would you have done otherwise?)

The movie ended, and it was decided that it was time to leave. Grateful that nothing worse had (yet) happened to me, I helped The Brother pack chairs and blankets back in the car while SassyMama got Smiles into his special seat, and we left. Less than an hour later I was back at home, escaping with my own chair and blankets, thanking The Brother and SassyMama politely for the evening (I mean, you can never be too careful — always better to be polite to characters like these). As for Smiles, I was spared his further attentions. He had fallen asleep.

So there’s the story of my bold adventure, the one I’m glad to be here to tell you about. I would say that I feel a lot braver for having survived it, except I’m afraid I did something very rash: I said that I would go to the gang’s house tonight for dinner. I even said that I would bring dinner along. I must be getting reckless in my old age.

If you don’t hear from me again, my kind readers, please know that I left my house a brave aunt. Remember me well.

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1 comment so far

  1. Brother on

    Courage, cunning, and a snuggly lap saved you to fight another day.


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