© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, October, hobgoblins, ghost, gender roles, toilet, commode, Velcro, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
October—that month when the wind blows, clouds shroud the moon, and scary things happen. Kids dress up as hobgoblins and play tricks on us. Political candidates run campaign ads.
No, wait. I’ve got that wrong. It’s the politicians that dress up and play tricks on us.
Not to change the subject, but it’s my well-considered, but rarely asked for opinion that God gave men and women strictly defined roles. The fairer sex is supposed to lie awake at night, listening for the peculiar sounds of burglars in the garage trying to steal wheat-filled storage bins—ones that require the lifting potential of a crane.
Or even worse, ghosts inhabiting the bathroom.
Women obviously have the difficult tasks. The sex that could sleep-through-a-nuclear explosion is only required to get up and check out the scary sounds.
And so it happened one night, some time ago …
“Wake up! I hear something,” I hissed to my husband, Russ, in a tone that would bring the undead out of their coffins.
“You’re not getting me out of bed to turn off the porch light,” Russ muttered, rolling onto his side.
I shook his shoulder. “It’s not the light. Something’s in the bathroom.” After giving five seconds for that alarming news to sink in, and noticing that his snoring increased, I elbowed him somewhere between ribs 11 and 12. Or maybe it was between 10 and 11. Whichever it was, it did the trick. Russ shot out of bed like a road apple from a bucking bronco.
“What?” He stared at me, his eyes so wide that they resembled paper plates.
I whispered, “Someone’s using the commode.”
There was a long pause, during which, swirling and gurgling echoed through the house. Then Russ said, “And that’s reason for panic … why?”
Russ’s remaining four hairs on his head looked mussed, and if it hadn’t been such a dire situation, I would have laughed. Instead, I had visions of glowing eyes in the toilet and a white, translucent hand reaching out of the bowl and flushing.
“There’s a girl ghost down there, utilizing the plumbing,” I said, pulling the electric blanket tight around my shoulders.
Russ reached over to pick up his slippers, stopped short and turned to me. “Just how do you know it’s a girl?”
“Because guys always forget to flush in the middle of the night.” I pointed in the vague direction of the bathroom. “It’s my job to hear things that go bump in the night, and your job to roust them!”
He reached over and hoisted me out of bed with one hand. “It’s just a stuck gizmo in the tank. There’s no ghost. But, you’re coming with me, because if you don’t see it for yourself, you’ll have me up all night, repeatedly checking the toilet.”
Russ strode down the stairs toward the powder room. I tiptoed behind him. The wind moaned, the trees swayed, and …
Gurgle, gurgle, swisssssssh. The sound of flushing drifted past us. I envisioned those demonic eyes in the toilet, swirling counterclockwise, and disappearing down the sewer line, only to reappear seconds later and repeat the process.
Russ walked over to the commode—with me stuck to him, Velcro-fashion. “Aaaah!” His voice shook as he peered in the bowl.
I shrieked, turned, and ran into the wall in my haste to escape the Toilet Ghost from Heck.
“Gotcha!” Russ said with a laugh. Then grabbing my hand, he pulled me back from running blindly into the night. Either that or he grabbed my hand so I couldn’t slug him. I’m not sure which.
“Look,” he said, as he jiggled the tank’s handle. The swirling and swishing slowed, the water ceased heaving and the commode settled into silence. “There’s no ghost. It’s just that stuck thinga-ma-jiggy.”
Of course, Russ was right. Toilet ghosts do not exist. He proved it that night, several years ago.
And I believe him … eleven months out of the year.
But, it’s October again, that month when the wind blows, clouds shroud the moon, and scary things happen. Kids dress up as hobgoblins and play tricks on us.
And the Toilet Ghost from Heck returns.
What's playing in my head: Unchained Melody (from the movie, Ghost).
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