It's not the first time, nor will it be the last. At least he wasn't wearing the green Halloween mask.
This is the most important lesson I learned from my father: Expect the unexpected. Monsters jump out the shadows, and you have to be prepared. Some may argue that he made me a paranoid person, but I choose to use the word 'cautious'. I check behind the shower curtain before dropping trou, peek into the backseat of my car before I unlock the door, and I prefer to sit facing a door at a restaurant. Nothing can surprise you if you're looking for it.
Was this my dad’s intention? To make me a cautious person? To keep me out of danger? No, probably not. I think he really just liked to scare the pants off me and my little sister. But, now that I look for that “ROAR” to come at me, out of nowhere, I can forgive the emotional scarring and night terrors because I know I’m a safer person. I’ve never been mugged, attacked, or even in a bad car accident, and I really do think it’s because I’m constantly on the look-out for danger.
Don’t think I’m an overcautious recluse, though. I take chances, and have adventures. I’m no Evil Kenevil , but I don’t let fear stop me from doing something I really want to do. I’ve been rock climbing, eaten sushi, and have sung in front of one thousand people. I was nervous, but I did it. Those are the kind of risks people should take in their life. Walking down a dark alley wearing your best jewelry? Not so much.
Thanks to my dad’s sadistic sense of humor, I learned a very important lesson: Expect the unexpected…and always check behind the shower curtain.