Mom scrubbed the breakfast dishes hurriedly as they had already been in the sink for three hours. Mrs Koia yelled across the 20 feet of concrete driveway through her kitchen window, “Hi, Rita! Carla is gonna play in the driveway soon if Ricky wants to play.” “Ok, Mrs Coia! Sure is hot as hell out there today!”, said Mom.
My brother and I were glued to the tv watching a Star Trek rerun where one actor looked an awful lot like The Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. Mom announced we could play out back and off we went in matching green striped garanimal outfits humming a song we’d heard in the Star Trek scene. Tony and Frank were already playing stickball as the stinking hot afternoon wore on, when Johnny Gallon nervously joined us in the driveway. Tony yelled, “Hey, Johhny! You wanna play Star Trek with us? It’s a new game.” Johnny was a loner on the block cause, after all, he was Lutheran. The rest of the block was Catholic and our naive and ignorant minds couldn’t wrap themselves around someone being a “non-believer”. Naturally, we approached him cautiously. Frank started, “Ok, everybody, stand in a circle and hold hands and repeat the chant.” After so many views of that Star Trek rerun, we all knew the haunting song so well. “Hail Hail fire and snow! Call the Angel we will go! Far away! For to see! Friendly Angel come to me!” After three times through, getting faster with each repetition and chanting in a demonic way, Johnny jumped back out of the circle and began shrieking, “NO! You are worshipping Satan and you are wicked! NOOOO!” I looked at Carla, Tony and the others and a devilish grin filled our faces. Louder we chanted as we closed in around Johnny, backing him against a garage door, encircling him. “HAIL HAIL FIRE AND SNOW CALL THE ANGEL WE WILL GO! FRIENDLY ANGEL COME TO ME!” Carla dropped to the ground “speaking in tongues” some unintelligible mumbo jumbo and then suddenly, stood up, pointed directly at Johnny and let loose her best Palmolive Madge impression shrieking, “YOU”RE SOAKING IN IT!!!” All of Johnny’s yelps and cries pitched higher and higher until finally, as if brought on by his screams, the heavens opened up and thunder and light cascaded throughout the sky. Sniveling Johnny scampered away and we all screeched and headed for our homes as Mrs Coia called out, “Carla! Get inside before you get soaked!”
How nice it was to not be the one getting singled out and picked on for a change. Once inside, it was back to tv reruns and Night Gallery started. I immediately started plotting my next driveway taunt.