People in my office always knew when it was almost time to go home because I would start getting phone calls from my children after school was out – and my conversations were considered not only entertaining but a very good source of birth control. I find it interesting that quite a few people I used to work with didn’t start having children until I had left the department! The telephone calls could be as simple as telling me that each child had made it home safely without being attacked by any aliens from outer space — as well as not attacking any unknown species each child had found along the way home – or the call could be a complicated story such as the time the house attacked my son Bob although Bob had done nothing to provoke the attack!
The afternoon that our house decided to wage war on my son was a typical school day. Bob had arrived home and had gone into the kitchen for a snack. The next thing Bob knew, the house had flung one of the flourescent lights at his head and barely missed him. My phone call was to inform me that there was glass all over the kitchen because Bob had narrowly escaped with his life.
I wanted to make sure that no one else was in danger of being attacked by a stray light fixture or wall socket – or God forbid – the toilet — so I needed Bob to calm down and tell me the entire story. The original story went something like this — “I don’t know what happened Mom. I was standing in the kitchen, minding my own business and the light bulb just flew out of the ceiling and barely missed hitting me in the head.”
Wow — that was lucky! Again, as all parents will tell you — you must ask the question about six times in order to get the real story – and of course, I was worried my son’s safety as well as the other children. I wanted to make sure I didn’t need to have an exorcist come to the house before my husband came home from work. So – I asked Bob to give me a detailed description of exactly what happened — so I could tell our priest and he could decide what kind of demon had inhabited our once happy home.
The next version was told with a little more information. “I came home from school, threw my books on the couch and went into the kitchen. That’s when the light just flew out of the ceiling and hit the floor right at my feet. Glass went everywhere. Luckily, I didn’t get any glass in the peanut butter.” Wait — did he say peanut butter? What was he doing with peanut butter? So once again, we had to get clarification. Maybe it was the peanut butter which was possessed — I must be certain!
“Well,” Bob explained, “I had gone in the kitchen to get a sandwich and had the jar of peanut butter in my hand when the light fell.” Okay, maybe the peanut butter was a different demon who was being attacked by the demon who was in the light fixture. More clarification needed.
“Yeh,” my son explained, “I don’t know why that light came down. I had been tossing the jar of peanut butter into the air for at least five minutes and hit the ceiling a couple of times without it falling out. So, I don’t know why it would jump out of the ceiling like that.”
Aha — the demon was not in the light fixture, the peanut butter or even the timbers of the house — the demon was inside my son – and obviously it was a stupid demon who didn’t understand the laws of physics! I could definitely handle this exorcism with a few extra chores which included scooping dog poop in the back yard for a week (and we had a BIG dog!).