The story, as my wickedly witty and most wildly weird mother tells it, follows as such:
The Grumpy Lady
There is an old ugly hag of a woman who lives in Hilliard (one of the neighborhoods where all the houses have dirt lawns littered with children’s toys). She has many many children and she is very mean to them. She beats them with a stick and pulls their hair, and is most atrocious! That, my friend, is where they send the grumpy, wild and horrible children who don’t mind their manners. For dramatic effect, after telling these stories she would, once in a while, when we drove past such a lawn, say, “that’s where The Grumpy Lady lives!” just so we remembered she was waiting…
As a direct result of this story, I had a terrible nightmare that I remember to this day, even though I had it only once, around the age of five.
I woke up in the middle of the night in my own room, in my own bed, and it is very quiet. I am thirsty so I get up to ask for a glass of water from my parents, but they are not in their room. My little brother Ross is not in the crib, it is dark but everything is lit with a dim blue light, and I realize everyone is gone. Then, like some horrible monster The Grumpy lady bursts through the door!
She is holding Ross in a pillowcase tied to her waist and brandishing a big stick. I try to run away but she grabs me and ties me to the doorway upside down. She is laughing and I am crying and she hits me around like a pinata with her big stick. If that wasn’t a screamer after I woke up, I cannot fathom what would be.
This was not the worst of my mother’s very snarky scary stories, Nanny Oaten Goaten has that covered, but it was easily the worst nightmare of my childhood.