Backstory-My mom and sister took my two cousins (aged 9 and 12) camping this summer. They had my brother-in-law’s camper and had all slept in it in various degrees of comfort for the first few nights, but they had also taken and set up a tent. I would go out and visit every couple of days, throwing football or frisbee with the boys, grilling out and unwinding.
BackBackstory-Before they had left, my brother-in-law had captured a black widow in a mason jar. Both cousins had seen it and were duly afraid.
So the older of the two boys, call him Jack, is pubescent and large for his age and therefor too cocky for his own good. Begging for comeuppance, in other words. So I bet him $5 that he wouldn’t sleep in the tent alone. I couldn’t make it that evening, but he sleeps in the tent, wins the bet. The next evening, I do visit with them, and cajole him into a double-or-nothing. He is reticent, but I impugn his manhood and he finally agrees. We all walk back to the campsite, cook out, play cards, then everyone heads off to bed. Except for Jack, who comes back from the tent absolutely stricken. It seems there was an upturned empty mason jar and attendant two piece lid inexplicably strewn about the tent.
I give the, “Oh shit, I brought the spider out here to release it and totally forgot about it…Someone must have opened it and fled for fear of their mortal soul…” routine. I’d warned everyone else, so there is no general freakout, and they all play along. Result, Jack doesn’t sleep in the tent and feels terribly hoodwinked when they let him in on the prank the next morning.
I goaded him about his cowardice for a couple of weeks, then paid him the original $5, cause I really didn’t think he’d sleep alone in a tent, threat of venomous spider or no. And now all I have to do to take him down a notch is bring up that time he was terrified of an empty jar…