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The real root of all evil

Published October 26. 2013 09:00AM

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door; Only this, and nothing more." Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven."

Last night I was reading in bed. I must have dozed off and was awakened by a noise. I laid there, listening hard. I heard it again. Harry slumbered on. I decided to investigate because there was an eerie glow emanating from the kitchen. I laughed to myself when I realized the glow probably came from all the digital clocks like the microwave, coffeemaker and dishwasher. But as I entered the kitchen, I saw the eerie glow was actually coming from the refrigerator door being open. And bent over and peering into it was a ghostly figure in black.

"Hey! What are you doing?" I cried out indignantly.

A very thin wisp of a woman, straightened up, hitting her head on the door.

"Ouch! You scared me!" she scolded.

"Who are you and what are you doing snooping in my refrigerator?" I asked angrily.

"Do you know you have nothing to eat in here?" she said ignoring my questions as she drifted over to me.

That's when I began really noticing her. She was extremely thin, willowy, almost transparent. She was probably starving, I thought. Maybe that's why she broke into my house and my refrigerator. But what did she mean I had nothing to eat? In there was leftover pierogi casserole, half a pan of lasagna, and a piece of cheesecake I had hidden from Harry.

"Who are you?" I asked as I cautiously picked up a rolling pin from a collection in a basket nearby.

She chuckled as she saw the rolling pin.

"You won't need that," she said. "It won't do you any good any way, not unless you were planning on making a pie."

Hmmm. Pie. I think there was leftover apple pie in there too. I could have really eaten a piece with ice cream right about then.

Not only was she an intruder, she was also a wise guy.

I took a swing at her with my trusty rolling pin. Much to my dismay, and horror, it went right through her! A single black feather floated past my head.

OMG! My intruder was a ghost! I was so scared, I ran to the cupboard, grabbed a bag of potato chips and started stuffing them in my mouth as fast as I could! I ran back to the refrigerator and pulled out a can of Coke, got a glass, filled it with ice and began to pour. I was really going to need this.

She frowned and pointed a thin, almost skeletal finger at me.

"Stop!" she yelled. "That is exactly why I'm here" and the Coke stopped flowing. I seemed to be frozen. I couldn't lift my Coke to my lips for a much needed gulp, nor could I eat any more chips. Instead I watched as she somehow made everything float over and drop into the waste can.

"Hey! You can't just take my stuff and throw it away. Who do you think you are?"

She gave me the Evil Eye as she said, "That stuff is going to kill you! Your eating habits is a horror story waiting to happen. I'm here to stop you."

"Kill me, Schmill me," I groused as I found I could move again. I made my way over to the Trick or Treat bowl and peeled the paper from a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. As I was about to pop it into my mouth, it suddenly flew out of my hand. I watched as it glided down the hall, made a sharp left into the bathroom and heard it plop in the toilet.

"You can't go on eating all this junk. You need to eat more fruits and vegetables and smaller portions of everything," she admonished.

Man! Nothing ticks me off more than a holier-than-thou know-it-all ghost! It just made me so mad I wanted to put her between a kaiser roll and eat her.

"Flour is the real root of all evil," she said and with that the cupboard doors opened. One by one, items flew by me and dropped in the trash. A box of pasta, then crackers, cookies, a loaf of white bread, a new chocolate devil's food cake mix I wanted to try. It was like watching Stacy and Clinton on "What Not To Wear" emptying some poor woman's wardrobe in the trash can. Instead of purging bad clothing choices, she was purging my house of bad food choices.

I was so angry, I wanted to take a knife and Norman Bates her. Get Harry's chain saw and slice her in two. Freddy Kruger her with a glove of razor blades. OK. No more late night horror movies for you, Linda.

Instead, I hurried over to the hall closet, got out my vacuum cleaner, plugged it in, turned the power mate on her and did my best "Ghost Busters" imitation. I watched as she was quickly sucked up through the hose. I heard her hollering from inside the canister, "Let me out or you'll be sorry!"

Humpf. Yeah right. Let her out. Not bloody likely. I pulled everything out of the trash and put it all back in the cupboards. I dropped some Doritos on the floor but scooped them back up and popped them in my mouth. Hey. The 5-second rule applied here. Besides, all this fighting with a ghost made me hungry.

I sat down next to the vacuum cleaner and asked, "So, just who are you, really?"

"My name is Raven," I heard her muffled voice.

"So, if I let you out, do you promise to go away and leave me alone?"

"Nevermore," quothed Raven. "Not until you change your bad eating habits. Will you?"

As I emptied the contents of the sweeper bag in the toilet and gave it a flush, I waved bye-bye to Raven and quothed, "Nevermore."

Trick or Treat?

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