Lord, it has been...what? Two weeks? Three weeks? Something like that? It has definitely been something like that, and y'all, I wish I had spectacular trips and adventures to tell you about, and that on spectacular trips and adventures was where I've been all this time, but all I can say is, hi. Work is awesome! How are you?
So, I’m kind of far behind in my laundry. I am also kind of far behind in “calling people back,” “reading or responding to emails,” and “bringing the mail from the mailbox to the house.” It has been that kind of busy.
And, right slap dab in the middle of that kind of busy, the Gods of We Hate This House decided to strike again, and I have officially entered that point in Poltergeist where the little girl gets all sucked into the TV (only to be spit out 20 years later as the Ring girl? Hello, new theory!), because clearly, this house is not clean. It is not at rest. The house is haunted by the dead love of Shelley Long and Tom Hanks in the Money Pit, and I am kind of to the point of recognizing that, if it happened in that movie, we can be relatively certain it’s going to happen at my own address. The ghosts have been watching late nights on TBS, and they have been taking notes.
Who are these angry spirits who taunt me? Previous owners? Probably not, seeing as they are not dead, and now live in Birmingham.
Civil War spirits, which are supposed to be kicking it, dead-style, all over the ATL? Again, not likely, because the whole area was just farm land back then, and did not exactly see much action. (Mostly it saw cows.)
Which leads me to the conclusion that this has to be some kind of crazy Poltergeist thing, and I am actually buried on top of ten zillion bodies and Craig T. Nelson is grabbing my collar and screaming they only moved the headstones! They moved the headstones, but they left the bodies! WHY? WHYYYYY?
And maybe Craig T. Nelson is right. Because, please. How else do you explain the fact that now, in addition to doors falling off of their hinges, cabinets falling off of the walls, appliances catching rabies and going on minor killing sprees, AND a big fucking hole in the front yard, I now have, in the backyard:
(1) a mud pit, and
(2) no fence?
How do you explain that? Without resorting to poltergeists, I mean? Because I can’t do it. Sorry. There is otherworldly crap at hand. Please bring me Dr. Peter Venkman.
Here is short story. Short story is, know how I have been really busy lately? I have, and the busy-ness was not really assisted by the fact that my parents have also been out of town for the last two weeks, off visiting Ziz, and so I have also had eight dogs staying at my house. Stupidly, the dogs were allowed to bring their bladders along.
So, I got home one night and opened the back door to let the dogs out in the backyard, so that those bladders could be relieved. And it was dark outside, but still. When I had left that morning, I had been in the possession of a back yard, and a complete and total fence. I felt pretty confident in my belief that those things would still be there now, but as we all know, I am a fucking moron, because guess what I heard.
I heard: BARKBARKBARK, as all eight dogs apparently discovered something of which I was not aware.
And then I heard barkbarkbark as the sounds of eight dogs barking suddenly started to get…farther away. Hmm. Mysterious.
And then I heard: Bark? Which is the sound of Gimmme, all alone in the yard, wondering WHERE EVERYBODY GO?
Curious, I walked outside, and this is where I discovered that there was, in the middle of the backyard, an enormous green earth-moving machine. And I discovered also that the machine had been living up to its name, baby, because all of the earth in my backyard, which had previously contained things like flowers and grass, was fucking gone, replaced entirely by mud, leaves, and tire tracks, and that apparently, the earth mover got a liiiiiiiittle bit carried away, because guess what was also moved? The fence. The fucking fence. A good five feet of it was completely and totally gone.
So, this means seven (Gimmme ran in exactly the opposite direction, and missed his chance for freedom) dachshunds were now embarking on their own tiny, angry prison break up through the neighbors’ yard, exodus-ing all over the neighbor’s rhododendron, and having a very big time. I screamed bloody hell murder that DOGS FREE, and Dukay and I sprang into action by tearing through the mud, up the hill, and basically grabbing anything short, brown, and wiggly, by any short wiggly part we could get a hold of. Ultimately, we managed to gather all seven, while Gimmme continued to wander happily through the destruction of my back yard, all, “Ground is sticky today!” and utterly clueless about the entire rest of the world.
Upon tossing the seven dogs back into the kitchen, I again went outside in my (now-ruined) shoes in order to have a better look at the damage. I tried taking a picture, wondering if this was the sort of thing where I would have to file an insurance claim, and whether that claim would say, “Attack by rogue earth-moving equipment; casualties: yard/fence/sanity,” or whether I should just be honest and tell them that, “Hoodoo of house spreading and infecting nearby construction equipment; exorcism requested.”
Of course, because it was night, most of these pictures did not so much come out. But, I did get one, which sadly does not show the missing fence (it was off to the side), but I still think it is important for Science that I share this with you:
Photographic Proof of Hoodoo Afoot
Let us take this to close-up:
Gimmme also afoot, in mud. Gimmme is what we usually consider "not a flight risk," except then I end up booking it naked down the street, so maybe I am being a little cocky this picture-taking.
