On January 15th it’s my homie Marc’s birthday, so I thought I would tell a funny story from when we were just two young and clueless kids hanging out in Ptown. I’m not sure how old we were when this went down, but I’m thinking we were 10 or 11. Enjoy and happy birthday Marc, you old bastard.
Hup heard something and he knew Marc did, too. This was verified by the look in Marc’s eyes after Hup ran over and smacked him on the chest, just to make sure they were both awake and in this together. As they both pulled off their blankets, their tighty whities nearly glowed in the dark.
“Dude, what was that?” Hup attempted to yell while still whispering just only inches from Marc’s face. They were sleeping in Marc’s living room, which was dark except for the alternating strips of light shining onto the carpet through the blinds from the street lights outside. Ptown had lots of street lights — probably too many, but I guess you can never feel too safe walking down the street at night in this town (which no one ever did).
“I think someone’s in the back porch,” Marc whispered back cautiously while motioning his head over to the kitchen. It was pitch black inside it’s opening to the living room as they both sat frozen in time, staring it’s way, waiting to see something they wouldn’t know what to do with.
“Throw this in there,” Marc said quickly while shoving a toy duck towards Hup. After throwing it into the darkness there was a loud noise, which was more than enough evidence for the both of them to know that there was, in fact, someone in the house. They held eye contact with each other for a few moments through stares of disbelief as it started to sink in. Neither of them blinked for what seemed like days.
To them, this realization meant they needed to find a quick way to defend themselves and after a quick scan around the living room their weapons of choice were right next to the fireplace. They inched quietly toward the set of tools that, given their short amount of prep time, seemed to be the best options.
Hup grabbed the poker and pulled it out from the other metal poles as slowly and quietly as possible. The fire poker had a wooden handle on one end and something sharp on the other that, in Hup’s mind, could potentially inflict harm on whoever came at him. Marc ended up getting stuck with the ash rake and while not his first choice, it was still way better than the brush — good luck doing any damage to anyone with a stupid brush.
Sketch by Marc Ryan
Before anything or anyone could show itself from the shadows of the kitchen and after hearing a few more noises coming from there, Marc made a decision.
“Let’s get out of here,” he said to Hup, still trying to be quiet.
“Where are we going to go?” Hup asked back, not letting his eyes leave the opening of the kitchen.
“Just follow me,” Marc responded confidently as he motioned to Hup to move closer to the front door. He started unlocking the deadbolt and whispered aggressively. “Come on!”
Once the door was open the two boys, who didn’t have any time to put on pants, shut the door behind them and ran across the driveway towards a neighbor’s house. Scared and without any other options, Marc thought the bushes in front of it’s wrap-around porch would make a perfect hiding spot until the coast was clear.
Marc went in first, squeezing his skinny, shirtless, and only underwear-covered frame between the concrete wall at the front of the porch and the sharp, pine-needle filled branches that weren’t quite willing to share their space. Hup followed closely while trying to avoid as many scratches as possible by clearing a path with the fireplace poker he was still holding. It didn’t work very well and once he made it to where Marc was standing the branches had definitely gotten the best of him. But, at least they were safe.
“Shhhhh!” Marc held up a finger to his lips towards Hup as he clumsily settled into their makeshift hideaway. “Let’s just wait here for a little bit.”
It wasn’t too cold, but it wasn’t exactly warm either and for the next two hours in the middle of the night that’s where Hup and Marc stayed. Standing completely silent and scared in the bushes, wearing only their tighty whities, while holding their weapons and hoping that whoever was in the house wouldn’t still be there once they decided to go back.
Eventually they did make their way back into Marc’s house and thankfully the person was long gone, along with some Nintendo games and other things that were stolen from his back porch. They never found out who it was, but luckily they were ready and willing to do whatever it took to make sure everyone was safe. Ok, maybe they just hid out in the bushes like two scared-ass kids, but hey — it’s still a great story and something that Hup and Marc still talk about over twenty years later.