Our first adventure with “Home Alone” started in the mid-nineties when we rented a copy, sometime during Jon’s early teen years. After watching the movie, with its many theft prevention traps, Jon took it upon himself to become our personal security system. We lived in a three story house in New Hampshire at the time and Mike had finished the basement as a playroom for the kids. In the back corner of the basement was a door we rarely used and it opened to stairs leading back up to ground level and into the garage.
I went to the basement to throw in a load of laundry one day and realized I needed to go out to the garage for something. Rather than go back upstairs and out the door off the kitchen, I opened the basement door and experienced a brief moment of horror as I watched the kid’s blue plastic snow sled, loaded with paint cans, come hurdling toward me. I screamed and slammed the door shut just in time to hear the thump, crash, bang of full and half-full gallon cans pile up against it on the other side.
Jon had placed the sled at the top of the stairs, lined it with the paint cans he’d found stored on shelves in the garage and tied the sled’s rope to the basement door knob. Although a great idea if an intruder was already in the basement, it wasn’t about to keep one out. But It was genius and imaginative really, with no thought of consequence to the people he lives with, which has always been one of Jon’s great deficits.
We went though a phase of trepidation and alertness, following this “Home Alone” viewing. We would find small toys lining the stairways, door knobs drenched in cooking oil, dish soap or shampoo, marbles and jacks on the floor in front of or behind closed doors, a half dozen eggs lined up on the garage door bracing; when the door went up eggs dropped to the floor or on the car. It was unnerving
We let Jon watch the movie again when he was in his late twenties thinking he may have matured enough to distinguish its fantasy from reality. The booby traps reappeared immediately.
The other night Jon’s caregiver told me Jon was reciting “Home Alone” movie lines to her. When I came out to the kitchen the following morning, all the Christmas balls had been removed from the mini-tree adorning the corner of the breakfast nook and were lined up under the window. There’s shampoo or something slippery coating his bathroom doorknob again, a curtain rod blocking the entrance to his room like a swinging railroad crossing gate on one end and dresser drawers blocking the door to his room on the other end.
Jon is not allowed to watch “Home Alone”. We don’t keep it in the house, but I’m thinking he’s found segments of it on YouTube and this is not good news. While the movie may be a classic family Christmas comedy, it’s off limits in our universe.
If you like us even a little bit, please don’t give him a copy for Christmas. And if you stop by, be vigilant. You could very well be Jon’s next “Home Alone” victim.