My Scary Summer Vacation

August 2nd, 2010

“This would be the perfect place to kill someone,” I said to my younger daughter as we were standing on the rim of a cliff in Yosemite while her boyfriend took our photos. “You could just give them a nudge and over they’d go. It would look like an accident if you did it right. I saw it on 48 Hours and of course it was the husband, but they never proved it. He went on to have a whole new family.”

“Mom, that’s the second time today you’ve pointed out a good place to dump a body! You’re starting to sound like Nancy Grace. You’ve got to stop reading Death in Yosemite at bedtime.”

She was right. I was riveted by the true tales of people falling off cliffs and tumbling over waterfalls, even if wasn’t due to foul play, and Yosemite was suddenly fraught with danger everywhere I looked. I already can’t drive down a deserted road without imagining a madman jumping out of the bushes with a machete and chasing my car for a mile or two, until I run out of gas and my cell phone dies at the same time. Horror! My older daughter shares my macabre interest in all things murder and mayhem, maybe because she wants to use her degree to be a therapist to maniacs eventually — counseling normal neurotics holds no interest for her. When we’re together, we see weirdness lurking everywhere. Once, in a small city airport, we became convinced that the man behind us on the escalator looked mighty suspicious and was in fact following us. All of this conveyed in whispers, of course. As soon as we debarked, we both started running for the parking lot as if Machete Man were behind us. I can only imagine what the rental car people must have thought as we pounded down the concourse as if our tails were on fire. Chills! I can’t turn off Lifetime movies starring Valerie Bertinelli or some other faded, formerly fat TV actress whose perfect husband turns out to be a crazed stone-cold killer who woos her relentlessly and then stuffs her in a woodchipper.  Goosebumps! When I was newly married and living in a strange city, my first time away from home at 18, my husband had submarine duty for months at a time. I’d stay awake reading until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and then fall asleep clutching a baseball bat and a dull paring knife. I’ve come a long way from those days. Now I can sleep with all the lights off (unless I happen to catch a rerun of The Mothman Prophecies, which scares the fat off my fanny), but please don’t ask me to back up just a tiny bit when you’re photographing me on a cliff. I might start to think you’ve taken out a life insurance policy on me and just when I say “cheese” …. over I’ll go! Didn’t that happen to Valerie Bertinelli once on Lifetime?

4 Responses to “My Scary Summer Vacation”

  1. gloria says:

    Wow! Sounds like you are a writer and in fact you tell your stories well. Boy I wish I had a copy of The Mothman Prophecies to help scare the FAT of my fanny. Tee Hee. I thought this was well written. Thanks for sharing.

  2. “scare the fat off my fanny” ~ now there is a phrase I’ll be using regularly from now on

  3. ellen (bootsie) terry says:

    When we were at Grandfather Mt. years ago, there was an ambulance there…I thought someone had had a heart attack (which I almost had crossing that crazy bridge), but it turned out he was having a picture taken. I’ve always wondered if someone had told him, Back up just a little.

  4. Glad my mind doesn’t work like that. No wonder you can’t sleep.

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