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Baked!

The Classic Tale of a Hippy Babysitter

 

Okay, this really happened. Happened long ago. Maybe 45 years, maybe 50. Who knows. I don't know, but I'll tell you the story.

Got it from a friend of a friend. True stuff. There was this couple, Jan and Dan, and they were sort of cute. Dan was a salesmen at the Ford dealership. Jan liked to do needlepoint. They had a baby, little Stan.

Well, one night, maybe it was in 1967 or 68, I don't really know, Jan and Dan planned to go out to the movies. Maybe there was a new romantic pic or something, and they wanted to turn on the hot and heavy, if you know what I mean. Maybe it was a drive-in horror flick. Whatever it was, they were going. But, they didn't want to take along little Stan, of course.

Now, I haven't been in a movie theater in 15 years, but I well remember how annoying it was to try and watch a movie with some screaming and crying brat kicking up a fuss for mommy and daddy in the dark. So I understand why they would want to leave little Stan the Man behind.

"We've got to get a babysitter," said Jan. "I asked Edna across the way. She says the Cunningham girl is babysitting cheap. Five dollars and she'll watch the kid all night. And bake brownies, too."

Dan looked suspicious.

"Brownies, huh? I'll just bet she BAKES those brownies!"

Jan thought this an odd comment, but she let it go. She dialed up the phone, ring, ring, and, on the other end, came Big Ed. "Edna Across the Way"...

"Oh, you need a babysitter tonight? Okay, well, I'll call up Bernice. She'll call that little Cunningham girl... yeah, just five dollars, and she'll bake you brownies, to boot. Okay, Okay. Sure. Yeah. Right. I'll have her call Cunny Cunningham, and she'll call you. Okay. Okay. Bye now!"

Jan hung up. Crossed her arms. Whistled.

Ring, ring...

"Hello? Is this Cunny Cunningham?"

"Whoa," said a droning, half-asleep voice on the other end. "Like...yeah."

"Can you be over here in 20 minutes? I've heard you babysit for five dollars, and bake brownies to boot!"

"Like, yeah man. Pretty groovy. Just five bucks."

Jan said, "Hm. Awfully reasonable. Okay. Well, we're headed to the flickers. It's the bees knees, dontcha know? We'll be right here waiting when you get here."

"Like whoa, man. I'll be right over."

She came right over. She looked like she smoked a half-ounce of skunk weed every day. Long straight hair, head band, little round glasses; bell bottom jeans with bright strips of cloth sewn in the sides. A backpack with peace buttons completed the outfit.

"Like, yeah man, me and little Stan will just settle down and watch some tube. I like that Sid and Marty Kroft stuff."

Dan, looking a little apprehensive, asked, "Cunny, are you planning on doing any...baking while we're away?"

Cunny looked a little nonplussed (if people like her can be said to ever look so).

"Like, whoah, Mr. G, I'm like, so far out when it comes to baking. Most especially brownies. You dig me? Everybody loves 'em. My boyfrined Moondoggie can't get enough of 'em."

Dan felt his mouth tighten. Not, especially, because he was worried, but because he was suddenly hungry. For brownies.

"Yeah, well, just make sure you turn the stove off, Cunny, when you get done. Help yourself to whatever there is in the ice box. Oh, yeah, we have some cold turkey in there."

"Groovy, Mr. G. But I don't drink that stuff."

"No," corrected Dan. "You mean WILD Turkey. This isn't liquor; it's the kind of turkey you eat."

They left, images of Mia Farrow giving birth to the Antichrist flitting around in their hot little brains.

Unbeknownst to them, Cunny had a few secrets she was squirreling away for later. A couple of tabs of bright Orange Sunshine acid hidden away in her bag. And there were a whole color TV full of cartoons.

"I'll just ring up Donna and Moondoggie. They can come over and keep me company."

And so she dialed them up (on one of those old-fashioned rotary phones, I imagine), and they headed on over; and everyone settled in on the couch, sharing granola and watching Popeye cartoons, and Moondoggie said, "I got a couple of tabs of blotter acid."

