Hoity Toity

“I’m not a medium or anything, but I’m pretty sure I just heard my deceased Grandma say “What the PHUCK?

Context: Four or five of us were holding down the corner of our home bar. As usual, the guys were talking about something and I wasn’t paying active attention to them, instead mindlessly staring at my phone. But then, out of the blue, I heard one of them use the words “Hoity Toity” to describe a dinner he had to attend. He’s not like 90 years old either, or 80, or 70, or 60. Early 50’s. Old, but not old enough to use a phrase like “Hoity Toity”. Anyways, I deadpanned the line while maintaining my attention on my phone, smirking slightly when I knew the guy that said the words was looking at my in response to my utterance. He got the last word though, saying “At least I wasn’t singing along to Shake It Off like you were earlier. Yeah, I saw you.

The Ghost That Went Poo

The office building in which we have our offices is frequently mentioned in books about haunted locations in my hometown as being,

In fact,

Haunted.

The history of the building itself lends credence to such speculation …

It is an older building, first built in the mid-1800’s;

There was a fire in the building in the early 1900’s;

And,

People died in the building.

Allegedly.

We have had our offices in the building for almost 2 decades,

And I must say that if it is really one of the more active haunted locations in my hometown,

Then we really don’t have that much haunted activity in my hometown.

It is fairly quiet here.

But that doesn’t mean there is no activity in the building,

Or odd stuff happening.

However, for the most part,

It takes very little effort to rationalize away 99.8% of any curious happenings.

Over all these years,

I have personally only had three incidents which though I have rationalized away,

Fully appreciate the rationalization is sketchy,

Or at least leaves a bit of doubt.

This is the story of my most recent,

Odd event happening,

Which I still haven’t completely sold myself on the debunking,

Not that there isn’t a viable explanation,

But that the one I have sold myself on just hasn’t completely convinced me yet.

Like my second experience,

This one happened in broad daylight.

Mid

Afternoon.

Which certainly reduces the spooky scariness of the incident,

But elevates the quantity of WTFness present as your brain processes what it thought it experienced.

This event happened on a Thursday.

The day of the week means absolutely nothing,

We have one women’s restroom on our floor,

And at the time …

Three women working on our floor.

And though it was never discussed,

Or planned,

It sort of was like we all had our own stall.

Mine is the middle one.

An extended-size stall was on my toilet left.

And a duplicate stall in size on my toilet right.

I walked into the restroom,

Turned the light on,

Entered the middle stall,

And properly positioned myself for toilet usage.

Having brought my phone,

I started to check the Twitter,

It was at that moment when it happened …

FLLAPFLLLAASSTAPLAHSSSHTTTPPPA PA PA PA FFFFFFFFFFA

No, it wasn’t me.

But,

Yes, that’s as close as I can write a very vocal discharge of gas.

Upon hearing such coming from the stall toilet left,

I laughed a bit as my inner monologue wondered what grandpa was doing in the women’s restroom.

Krap,

Literally,

I actually did laugh out loud and

Hoped the next stall occupant didn’t hear me.

Then seconds later I not so immediately thought,

Wait,

I’m pretty sure I am alone in the restroom.

Yeah,

I am.

So I did the curiousity killed the cat thing,

And leaned down to look under the stall to see if I could recognize the shoes of my neighbor,

To identify who was Edmund Fitzgeralding that bowl.

Which is when I became confused,

Because I didn’t see any legs or feet in the stall …

Toilet Left.

Nothing.

So I turned my head and looked under the stall to my right,

And likewise saw no legs.

Or feet.

I leaned back and looked up at the ceiling wondering if somehow the noise I heard could have come from the restroom above me.

Unlikely.

But … I decided that was the explanation.

No one to the left of me,

No one to the right,

And it definitely wasn’t me.

So back to Twitter.

FLLAPFLLLAASSTAPLAHSSSHTTTPPPA PA PA PA FFFFFFFFFFA

This time I was sure.

The sounds definitely came from the stall to my left.

So I looked down again to see if there were feet …

And …

There were not.

And no plops of anything in the toilet water,

Either.

So it must have just been gas.

And lots of it.

There has to be someone there,

But wait …

I turned the lights on when I walked into the restroom, yeah?

It was dark in this windowless room,

When I arrived.

I know I turned on the lights.

Think I’ll just finish my business and leave.

So upon exiting the stall,

I walked over to the sinks that were on the opposite side of the wall,

While still trying to figure out the source of the loud sounds.

I took the position with the sink closest to the extended stall that had been to my toilet left.

It was more extended that I thought and I could tell the stool was further away from the shared common stall wall than I would have guessed,

So I figured I would do one more under the stall scan for legs or feet,

And that’s when I had success.

