Neighborhood Watch


Something was going on with one of our neighbors. He was a relatively nondescript man who one could usually find on his front porch with a beer in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. My wife was certain something sinister had occured, so we spoke about it in whispers, in the dark, sordid shadows of our living room.

“He hasn’t moved in days.”, my wife informed me, as she peered through the living room window, across the street at Mr. Leadbetter.

“Its worse than that.”, I added, “He hasn’t changed his clothes in days, either.”

“Something’s not right.”, she said. “Something strange is going on over there.”

“Or maybe”, I said, “maybe he’s just on vacation.”

“No, its not a vacation.”, she replied.

“How do you know?”, I asked.

“Just a feeling.”, she replied. “Something’s not right. You should go over and talk to him.”.

“I don’t think so.”, I told her. “We should just mind our own business, and leave the man alone”

She sighed that sigh that I had come to know so well. The one that means we’re doing it my way regardless. She paused, deep in thought as she eyed the property across the street. “I wonder where his wife and kids are. I haven’t seen them in a while.”

“Don’t go there.”, I said. “Just leave it alone.”

“Go where?”, she asked.

“All Alfred Hitchcock like.”, I said. “You do this all of the time. You’re going to turn this into something from a Hitchcock movie. I know you. Just leave it alone.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”, she replied. “All I did was to mention that I haven’t seen his family for a while.”

“Uh huh.”, I stated. “Just like the time you believed a little boy was being kidnapped from Chuck E Cheese. Remember? You were sure someone was snatching him. Turns out his father had come to pick him up from a birthday party.”

“He was screaming.”, she said.

“He just didn’t want to leave.”, I reminded her. “And there was the time you were convinced that the birds  congregating on the telephone wire were preparing to attack. You wouldn’t let the kids go outside.”

“There were all kinds of birds out there.”, she remarked.”

“There were a half dozen sparrows on the wire.”, I reminded her. “Hardly a terrifying event.”

“Well, that was different, anyway.”, she said.

“Not really.”, I answered. “You always get like this. Whenever something strange happens, your mind goes right to Hitchcock. Unless it involves spirits. That you never think that’s weird.”

“Well.”, she said in her own defense, “you can’t deny that something strange is going on over there.”

“I can. You don’t know that anything is going on. Just leave it alone.”, I pleaded.

“I wish I could.”, she said. “Well, if you won’t go over and talk to him, I guess that I will have to go.”

“Well”, I said, “you’re on your own with this one.”

“Are you really going to let me go over there by myself?”, she asked.

“If you’d like. I’m not going.”, I told her.

“So we’re just supposed to sit here and do nothing?”, she asked.

“No.”, I replied. “We’re just going to sit here and mind our own business. Everything is okay. Tim didn’t chop his family into pieces and bury them in the garden. This is not a suspense thriller.”

“What if he did do something terrible, and he sneaks off in the dead of night?”, she asked, trying to sound completely rational.

“Alright.”, I said. “I’m going over there.”

“So you think I’m right?”, she asked. “You think something weird is going on?”

“Not at all.”, I answered. “I just want to get my power drill back from him before he leaves the country.”

“You’re such an ass.”, she informed me.

“Now, if I see anything that looks peculiar, like graves, or crop circles,”, I said, “I’ll let you know. And if I’m not back by dark, call the police.”

“Don’t count on it.”, she said merely to show her anger with me.

“Okay, then.”, I said. “I’m off.”

“Be careful.”, she said. “And pretend that you think everything is normal.”

I returned about ten minutes later, visibly upset. “What’s wrong?”, my wife asked. “What did you see over there?”

“Its unbelievable.”, I responded. “I  just can’t believe the bastard could do something like that.”

“He killed them, didn’t he?”, she asked.

“Killed who?”, I asked.

“His family.”, she answered. “He killed his wife and kids.”

“Hell, no.”, I said. “There all inside, sick with the Black Plague or some other virus of death. The bastard broke my damn drill.”

“What?”, she asked.

“He broke my drill.”, I repeated.

“So nothing’s wrong?”, she asked.

“Did you hear me/”, I stated rather sternly. “Yes something happened. He broke my drill. Isn’t that enough?”

“Well.”, she said, as she laughed that coy way she does when she feels just a bit foolish. “At least no one was killed.”

“Not yet, anyway>”, I told her. “But if he doesn’t replace the drill, that may change.”

