I got up on Monday morning, went out to the kitchen, and discovered that the ceiling fan was off. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well I’ll tell you: I have no memory of turning it off. And this isn’t just a matter of flipping a switch. The way it’s installed, I have to pull the cord to turn it on or off. I tend to remember doing things like that, and also it’s been so muggy here that I wouldn’t have turned it off unless there was some huge, memorable reason.
First thing I did was to text Glinda and ask: “Did you turn off the ceiling fan last night?” Answer: “No. Why would I do that?” Why indeed. So I was left with the following possibilities:
- I turned it off myself, don’t remember, and am showing early signs of senile dementia. This isn’t actually amusing to me since I nursed both my parents through different forms of dementia. It’s not a disease I will live with.
- There was some kind of power weirdness in the night.
- I’m sleepwalking again. I used to do this very occasionally when I was a child.
- There’s a short in the fan.
- The fan overheated and turned itself off.
- We have a ghost.
So… #1. I spent the rest of the day actively trying to remember things just to prove that I could. When I told Glinda she laughed, then admitted she’d do the same damn thing. Things appear to be in the right place as of this writing.
#2: I found no other indication of this. No other appliance had been affected, all the clocks were glowing the right time and not flashing. Not an absolute certainty, but damn close.
#3: I checked my Vivofit sleep monitor and I’d barely moved all night. Thank goodness.
#4: I live in terror of electrical fires. I have no way of knowing if this is likely or not.
#5: I’ve found no indication online that they do this, but I can’t rule it out because I don’t know enough about their operation to know for sure.
#6: I’ve talked about this before. By rights we should, and given that he was electrocuted, a ghost who tampers with an appliance is something I might expect. Couple that with the fact that we have a phantom basement leak, about which more in a moment, and there’s a kind of weird synchronicity about these events. He went down to the flooded basement, flipped a switch, and died.
So our phantom leak… A couple of months ago, I went down to the basement to do a load of laundry and saw a small pool of water outside the basement door. I cursed colorfully, like you do, and looked for the source, assuming it was the Horizontal Vampire Room, a crawlspace under my porch area, so unnerving that we try never to open the door. Through there run the pipes out to the garden hose spigot, and I assumed that’s what was leaking. (We also have a Vertical Vampire Room which is less horrifying, but not pleasant. I once convinced myself someone was living in there. Hey, it was the middle of the night and I was half asleep.)
But no, there was nothing leaking out from under the door, nothing running down the wall to the floor, no sign of where this water had come from. And then I looked up and saw a drop of water fall from the ceiling above me.
What you need to understand is this: What was above me was the back porch. It’s entirely enclosed, and the spot that was dripping was a floorboard just outside my back door. As far as I know the floor there is the ceiling directly below. There are no pipes running between there because there is no between for pipes to run through. There’s no between for water to run through. There’s no there there.
And the ceiling in the HVR is higher than the floor outside my back door, and the pipes run under it, so the water could hardly be leaking upward inside the HVR and then running along the floor of my sun porch, through the cement step at my back door, and down through the boards below. I may accept the existence of ghosts in a limited way, but the laws of physics? No, I don’t fuck with them. That way lies madness.
Add to this that Glinda has never seen water there, and probably thinks I’m insane. That’s fine. Jose saw it when Charles sent him over to check. He couldn’t figure out where it was coming from either. The only other possibility is that if it’s raining heavily, and coming from the south, it hits some part of the outside wall at just the right angle that water gets in, runs through the walls to the lowest spot, then across the floor for about four feet to drip from a spot that doesn’t seem to exist.
Or we have a ghost.
Or maybe it’s just Crazy House being crazy. It’s so hard to tell sometimes. No, seriously, I’m certain both events have reasonable explanations. I’m just hoping the reasonable explanations don’t include the house burning down or rotting away, or my brain rotting away. Honestly, I’d prefer ghosts.
So I got up this morning to make coffee, and both coffee makers were dead. No, I’m not kidding you. I went fishing for the power strip to check, and discovered that the switch had been turned off. Holy mackerel! you say, or something very like it. You do have ghosts.
But no. Using my powers of deduction and my stubborn refusal to let this get to me, I discovered that I’d turned it off myself accidentally in spite of that being very difficult to do given the placement of the power strip. Yesterday I posted the following photo to accompany a review of a new coffee maker:
Now as you admire how nice the coffee and tea station looks, note that the power strip is on the floor behind this cabinet. However, after I took this photo I got to thinking that the counter could be better arranged, so I did this:
Better huh? But also note that the lights are out on the coffee makers. Yup, in switching things around I turned off the power strip and never noticed it. Perfectly logical explanation.
And Crazy House just smiles.
P.S. I should stress that in spite of having seen at least one ghost in my life, the guy who hangs out in the Bohemian National Cemetery, I don’t believe in them. Yes, I understand that this is almost the definition of cognitive dissonance. You’ll just have to give me this one.
P.P.S. It’s a very nice coffee maker. OXO On Barista Brain 9 cup. I do so love free product.