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Friday, January 25, 2008

Mystery Solved


As I struggled through the foggy haze of a head cold this week to come up with a blog topic, I kept returning to this. It’s not writing-related, but hey, it’s been a slow week-- it's all I’ve got.

I found the answer to something that’s been plaguing my weary little brain. Mystery solved!

For weeks now I’ve been wondering how on earth a certain light in my basement kept getting turned on, when I knew I had turned it off. (Yeah, being a SAH mom who is never allowed to complete a thought—this stuff happens to you. The mundane and trivial becomes the focus of your life, largely because you’re never allowed to focus on the larger, more important things.) The reason it bothered me so much has nothing to do with girlhood fantasies about being Nancy Drew, though, I confess, I did spend a few summers carrying around a magnifying glass, pencil over one ear, and notepad in hand, searching for clues.

But this bothered me because my basement really creeps me out-- and I was starting to think I was losing my mind. Or that someone was living down there.

To give you a bit of detail, the specific room bothering me is this dark little powder room in my basement. Though I live in suburbia, I’m not fortunate enough to have a “finished” basement. Mine’s dark, creepy, cob-web ridden and dusty. Someone, at some point—and that someone most assuredly had a weak bladder—installed a powder room. Right next to the laundry area. I have never—never!—used this room. That little bathroom with it’s bi-fold door is just too dark and spooky for girlie-girl me. In fact, it’s so creepy that for years I have kept those doors closed tight with a rubber band looped over the two doorknobs. I guess I figured any ghosts, ghoulies, monsters or ax-murderers who snuck in there to hide wouldn’t be able to put that rubber band back on the outside doorknob, and I’d see it missing and know someone, or something was hiding in there. (My only excuse for this is that the same over-active imagination that makes me a writer likes to torture me.)

But a recent plumbing fiasco necessitated shifting things around and the doors got left open (the plumber, I suspect, appreciated my dingy little powder room). But each time I head down to do laundry, I find that darn light on. And make it a point to turn it off. And each time I go down there again, it’s back on. Hmm.

One day this week just as I rounded the corner, laundry basket full of dirty clothes in arms, I heard a noise. In there. Heart in throat, I moved steadily forward, glancing around for anything I could use as a weapon. That five-gallon container of Shout stain fighter with the spray nozzle would come in handy. I could always spray and run, right? Or at the very least, throw it. I tiptoed forward, peeked around the corner and there was the culprit. Sitting in the powder room sink. All twelve furry, black-and-grey pounds of him. Batting enthusiastically at the pull string hanging from the socket. But he wasn’t just playing; Gilbert, my year-old kitty-cat was on a mission. He finally managed to hook a claw into the string, tugged down until the light came on, then let go. Then he jumped into a basket that has some old towels in it, and proceeded to do his little pre-nap grooming ritual.


Apparently I have a cat who doesn’t like to sleep in the dark.

He sure caused me a few sleepless nights as I wondered what was living down there. So the Case of the Basement Light has been solved.

Wouldn’t Nancy Drew be proud?

Sigh. Okay. So she'd have solved it a lot sooner, and not been such a scaredy-cat about it.

Like I said, it was a slow week!

4 comments:

Paty Jager said...

LOL- I read Nancy Drew too! And I have an overactive imagination. As I get older though it has seem to lessen. Or I'm putting it to better use with what ifs in my books!

Great story! Talk to you on Monday. My flight out of Anchorage is behind schedule and I'm being put up in a hotel tonight and will get back home on Sunday morning about 8 am.

Susan Macatee said...

Cute story, Nic!

I was a great fan of Nancy Drew too. And I remember being creeped out when I was a kid by my grandmother's powder room in her unfinished cellar.

I don't know why it bothered me, but to this day I can still remember how it looked. It was just creepy and I would never use it.

Sarita Leone said...

What a great way to wake up on a Monday morning, with a mystery and a sweet kitty photo. :) Gilbert is a doll. Love it that he doesn't like to sleep in the dark. Too funny!

Cynthia Owens said...

Loved your story, Nic!

I, too, had ambitions to be the next Nancy Drew. Well, that, and a female Andrew Lloyd Weber - LOL. So I decided to concentrate my fantasies on the printed page instead.

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