Wednesday, April 24, 2013

From the Entity That Brought You the Clanging Phantom Can

Last night I fell asleep in my basement recliner. It happens all the time. One minute I'm watching a DVR of The Naked Castaway, and the next minute I'm waking up with my neck all cricked to the right. Still, I'm in a recliner. Not wearing a grass skirt (false advertising, Discovery Channel), sleeping all contorted in a cave with goat droppings as bedding.

I require the proper ambient lighting for my chair naps. The overhead lights go off, and a table lamp on my right and a gooseneck fluorescent floor lamp behind my recliner go on. Most often courtesy of The Pony. He carries out the TV-watching protocols.

Between 10:00 and 10:30 I call my mom so she can ask me if everybody's alright. I try to get off the phone by 10:30 so I have time for my before-bed unplanned nap. Last night fell I asleep around 11:20, and woke up at 1:15. First I try to orient myself. Like, is this the weekend, or do I have to go to work in a few hours? Last night, something was amiss. The dark. The basement was too dark. The TV was on. And my table lamp. But the gooseneck was off. I was a bit cranky about that loss of illumination. Now I would have to ask Hick to find out what kind of bulb that lamp needed. I can't go without my gooseneck. It's been with me for years. My mom had one, and liked it so much that she gave one to me and one to my sister the ex-mayor's wife for Christmas. Now mine was kaput. And Sis's probably still shone with impertinence on that non-reader.

I walked across the basement, past the pool table, to flip on the overhead lights on the wall beside the piano. Then I circled back to that gooseneck. I figured I should turn off the switch for when Hick put in a new bulb. I pushed on that lever AND THE LIGHT CAME ON! Someone, or something, had pushed that lever from ON to OFF while I slept with my reclined head only inches away. Is the hair on the back of your neck standing up yet? Like mine was last night? I knew that Hick had already gone to bed before I got off the phone with Mom. The Pony went to bed at 9:00. Genius was in the shower at 10:30, and goes to bed after that. WHO TURNED OFF MY GOOSENECK?

Tonight The Pony and I were on our own. Hick and Genius went to Cape Girardeau for Genius to compete with the school academic team in the state sectionals. We watched Survivor as usual. Then The Pony went upstairs to run a bath in the big triangle tub. "Hey! It's not even dark outside yet!" I heard him puttering around overhead, gathering his pajamas, getting ice from the freezer door. Then he was back. I saw his bare feet, then legs, descend the stairs.

"Um. Look what I found under the edge of the railing." The railing that runs along two sides of the rectangle where the stairs come down from the living room floor. He held out a palomino-colored leather disk about the diameter of a softball. Hick picked it up at one of his many tool show visits. He uses it for a coaster on the table beside his La-Z-Boy upstairs. That might be the real purpose of that disk, or not. It is engraved with a tool company logo.

The hair on my neck saluted again. The Pony's voice quavered. The stair railing is on the opposite side of the living room from the table that houses the disk. Fifteen to twenty feet away. Over carpet. It's not like that thing fell and rolled. Not like we picked it up on a bare foot or shoe sole and carried it and deposited it UNDER the bottom rung of that stair railing.

At this rate, I'm going to have to invest in a good depilatory for my neck hairs.


  1. At least if they're standing up, they're easy to see...

  2. You might want to wear a string of garlic around your neck.

  3. They may have had their way with you while you snoozed. Anything achey? I have a lamp that goes on when it's off. Spooky stuff.

  4. Standing neck hairs mean good ghosts. Any witch worth her salt pays more attention to the thumbs.

    By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.
    Open, locks,
    Whoever knocks! (Macbeth Act 4 Scene 1)

  5. Sioux,
    Not if they're BEHIND me! I don't even like real people behind me. What if the entity stood there watching me snore?

    That sounds good if the entity is a vampire. I'm not so sure if garlic works on headless men in one's basement.

    Nothing achy. And my shirt was not untucked like it might have been after a visit to dentist Tim Whatley, the Label Baby Junior regifter.

    And I have a lamp that goes OFF when it's ON! Let's live our lives like an O. Henry story. Or I can put peanut butter in your chocolate, and you can put chocolate in my peanut butter.

    The Shadow, like a lady in the era of A League of Their Own, reveals nothing.

    Looks like you're the resident entity authority.