Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Best Halloween Ever

When I was a cub, I walked to and from Ashenvale every day with a couple of other cubs from the neighborhood, Wes & Lilteddie. Our shortcut took us down a particular side valley, and in that valley, behind a fence, was a cat named "Nyeh."

What kind of cat was Nyeh? The loud kind. I don't know from breeds; maybe it was the product of an unholy ugly-bumping between Halazzi and an air horn. Maybe a frostsaber got busy with Fran Drescher. Maybe the fuzzfaced little bastard swallowed a Mr. Microphone. I have no idea.

All I know is that any time we got within three trees of that maniacal kitty, he let loose with the most vicious, vociferous, and spittle-and-vinegar-laced tirade I've ever heard come out of a cat's yapper. If that fifty-pound feline could've hopped his mangy ass over the fence, he gave every indication he'd chew each of us a new poop chute, or die trying.

Clearly, Nyeh was a cat begging to be pranked on Halloween.

We had three things working in our favor: first, Halloween was on a Wednesday that year, which meant I didn’t have to go to Karazhan and we'd be walking down the valley near dusk, without need for some elaborate plan or excuse. Second, Nyeh was well-known for incessant roaring around the area, so having him yapping his gums for a few minutes while we set up wouldn't attract undue attention.

Third, and most importantly, the movie “Strays” had come out the year before, putting out-of-control cat attacks firmly on the map. I'd seen the movie myself, and learned afterwards that the crew had a lot of trouble during filming, because the (very realistic) "blood" used during shooting was actually ketchup, and the feline actors kept licking it off their noses.

With that little insider tip, the stage was set. And you can probably imagine how the plan came together.

At lunchtime on Halloween, we snuck off to the local 7-11 and bought two big bottles of "fancy" Heinz ketchup. No regular ketchup -- or God forbid, "catsup" -- for this prank. This was a top-shelf affair, all the way.

At dusk, as usual, we meandered down the valley toward home. And, as usual, Nyeh the loudass cat commenced "ROAR!!!"ing before we were even in sight. Little did he know his own bellyaching would be our cover.

We hustled up to the fence, made sure the cat was hissing right up into our faces, unscrewed one bottle cap, and squooooozed an entire bottle of ketchup right onto Nyeh's kisser. Everywhere, it went -- in his mouth, in his nose, down his chin. Nyeh’s face was positively covered in the tomatoey goodness, and in his surprise, he actually shut the hell up for once.

That's when the back porch light came on at Nyeh's owner's house, and we heard footsteps stomping toward the door, coming to see what the hell was happening. Neyh skittered toward the porch, presumably to tattle on the hooligans giving him a hard time.

Committed to our plan, we had the second bottle ready and squirted ourselves liberally in the breadbaskets. With bright red ketchup glistening on our paws and bellies under the street light, we hopped the low fence and lay in the yard screaming bloody murder.

By the time the jackass owner got to his back door, he had three dying cubs writhing in agony on his back lawn, and a dumbass happy go lucky cat on the porch licking bloody gore off his lips. I don't know whether the guy had seen Strays or not, but he flipped out more or less completely, anyway. He ran toward the cat, shrieked, looked at us, shrieked again, ran away from the cat, and disappeared back inside the house -- whether to pray, pack, or dial 911, I still have no idea.

By the time he'd gathered his wits enough to get within ten feet of the cat and come investigate the "victims," we'd hopped back down the valley and run off cackling into the Halloween gloom. And while we still took the valley shortcut for a couple more years, Nyeh was always tied to a tree after that, away from meddling cubs, ghoulish pranks -- and bottles of Heinz 57.