It's another Friday the 13th!! Last Friday the 13th I was facing one of my big fears..heights...and went skydiving with my brother and sister for her 20th birthday. This time around I wanted to be out camping in the woods with a bunch of teenagers who were smoking dope and having sex waiting for the blood to start running. But alas, I'm sitting in front of a computer. Not the ideal place for a slasher fest but theres always the next time around.
Which brings me to my topic, which is what a weird little freak I was as a kid. I grew up on 80's slasher flicks. Jason and Freddy pretty much raised me. Scary, I know. I saw Halloween 2 over at my Grandma's house when i was about 6 and I was hooked. It scared the shit out of me, they all did, but the little adrenaline junkie in me kind of liked that.
If it wasn't for cable and a lack of one of those damn V chips I might never have experienced all of Jason's many reigns of terror. Friday the 13th parts 1-4 were mainstays during the early years when cable first came to McMinnville. I remember having about 5 neighbor friends over to my Grandparents to watch Friday the 13th part 4, The Final Chapter(yeah right.) My friend Graham lied and said we would be watching The Jungle Book. His ass got in trouble for that one
When we weren't playing Star Wars, Kid Pound (it was like a dog pound, but one person ran around catching kids and throwing them in the playhouse), trying to contact Abraham Lincoln or Amy's dead hamster via séance , or playing naked games like Dr. Ruth and Playboy, we spent hours of playtime acting out sequels to Friday the 13th. The only loophole that always ended up happening during that game was the damn garden. My step dad had a huge garden in back yard which was defenity a big no trespassing area. You did not want to piss him off by running through the garden. Friday the 13th always ended in a stalemate there. Let me back up a little. The game usually started when we would all pile into a car in the driveway and pretended to be morally corrupt teenagers stupid enough to be driving to Camp Crystal Lake. Then out of nowhere the kid who got picked to be Jason would attack the car and everyone would pile out and run. If Jason could catch you he would pretend to stab you to death, or stick a pitchfork in you, or maybe just squeeze your head until your eyes popped out of their sockets. Gosh, we were precocious little angles. Eventually the game would end up at the garden, even though the rules were you couldn't do that. Jason would be on one end and everytime he ran for you the safest thing for the surviving kids to do would be just to circle around the garden. Either Jason would end up getting mad and quitting the game, or he would break all rules and just run through the damn garden, not caring if I ended up getting grounded or not. Fucking Jason.
I had a few weird Jason dreams about that time too...I would have been about 9 for most of the events in this story. In the dream I was going camping with a bunch of easy target teens. Do you remember that stupid sitcom in the early 80's with Ted Knight and Jim J. Bullock called...I think it was Too Close For Comfort? Anyway...the girls that played the daughters were camping with us. In the dream we kept trying to camp on the top of this big hill with a cherry tree on top. Well Jason kept showing up and ripping peoples arms off and throwing them down the hill. I ended up hiding under the seat of the car (in dreams its not such an impossiblle fit) while I listened to the stupid girls who wouldn't hide with me die. Stupid girls. Thats when a creepy/sweet change occurred. Suddenly Jason was my friend. I understood his pain in a way nobody else was willing to do. When the cops showed up I led Jason by the hand up the winding hill desperatly trying to get somewhere safe. The cops were hot on our trail and I urged Jason to go faster. It was all in vain. The cops shot a bunch of holes in my friend and he fell off the cliff. I sat at the edge looking down at his falling body and cried. The dream ended with Jason's encouraging words echoing back to me..."Don't worry. I always come back." Geez, imagine what a therapist could do with that whacked out shit?
Exhibit C to my creepiness would be a camping ritual of mine. We went camping a lot, and I was more than a little concerned about my safety out there in Jason Country. While everyone was setting up camp I would walk out in the woods a ways and talk loud enough for Jason to hear me if he was listening. I pretty much explained to him that I was truly his friend and I understood what he did. I didn't judge Jason. Instead I extended an offer of friendship in hopes that the crazy bastard would spare me on the off chance that any brutal slayings began.
One last note. In third grade, I guess I was 8, we used to have to write stories with our spelling words. It was kind of my thing to write little slasher movie stories with the words using kids in class as characters. One sentence I clearly remember writing was for the word doughnuts. In it I wrote how "Jason slashed Julie in the stomach and doughnuts came falling out". You know if a kid was writing that shit nowadays it would result in suspension, therapy and probably make the channel 2 news. Those were different times, my friend, different times. Much more innocent,lol. Really though, as obsessed as I was with horror movies and writing Friday the 13th scripts and imagining all that evil..I really was a good kid. I could never actually hurt anybody and I never wanted to. That same year, third grade) I was embarrassed twice in class for crying. Once was during "Where the Red Fern Grows" and once when we were reading another story about a dog dying. For someone who once said Jason was my hero (I don't know what that meant) I really did have a strong sense of empathy. It just kind of shows that you don't need to get freaked out by how freaky kids can be. It might not mean anything.
Have fun out there tonight kids. If your out there in the woods tonight I'll pray for you. If you plan on smoking dope and having sex while you out there....I can write a kick ass eulogy. Happy Friday the 13th!!