One thing I really don’t understand and that there was never an explanation for was the fact that the only good pencil sharpener in the house was in the morgue. Doing your math homework usually included a trip down the basement to sharpen your pencil, and of course, if there was a funeral going on, we had to use dull pencils. For someone who valued education so much (dad), you think he would’ve sprung for a couple of extra pencil sharpeners. Sure, we had the little hand ones that are only good for sharpening eye liner because with real pencils, they usually sharpen them so much that the tip breaks off and you have to start all over again. We spent more time trying to sharpen our pencils than doing our homework.
So, because the good pencil sharpener was down the basement, we had to go down two flights of stairs and many times there would be a dead person or two within close proximity. It was fun for me and my siblings to wait until one of us went down there alone, and then we’d shut the light off and close the basement door and hold it shut. It’s not that we were really scared, but it’s always a creepy feeling to get locked in a basement with no light on, dead bodies or not.
My brother loves to scare people, so usually if I was the one being locked in the basement he would go hide somewhere and whoever was holding the basement door shut would quickly run upstairs. When I would finally burst through the door on my way upstairs my brother would jump out from behind a door or something and scare the shit out of me. This is what we went through just to sharpen our pencils.
Like most siblings, we tortured each other. When my oldest sister was going on a date, while she was in her bedroom getting ready, my other sister and I would dig out her elementary school pictures. We would choose the ugliest pictures we could find of her, with a big gap in her teeth and bad hair, and tape them to the wall so her date would see them when he came to pick her up.
She usually would see them before the date arrived and would be frantically ripping the pictures down while Kris and I sat there giggling. We also tortured each other when we were in the bathroom. For example, when we were teenagers, no matter who was in the shower, one of us would pound on the door and say “Stop masturbating.” I know it’s sick. Did you discourage your siblings from masturbating?
A few years ago I reminded my dad of how we used to torture each other while trying to sharpen our pencils and asked him why he didn’t put a good one upstairs. I said, “You bought Mom a fur coat and you couldn’t get us a decent pencil sharpener on the second floor?” He laughed and said, “I wanted you to learn how to whittle.”
BONUS PICTURES: I found some better pictures of the funeral home yesterday when I was looking for a picture of one of our dead dogs.