Smelly Socks: The Intruder

By Johanna Bloom
Oct. 11, 2012 at 5:11 a.m.

I am the lone girl in a household full of boys and full of boys' things.

My house is overflowing with baseball bats and caps, bows and arrows, targets, boots, and yes, very smelly and dirty socks everywhere. I jokingly tell John, Austin and Jamison that I want my own personal space that I can make girly and paint pink just for me.

My boys enjoy playing pranks. I honestly believe that this is something that is inherited by boys and comes forth at a certain age. They do the classic pranks of fake, but real looking, snakes on top of my jeans in my closet, a life-sized plastic rat under my pillow on my bed and the basic coming around a corner with a loud, abrupt spooky scream.

For the sake of honesty, I am not a hard one to scare. I get focused on doing something, and someone comes around the corner and says, "Boo," and I am swinging my arms and screaming my head off. I am just geared that way.

Remember, out in the middle of the nowhere where we live, there are no neighbors to be alarmed with my gut-wrenching screams.

Austin and Jamison are involved in many extra-curricular activities, but one of their favorites is martial arts, which they have once a week. Austin started this summer and was immediately hooked.

Once fall arrived he convinced Jamison to try it with him. Now, they have both become quiet versed in the many move sequences. It is really interesting, and as I watch their class, I have to sit on my hands to not be that "weird Mom" mimicking their moves with them.

As a present, Austin was given a BOB. My Dad raided Academy and got Austin a present he was sure that he needed. A flesh colored, vinyl Body Opponent Bag. BOB is a scary looking man, complete with a mean face and a bare, muscled torso.

BOB rests on a stand, which allows you to adjust his height. For martial arts, it is useful to practice your punches and kicks on a fairly realistic opponent.

For the record, let me state that BOB and I are not friends. He is just spooky. I walk around the corner into Austin's room and gasp as I see this man-like figure staring back at me.

I tried putting a fedora on him and a scarf around his neck to make him less scary looking, but my boys quickly got rid of my embellishments and prefer him to look natural and imposing.

Knowing that BOB has been making me uneasy, John, Austin and Jamison thought that they would have some fun at my expense. Late one night, with me thinking the kids were in their beds, I headed in to the bathroom to take a shower.

Our bathroom is a long room with a blind corner. As I turned the corner and reached to turn on the light switch I came face-to-face with a sinister looking intruder. He was dressed in a T-shirt with a ski mask over his face.

Screams came from my mouth that only the dogs outside were able to hear. My hands flew up in what I thought was a power punch position, but, in reality, they were merely slapping at the ski mask that covered this maniac's face.

My feet were bouncing up and down in a running motion, but my body just would not follow their desire to escape this life threatening situation.

My screams stopped as I gulped for breath, and I forced my eyes open to look. In my slapping spree, I had knocked off the ski mask of the intruder to reveal BOB's familiar, scary face. He was not fighting back, or moving. Although, I swear to you that BOB's lips seemed to curl up in the corners with a satisfied look.

When I turned to exit the bathroom, John, Austin and Jamison, who had watched the entire scene, took off running for their lives. They were quite pleased with themselves.

"Gee, Mom, you really handled that well," Austin blurted out as he was running from the scene holding his stomach from all of his laughing.

Jamison joined in with a snarky, "Scared of you," and John reached the point of laughter where no sounds were actually coming out of his mouth.

Being the mother of pranksters is not for the faint of heart. You have to be fearless and never let your guard down.

Most importantly, you have to keep your kids in constant fear of backlash. After everyone had a good laugh at my expense, I tucked them into bed and reminded them that one day when they least expect it, it is my turn.

I also mentioned that they should be a little afraid of that day. I chuckled to myself as Austin and Jamison said, "Oh, Mom, it was just a joke."

In unison they asked, "You're not serious about that, are you, Mom?"

The worried looks on their faces is the ultimate payback.

Johanna is a proud seventh generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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