Crypt: (n) a subterranean vault used as a burial place or a location for secret meetings
“You are dead to me,” said the coroner to his rebellious son.
Or how about this?
“Let’s hang out and share some gallows humor.”
“She is not dead; she is asleep.” (That one’s from the Bible.)
Jokes about death are probably some of the more difficult ones to pull off.
I preface this essay with that thought because some of you may not think my little story is very funny.
I do not remember which one of my sons possessed this apprehension. (Actually, I probably do remember but just don’t want to humiliate him.)
HBO used to have a show called Crypt Keeper. It was hosted by this raspy-voiced creature resembling E. T., if E. T. had just survived an opiate overdose and was craving a fix.
I didn’t find the creature to be particularly scary, nor did my other older children. But this one son could neither see Crypt Keeper or even hear him, without going nearly berserk with anxiety—wanting to run out of the room, screaming.
Now, if I were a good Dad I would have been sensitive to the situation, making sure that my sons never had the show on or even kept the volume up during commercials.
But I was much younger and had not yet learned the parameters of good fatherhood.
So, God forgive me, and any angels who are interested, I found it completely hilarious when my young boy exploded like a firecracker and ran around the room trying to escape Crypt Keeper, breathing heavy, with his eyes bulging.
There may be much legend about this situation I’m about to share, so you must be careful who you listen to.
For instance, don’t believe any of my family members.
They will exaggerate the number of times I tormented my son with Crypt Keeper.
On this occasion, I had him seated next to me on the couch, with the volume turned down on the TV. We were eating popcorn, singing some songs. I had prearranged for my older son, sitting next to the television set, to turn up the volume as soon as a commercial about Crypt Keeper came on.
Faithful he was. Suddenly the volume came blaring through the room, with the Crypt Keeper’s voice, and my little son was so frightened that he threw a whole bowl of popcorn in the air—and wet his pants.
From that point on, I stopped pursuing my little practical joke.
Because when he wet his pants he was sitting on my lap.