Ghosts, Pirates and Revenge

They say satan finds work for idle Fathers and I can confirm that’s true. Now and then children have the uncomfortable habit of reminding parents of “sins” they’ve committed against them during growing up years. They’ve a convenient memory when it comes to their own lapses, but sins of parents are indelibly imprinted in young minds and used at various future times to neutralize moves to bring them into line.

For example my youngest, daughter confided as I visited her during college boarding years I’d left a permanent psychological scar on her by informing her there was a Toilet Ghost resident in the bowl that would reach up and grab her if she spent more than fifteen minutes crouched over that porcelain edifice.

Now the reason for this foolish remark was obvious. The young lady in question would take up residence on the bowl at that tender age and make it her home for the day where she’d read and think great thoughts. But her later college revelation indicated my casual remark had the opposite effect than that intended. She’d thereafter have to be dragged to the bowl, and she forced her sister to stand guard in case of any unforeseen happening. There she’d sit gazing into the bowl waiting for the ghostly hand so she could make a lightning retreat. Fortunately she received enough enlightenment from education to realize Toilet Ghosts don’t exist, but that hasn’t stopped her continuous attempts to guilt trip her Father.

Whenever that story surfaces, as it frequently does, elder sister chimes in to remind me of the pirate at the window affair. We were living on a college campus, and most homes had been on a state of alert because of a Peeping Tom with an unfortunate need to secretly linger at windows hoping to be entertained. I’d caught the fellow and turned him over to appropriate authorities, but memories lingered on campus and we were careful to keep curtains drawn when necessary.

It was one of those rare occasions I’d some spare time for myself. A boarding college is a twenty-four seven occupation and moments of leisure are rare. Thoughts turned toward settling scores with my kids for regular tricks played on their unsuspecting Father, and there among things scattered on the floor of their room was something of interest. It was a pirate mask! Whoever had conceived and produced this masterpiece must have had visions of hell for this was the most frightening gross mask I’d ever seen. Where had they obtained this monstrosity from?

Now at this time my cherubs were busily engaged in the bathroom tub soaping their small bodies and sliding down the curved end accompanied by screams of mirth. An evil thought entered my head and I decided not to brush it aside. I silently put the components together in my mind. Outside window, pirate mask, me, lingering fear of peeping Toms. I smiled the smile of sweet revenge.

First tap on the bathroom window from the side of our house didn’t produce any results so I tapped more urgently and withdrew. Mirth ceased and silence deepened! From my vantage point I observed a small nose pressed hard against the glass. Then happy noises recommenced accompanied by sounds of sliding. I rapped again and retreated, and there was a longer silence this time with muffled sounds from puzzled lips. But play eventually resumed and the fellow who originates all bad thoughts said, “Now is the time to act.”

So I donned my pirate mask, rapped again, and didn’t retreat. This time they got the full frontal gross vision of a fugitive from hell and it had the desired effect. They screamed as I sprinted around the house and back inside. There I found my soaped up slippery cherubs trying to navigate the corridor escape route from the bathroom with feet winding like a Roadrunner cartoon. Mary our hired help stood shaking in front of them with eyes wide in fear.

“What happened,” I asked with as much concern as I could muster. “There’s a horrible person at the bathroom window,” they screamed. Mary, who came from one of those villages where ghosts were a reality, trembled in fear.

“Is this the horrible person you saw?” I asked as I plucked the offending mask from behind my back. The kids recoiled in horror, and Mary crossed herself quickly. Then it slowly dawned on them. The horrible person was their Father! I was in deep do do with the kids for some time and received a sound verbal thrashing from Georgine who thought this prank was a bit over the top.

As I said, these experiences have been stored in the minds of my cherubs, and they’re served up at times of their convenience when Father’s are in need of censure. They’ve reminded me the ultimate revenge will be theirs when it comes time for them to put me into aged care and they place me in a situation of their choosing. But I’ll be the one who has the last say. When my reasoning powers depart and I’m prone to doing things which embarrass everyone enormously I’ll at least remember their names and proudly inform everyone, “These are my daughters!”

