Here’s another confession of a mean thing I did as a kid — though I should add the meanness directed at me over my childhood was easily 1,000 x more than how much meanness I gave back to the world. Readers may remember when I found that guy’s day planner and called him up using my pitch-shifter guitar pedal, to mock him on his answering machine.

This was probably a bit worse than that…

My parents owned 3 houses when I grew up… (Never content with the house they were in, they kept buying a new one, then deciding it wasn’t big enough, then buying another. They did it again after I moved out.) The 2nd of those was in a neighborhood called The Heights, in Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, VA. I lived there from age 4 til age 8.5, right at the start of 4th grade.

FOR BLOG - parents' 2nd-to-last house

The old house. Of course I have zero pictures of it.

I had a few neighborhood friends, like my next-door-neighbor Erica [who ultimately got pregnant really early], Robert “Obert” Beck, Chris Navarro (no relation to Dave Navarro), and Mike Enis. Eventually we moved away, to the The Knolls neighborhood in Lake Ridge.

2003 - Woodbridge - my childhood home - 173539637_e67979c3f8_o (by Britt)

The new house, spruced up after I moved into my own house.

I saw my friend Mike Enis one last time after moving from The Heights to The Knolls. I guess we had a “play date” or something, as his mom brought him over and dropped him off for a few hours. I suppose we were around 10 years old or so.

We hung out in the woods for awhile…

20060610 - camping - Mark + Clint = jousting - action shot - 165854458_34c5ea5e9c_o

Woods. Always fun. Especially if you're immune to pollen and mosquitoes.

As we came back inside, I stopped to take a leaf off the mint bushes by the rear sliding glass door to our house. I loved getting mint straight from a real bush, and ate leaves off the plant pretty frequently. I wish we had one at our own house.

FOR BLOG - mint-by-art_es_anna@flickr-481879487_a6594d8f93

Mint Leaves, by Art_Es_Anna@flickr

Here’s where the evil began…

FOR BLOG - evil inside

“What? You actually ate the mint leaf? I was JOKING, you know!”

“What? You DIDN’T eat them?”

“No! Those things are poisonous! You’re gonna die!”

That was the gist of things. I told him it was time to meet his sweet death.

20091226 - Christmas presents - figure - pewter Grim Reaper - GEDC1277

Nice to meet 'ya.

He didn’t believe me at first, but I kept at it. Kept telling him that he was going to drop dead in about 10 minutes. I eventually picked up a random thick book off the bookshelf — something that looked scientific.

20091224 - GEDC1236 - Beth + joke present

Because if it's from a book, it must be true, right Mr. Quayle?

I went on and described the effects: Within 10 minutes you would start to get dizzy, go into convusions, and die of painful seizures. Of course at this point he was completely believing me.

19880228-19880307 - Science Fair Project - The Effects Of Microwaves On Plant Growth - 0421

I am, after all, an expert on science! Look at my brilliant science fair project!

Needless to say… I let the 10 minutes pass, and he may have cried or shaken or something. I don’t remember. I actually figured that since he wasn’t able to come over [I hadn’t seen him in 2 years] due to the distance [1.4 miles] between our houses, that it made him a good mark for a prank like this. After all, I wouldn’t want to freak out one of my CURRENT friends.

Yeah… I don’t think I ever saw him again after that.

Sorry, Mike! I don’t know what came over me, but at this point, this story does more to entertain my life than you do, because I don’t know you anymore! So I guess it was the right thing to do in the long run, in a very calculating way. But in an empathetic way, I do feel kinda bad about convincing you that you were going to die. And thus, this confessional. Which is also kind of a “look how fucked up I am” brag, in a way. I am both ashamed of and thankful for this story.

I guess I was a bit of a troubled kid…

1989ish - Spanish class - mi abuelo

Drawn about 4 years after this story.

The end.

Mood: tuna
Music: Pink Floyd – Money