Scaring the Sitter

Scary movies are not kind to babysitters: They’re either the ones that go missing or the murderers. Plus, they lack any common sense—a mysterious noise makes them become a part-time detectives (with either no weapon whatsoever, or an extremely useless one, like their cell phone or frayed telephone cord, in hand) and then they, surprise, surprise, get axed.

The stereotypical scary movie babysitter always makes me laugh, because I’ve always thought it’s such a ridiculous stretch. Surely no one can be that dense. Today, I proved myself wrong.

I walked up to watch Harry at 8:30, as usual. I waited a few minutes, but still no answer. It was a little chilly, so I decided to open the door and go inside (Casey, Harry’s mom, had told me to do this before—sometimes she’ll be changing Harry upstairs when I arrive). Their German Shepard, Nicki, nearly plowed me over. She’s always excited when I come over, but you’d have thought I was a huge T-Bone today. I called out to see if anyone was home, but still no answer. And here’s where I become the banal babysitter…

The house is dark. There is half-eaten food on the table. Do I leave? Nooo. I decide to investigate the upstairs. Solo, sans weapon. I look in every room, including the bathrooms.

I’m no scary movie buff, but I know the formulaic plot of one: As I’m moving down the staircase, someone (likely in a ridiculous mask, or at least donned in black) is going to grab me. Luckily, I make it out of the house safe. But do I speed out of my spot so fast that I burn rubber? Nope. I wait in my car for 30 minutes. It takes 10 before I even think about locking the door. I call Casey. Her phone is turned off. I leave a slightly (okay, probably seriously) frantic message.

Luckily, this movie-in-the-making did not live up to its potential: Everything was fine. The Websters went to a last minute funeral in Kansas City, and she forgot to call (she is extremely organized, so this is very unlike her). She apologizes over and over.

Still, the experience makes me wonder, how did I fall for every scary movie stunt in the book? I guess there’s one redeeming quality: I didn’t decide to pull a Drew and take a break—and burn—some Jiffy Pop.


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