For two weeks during the summer of 1975, I had stayed over at my Aunt Jean's house. Those of you who have read my previous posts, you know all about the tie-up games that ensued with my cousins Donna and Shirley, as well as the neighboring kids, Becca and her brother Jim. The following summer, when I was 11 years old in the bicentennial year of 1976, my parents paid back my Aunt Jean's hospitality by inviting Donna (now 12) and Shirley (10) to spend a week with us at our lakeside home. My other cousin Keith (15), expressed no desire to come along, and my Aunt Jean deemed George (6) too young for sleep-overs. No matter, for I would see them soon enough the following month when I went back to Aunt Jean's for another two week stay.
I remember the week spent with Donna and Shirley as being a great deal of fun--and with us playing a single tie-up game. It started one afternoon at the lakeside beach snack bar with Donna and myself engaged in an intense conversation about bondage on TV. I mentioned something I saw on TV when I was very young. It dealt with a young boy being threatened by a bunch of what appeared to be modern day pirates. I can't recall the exact story, but eventually the boy is tied up in a shack on a beach. No sooner is the kid imprisoned than a seal shows up. The seal wiggles its way into the shack, where the boy (who wasn't gagged) promptly tells it to go get help. In the best tradition of Lassie, the seal runs (waddles?) out and gets help for the kid.
After hearing this, Donna said she didn't know what I was talking about and accused me of making it up--a charge which I hotly denied. Donna suggested that at the very least it sounded like I got an episode of Lassie confused with some other show. I was angry at the trivial manner with which she treated what I had seen. (But to give Donna her due, to this day, I'm still not sure if this was either a TV show or a movie. Over the years, I've had ample opportunities for research, and thus far have been unable to track down anything remotely like what I saw. So perhaps Donna had a point).
When we returned to the house from the beach later that afternoon, Donna had abruptly excused herself to go check on something in the back yard. After I exchanged my wet bathing suit for shorts and a t-shirt, I saw that my mother had started one of her marathon phone chats in the kitchen (my father was still at work), so I went outside to see where Donna had ran off to.
Shirley was already on the back porch, with her hands on her hips. She had changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top, and her sandy blond hair was still wet from swimming. When I asked her where Donna was, her reply was, "That was what I was going to ask you."
I scanned my back yard. We had a nice view of the lake, along with our own boat dock (but with no boat, yet). If Donna had been in the yard, she would have been in plain view. I suggested that the garage would be about the only place Donna could be, and Shirley and I set off to check it out. Being barefoot, we avoided the gravel driveway in favor of the garage's side door, which was accessible by simply crossing
No sooner did I open the side door and take one step on the cool concrete floor than a water pistol was stuck into the side of my head.
"I found Donna," I said deadpan to Shirley over my shoulder.
"Get in here," Donna ordered, in an overly comical tough-girl voice. Still clad in her bathing suit, her sandy blond hair was now drying in the slicked back pattern it got from being wet. "Make any funny moves, and you're both gonna get it!"
Shirley entered behind me and quickly shut the door. We were in my father's work room, which he had partitioned off from the rest of the garage. Donna held a length of clothesline rope in her other hand, which she gave to Shirley. "Tie him up!" she ordered.
Shirley tied my wrists together behind my back with the rope while Donna kept the water pistol on us. Once my hands were securely bound, Donna put the water pistol down and tied her sister's hands in the same manner. While I was extremely pleased to be playing a tie-up game, I found myself hoping that my mother stayed on the phone for a really long time!
With both of our hands tied, Donna brought Shirley and me over to the corner of the work shop, where a large chest sat on the floor. There wasn't enough room for the two of us, so Shirley wound up sitting on the chest, while I got the floor. Donna ran over and got more rope; this was used to bind my ankles together. Then Shirley's ankles were tied.
"Was it something we said?" I asked Donna. This made Shirley laugh.
Donna even cracked a smile at my comment. She pointed at us and said, "I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere."
"That joke is old, Donna," Shirley yelled after her sister as she left us alone.
Shirley shook her head. "Where's she going, now?" she muttered.
I gave her a bemused look. "You're asking me?" I glanced down at my bonds. Considering the elaborate ways I've been tied up last summer, this shouldn't be too hard a predicament to get out of--yet before I could make any suggestions to Shirley about our possible escape, Donna came back into the work shop. She held in her hands a pair of rubber flippers that you'd wear on your feet while scuba diving.
With a broad smile, Donna knelt down on the floor before us and put the flippers on her hands. Then, clapping the flippers in front of her, Donna started making these sounds: "Urf! Urf! Urf!"
I stared at her as if she were crazy--until it hit me: Donna was impersonating a seal!
She had just set me up in the very scene that I had spoken to her about earlier. When I realized that, I began laughing so hard, it hurt.
"Go get help, Flipper!" I said in-between my giggles.
Donna gave me a disgusted look. "Flipper's the dolphin! I'm the seal, remember?"
She then clapped her "flippers" together with another chorus of "Urf! Urf! Urf!" as if for emphasis.
I laughed even harder when I saw the wide-eyed look that Shirley gave to both Donna and me. She wasn't present when I told Donna about the show where a bound boy was rescued by a seal. So poor Shirley now sat there with this "what-have-I-gotten-myself-into?" look on her face. I'm sure the fact that she was
tied hand and foot also weighed heavily on her mind--she couldn't easily escape us two lunatics!
Donna ceased her seal impersonation and came over to untie Shirley and me. I explained to Shirley the story I told Donna at the beach, and while she still didn't get the humor of the situation, Shirley at least accepted my explanation with some considerable relief. After all, it must have been a comfort for her to find out that her sister and cousin hadn't gone completely insane. This was the only little bondage game we had at my house before the really wild stuff started again at Aunt Jean's, but--you guessed it--those are stories for another time. Thanks for reading.