Okay, see that? That brown expanse right there? Used to be grass. Which Dukay had actually just mowed two days before, and so it was actually nice, well-trimmed grass. Oh, those were the good old days.
But, also, know what else you see? (Besides….Gimmme?) Ghost. You can see the shimmering spectre of some angry little spirit, taunting me evilly with the loss of my yard/fence/etc. I mean, it’s either a spectre or the neighbor’s light, but I know which side my money’s on, I will tell you THAT.
So, of course, there turns out to be a sort-of acceptable explanation for all this insanity, that being that the water pipe that allegedly busted in the front yard was just the beginning of the water problems plaguing the city at the moment, and it is therefore now necessary for them to dig up my backyard, as well, because there's probably a bust back there, too. Some Scooby-like sleuthing turned up a business card stuck on the front door (which we missed, because we did not come in the front door that evening) announcing that, "Fence will be back tomorrow." Like it just stepped out for a minute. Sick day for fence!
Shockingly, the fence did come back the next day, and the dogs were thrilled to be able to go outside again, and roll orgasmically in the mud that used to be my grass. Notice, however, that the note did not tell me when the grass will be back. It looks like the grass is taking extended personal leave. (Problems at home!) So, I guess things have sort of improved, if a yard full of mud can, in any way, be viewed as an improvement.
But, still, I know better. Because the next time we get rain, I know damn well those coffins are going to start popping up out of the ground all willy-nilly, and Bo is going to be sucked into the television set where he will bark towards the light, and heirlooms are going to start falling out of the ceiling, and Dukay is going to have to throw me into a closet with a dog leash tied around my waist and I am going to have to scream, "RUN FROM THE LIGHT, BO! STOP WHERE YOU ARE! DON'T EVEN LOOK AT IT!" and then I'll pop out of the fireplace cradling the dog, and we will be all covered in strawberry jam and looking ethereal, and also, dead.
So, obviously, we have a lot to look forward to over here! I'm psyched. And if shit doesn't stop happening to and around this damn house, then I'm moving into a Howard Johnson with Craig T. Nelson, where we will be safe and happy, and where the hoodoo will never hurt us, ever again.
At least, not until it's time for a sequel.
Y'all have a good week, and I'll be back later this week with the Gift Guide, and to tell y'all all my little, geeky news. So, stick around, and please don't go into the light.
And now Updated
...because holy shit, I can't believe I forgot to show you the Scariest Picture of All Halloween. Taken in my own house! Because we all know how I get around Halloween time. ("Crazy", is the answer I am going for here. I get "crazy," with the decorating and the festivity and the celebration of death and decay, which....hey there, healthy!)
So, I have Scary Pictures. But, see, we are having a disagreement about the scariest picture. We are a house divided. There are two choices, and y'all, what do you think? Is this the scariest picture of all Halloween, as it is a scary skeleton lit up by a strobe light in an upstairs window, and captured on film at exactly the right second by someone I seriously doubt was myself? I mean, eeeee, right?
Scary Picture Number One
OR, is THIS the scariest picture you've ever seen, captured definitely by me, at the end of a series of decisions to dress Bo in a sweater, no, in a fleece jacket, and then let's put a pumpkin hat on his head, no, that's just not right, no, DUDE, we HAVE to do it, and that is what led to this, o calm before the storm of teeth:
Scary Picture Number AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
And here we are, smack in our dilemma. Which is scarier to you? Looking at the skeleton, are you only vaguely scared, like you watched something on the Disney channel? But then, you looked at the Bo picture and became very scared, right, like, where you have-to-get-up-and-point-at-the-television-and-holler-at-people-scared, because I may have mentioned this before, but sometimes the GIRL comes OUT of the TV?
Now, is that how you felt? Because I am sure there is no middle ground here. Whatsoever.
(Incidentally, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I am one to talk, because, new thing I just realized the other night: no matter how old I get, and no matter how many times I see it, the movie scene which scares me above all others -- and I have seen a lot of fucking scary movies, people, with blood and gore and beheadings and etc. -- the scariest scene of all time to me is still that scene from the fucking GOONIES, where Chunk goes into the freezer, and there's the dead body all leaning in the corner in the garbage bag, and everyone is just staring at it silently, and...HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. Honestly, it came on the other night, and I couldn't even watch it. I had to look away and squeal, because SCARY BODY IS ABOUT TO FALL ON CHUNK. Maybe someone tossed a glad-wrapped corpse on me when I was a kid, I don't fucking know, but, dude. That scene scares the everloving SHIT out of me, and I have no idea why. HELP ME WITH THIS.)
But, uh. Anyway. Guess that's...it. I just wanted y'all to see those pictures. And tell you about my Goonies problem. And, with all of that out of the way, I'll head on back to the Howard Johnson, because I bet Craig T. Nelson is missing the heck out of me by now. Talk to y'all soon!