And Cunny said, "Woah, far out!"

And Donna said, "Hey man, I got the munchies. Wanna bake some brownies?"

And Little Stan the Man, who had been completely forgotten, began to bawl upstairs.

And Cunny said, "Yeah, but, I got to take care of the baby first."

And Moondoggie said, "Didn't you say you dropped a couple of tabs before coming over, Cunny?"

And Cunny said, "Yah, woah. Like far-out, man. And they're starting to work!"

And Donna said, "Man, brownies! And maybe some chicken wings..." Donna was a pudgy little thing, we might add.

And Cunny went upstairs to burp the baby. And put him on her shoulder, and cooed a Jimmie Hendrix tune. And, downstairs, Moondoggie cranked up some heavy, funk-laden groove on his Philco. And Donna danced. All WAS, as they say in the funny papers.

Cunny came back downstairs with little Stan the Man on her shoulder. Donna said, "Aw, ain't he a cute little pooper?" And Moondoggie laid back on the loveseat, put his arm around Donna, expecting some righteous poontang later. As we reiterate, ALL WAS.

Cunny went into the kitchen. Suddenly, the walls melted into rainbow-colored sheets of ice, and colors exploded everywhere, and she thought she had slipped through a doorway into the land of dreams and nightmares.

She put the baby down. She went to the fridge. She rooted around. "Why bake brownies when you could eat like civilized folks?" she pondered. Besides, she could bake the brownies for desert.

She put her dirty mitts on the huge, aluminum- wrapped baking dish in the fridge. She unwrapped enough to see white TURKEY, and she thought, "Aye, this is good. This is very, very good." And she noted the baby on the counter crying, so she put down the turkey on the counter, right beside him.

Then:

"Preheat oven to three-fifty," she said to herself, turning the dial, which had grown a happy face and was singing to her, like something from a Disney cartoon.

Go to the counter. Pick up the pan with the turkey. Thrust it in the oven door.

***

Jan and Dan pulled up after a disappointing evening. Mia Farrow had been raped by the Devil apparently, but it seemed as if the Devil was a part of some chichi New York socialite scene, and that Armageddon was going to be rather small-scale.

"What a bummer! Bad movie. Really, really bad movie!" moaned Dan. 

"Yeah," agreed Jan. "Cool soundtrack, though."

They parked. Went inside. Jimmie Hendrix had given way to Creedence on the Philco. Moondoggie had passed out, never getting the poontang he so richly imagined he would be receiving in abundance that evening. Donna was dancing, half-naked, amidst a swirling, snake-like show of floating colors only she could see.

"Will you look at this crap!" cried Dan. "I have stoned hippies crashing out in my living room! Hey Junior," and Dan pushed Moondoggie off the love seat by the back of his head. "Get up and get out!"

Moondoggie came groggily up from delirium.

"Aw hey, big man, calm down! I was just leavin'!"

Jan raced upstairs, suddenly. Cunny had gone up there, for some reason, and passed out on the floor. Jan rolled her over with one toe, and Cunny said, "Aw hey, Mrs. G. Back home so soon?"

Jan, who noted the bassinet was EMPTY, cried, in panicked rage, "WHERE'S THE BABY?!"

Cunny groggily replied, "Aw, I must have left him downstairs in the kitchen. There's a turkey in the oven, if you're hungry."

Jan suddenly smelled something, something that smelled like burning. Her heart jumping to her throat, she  raced back downstairs, threw open the kitchen door, and ran inside.

On the counter was an cold, partially unwrapped, leftover turkey.

In the oven, which was billowing black smoke out the sides...WAS LITTLE STAN!

 

 

Scary Urban Legends by Tom Baker, Illustrated by John C. Eng

Tom Baker
Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis , Indiana Ghost Folklore, Scary Urban Legends, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest : tombakerbooks.weebly.com. 

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