Sunday, January 30, 2011

Is There An Exit Wound?

Hello everyone!

So, I know that I haven't shared this with you all yet, but I have a history of corrupting kids. I mean, I did--back when I was a kid. Now I'm 23 and I don't corrupt anyone because that calls for a serious investment of will, which I am too lazy to deal with. I either deal with sweet people, or I find people who are already corrupted and make them be my friends.

Today's tale is the oldest tale I've shared thus far and it involves a tag-team corruption of my little sister. 

Is There An Exit Wound?

When I was about 7 years old, I spent all of my time with my sisters: Charlotte was 5, Corrina was 3, and Sue was 1. Sue was too young to play any good games, but Charlotte, Corrina, and I were inseparable. 


We played a million different games: princesses locked in the tower, raising the babies, teenage mutant ninja turtles, and slugs (which was just the three of us fighting over who could catch the most slugs while we were crawling around under the back porch). We were disgusting and girly and wonderful.

At the time we lived in this two-story house with three bedrooms, all of which were upstairs. One belonged to my parents, one was for me and my sisters, and the other was a guest bedroom. The guest bedroom was really our playroom. My mom wouldn't let us keep our toys in there, but we would drag them out of the toy box and into the guest room everyday. It was huge and clean and perfect for staging elaborate plays and Barbie dramas.

There is one day in particular that stands out. My mom was downstairs cleaning the house while Charlotte, Corrina, and I were playing "olden times" in the guest room. We were wearing long flower print and gingham dresses we'd gotten at Goodwill and pretending to be respectable young ladies. We also had an old rotary phone we were using to call each other and invite one another over to our houses to "take tea in the parlor."

Half way through peppermint tea at Corrina's mansion, Charlotte cocked her head to the side and said, "I wonder if that old phone still works."

"It does," I told her. "It's just not plugged in."

"Are you sure?" Charlotte asked, eyeing the lack of cords on the phone skeptically.

"Of course I am." I told her. I am the oldest sister, and more often than not, I say things just to seem like I know what I'm talking about--whether or not I actually do.

"Prove it," Charlotte countered.

Corrina's head whipped back and forth like she was watching a tennis match as Charlotte and I discussed the status of the rotary phone. She had the receiver in her hand and looked unsure of what to do with it as we argued.

"There's a small white cord on the back," I told Charlotte, "plug it in." The electrical cord still on the phone had been cut short by my parents in an effort to discourage us from trying to actually use the phone to call anyone. 

But alas, girls will be girls.
Little Miss Sunshine!!!!!!!

"It doesn't have the end on it," Charlotte pointed out.

"Well I know it works, so I don't have to do it." I told her, knowing full well we probably shouldn't plug the shorn cord phone into any electrical outlet.

Now, I don't know which of us first suggested we ask Corrina to plug in the phone, but soon enough, she became our target. "Corrina," we said, "you're a big girl now! You're allowed to plug things in. You can do it."

Corrina glowed when we called her a big girl--Charlotte and I were forever telling her she was practically a baby--just like Sue. She smiled and didn't argue with us. Without a hesitation, Corrina pulled the phone over to the wall and jammed the short length of cord into the outlet nearest her.

There was a loud pop and the room filled with smoke. Charlotte and I began screaming. The air smelled dirty, like something had caught fire. Corrina's hair jutted out from her head in crazy angles and she cried as though her heart was on fire.

My mom rushed into the room and found Corrina sitting by the wall, phone still in hand. "Abernathy, Charlotte: get Sue and get into the car NOW."

My mother pulled Corrina into her arms and carried her out of the house and into the car. I don't even think we were all in our carseats and seat belts before my mother was peeling out of the driveway, rushing to the emergency room on the Air Force Base where my dad worked. During the ride, she kept saying, "I can't believe you two would do that. You know better. You could have killed your sister."

When we arrived, my mother scooped Corrina out of the car and ran into the hospital, screaming, "she's been electrocuted!" Corrina was crying and a nurse immediately rushed to my mother to take her back into an examining room.

Charlotte, Sue and I were left in the waiting room to fend for ourselves.

The funny thing about military bases, is that you always seem to run into people you know on them. One of my mom's friends from her military wives group saw the three of us sitting around and--upon bullying why were there out of the receptionist--decided to watch us for the hour my mom was in the heart of the hospital with Corrina.

This is probably one of the few times in my life that I've behaved well while being stuck in stuck in one place for longer than 40 consecutive minutes. Sunday mass? That's a joke. Class? I can't tell you how many professors gave me B's just because I passed notes during lecture or showed up with a thermos of Baileys one too many times. And I've been threatened with being kicked out of movie theaters more times than I can count.

But on this particular occasion, the fear of my mother's wrath was enough of a sedative for me. All I could think about was the whipping Charlotte and I were destined for when we got home.

from Russian facebook

I wasn't for a second worried Corrina wouldn't be okay: when you're seven, bad things are beyond you.

When my mom finally emerged, Corrina was holding her hand and nervously holding a lollipop. "They couldn't find an exit wound." My mom said, "so the doctor says she wasn't electrocuted because she'd have to have an exit wound to survive."

"No mommy," Charlotte told her, "you didn't see her hair. She did get electrocuted."

"Are you filled with electricity then?" I asked Corrina.

"No, Abernathy!" My mom scolded.

"Whoa," Charlotte was looking at Corrina in a whole new way, "maybe you're magic."

"Whoa." I repeated.

When we got home, Charlotte and I got sent to our room. My dad got home a few hours later, and he ended up scolding us for quite a while. He took away all of our toys, but we didn't get spanked. When I asked my mom about it years later, she said that she and my father didn't spank us because they were afraid they'd kill us.

Only half of me thinks she was joking.


The point of today's story is......

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