Revenge of the Stowaways
“What?! Dude, you can’t do this! The Bulls are playing, and MJ is going off!!”
My friends looked at me in disbelief as I hung up the phone. “Mack says he can’t come over because he is hanging out with his girl.”
“My man needs to get his priorities straight,” said one of the fellas without taking his eyes off the TV.
We finished watching the game together, and as people began to get in their rides to drive home. A couple of us concocted an evil plan. We were going to go over to Mack’s house and disrupt his activities.
It seems juvenile now, but it was the early 90s, and we lived in a small rural town with nothing else to do. We had already gone cow-tipping twice that week.
So we walked through a cow pasture and over to Mack’s house, making plans as we went. “We can ding-dong-ditch,” one of us said. But the rest of us blew that off because we needed to turn things up a notch.
“Let’s hide in the truck and scare the crap out of them when he drives her home,” I said. It sounded like a good idea at the time…it was not.
The truck was an old 1980s Ford Ranger with a crew cab. There was enough room for me to sneak into the tiny crew cab, but I had to cover myself with a pair of random camouflage coveralls and assorted hunting gear to not be discovered.
My friend Richard climbed into the bed of the truck. Richard was a funny guy. Short, fluffy, and quick to laugh. He swung his leg over the tailgate, climbed into the truck’s bed in the dark of night, and settled in for an adventure.
We waited in that truck for what seemed like hours, but we knew that he had to take her home before her curfew at 11, so we kept an eye on our watches.
A few minutes to 11, the door to the garage opened, and they both strolled out, holding hands and snuggling. They parted ways to enter the truck, and they settled into their seats.
We had been playing pranks on Mack for months, so he was on high alert. As he put the keys in the ignition, he suspiciously asked, “Why are the windows open?” (I had cracked them a bit so my breath wouldn’t fog them up and give me away.)
Deep down, Mackknew something was up, but he thought he would be safe in his own truck. He was wrong.
Richard started laughing hysterically from the truck’s bed as he backed out of the driveway. I thought we were caught before we even started, with Mack’s suspicions piqued again. He said, “What is that sound?! Those guys are up to something!”
Surprisingly, the girlfriend said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s the gas tank. My dad’s truck does that all the time.” (You can’t make this stuff up, folks!)
I was Gobsmacked. First, I was shocked that we might pull this off. Second, after almost 30 years, I am still confused about her response, the gas tank?! What in the world?!
As the four of us began driving down the road in the darkness of night, every one of us was filled with excited anticipation, but for different reasons. Richard and I were looking forward to an epic scare prank, but Mack and his girl had other plans.
Growing up in a small town, you know every back road by heart. There were two routes to get to the girlfriend’s house. The short way and the long way.
There is only one reason one might take the long way. To squeeze in some “quality time.”
When Mack made an unexpected turn down the long route, I panicked. I had not prepared for this. I was trapped in the car, inches away from my best friend and his girlfriend. If they started making out, I might puke.
I was literally 4 inches away from my best friend’s head. He couldn’t see me because I was covered up, but I was there nonetheless.
Sure enough, once we reached the hilltop, my worst nightmare came true.
As soon as the truck stopped, the girlfriend unbuckled her seatbelt and leaped onto Mack, straddling him and practically eating his face. She was ravenous.
There was spit flying everywhere. I didn’t know what to do. I never imagined I would find myself in this situation. My best friend is making out with his girlfriend, mere inches from my face.
I couldn’t jump out and scare them at that moment for fear that she would claw my eyes out. I was stuck for the duration of this make-out session. Just then, Richard started dying laughing in the bed of the truck. He was laughing so hard, it was so loud, but they were not to be deterred.
To my astonishment they never heard him laughing. Maybe it was because they were focused on all the tonsil tickling, or perhaps it was the Bryan Adam’s love ballads on the radio. Either way, while Richard got a good laugh, I was trapped in a hell of my own making.
As Mack realized the time, he hinted that they should go, but she was undeterred. When he finally pushed the make-out beast off of him, I was clinging to life by a thread. I had almost drowned in a puddle of my own tears.
But as we dropped the teenage succubus off at her house, hope rebounded that we could still scare the life out of our friend. But we weren’t exactly sure how to proceed.
Mack had felt uneasy all night, almost like he was being watched. So as he left his girlfriend’s house, he popped in the Rocky soundtrack cassette tape and cranked “Eye of the Tiger” to 11.
As he pulled out of the driveway, he drove like a bat out of hell. And he kept looking over his shoulder like something or someone was following him. I was reticent to scare him at this speed. We could all die in the crash that ensued.
But just as I was trying to formulate a plan, I heard a loud boom in the bed of the truck!
Richard, that crafty trickster, was making his move. He was slowly crawling on all fours towards the back window. With every move, his hand made a resounding thud that echoed throughout the truck. It intensified the sense of impending doom that Mack was feeling.
As Richard’s plan took form, I would have to be prepared for anything. Mack mustered a warrior’s cry to give himself a shot of adrenaline. I saw Richard out of the corner of my eye. He pulled himself to his knees and raised his chubby hand into the air. He slapped that meaty hand onto the backglass, and a sonic boom reverberated throughout the vehicle.
Mack slammed on the brakes, and we skidded sideways down the dark country road. When he braked, Richard’s fat face suddenly smashed against the back window, and when Mack looked back to see where the sound came from, he was met by a monstrous deformed face that looked like Sloth from The Goonies.
He was so scared that he screamed in desperation. This was my chance. I rose up out of my hiding spot like a zombie from the grave. The camouflage covering me fell off, and I grabbed Mack by the neck and said “HELLO” in my creepiest voice.
Mack’s whole body shut down, and he froze. His voice caught, and he couldn’t scream. He was just locked in place. Richard fell out of the truck with laughter, and I climbed out of the passenger door before Mack could come to his wits and start throwing punches.
We were literally rolling in the road laughing when Mack came to his senses. He slammed that truck into gear and gunned it. I didn’t want to walk home, so I dove for the open passenger door and grabbed the seat while Mack burned rubber.
My legs were dragging in the street as I pulled myself into the moving vehicle. Once I got into the truck, I looked back and saw Richard chasing the truck like Rerun from “What’s Happening.”
I finally convinced Mack to stop and let Richard in the truck. It was a tense ride home. After a week or so, Mack eventually forgave us, and we all got a laugh out of it, but the girlfriend never learned what happened that night.
Maybe she is still in the dark regarding our twisted adventure. But if you are reading this story and you think you may be the very girlfriend in the story, please drop a comment and say hello.
(Names were changed to protect the ‘not so’ innocent)