Some twenty years ago I decided to take the kids out to the woods in Idaho, not far from the often ferocious Salmon River.  We rented a cozy cottage on the lake, not far from those raging waters.  Upon arriving on an eerily quiet night, I made the unfortunate choice to pop “The River Wild” video into the VCR, (I am a sucker for anything starring Meryl Streep).  If you have not seen this flick, it is about a woman from the east coast who takes her son and a guide to the Salmon River to learn to maneuver a raft on white water.  Meanwhile, two armed stalkers lurk nearby in the trees,         in search of victims with loot.  Kevin Bacon plays one of the creepy bandits, and he plays it well.

About 45 minutes into the film I notice my five-year-old son quivering, his head beneath a pillow.  Immediately I punched the “EXIT” button on the remote, leaving my seven-year-old daughter pouting.

“Why’d you turn off the movie, Mommy?”  I like it!”

“It is much too scary for your baby brother, Cecil, I whispered, terrified myself.   

“Let’s watch something a little more appropriate for a young mother with two small children alone in the deserted woods not far from the Salmon River.”

The dejected little girl popped in some Mary Kate and Ashley video while little boy slept and I reached for the phone.  As soon as I lifted the receiver I heard a man’s voice, followed by a woman’s.

“I do NOT think you should come up here tonight, honey.  It’s not a good idea”, the man insisted.

“Why not darling?  I could be there in less than two hours.  We could spend the entire night wrapped in each other’s arms.  Think about it.”

It did not take me long to put it together that the man was in a dwelling just up the road from our rental, with the woman down in Boise itching to get up to the lake and her man.

“I do not want you driving that clunker of yours alone in the dark at this time of night—understand?”

“But Snookums, I have done that trip so many times I could drive it in my sleep!”

That is another point, dear; I don’t want you falling asleep at the wheel.”

By now I had grown bored with the monotonous chatter so softly hung up the phone and polished off my wine and nails.

Sadly, some pathetic people just can’t seem to take a hint.

And if the children weren’t with me, I would’ve taken a little drive up the road to uncover whether the man had company—or not…


One Comment on “A PARTY LINE”

  1. Susan Bromley says:

    Do I see a book or script in your future?

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