Indeed,

There were a pair of legs and feet in the stall.

Dirty canvas, white shoes,

Attached to a younger looking set of bare calfs.

What was out of the norm though was the person in the stall had turned their body so the legs were positioned on the left side of the toilet seat,

Meaning even had I gotten a good look under the stall when I was sitting on it,

I might not have ever seen the legs.

And they were maybe trying to keep their presence hidden.

So,

I concluded that someone from not in the building had come into the building to use the restroom,

Since on our floor,

The restrooms are unlocked and always open.

No biggee,

At least I know I wasn’t imagining the sounds.

So I dried my hands,

Exited the restroom,

Walked away from the door as it closed,

And promptly took up position in the lobby to see who exited the restroom.

Don’t get me wrong,

I have no problem with anyone using the restrooms on our floor,

My curiosity was solely based on wanting to know who in the world belted out the boisterous volume of gas that I heard.

So I waited.

Glancing frequently at my phone,

While keep a peripheral focus the door.

Waiting for it to open.

But it didn’t open.

So I continued to wait.

And wait.

Clearly not the most efficient use of my time,

Whatever.

But eventually I …

Walked back into the restroom.

The light was still on,

As I had left it,

But when I looked under the stalls for feet,

I didn’t see any.

So I poke opened each stall,

And found each empty.

There was no one but me in the restroom.

I rationalized the empty restroom as being the result of either the individual following me closely out of the restroom when I initially exited and before I turned back around to take up position for watch,

Or maybe they left while I was on watch and my peripheral vision just sucks.

I sold myself on the latter,

As I don’t attribute this to paranormal,

Just not normal.

Regardless,

I’m inspired.

If upon passing I find myself hanging around there here parts,

My ghost thing is going to be passing gas,

And being amused when the living are blamed.

It’s You, Not Me

Historically,

I have never been a good breaker-upper.

In fact,

On those rare occasions where I hung around long enough to necessitate a break-up,

And not go ghost,

I really wasn’t a breaker-upper,

But just found myself engaging in behavior that became increasingly so avoidance annoying that the other person would eventually dump me instead.

Not some of my finer moments,

I know.

Recently,

However,

I did mature to the point where I ceased such avoidance behavior,

And initiated the break-up …

When I felt one was in need.

Initially,

I thought I might go with the “It’s me, not you” diatribe,

Which was something I did have familiarity using.

But instead,

This time,

I was so looking forward to ending the relationship,

That I decided I was going to enjoy a good old-fashioned verbal sparring during the destruction of it all.

Sure …

I would use the same words I had used in the past,

But in a slightly different order,

“It’s you, not me”.

I had been on the krappy end of this abusive relationship for far too long,

And I was going to entertain myself some during its final moments.

So there I was …

Knowing how I could end the break-up conversation quickly by just muttering a few simple words,

But instead deliberately refusing to utter those words,

While drawing out the break-up,

And they knew I was drawing it out.

Intentionally making them go through the motions of acknowledging a need for their improvement,

Change in their behavior.

Then receiving promises from them of gifts, presents, and accommodations along the way.

These acts worked for them in the past,

To keep me around.

But this time I knew …

Going in,

That I was fine accepting my life was going to change because of this break-up,

While feeling a bit odd until a new routine was established,

Without them.

I was ready,

This relationship was over,

And I was so looking forward to it.

So I picked up my phone,

Dialed their number.

“It’s you, not me”,

I thought as the phone was answered and their …

Soul-dead, automated voice said,

Welcome to Comcast“.

Epilogue: I cut the programming cord with Comcast in January 2015. It took me about 36 hours to forget them. I still have Comcast for broadband, though that is coming to an end soon as we have a new source in my hometown pulling the fiber as I punch this post. I still view lots of programming through Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu (on occasion) and mainly binge watch things now. I read a great deal more and listen to many, many podcasts.

Also, apologies in advance to those that think I am making light of domestic violence by the prose used in this post. That was not my intent, but I understand the concern and is why I sat on this post for two years. Heck, I probably wouldn’t have even posted it today except I had to deal with Comcast yesterday helping at my brother’s new place and it was just a reminder how awful they are. My apologies to anyone offended by the analogy.

And phuck you, Comcast.

Morning Routine

When Dog the Cat,

Was a mere …

Puppy the Kitten,

Puppy The Kitten

We started what became our morning routine:

Wake up,

Start the coffee,

Clean his litter box,

Prepare his breakfast,

Check the weather,

I go back the bedroom with coffee to read emails, news …

While he has breakfast.