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2013 All rights reserved”

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14 thoughts on “Ghosts, Pirates and Revenge

  1. Enjoyed this!

    Sent from my iPad

    On Jul 24, 2013, at 9:21 PM, ianscyberspace wrote: ianscyberspace posted: ” They say satan finds work for idle Fathers and I can confirm thats true. Now and then children have the uncomfortable habit of reminding parents of sins theyve committed against them during growing up years. Theyve a convenient memory when it comes”


  2. Sweet Ian I was thrilled when I came here tonight and saw that you had posted one of your prank stories…you know how much I love them. Revenge will probably be just as much fun as all those pranks you pulled over the years. All those squeals and giggles…what precious memories to hold dear. You may want to try and prolong aging as much as possible though. lol Hugs

    Oh, and yes we could use more rain so send it on our way if you can.


    1. OK, the rain is on its way. We have had quite enough thank you! lol. I was unaware you had the Mags Corner site. Thought you only communicated through your animal kingdom site. Must see if we are connected now as I was not receiving any notifications from this site.


  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the comments/replies that followed. Great memories 🙂

    Lisa and I never played pranks on our kids – now, looking back, I wonder why. It could be because from a very young age, they could ‘see things’ and we took care not to brush off what they shared with us. Come to think of it, they were curious but never afraid. I had ‘seen things’ all my life and perhaps the children sensed this of me. Anyway, I’ve always been a serious sort.

    I reckon, it would be great fun growing up with a dad like you and am sure your children love you all the more for it. What great joy and so many wonderful memories.

    Thank you, Ian, for sharing,


    1. The fellowship we had with our children was the happiest time of our life. Now it their turn to host their children for a while and it pleases us to see them spending time with them and nurturing them into adulthood. This is as it should be. However this world is complicated and for one reason or another not all families have the privilege of close interaction. Sometimes its because both parents have to work long hours to ensure their children have a better life than they did, sometimes families live in environments where each day is a challenge or a terror and they don’t have an opportunity to bond together. I feel genuinely sorry for such people. My Father went through the depression as a growing child without a father in the family and he was driven by that experience to strive for high achievement all his life. That made him a serious sort too, but he provided firm support to us his children.


  4. Lovely story Ian; I was there sliding down the bath tub – yes we did that too! Our prank was to drop a balloon filled with water out of the bathroom window behind a passer-by. The passer-by turned and looked up and said “I know who you are!” She never made good her threat but we lived in angelic terror for weeks dreading her knock on the front door. Keep these reminiscences coming!
    Cheerio, Jane.


    1. Loved the balloon trick Jane. Once again we have something in common. I remember in Elementary School whenever something went wrong I’d be called to the front and given a few wacks with a stick as they did not have to ask if I did it because history told them they were on the right track. I’m afraid they were right every time though a teacher would probably lose their job for whacking kids these days. Judging by the turmoil in schools these days they perhaps should bring back punishment as a learning tool. lol


  5. Ha ha you were a prankster and a lovely one at that. Oh these lovely memories, keep us going and sometimes have us chuckling at odd times as well.
    while reading your post I travelled two lives together, yours and mine, those lovely fun moments with my parents and oh so true we never forget things and when needed go historical before hysterical lol
    those last lines are so beautifully crafted, heart warming and beautiful 🙂


    1. There was a favourite my kids used to like to play repeatedly on me. Stuff used candy wrappers with paper and offer me one. I would then fake surprise and chase them around the house to screams and squeals. Of course we all knew in advance the whole thing was a set up but the game had to be played nevertheless. That was in Pune India. But the one that really sucked me in was when we were traveling in Origen USA by car and stopped off to wash our grubbies in Grant’s Pass one evening. Helen my eldest came rushing up to me with what looked like a nail sticking out of her thumb and I pressed panic buttons getting ready to rush her to hospital when she deftly removed the fake nail she got out of a candy and trinket dispensing machine. “Caught you Dad!”


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