It was around '87, and I was currently grounded from my beloved NES due to poor grades in High School. We lived in a 2-story house, with the 2nd story being just the master bedroom (single parent, BTW). Unfortunately for Mom, she worked nights, which gave me PLENTY of time to scour the house in an attempt to locate the elusive hiding place. I eventually found it....it was located in her bedroom closet, packed in it's original box and packing materials (wish I still had it like that!) and wrapped in a Glad trash bag.
With that caveat out of the way, whenever she would go to work, I would wait approximately 30 minutes (lest she forgot something), then go upstairs, retrieve my precious, take it downstairs, unpack it, play on my TV for approximately 2-3 hours, then disconnect it, let it cool down, repack it, and place it back in the hiding place with no one the wiser. No one that is...except for my little sister, who I had to let cut into my playtime to keep her quiet.
Mom also wouldn't allow anyone in the house when she wasn't home. I wasn't suave with the ladies yet, so that wasn't the issue...I wanted to play Nintendo with my buddies! But I didn't want to risk it as sometimes she would come home earlier than usual. I soon got my chance.
One Saturday morning, I was out in front of the house, throwing a football with some of my buddies. Mom came out and said she was taking off and would be gone ALL day. I tried to ask how long she would be gone in the most innocent way possible, and she says till like 6 pm....at this time it was about 9 am. So, as soon as she was about 10 minutes away, against my better judgment, I let all 3 of my friends in and proceeded to go through the process of setting up my NES.
My spidey sense was tingling though, so I told my sister to stay in the kitchen and listen out for the garage door. So, everything was great for about 30 mins, when suddenly, I could have sworn I heard the garage door!
I asked my sis if she heard anything, she said no. I didn't trust her, so, with my friends still having a blast, I bolt to the garage and open the inside door.
Not ONLY is my Mom home, she is already out of the car!
The only thing that saved my hide was the fact that she decided to check the mail, and luckily, there was a LOT of mail.
My stomach dropped out of my pelvis. I'll never forget that feeling. I was soooo dead. Whether she lied, forgot something, or was onto me and set me up, she was home, and I had to do whatever it took to survive....NOW! Adrenaline kicked in, and what happened next, though seemingly in slow motion, I'm sure was a blur.
After quietly closing the inside door, I dart back into the kitchen on the way to the family room, giving my sister a few choice words on the way. I hit the TV room full speed with the infamous battlecry, "MY MOM IS HOME!!". The kids freeze in panic. I run back to the front door, and grab all of the shoes that were there (we lived in Hawaii, BTW), and threw them into my room.
Here is the dilemma....my house in Hawaii, the backyard was a ridge....beautiful, yes I know, but not good for emergency escapes. They would eventually have to hit the front of the house, and my Mom would have spotted them. So I tell them all to go in my room and hide....NOW! While I'm barking orders, I am also simultaneously ripping the NES RF adapter off the TV, and shoving EVERYTHING behind the couch....no time to put it away properly. The kids all run into my room and shut the door. Red flag #1: My room door is never shut.
Then disaster struck....one of the late comers to the party is at the front door, asking where everybody else is. As I am doing my best yelling whisper to shoo him away, my Mom enters the kitchen, and is speaking with my sister. She holds me down....and buys me some time. So Mom finally gets to the front door after my sister's stall job, and there I am, red-faced, out of breath, and probably look like I just robbed a bank.
"Has there been anyone in this house?"
She looks to her right and notices my door is closed. So then she strides to the door and throws it open, with me, of course, right behind her. My room is very small, BTW. Two twin beds against both walls, a dresser in the middle against the wall aligned with the heads of both beds, a desk at the foot of the bed that isn't in front of the door, and my closet. Not much room to do anything but go into the closet. The closet is closed. Mom flings open the closet, and I almost pass out.
She peers in the closet, shuts it, then begins to give me a long drawn out speech about how she doesn't trust me, yada yada YADA. She gives me the business for about 15 minutes then leaves and goes upstairs. So now I'm like, where did they go?
I peek in the closet....EMPTY! I could have sworn they were in there, and that I was dead. So now, I'm just confused, and as I turn around and face the dresser mirror, 2 things came to me.
1) I'm not in trouble and
2) My friends have done this before
In the mirror, I see my boy Shade's reflection....he is under the desk with the chair pulled close to him, like it is still under the desk properly. I look at him in the mirror, and he looks at me. I say, "Where is everybody else?". On command, the other two pop out....Ronson had hidden himself lengthwise against the twin bed by the desk, and Shade's little brother Kinoa was curled up width wise at the head of the bed. I was in awe.
I could hear my Mom's footsteps upstairs, so I had them get ready to go. Then, standing in the foyer and looking up to make sure Mom wasn't coming back down, I waved them out the front door, praying that she wasn't looking out the window onto the street.
The mission was successful. She eventually left, which as soon as she did, I packed up the NES and put it back properly, thanking God she didn't realize it was not in the closet.
As an epilogue, I spoke with my Mom about this incident now that I'm 34....she says she never had a clue that all that was going on that day. I was sweating just typing this out, BTW. I still can't believe I pulled that one off.