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Cecile Lilles's Fortyfied Sampler

Cecile Lilles's Fortyfied Sampler

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Collection of humorous essays by Philippine Star columnist Cecile Lilles
Collection of humorous essays by Philippine Star columnist Cecile Lilles

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Published by: UST Publishing House on Mar 31, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I have always wondered why most men have an aversion to horrorfilms. Well, most men I know at least. I always thought that it wassissy-ish, this refusal to sit through a scary movie because, c’mon, howbad can it get, it’s a movie—duh!But when we were children, my brothers, who were the rough andtumble kind of boys, had violent objections to movies of this genreand were quite vocal about it. Never mind the endless teasing they got from me—forget machismo—one couldn’t pay them to see suchfilms.Once, my father insisted on taking the whole family to catch
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 
so all of us were forced to go. When the ChildCatcher, a spooky character with spindly limbs, beady eyes, and along nose, appeared (“I smell children”), my brother slouched so lowon his chair that the screen rose out of sight. My father asked what thematter was and told him to straighten up so he wouldn’t miss a thing,but he said, “It’s okay, Dad. I’m just really tired.”So I said to him, “Tired? But you’ve just been sitting there andyou’re going to miss the best parts.” He threw me the sharpestdagger look ever. After several minutes he became even more restlessand insisted on going home because he claimed he had gotten evenmore tired.And so my mother, finally catching on, said, “It’s okay, go ahead,close your eyes and sleep. I’ll wake you up when the movie’s over.”He closed his eyes all right but asleep he definitely wasn’t because hecurled into a tighter ball each time the music got more eerie.For several days afterwards, the
had to go with him everywhere,even to the bathroom when he had to brush his teeth. My brother has
since grown into this large, chunky man and can easily be mistakenfor a football linebacker but I don’t think he’s ever seen a scary movieafter that, even if it were a Disney flick for as long as it has scary characters, like that fat Octopus (Ursula in
The Little Mermaid 
.) Butshhh! Don’t tell.In high school, my girl friends and I watched
The Shining 
on VHSat a friend’s house. Her brother walked into the room at the scariestpoint of the movie and my friend, who was infamous in school forbeing a prankster, sidled up to the light switch by the far wall whileeveryone else was glued to the TV. She switched it off and screamed,“REDRUM!” Her brother, the only boy in that room, let out an unmanly yelp and bolted, leaving one slipper in haste and running smack intothe huge, decorative urn at the top of the stairs. It was a mighty crash—something he’s had to live with for much of his life. I knew then thatI never wanted to be associated with a man who couldn’t withstandspooky stuff. No ninnies for me, thank you very much.I have inadvertently risked life and limb, by forgetting about menand horror movies simply don’t mix. In college, I was able to bully this towering, Caucasian varsity basketball player, who was makingnice with me, into seeing
Amityville 4 
. He wanted a date so he got hisdate—to a horror movie. He was gallant enough to sit through it tothe very end although he did take around eight long bathroom breaks,four popcorn runs, and three soda refill runs, or maybe I should say,walks, in triple slow motion.On the walk back to his car, I made the grave mistake of rushingahead and ducking behind one of the other cars in the parking lot andpopping up for a big shout out of “BOO!” It happened much too fast.I know he sort of tackled me to the ground but the details of the eventremain blurry. I only remember going home with a sore bum thatstayed sore for several days. I chose not to see him again. “But why?”a classmate asked. “He could score us free tickets to every Broncogame. You do realize this, don’t you?
Don’t you? 
“Yes,” I said, “but who wants to date a ninny?”“He’s not a ninny!” she said, shouting this time. “Because he didn’trun the other way when you spooked him; he charged you. There’s adifference, hello?”“Whatever, still a ninny,” I insisted under my breath and kissedthe season tickets goodbye.

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