Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alumni Weekend

This week, in between my gigs singing 80's music for old people (which I ONLY do in the summer; in the winter, I sing 80's music for drunk people), I managed to attend about 24 hours of my grad school's four-day Alumni Weekend, which is kind of like going to fifteen minutes of a birthday party.

Mmm, doesn't that cake smell good, Billy?
Okay, say goodbye! Time to go visit grandpa in the home!
Some friends had rented a house for the duration, and I was going to stay with them. My friend Margaret and I went over there when I arrived so I could drop off my stuff.

We were pretty sure we had the right address, but when we went inside, it appeared the family had not actually moved out in preparation for us. It's not that the house was dirty, it just wasn't . . . vacant.  Foodstuffs, clutter, papers, laundry, all left haphazard as though their owners had simply vanished.

Just saying.
Were we actually at the wrong house, breaking and entering?

It was unclear at first, but eventually we did find evidence of our comrades. The house itself was old. Old old. Like, we're talking Servants' Quarters and a miniature back staircase. We're talking major difficulty finding the tiny room you need because of all the other tiny rooms that seem to sprout from nowhere, Wonderland-style, as you feel yourself wandering deeper and deeper into some alternate 18th century Fun-House Dimension.

"Your room is the fourth smallest door on the right. Washcloth's on the bed.
Use the stick in the corner if you need to fight off the Hellbeasts. See you in the morning."
Oh, and there was a murky, overgrown swimming pool out back. This is the same week they found that dead woman in the public pool, who had been there for two days while children splashed above her without noticing.

What I'm saying is there were ghosts. And monsters. And serial killers. And this was daytime.

But I am a GROWN-UP. I know this because I can attend R-rated films without a parent or guardian, bill collectors are constantly leaving me harassing messages, and I sometimes have ice-cream for dinner. Grown-ups are not afraid of scary houses.

This is why I thought it would be okay if I briefly left the nighttime festivities at school to drive back to the house and take a shower. Then I would be all clean for the rest of the nighttime festivities!

What could possibly go wrong?
I managed to find my way back to the house in the quickly-gathering darkness.

It was easy to spot.
Once I got inside, all I had to do was flip on every single light in the entire house a couple lights, take my shower, put on a fabulous outfit, and return to the party. The only problem was I had no idea where the light switches were.

Well, that was okay. Most humans have similar needs when it comes to light switches: they should be near a doorway, at a convenient height, and wired to something that lights up. I shuffled into the kitchen and began patting the wall.


Okay, well, maybe the other side of the doorway. Nope. Maybe just a little further along the wall, here. Okay, nope.

It was very dark. There were sounds drifting in the windows, shouts and squeals from the neighbors having a barbecue. Neighbors who were separated from this eerily silent, shadowy place by a tall, dilapidated fence. Neighbors I could hear, but who would never hear me.

Grown-ups pee their pants too, right? Right?
Hm. No light switch along this wall. Maybe over by the soul-devouring monsters sink?

La la laaaaaa. No monsters here. Definitely no monsters and ghosts.

All right, who was I kidding? THERE WERE GHOSTS EVERYWHERE. Lurking, creeping, watching me with translucent, milky eyes. I was probably going to be eaten by a Grue.

Finally, my fingers found a switch! YAY! I had been so silly. Such a silly goose. There had been a light switch the whole time!

I flipped it on.

It was the garbage disposal.