Chutes and Ladders (But Mostly Ladders)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I have a ladder in my closet.  No, no, this isn’t a metaphor for some latent sexual discovery (unless I’m really, really turned on by aluminum steps); instead, I have an actual ladder hanging out in my bedroom closet.  It’s waiting for me, see, sitting there, open, patiently eschewing its own daily rituals ladders do when we’re not looking, until I climb aboard and follow its steps skyward.  Until I hit the ceiling.  Which pushes away (not all of it–just a small panel) to reveal…


It’s an empry attic, so don’t get too excited.  No serial killers hiding out, crawling through the duct work to spy on my family (that usually only happens in sorority houses, anyway, which–sad to say–doesn’t appear to be my house) so as to later cut and carve his way to newsmedia glory (or maybe just come down for breakfast one morning).  No deranged family of squirrels or birds making nests, passing rabies amongst each other until someone like me lifts his head above the ceiling, a perfect victim for future frothing at the mouth.  No ghosts, no leftover nooses from some ancient hanging.  Just a plain old suburban attic.

Which holds the attic fan (duh).

Our attic fan isn’t working, and I have no idea what’s wrong with it.  Oh, sure, I can guess (“It’s probably a worn belt,” I assured the Insta-Princess.  “Either that or the serial killer has been peeing on it again and shorting it out.”) but not being wise in the ways of attic fans, I’d pretty much be blowing smoke out my patukis.  Ignorance, however, doesn’t ever truly stop me; in fact, attracted to what I don’t know and shouldn’t even try playing with, I’ll soon find myself at the top of the ladder, pulling myself up through the hole in the ceiling and gingerly making my way across the planks of wood so I don’t slip and fall through the ceiling.  Eventually, hours later–because not falling through the ceiling takes time–I’ll be crouching next to the attic fan, squinting my eyes, furrowing my brow, wrinkling my boob (just seeing if you were paying attention), hoping that the serial killer, ghost and family of rabid squirrels would think I know what I’m doing.


“What?  Did you find it?” the Insta-Princess will yell up at me.

“Yeah, but it’s really fluffy.  Not what I’d expect at all from this model of fan,” I’ll shout back down at her.

“I think that’s just a clump of insulation.”

“Oh.  That’d explain the lack of a power cord.”

I can see it now: she’ll suggest we go hire someone to fix the fan–or at the very least help me recognize what a fan looks like.  I’ll bristle at the suggestion and demand she have more faith in me.  She’ll remind me that, as an atheist, perhaps I shouldn’t be so gung-ho on the whole faith thing.  I’ll shed a few tears and wonder why we atheists are so discriminated against, especially in home repair.  She’ll soothe me and say it’s just an attic fan and, hey, we can always get a second mortgage on our home to help pay for turning the AC on so soon in the year.  Knowing nothing about financial matters, I’ll brighten at the prospect of being challenged by a second mortgage, and suggest that maybe we can also add a bowling lane on to the house.


Actually, big win for me, because I’ve always wanted my own bowling lane.

When You Care Enough To Wound the Very Best

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Went to a Hallmark warehouse “flea market” sale today where they promised us–promised!–mannequins for sale.  Right there on the flyer; right there in black ink on a pastel blue background they wrote, “Dude.  Mannequins.  Come get some.”

I’m not sure why they didn’t write that in verse.

Anyway, I grabbed my wife, she grabbed me back (turns out, not so much fun the other way around; we’re no longer doing the grabbing thing) and we headed off to Crown Center to score a coup on some Kim Cattralls.   By the time we work our way through the crowd, we find the mannequins failed to make an appearance.  They just never showed.  (Sure, there were a few dress form mannequins, but their lack of arms, heads and legs, that’s like ordering a sticky-sweet bear claw and getting a doughnut hole for your troubles.)

Where is the justice?  Where is the love?  Where is the lawyer for a possible lawsuit?

Alas, to fulfill my dreams of an army of mannequins dressed up in Halloween costumes (for Halloween, by the way, not costumed for, say, Mother’s day), I’ll be forced to troll Craig’s List again. (Which is always a little discouraging, what with the ads typically suggesting the use of a mannequin for sale being, “For Halloween, parties or whatever.”  It’s the last one that gets me; I’m forced to avoid all thoughts of what “whatever” might be.)

Clearly, I live my life abused and betrayed by authorities.