Saturday, April 13, 2013

Things That Go "Clang" in the Afternoon

Strange goings-on are once again plaguing my basement lair area.

Two weeks ago, while Hick and the boys were bowling in their Saturday afternoon league, I had an encounter. Okay, not so much an encounter as a freaky, unexplainable occurrence. There I sat, or, I might say, HERE I sat, pecking away at my keyboard, in only the glow of the monitor.

A soda can fell off the counter.

As you well know, I am not much of a canned soda drinker. Through the week, when my 44 oz. Diet Cokes are off limits, I occasionally indulge in a canned Diet Coke, or, if I'm feeling particularly festive, a real Coke. Those cans are promptly placed in a Walmart bag hanging from a drawer knob near the door, so that Genius can recycle them when he needs cash. Hick built my office for me. I have an L-shaped counter, with my desktop computer, New Delly, so named by Genius, in the corner of the L. A three-foot-high counter with drawers underneath runs behind me, to my left, to the door. The right-hand counter is shorter, and holds my printer. This noise was toward the door.

I jumped about three feet when that aluminum can clanged to the tile-over-concrete floor. You know the sound. Clang, clang, clang-clang. An empty can bounces. My first thought was that a can had fallen off the countertop. Or that the bag was full, and one had rolled out. Because in my basement lair, not only can no one hear me scream, but the laws of physics are suspended, and cans overcome inertia with no outside force acting upon them. Yeah. My mind was trying to create a scenario where this phenomenon was logical.

I glanced over my left shoulder. Nothing was moving. I typed a few more lines. Looked again. Got up and turned on the light. The bag of cans was only half full. There was no can on the floor. No can anywhere except in that Walmart bag hanging from the drawer. I will herafter refer to it as The Phantom Can Incident. No explanation was ever found.

All week, The Pony has been declaring that he hears things in my office. Not while I'm in it, of course. When I go out to sit in the recliner and watch TV, he hears things. Just last night, when we were watching a DVR of the rebroadcast of Wednesday night's Survivor that was pre-empted by the tornado, it happened again.

"Don't tell me you didn't just hear that." The Pony lay on the couch, typing on his laptop, glancing over the screen at the TV, and the doorway to my office. It's at the other end of the basement.


"That noise. in your office. It's the third one since you came out."

"No. That was your dad upstairs."

"Dad went to bed already."


"Uh huh. I keep hearing a clicking noise."

Genius was at a friend's house until after ten. So he could not be blamed. Hick was upstairs, in bed in the bedroom over my office. I might have heard a couple of noises. But I attributed them to (I thought) Hick upstairs in the living room. It's an open floor plan. The stairs go up through a big rectangle area. I can see the living room couch through the stair railings. We holler back and forth all the time. It's not like we're sealed in a basement dungeon.

When our show was over, The Pony jumped up to go take a shower. "Don't tell me you're going to leave me down here alone with that...that...ENTITY!"

"Yep. Gotta take my shower. Besides, I'm down here alone with it all the time."

I have no idea what's going on.


  1. Maybe it's the spirit of high-schooler. They're so, so thirsty. Their throat is so parched. They're dehydrating right in front of your eyes. All they want is a bottle of water, and you have none to spare.

  2. Hi! I am new here.

    I say move. Put the house up for sale in the morning and move.

  3. We used to hear a big thud all the time in our kitchen, or like something dropped in the hallway. Nothing ever there. Are you sure Jommy Hoffa's not buried under your slab?

  4. I'd start with a necklace chain of garlic and hold a silver bullet.

  5. Sioux,
    I refuse to hand out a bottle of water to a student. No matter how dehydrated and dessicated. I shall not be on the evening news for bestowing favors upon one of my charges. Even though I have a whole case to spare. I did, however, move that case of water inside my cabinet to stop the begging. It's not like I keep a bottle on my desk and swill from it repeatedly, sighing, "AHHHH!" each time. I do not partake of beverages in front of the unbeveraged.

    I appreciate your empathy. You shall not have to sit a day in my office chair.

    Welcome! Since you are new here, you have not heard the story of the headless man who appeared to me beside the satellite receiver. He did not make me move, so The Phantom Can Incident will not, either.

    Oh, that was probably just a large pregnant spider dropping to the floor as her web broke. You never saw anything, because, and I speak from experience, those millions of babies can scurry really, really fast. I'm sure that sets your mind at ease.

    Jommy Hoffa? Is he using a clever alias? No one would EVER associate that name with a missing labor leader Teamster boss. Shh...don't out him. You'll be pushing up daisies in the New York Giants end zone.

    Well. Now I'm afraid to hear how you'd finish, after such an elegant sartorial beginning. I'm sure your finery would persuade THE ENTITY to leave. Out of embarrassment for his dowdy duds, if nothing else.

  6. I just read the headless man post and I really, really think you should move. It is almost 4 in the morning here and I was just about to go back to bed but now I know I am not going to get back to sleep because your headless man may come to my house through your computer. Damn.

  7. Birdie,
    He was quite harmless, my headless man. After the initial shock, I saw him fade away to nothing. Which does not mean I ever want to see him again. I imagine it's quite taxing, materializing out of nothing like that.