After he finishes breakfast,

He runs as fast as he can into the bedroom,

Barks for me to lift him up on the bed,

Which I do,

Then we finger wrestle.

He bites my finger with his tiny little puppy kitten teeth,

And I say “Ow ow ow … kisses, not bites”,

At which point he starts giving me kisses and licks me with his tongue of coarse sandpaper.

I always wondered why he seems to understand the word kisses.

Fast forward eight years and only a few things have changed.

We still:

Wake up,

Start the coffee,

Clean his litter box,

Prepare his breakfast,

Check the weather,

I go back the bedroom with coffee to read emails, news …

While he has breakfast.

After he finishes breakfast,

He run as fast as he can into the bedroom,

But now …

Dog The Cat

Since he has grown into a full-fledged, adult Dog the Cat …

He does not need any assistance getting up on the bed.

Now he enters the bedroom at a quick clip,

Running that borders on a gallop.

Rounds the bed,

Hops up on the ottoman in stride,

Projects onto the chair,

Elevates off the night stand,

And goes airborne,

After which all 42 inches, 20 plus pounds of him lands on my belly.

Yes, you definitely feel it when he lands.

Dog next to his U of M teddy bear named Lloyd.

He will then lay still next to me for a couple of seconds before …

Hopping back up and going all krazy bites on my arm,

Like he used to do with my finger,

Until I say “Ow ow ow … kisses, not bites”,

At which point he immediately starts licking me with his tongue of coarse sandpaper.

It’s still weird to me,

How he seems to understand the word kisses.

I love our Morning Routine.

Though I really should have put a bit more long term routine thinking into our early days together,

As my arms are littered with Dog The Cat teeth marks.

 

Broken, Not Damaged

I do not get why anyone would ever want to relationship with me,

Ever.

Which is a line of thinking that not only enables me to efficiently tank any and all relationships in which I allow myself to dally,

It also surrounds me with strong defensive walls that makes getting me to even consider a dally statistically impossible when you factor in the margin of error.

I was not always as such,

This behavior particular that is totally a Me 2.0 construct.

I trace its origins back to my Decision making process.

Turns out there were small, incidental, components of thought leading up to the Decision,

That continue to impact me to this day.

In this particular situation,

When I was making the Decision,

One of the variables I set was to presume that if I chose Option 1,

I would never be in a coupling relationship again.

It seemed like a completely reasonable, practical variable to set as such at the time:

I did not want to expect a future coupling relationship and end up disappointed if one never happened,

Possibly causing me to second-guess said Decision.

Instead,

I deemed the more cautious approach would be to make my Decision with the thought I would be alone for the balance of life,

So if that turns out to be the case,

It would be as expected.

Regret and doubt avoided.

Unexpectedly, though,

The mere act of setting the variable in such a manner,

Has triggered in me an apparently strong-willed determination to indeed make it the case.

My commitment issues have become borderline obsessive,

And if I didn’t have such commitment issues,

I would have been able to simply call them obsessive.

The inspiration for this post was an unexpected text I received from the Invisible Boyfriend app …

That simply said “I Miss You“.

Forgetting I had signed up for random, allegedly flirtatious texts,

I found myself upon reading it immediately concluding I needed to end things now with this way too clingy one.

Milliseconds later my conscious,

Voluntary thought returned and I recalled it was a programmed missive sent by a bot delivered with the intent that a normal person would presumably find sweet.

Sweet?

Really?

Anyways,

Some of my friends think I am such because I don’t like me,

That my Function is such a self-disdaining feature in my mind,

Loathing within me for me,

That it is a wall of self-creation that will remain until I decide to tear it down,

And stop hating me.

<shoulder shrug>

Eh.

</shoulder shrug>

I get where they come up with that diagnosis,

But I think they are hopping on the logical fallacy bandwagon and landing on an incorrect conclusion …

That my intensely critical doubt and disbelief as to why anyone would ever want to relationship with me

Somwhow equates in way with a proposition that I apparently hate me,

Which I don’t.

I am totally Team Amy,

Or TeAmy if we are preserving digit …

Counts.

Besides,

My Function and I are quite friendly and compatible with one another,

Which is a good thing considering we are like stuck with one another and all.

The timing of this is not to convey some veiled message to a hypothetical admirer to have patience with me,

That I will come around.

I will not come around. This is

No,

This is krafted solely in case others at some point in journey are setting similar variables for themselves,

Going through a decision making process,

And to toss out the thought that maybe,

When it comes to this particular variable,

They consider tweaking it a tad.

And making it a bit less absolute.

Or not,

‘Cause

For me,

I’m perfectly fine with how my variable setting is working out.