“You’re so dramatic.”, she said, as she put her arms around me. “You really need to sit down and relax. I don’t know why you always have to blow everything way out of proportion”









Evil Comes To The Suburbs…

When it was just my wife, the 2 boys and myself, we decided to get our first family dog. We went to The Humane Society, and found a puppy. It was a Staffordshire Terrier-Hound Of Hell mix. We took it home, proud that we had rescued a dog from certain doom. We named him Rocky, but as he was the third dog that I had owned named Rocky, he was affectionately referred to as Rocky lll. We had the dog house broken very quickly, and it had become a member of the family.

One evening, we all went out, leaving the dog alone. We were gone 2-3 hours, and returned to find our home torn to pieces. Window coverings had been bitten off and chewed up, sections of laminate flooring had been lifted in the kitchen, and the bag of dog food had been spilled all across the kitchen floor.

“What happened here?”, my wife asked.

“Well”, I said, “either our house was broken into by an interior decorator who hated our decor, or this dog is possessed!”

“You think that little dog did all of this?”, she asked, as the dog gagged, and threw up pieces of forest green Venetian blinds all over the floor.

“Um, yes, I do.”, I replied.

My father, who had been training dogs for most of his life suggested we purchase a cage, and when we go out, lock the dog in the cage. I went to the pet & pet supply store at the local mall, and purchased the cage. We trained the dog to spend time in it when we were home, and he was fine. He would simply lay down, and go to sleep.

Several days later, we went out again. I secured the dog in the cage, and left him with a few toys, and a bowl of water. Two hours later, after a Tex-Mex extravaganza at Lonestar, we returned to find the dog out of the cage, with the bowl of water turned upside down on the floor. There was a trail of dog food across the kitchen and into the living room. There were chunks of wood missing from the frame of the door on the main floor bathroom, and deep scratches on the back door, leading to the driveway.

“Oh, my God.”, my wife said, putting her hands over her mouth.

“This is crazy.”, I said, looking at the dog in disbelief. I examine the cage and it seemed secure enough, but somehow this dog had figured out how to escape. The following day, I ventured out to the pet supply company to return the cage that obviously didn’t work for my dog. I explained the circumstances of my returning the cage, and it was suggested that I try a breeder’s cage which, I was told, was escape proof.  I took the new cage home, and introduced it to the dog.

“Do you think this one will work?”, my wife asked.

“Not even Houdini could get out of this cage.”, I informed her. “If it happens again, he’s gone!”, I added.

For several days we watched the dog in the cage. He was content, and not once did he try to break out. We would go out, and walk to the back of the house, peering in through the living room window. The dog seemed to know we were there, turning around and looking back at us. “How does he know we’re here?”, my wife asked.

“I don’t know.”, I told her. “But this is not a normal dog!”

Believing that the cage was secure, we again went out, leaving the dog in his cage, with toys and water. As we returned home, we all sat in silence, deep in our own personal thoughts about the dog.

I parked on the driveway, and we entered the house through the door leading into the kitchen, and so far nothing  seemed amiss. We walked down the hallway, into the living room, and found the door to the cage still locked, and the dog laying on the couch. My wife shrieked.  I went upstairs to the bedroom, and found trails of shredded linen on the floor. In one of the bedrooms, the blinds had been pulled down from their frame, and several planks of the hardwood floor had been ripped up and chewed. When I returned downstairs, my wife was shaking.

“I want him out now!”, she stated, rather sternly. “This is very creepy, and I don’t get a good feeling about this.”

“I’m way ahead of you.”, I said, as I picked up the dog and walked towards the door. “One of us will be coming back, I hope.”, I responded.

“Well,”, she said, “I’m not sure which one is a bigger pain in the ass.”

I dropped the dog off at The Humane Society, and returned home. As we laid awake in bed, my wife kept hearing the sound of a dog whimpering, and growling. “Did you hear that?”, she asked.

“I didn’t hear anything.”, I told her.

“What if its the the house that’s possessed”, she asked, “and not the dog?”

“Well”, I said, “if that’s the case, I won’t be the one coming back.”



A Tale of Mystery & Imagination


I don’t know why I should be surprised  by anything anymore, but there are things going on that defy explanation.

Toilet paper seems to be vanishing in my house. No, really!! This has been going on for years, and no one in my family can offer a reasonable explanation. I purchase a package of 30 double rolls, tp2equivalent to 60 rolls on Saturday, and by Wednesday morning, I am informed that we are out of toilet paper. I have asked, on numerous occasions, what happened to the toilet paper I had just purchased, but no one seems to know. There are only 4 of us now, and when I do the math, that works out to be 7 1/2 double rolls, equivalent to 15 rolls of toilet paper. Based on the package lasting only 5 days, Saturday to Wednesday, that is 3 double rolls per person, or 6 single rolls, per day. “This is bordering on insanity.”, I inform the family. “What are you doing with toilet paper?”

