Last week, I shared a few extraordinary happenings around my isolated country home. There are many others, but none so dramatic as the Headless Basementman. Most involve sounds and smells and shadows and one physical contact that someone like Hick would write off with, "You're crazy."
Sunday morning started like all the others. I threw in a load of laundry. Paid some bills. Made a shopping list. Called my mom. Woke Genius for church and told him that his grandma was bringing me some fresh tomatoes, so make sure to bring them in the house when he got home. Woke The Pony, who was happy to accompany me instead of letting the goats out to graze on charred grass for an hour. Listened to Hick's litany of Things I Would Like To Throw Away Money On This Week. Forked over gas money to Genius. And got in the shower.
Twenty minutes later, post shower, I was standing at the bathroom sink, parting my lovely tresses, which, regardless of the beliefs of Hick, do NOT fall into place after years of proper training, when I was startled by a loud, booming voice. I will admit that I am a naturally jumpy person. Don't sneak up on me and tap me on the shoulder. Don't glide silently across the room like a movie Dracula until you're standing right beside me. For cryin' out loud, put a box of Tic Tacs in your pocket so I can hear you coming. I am constantly chastising Genius and Hick for sidling into my dark basement lair and speaking from the office doorway behind me when my attention is on my computer monitor. I have been trying for years to break my boys of their habit of leaning their cherubic faces within inches of mine, and then shouting, "MOM!" to wake me from a recliner nap. I'm a bit high-strung. I admit it.
You might be amused to see me jump higher than a springbok when you scare me. Perhaps you wish for me to topple to the ground like a fainting goat. Maybe that's why people laugh after one of my spooking episodes, when I implore them, "Will somebody please restart my heart?"
Yes, I have a nervous nature. And odd things happen around here. The Pony was in the basement on his computer. Genius had left for church. Hick was off in town, most likely eating breakfast at the tavern buffet that, by his logic, he only went to once but had been there twice. So I was peacefully running a pick through my hair, parting it carefully, precisely, Olympic-gold-medal-straight, concentrating with such might that, perhaps, my tongue protruded out the side of my mouth, when that disembodied voice boomed in my right ear, from two feet away, causing my arms to fling out like a startled newborn, sending my pick sailing through the shattered silence:
FRENCH TOAST STICKS!
Well. The voice indeed had a body. The body of Genius, shouting his addition to the grocery list through the bathroom door, heedless of my need for gradual intrusion on my moment of solitude. Not only did he scare a year's worth of sandwich-making out of me, he forgot to bring in the tomatoes after church, and they blanched themselves in the sun for five hours inside his truck inside the ZipLoc back my mother had so thoughtfully packed them in. I was kind of upset about his actions. Until 1:30 a.m. when a realization hit me.
I forgot the french toast sticks.