Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kitchen Memory: Haunted, Part Four

Blog reader Jenny C. has been kind enough to send us a very detailed and suspenseful kitchen memory, that also includes the bathroom, the rest of the house and the yard. We'll be running it in installments on Thursday afternoons. In part one,  Jenny takes a Polaroid of her family. When a blurry shape appears in the photo, Jenny teases her family by pretending it is a ghost. In part two, more Polaroids show a blurry shape that appears to be an actual ghost. In part three, Jenny and her infant daughter were locked in a bathroom out of earshot of help.

Noel was crying so hard now she was sobbing. I finally decided that I had to calm down to keep her from being scared. But now every additional second that I was "trapped" brought an ever-stronger sense of evil intent. Finally out of desperation, I grasped the lock mechanism from the top of the sink, jammed it into the gaping hole from which it had originally been extracted and…

The bolt shot back into the door. Without any time for a plan to materialize, one popped into my head. I grabbed the doorknob, stuffed it in the appropriate hole and turned and pulled. The door opened as easily as if Ali Baba had just said "OPEN SESAME." The frozen door had thawed. Noel and I made good our escape.

Dashing with baby in arm, we burst into the back yard blurting and babbling our story the whole way. The very real level of upset on both our faces convinced Gene and Karen and Amy that something quite wrong had just happened.

Needless to say, the talk at the supper table went right into everyone's belief or disbelief of ghosts. Karen told stories of her Mom's family's haunted house in upstate New York.

Then stories of bouncing tables that could tell family secrets were shared. A game they called "Up Table Up". We thought we'd give this game a try after supper. But alas this Victorian parlor game did not work for us. The three women at the table tried for over an hour to get that card table to play with them while the men, Gene and Gary watched. The minute the mood at the table started to get at all serious and just about "right", Gary would reach down, grab a close table leg and shake it just to watch us ladies jump with surprise. We eventually tired of the pursuit, mainly because Gary did not.

Gene offered to make a phone call to Karen's WWII veteran father, Jack, as proof that "Up Table Up" really worked. Gary agreed that if Jack said it worked then he'd believe that the game worked, but that didn't prove that there were ghosts. "Because there's no such thing as ghosts!" He'd repeated this after every shred of evidence we'd given throughout the dinner and continued saying it as his mantra into the evening.

Finally, he agreed to call Jack to get his testimony. But the phone line was dead. Now this was of very dear concern to me.  I just happened to be, at that time, the manager of the engineering group that was responsible for making sure that telephone exchange had adequate capacity. My personal phone was supposed to be protected from outage.

Just to be sure that there was not a general outage at the switch, we sent Gary over to the neighbor's to see if their phone still worked.

The report back to us was that their phone still worked. We stood around the kitchen kanoodling this predicament. Well, if their phone was working, why wasn't my protected phone line working? Of course the believers in the crowd used this as further evidence of a ghostly hand. That line of logic of course just brought another of Gary's mantras, "There's no such thing as ghosts!"

But this time, no sooner had he said it than a three-foot ball of blue electrical ozone smelling explosion shot into the kitchen sink from the faucet. Oh, and the lights in the house went dead.
What is the mysterious blue energy, and what will it do next? Watch this blog next week!

 We'd love to share your kitchen memories, even if they don't involve ghosts. Send them to us here.

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