I have discovered that no one is involved in any sort of arts & craft project, and no one is using it to express their disdain at one of our neighbors. What then is happening to the toilet paper? I have spoken to my wife about this on several occasions. She believes that I am over reacting just a bit, I mean, it is only toilet paper. I, tp1however, stand by the premise that something weird is afoot. She informs me that there are 3 females living in the home, and well, girls use toilet paper more than boys. “They need it when they pee.”, she says. But how many times do my wife and daughters pee in a day? No, that doesn’t solve the mystery.

It has become so severe, that I have taken to hiding a couple of rolls for my own personal use. I refuse to be caught with my pants down, and well, you know what I mean. There have been many attempts to pilfer my stash. I have found them going through my drawers and closet looking for additional rolls when they have run out. My wife has even taken to asking me to lend her some, but only on special occasions.

I have come into the bedroom, while my daughter has been in the shower for well over 30 minutes. Now, we only have the 1 bathroom, and sometimes, it is quite difficult to wait to use the bathroom. tp5So, as I said, I have come into the bedroom, and found my wife, squatting over a Tim Horton’s coffee cup, urinating into the cup. “I couldn’t hold it any longer.”, she quips. “Well”, I say with a grin, “I see you finally got the ensuite you wanted.”

“Can I borrow some of your toilet paper?”. I let her know, that despite how much I love her, I will not want it back. Consider it a gift.

My wife denies any collusion from her other worldly relatives. “I don’t think they need any”, she advises. ” I doubt spirits need to go to the bathroom.”

“How do you know?” , I inquire. “Perhaps they do.”

“Well, if that were true, don’t you think there would be toilet paper over there?”


tp3I don’t believe, not even for a moment that ghosts are taking my toilet paper. Perhaps there is a vortex to another dimension in my bathroom. It could be that aliens are in need of toilet paper.  Something sinister is going on here. My wife says that it’s not a big deal, and that I am imagining things. I think my wife, with her new found frugality, would be more concerned about this. Unless, of course, she is behind it all.

I will be going back to buying single rolls of the cheapest toilet paper I can find. Neither the aliens, nor my family can be trusted with the expensive stuff.




She sees dead people. My wife. Well, not people, but ghosts. Spirits. She always has. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have seen her looking at something that I swear wasn’t there. Staring in wonder, gb3she has, on occasion, attempted to communicate with these other world entities. Pretty freakin’ weird, I know, but it runs in her family. There was a great aunt who they claim was a witch. No, don’t laugh. Everyone in the family was afraid of her, lest she cast a spell on them. Rumour has it that she put a spell on her husband, and he became catatonic for the last 15 years of his life. People would flock to her for advice and assistance. A curse on this person, a pox on that person. It was a sight to behold!! I met her twice, and she scared the hell out of me.

These spirits, as my wife sees it, come to let her know all is gb2well. I would much prefer a postcard, however she eagerly waits their appearance. She feels their presence, in a very deep, spiritual way. A connection she calls it. They do not speak to her. I am glad for that! She says that the spirits let her know that all is well through their energy. Still, I find it all a little disconcerting. I try to ignore her “something’s here”, or “they’re here again” opening sentences that announce the start of the visits. They do not visit me, for which I am grateful, but my wife says that they know I am there, and watch over me as well. So far, there have been no disturbing events: Tableware does not fly through the air, chairs do not move, and the lights do not flicker off and on.

I hope that my wife is right. I hope these visitors are only here to confirm that we are on the right path. But what if she is wrong? What if they are lying? What if they are really here to push us in the wrong direction? Not to worry, my wife advises, one of the spirits is her father, who would never harm her. I hope that he feels the same way about me, I mean, I have been doing his daughter for years and years. It would piss me off.

There are times when I think this is all in her head, you know, a little trip on the crazy train, but I have to believe that she feels what she says she feels. For now. In the meantime, I don’t sleep. I lay awake at night waiting for them to gbcome. I wonder if I should do something, like put out snacks, make tea, or put up streamers. Just in case she is right. I do not see dead people, nor do I want to. Hearing about things flying around my home in the dead of night is unsettling. But, if needed, I think I know who to call!