I don’t quite know what is going on in the picture, but the idea was to convey an all-too regular occurrence in my house: getting jump-scared.
I am notoriously easy to jump-scare, as my wife can attest to. She will burst out from behind doorways or cupboards, usually just shouting ‘rawr!’, but of late, she has been using ‘hey y’all!’, in honour of a character from the TV show Loki. It has reached the stage where I will cautiously creep around corners, uncertain as to whether the next jump-scare moment awaits me.
The origins of all this lie with my daughter. When she was either five or six, I had come home from work, and headed upstairs to get changed. She was nowhere to be seen, but I did not find this suspicious. I opened my wardrobe, and there she was, poised to attack, which both frightened the life out of me, and made me crack up laughing. Five year-olds are not normally noted for their patience, so for her to hide there, and wait, without giving the game away, was pretty remarkable. She also did this without any prompting from her mother.
Since then, it has become abundantly, painfully clear that I am an easy target for this sort of prank, but occasionally, the prank evolves. For instance, my daughter once summoned me upstairs to tackle a spider in her room (I am always the one on spider duty). I got up there, to be confronted with a huge arachnid, and I jumped out of my skin. The spider was a fake, a toy, and I fell for it. My squeal of terror elicited peals of laughter from my daughter, and also from my wife, who had remained downstairs, yet had clearly heard my fearful shriek.
I will usually get my own back on my daughter, who appears to have inherited my jumpiness. My wife is altogether harder to scare. To date, I might have made her slightly jump on a couple of occasions, so she is definitely winning that particular battle. This is what I get for having a meerkat persona.