Mom brings the barbecued chicken to the table while Dad finishes cooking his Cajun spiced potatoes. Brenda and Dennis just arrive from Portland to spend the weekend and my sister and I help bring their luggage in while Dad and Mom finish getting dinner ready. The table is already set for dinner and waiting for everyone to sit down and eat.
Brenda is our stepfather’s daughter by his first wife and she and Dennis bought an acre of land next to our place and are moving here at the end of summer. Dad and Dennis work on the plans on where to put the trailer they bought to put on the property. Annie and I are bored so we ask if we can borrow the car and drive to the town that is five miles away and hang out with our friends until it gets dark, which will be in about three hours. We are given permission so I drive us the five miles to Marcola in the Jimmy, it is not a sexy vehicle but it beats the alternative.
It is a beautiful summer evening and when we arrive at the gravel parking lot across from the tavern, the official party zone, there are already quite a few people there. Several vehicles are backed up to each other to form a circle and everyone stands in the middle of it while they simultaneously drink and smoke various substances as they listen to music blasting from the car stereos. It is quite a rollicking scene and one which we are quite eager to join in on. This is where all the local teenagers hang out and try to talk their legal age buddies into buying them booze when they come out of the tavern. Frequently, especially if there were cute teenage girls in the crowd, the over 21 guys drink out in the parking lot instead of in the tavern because there are hardly ever any women in there.
After the party in the parking lot dies out we hang out with a couple of guys that rent the house next to the parking lot. They recently graduated from high school and both work at a local mill and there is a party at their house almost every night. This particular night the parking lot crowd left earlier than usual so my sister and I play a rousing game of Dominoes, smoke a joint, drink a beer and listen to the Doobie Brothers with Doug and Ken. We are having a good time and end up staying about half an hour after it got dark. It is only 10:30 so we should be alright and not get in trouble.
When we get home the porch lights are on outside but the lights inside the house are turned off and everyone is in bed, even Brenda and Dennis. We think this is a good thing, because no one will even know we are a little late. The only problem is that we can’t see where we are going but we manage to get upstairs without making too much noise or turning on the lights. We manage to fumble our way into the bathroom before we go to our bedrooms, Brenda and Dennis are sleeping downstairs in the family room. We start to brush our teeth and take turns using the toilet, my sister goes first. We are giggling because even though we are trying to be quiet it seems like we are making a lot of noise. Every time I drop something my sister cracks up. Pretty soon mom yells for us to be quiet and we don’t say anything except we giggle a little more.
In a few more minutes we hear, “I told you guys to be quiet.”
We turn and see mom standing right by the bathroom door with her hair standing on end like she has stuck her finger in a light socket. We look at her at start laughing hysterically.
She isn’t amused, “Dave and I are trying to sleep. Be quiet and go to bed.”
“We will,” we both answer in unison.
We finish brushing our teeth, still giggling at how funny mom looks. I look over at Annette and I can see our stepfather is standing next to her in the doorway.
“Your mother told you to be quiet and to go to bed.”
I do not know what possessed my sister but she says, “We will, good night,” and shuts the door in his face.
We hear a thump against the door and then another louder one and my sister quickly jumps away from the door and hides behind me. When the third thump happens the bathroom door came crashing in, having been punched off of its hinges by our stepfather.
We stand there, terrified, as he stands there in his underwear looking at us, “Don’t laugh at your mother.”
At any other time this also would have been funny, but not this one. He turns and goes back to bed.
I whisper to my sister, “I still need to go to the bathroom but I’m afraid to. Let’s go to bed.”
We go to our bedrooms and go to sleep.
The next morning we get up and go downstairs and everyone else is already up drinking coffee.
Dad looks at us, “I ought to kick you girls asses for making me knock the bathroom door down, now I have to fix the damned door.”
“Sorry, we got stoned at Ken and Doug’s and couldn’t quit laughing.”
“I figured that out myself. You girls had such terrified looks on your faces it was hard not to laugh in the hallway but I did enjoy scaring the hell out of you after you pissed me off and I broke the door. It was almost worth it, almost.”
Mom laughs, “I heard you whisper you were afraid to go to the bathroom after Dave left to come back to bed. We got a laugh out of that, served you right!”
”I asked Dennis if I should go up and see if everything was alright and he said ‘hell no stay down here’, so I did.” Brenda says with a laugh.
We still laugh about this incident and it is known as the night the bathroom door came crashing in.