If You’re Happy and You Know It…Please Don’t Clap Your Hands!

The scariest thing that has ever happened to me—okay, maybe not the scariest—it’s more like the fifth scariest. (The first scariest is when I almost fell of a boat into rough waters off the cost of Guatemala where there are things in the water that want to eat you!)

Okay, so the fifth scariest thing that has ever happened to me began on the play structure at a campground. Don’t get me wrong, the campground was awesome, as was the lake it was built around. This scary story involves a little kid and his very disturbing singing voice/imagination, because I was not sure exactly what was happening in the dark shadows where he was chillin’.

I had been invited by Mazda’s parents to come with their family on a camping trip. They like camping. I mean, they REALLY like camping. They own two camper trailers and a motor home, just in case something should happen to the other two. Unfortunately, they only have one truck, so that makes it a bit troublesome when things go wrong with its engine (which it totally did and we had to be towed out of the campground. But that is not the story I’m trying to tell).

Back to the little boy. It was the second night of that weekend, and we had already been on the teeter totter for over a half an hour and were beginning to go bow-legged. Teeter totters were not invented for teenagers to use, I looked like a grasshopper. A really, uncoordinated grasshopper. So we gave the younger kids in our camp a turn at the wooden teeters of doom, and instead chose to swing for a while.

It was probably close to ten o’clock at night, just when everything begins to get dark in the summertime, and most of the kids decided to head back for s’mores. Not us, we were teens so our bedtime was extended to, like, never! (That’s a lie). So it was just us, swinging and talking about how I got Mazda sunburned by merely standing next to her in the water, when we heard the singing.

“If you’re happy. And you know it. Clap your hands…” (*clap*clap)

Little to say I almost fell out of my swing. We look over to where the jungle gym sat a ways off from the rest of the play structure, and there he was, the creepy little boy sitting on top. The scariest part? We could only see a darkened silhouette. He could have been one of those freaky flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz for all we knew!!!

And then…he sang it again. But instead of saying “stomp your feet” which is clearly the next verse, he just kept saying “clap your hands”. This may not sound very scary to you, but you try being in the center of a campground, in the dark, next to a strange singing child, and then you tell me that this isn’t totally freaking creepy! Those places are like ghost towns at night!

So there we were, forced to make a decision. Do we stay and swing, and risk the chance that this little child might also by a secret ninja spy killer who was going to slit our throats with his Spider Man toothbrush he had carved into a shank? Or were we going to go eat s’mores.

We ran screaming little girls. Except we didn’t actually scream. We just ran like we were screaming, which is almost the same thing, but not.

I don’t know what happened to the little boy after that; if he stayed and continued to sing, or if he eventually left to go back to his own campsite where he was probably much less creepy in the light.

Or maybe he was a ghost who liked to sing creepy songs to passing travelers. Who knows?

All I can say is that the next little kid who decides to sing that song in the middle of the night at a play structure in a campground—I’m punching them out. Let’s go!

 

Forever and Average,

Mel

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