So first I was thinking of this news story I remembered from when Henry was a baby. He had this Fisher-Price Aquarium thingy that strapped onto his crib. It had fish bobbing around and various interactive doodads and it played music and he loved it. But that's not the news story! Can you imagine what a terrible story that would make? "Fisher-Price Aquarium Has Doodads, Music." No no no. No, the story I was trying to recall is how Walmart made a knockoff of the item, and alarmed families discovered that underneath the music, in a barely perceptible whisper, you could hear the words I hate you. But did this really happen? I was so tired then. I also remember exposing myself to the UPS guy, but I couldn't have done that, right?
But the story really did happen. ("A Vancouver, Wash., family discovered the toy they unsuspectingly attached to their 6-month-old son's crib utters the words "I hate you" amid the rhythmic ocean sounds designed to lull the baby asleep.") And I really did flash the UPS guy. Thank you, Internet!
Then I was trying to remember this movie that I saw probably 30 years ago. (And at this point you're thinking, Alice, don't you have anything better to do with your time? But I don't want to do those things, you silly goose; I want to look up obscure news stories and movies I half-remember. It helps me get through the day.) The movie was about a modern gal living in modern times who has these vivid dreams or flashbacks of living in Ye Olde Pilgrim Times, where she's being called Goody whatever-her-name-is and men in pilgrim hats are judging her sternly. And then she's put in a shallow grave and giant stones are placed on top of her so that she can't breathe. Then (SPOILER ALERT!) she's with her husband or friend or SOMEONE, driving in a car, and she turns away and turns back and he or she is wearing Ye Olde Pilgrime Costume! SHRIEK! And he or she drives our protagonist to some secluded wooded area and the shallow grave is waiting for her and AIIIEEE! Anyway, this movie scared the crap out of me. Where were my parents? Probably going to key parties or taking Valium. Oh, the seventies.
Anyway, searching for Stoning Pilgrim Movie or Pilgrim Nightmare or Movie I Saw in the Seventies hasn't gotten me anywhere. If you know of this movie, don't be shy. I'm beginning to think I made it all up. It wouldn't be the first time.
This weekend we were visiting my parents for Easter and as Henry crammed his maw with Chocolate Bunny, my mom and a family friend were discussing this incident when we were all on vacation together, in this cabin in Vermont. There was a propane gas leak and we had to evacuate the house in the middle of the night. I was maybe five. My mom was busy congratulating herself for being the first to notice the smell, when I realized something. Something important!
"Was this house on a hill?" I asked my mom, who said yes.
"And the driveway was steep? " Very steep, said the family friend. And it led right down onto a busy road.
And poof, years of recurrent nightmares—running out of a house in the middle of the night in footie pajamas, trying to make it down a steep icy driveway, cars below, terrified of falling—EXPLAINED! All that therapy for nothing!
Truly, sometimes one's family is better than the Internet. Then again, they couldn't help me with that damn movie, either. So it's pretty much a tie.