Did you ever read Stephen King’s IT? Or did you see the movie?
Although, it’s been a while since I saw the movie I don’t remember if the grate scene from the book was in it –or if it was as potently scary as what was written in the book.
I was a sophomore in college when I first tried to read IT. I made it through maybe the first 100 pages before I had to put it down. It just got to me too much.
And for the longest time I wouldn’t walk anywhere near a grate. They just creeped me out! (Thank heavens King didn’t write a Psycho-like shower scene in any of his books. I would have been one stinky girl!)
Anyway, I eventually got over my fear of skirting grates. Which is a good thing because the last two neighborhoods we’ve lived in have had grates galore. And what’s among my dog’s top fave things to do? Inspect them!
But usually it’s just a curious sniff. Poke the ol’ nose down the drain to get a whiff of what’s what.
Last night, however, he was captivated by one of the grates up the street. He rushed down a neighbor’s lawn to poke his nose all over it. And I couldn’t get him to move on. Then he started whimpering.
That’s when I thought of IT and that freaky flipping clown.
Then I thought of a post Autumnforest recently wrote about what would you do in certain horror movie situations. I had left a comment about certain movies I’d thought about what I’d do in. IT wasn’t one of them.
But standing at that grate watching Murph whine and cock his head, my heart started pounding.
Hopefully, I asked him, “What is it, pup? Something stuck down there?”
But in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Please don’t let it be a clown! Please don’t let it be a clown!”
Anyway, he finally let me pull him away from the grate. But only a few houses up he got his leash all tangled around a fire hydrant –and then somehow stuck in one of the chain links on the side of it.
Of course it’s dark and cold. I’m juggling his leash, the flashlight, and the poop sack. I finally wised up and dropped the poop sack because I quickly realized it wasn’t going to be a matter of simply yanking the leash back out. Oh no, it was all tangled and twisted and snagged in the chain link.
So he’s standing there waiting for me to unsnag him, but it’s taking me forever, and he starts whining –as he’s looking in the direction of the grate I had such a hard time prying him away from.
So I start thinking what I’d do if something came out of that grate. I have nothing to cut Murph’s leash loose with. I’d have to unhook him and hope he’d run with me.
But then I started thinking, “What if something came up out of the drain and grabbed him?”
My very first thought was, clown or not, I’d come at it with the fight of a rabid wildcat.
Sadly, our other dog, Budly, was attacked once. So was my first dog, Mackie. (But not by clowns!) It was just other dogs, but I never hesitated putting myself between the attacking dogs and my own.
And when a weirdo homeless guy tried to steal people’s keys and wallets at the Hooters where we play volleyball one day? My first reaction was to jump up and yell at him, “No! Uh huh. Put that shit down, pal!” as I got in his face.
So that’s what I did. It was instinctive. I didn’t even think. I just acted.
It always surprises people when they see my healthy fight or flight instinct in action. I can certainly be uncannily bold at times.
But get me near a haunted house with masks and chainsaws? Fuggedaboudit! That’s all flight reaction, baby. Then people can’t even believe how fast I can haul butt and leave them in my dust!
So I guess the moral of this story is poor Murph would’ve been doomed if anything came out of the grate with a chainsaw!