"OK, I'm done," I told him. "I think this would be a good one."
"Good for what?", Trace wondered.
"We're going to do something tonight that you've wanted to do all summer," I said.
"What's that?", he replied.
"What is something that you really wanted to do and you're the only one around here that can do it?" I asked him.
He thought for a moment. "I don't know. I give up."
"We're gonna stick you on the wall", I said.
"Yay!" He jumped up and down a couple of times then his footsteps receded into the distance as he ran to the back of the house to spread the good news.
We were getting ready to celebrate Trace's and his cousin Laney's birthday and most of the family was gathered around. I had been to Harbor Freight and purchased several rolls of duct tape a month before and had been waiting for just the right moment. This occasion appeared to possess all of the appropriate requirements. There were plenty of helpers around. There were multiple cameras available to record the work of art. There were several adults that could serve as medical transports in case my calculations were off a bit. And we had a willing victim. I mean, birthday boy.
A minute later there was a multitude of children streaming into the den, excited and jabbering.
"I wanna do it," Wyatt said.
"You're too fat," I told him
"I'm not fat," he said.
"You're 14. How much do you weigh," I asked him.
"120 pounds," he replied.
"That's too fat," I said. "Trace only weighs 60. We don't have enough duct tape for you. We might not even have enough for Trace."
I wasn't certain that this was going to work. I'd never done it before. I'd seen it in pictures on the net and on America's Funniest Videos but I had never tried it myself.
We got a stool and put it against the wall for Trace to stand on. "Now, make like Jesus."
He climbed on and stretched his arms out to the side. Everyone grabbed a roll and started taping. They went across his legs. They went across his arms. They went across his chest. They crisscrossed his arms and chest and legs. Then they taped some more. And more. For the crowning touch, they added a little more tape.
We stood back to admire our handiwork. It looked good. It certainly seemed capable of doing the job. He looked like a cute little tape mummy. There wasn't really anywhere else to stick any more tape on him. Except maybe on his head. Now there was a thought. No, his mother would probably get upset when she tried to get it off of his hair.
Now, for the great unveiling. Was it all going to stick?? Was he going to fall flat on his face? Were all of our efforts for naught?
Hmmmmmm. "Wyatt, squat down there and catch him if he falls when we take that stool out."
"Now Trace, be still. We're going to take the stool out so don't move. If you start to fall be sure and put your arms out to catch yourself."
Wyatt pulled the the stool out most of the way, leaving Trace's feet tiptoeing on the edge. "OK Trace, slowly let go and let your feet relax and then he's going to take it out all the way."
Trace relaxed his feet. The tension on the tape tightened. Wyatt pulled the stool out from under his feet.
His feet were dangling in the air. There were no awful tearing sounds of the tape ripping lose. It actually worked. Trace was stuck.
Just like a fly after you smack it with a fly swatter, he was plastered on the wall, only this fly had an ear to ear grin on his face. He was a happy little camper.
Everyone was summoned into the den to witness the joyous occasion. Cameras were flashing. Videos were rolling. There may have even been someone painting the event on canvas. It was a real paparazzi moment.
I was proud as a peacock. Another successful trick to add to my repertoire.
The only thing that would have made it better was if his mother and father could have been there to see it. But wait. His mother and his sister were on their way. Did he want to stay up there long enough to give them a surprise when they arrived? Bradleigh was contacted and said they were 5 minutes away. Why did we want to know?
"We've got a surprise for you," Wyatt told her.
"Oh cool. Do I get to keep it," she asked.
"Uhhh, sure," Wyatt said.
So we waited. But what to do in the meantime? Trace was stuck on the wall. He couldn't move. He was completely helpless. There could be only one logical answer to such a philosophical question. Tickle him. So he was tickled. Mercilessly. It was probably the longest 5 minutes of his life. But it was funny.
At last headlights were seen coming up the driveway and we made final preparations. A piece of tape was placed over his mouth, just to make things look better.
Bradleigh was the first one through the door. "Where's my surprise," she wanted to know.
She stood there, speechless, with a smile slowly spreading across her face. "That's my surprise? I wanna do it."
"We don't have enough tape tonight," I said. "Maybe next time."
Shelly, Trace's mother, came through the door next. This could be interesting, I thought. I wasn't sure what her reaction would be. She stood there for a moment, looking at him then looking around at us. " Are you having fun," she asked Trace.
He nodded enthusiastically.
"Well, don't stay up there too long, that sticky stuff might not come off of your football pants," she said.
Wyatt grabbed a stick and poked Trace for a couple of minutes and he was tickled a little more and then it was time to leave his lofty perch and return to earth. The tape was cut loose and he got down.
Since every one was now present, the party got on. Food was consumed. Cake was eaten. Presents were opened. I had gotten him A fully automatic BB gun, you know, like a machine gun. He seemed to be really excited about it but at the end of the night I'm still not sure which he liked better, the BB gun or his fly experience.