29 August 2014

St. Wally of Hippo

I poked my head into that little space between the refrigerator and the wall, expecting to see some sort of a light shining from the electrical socket. You know how that is? Sometimes there is ectoplasmic luminescence pouring out of places where a wall is breached.

Just a word on that, however – when I say “breached,” I mean almost any sort of perforation or hole, mind you. It doesn't have to be the typical sort of what you might think of when you hear or read the word “breach.” Let me make that very clear. Ectoplasmic luminescence can come pouring out of the smallest little gap. This especially is the case when you are looking for it.

So I poked my head in there, expected light, and did not see any. I slumped to the floor and considered swallowing the rat poison. My great uncle, Lord Gadsden “Stonewall” Janikowski had become so desperate after losing the battle of Thorny Point (right after he lost the battle of the waistline), that he consumed nearly a half pound of rat poison. He chased it with a pint of Tennessee whiskey, however, so the poison had no effect. He woke up in a field hospital several weeks later and gave a field promotion to an orderly who was in the act of polishing his bedpan. The newly brevet-ed (is that a word) captain was quickly reassigned to a garrison hospital in a quiet sector, but unfortunately (and quite ironically) met his end when an errant mortar round from the tactical dance unit next door did him in while he was playing mah-jongg. It is always during a mah-jongg game. Let that be a lesson to all of us: don't play mah-jongg.

Where was I?

Oh yes. Years later, when Uncle Stonewall was an elderly man, I was sitting on his lap while he told me a story of how they had run the Yankees out of Chattanooga (odd, seeing as how he fought in the Korean War). He paused for a moment, and then looked me straight in the eye.

“Tommy,” he said, “don't ever eat freaking rat poison.”

I kept this bit of advice close to my heart for decades, so when I slumped to the floor and considered eating the rat poison in the little tiny box on the floor between the refrigerator and the wall, I immediately heard my uncle's voice.

“Tommy,” the voice said, “don't ever eat freaking rat poison.”

I had found the ectoplasmic luminescence I was looking for, after all.

(Author's note: the bit about Tennessee whiskey negating the effects of rat poison is purely fiction. Tennessee whiskey does not make rat poison safe to ingest. Thank you.)