Vol. 10


A Game-Day Surprise

1997; Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

When my dad was a pro-hockey goalie for a team in Indiana, my mom decided to plan a surprise for him for Christmas. His sister, Lee Ann, and her husband, Stef, would drive thousands of miles from Canada to make it in time for one of my dad’s home games.

After my dad had left for the rink and my mom had fed the cat, she called Lee Ann to see how far away they were (since my mom had to leave to attend a Christmas party that evening). Mom told my aunt and uncle that the house alarm would be off when they arrived, and to not let the cat out. My mom was nervously excited about hosting the out-of-town guests for two weeks, thinking to herself, “What could possibly go wrong?”

While my mom was at the party and my dad was at the rink preparing for the game, my aunt and uncle arrived at the house. When they walked in, the alarm went off. My mom had forgotten to not turn it on. It was just automatic for her. My aunt said, “Uh-oh,” as the beeping grew louder and louder. They didn’t know the alarm code or how to turn it off.

As it continued beeping, two policemen barged into the house. When the police did that, the cat slipped out the door. My aunt, out of instinct, chased after the cat. A policeman ordered, “Freeze!” because he thought my aunt was trying to escape from the house. She quickly scooped up the cat and tried to explain the situation to a now annoyed officer. The policeman said my aunt was lucky he didn’t arrest them right then for breaking and entering.

My aunt and uncle convinced the police officers to let them try to call my mom on her cell phone. Back then, cell phones were the size of a slab of meat and not very reliable. My aunt and uncle had no luck reaching my mom. Then they tried showing the officers pictures of themselves, which were on the mantel. This was not enough to convince the officers that my aunt and uncle were telling the truth.

Finally my aunt suggested the police officers call my dad at the rink and talk to him. Getting a call in the locker room was highly unusual and made my dad very nervous — especially receiving a call from the police just minutes before game time. When the policeman on the phone asked my dad if his sister was staying at his place, my dad replied, “No, she lives in Canada!”

Lee Ann yelled in the background, ”We are here to surprise you for Christmas!” Once dad heard Lee Ann’s voice, he asked the policeman if he could speak to her. My aunt explained everything. The good news was that the cat was safe inside, and more importantly, my aunt and uncle did not get arrested. The bad news was that the Christmas surprise was ruined.

Logan Racine; Missouri, USA


This copyrighted story may be copied for limited classroom use or reprinted in an article about The Grannie Annie.


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