the tuna fish story reminded me of other renee-related adventures of my youth, such as: one day, a group of girlfriends, lead by the ringleader (that’s me), decided we should go for a long walk over to the woods. i forget the name of those woods, but the area wasn’t far from where we lived. “the girls” usually consisted of the core group: myself, renee and laurie (who was an almost certain fixture in any trouble we got ourselves into) and some other stragglers.

so we started out and at one point came to the expressway overpass that you had to cross to get to the woods right on the other side. there were 5 of us that day and i thought that it would be great fun to walk across the overpass, but not in the normal, boring, walk-on the-sidewalk-like way. why not add some spice to the deal and walk across on the other side of the protective railing, you know, the one that protects people and cars from going over and falling onto the expressway below. (by the way, the term “expressway” is what us chicagoans call the “freeway”). now not everyone in the group was gung-ho about this proposal of mine, but since i was the proponent of the idea, i thought i’d just proceed and by example, the others would follow.

there i was, after having climbed over the protective railing, making my way steadily, holding on to the top of the railing and carefully finding placement for my toes, watching as renee and laurie started over, when, all of a sudden, just as i was completing the venture and about to disembark on the other side, came this car screeching to a halt. a woman jumps out of her car and starts shouting at us, at which point, we hightailed it across the remaining part of the overpass and started dashing towards the woods. then came a shriek i’ve seldom heard the likes of since that day, one coming from this woman’s mouth “STOP YOU BRIDGEHANGERS!!!”. and for some reason, we did.

now for all my mischievousness, i had a really hard time lying, so when this woman finally caught up to us, voicing from her booming larynx,  her protests and concerns over our overpass-crossing-techniques, and she asked what my name was along with my phone number, well…i gave it to her. on retrospect, not the best choice i could have made because what happened next is:

as i told you in the tuna fish story, my bedroom had a convenient backdoor leading to the outside. so on this day of wrong-side crossing, after the “STOP YOU BRIDGEHANGERS!”,  my pack of friends and i headed for my house. we were sitting nervously in my room discussing the day’s events and wondering whether crazy lady was going to actually call when i heard the phone ring and shortly after, my father’s footsteps coming down the hallway towards my inside bedroom door (which, also had a lock on it, another fortunate circumstance, and one i took advantage of in this particular incident). well…everyone except renee made a hasty exit out my outside bedroom door, scattering to all points that had nothing to do with my house. so here i was with renee, both of us shaking,  listening to my father banging on my bedroom door and screaming until i finally opened up. plenty of ‘splaining there was to do…as usual. and of course, renee and laurie, who’s parents were never kept out of the loop once mine got wind of what we were up to…had an equal amount of ‘splaining at their end, especially laurie, who’s mom thought i was the devil incarnate herself…

Update: it’s probably the many years in between the day’s events above and the current day, that made me certain that renee was a part of the bridehanger scenario or maybe it’s the fact that she was a participant in just about every amusing scenario of mine,  but as renee pointed out in a FB posting she made, she actually was not there that day. however, laurie definitely was and she was the friend that stuck in out with me at my house before the banging on my door by my father. good to have my ol friends around to correct my fading memory…it’s a great story anyways, no matter who the players really were!


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