Due to some excessive rain (I started to say “Unusually excessive rain…”, but excessive rain IS the usual here), the power was going on and off for a bit this morning. My son’s room was unusually cluttered because we are doing some renovations on his bathroom (More about that later), so the towel racks, towels, and assorted accessories, along with my ladder, are stuffed into his fairly small bedroom. And to note: The kid keeps it as dark as a cave.
So as various household appliances are switching on an off with the indecisive power surges, they are all making different noises. The humidifiers beep. The temperature gauge clicks. And something in the house made an upward sloping attempt at middle A.
It was the last that creeped my son out.
He recounts to me after dawn that laying there in the pitch black, unfamiliar shadows from the extra stuff stashed in his room, he was seriously rattled. All the added flotsam, plus the emptiness of a bathroom devoid of part of its floors and walls changed the acoustics such that the poor kid couldn’t tell where the noise was coming from. He tried to convince himself it was the heat, but given that it was unseasonably warm, he couldn’t get that thought to solidify. He ended up staying awake til morning.
He comes in my room when he hears me waking and playing with Siridog. he tells me about the storm and the dark and the noises. He especially points out that the strange, eerily musical hum really rattled him. It sounded like song notes. Like a half scale. It didn’t sound random. It freaked him out. I can tell by his expression that he wasn’t exaggerating – The kid had been really scared.
“You just need to take a deep breath and remind yourself, ” I say to him, “That this is a safe neighborhood and that it was unlikely to be a bear or criminal.”
“Criminal?!? Ma, I was afraid it was a clown!”
I couldn’t help it. I busted out laughing.
“I’m serious, Ma! If a clown had shown up, I’d have beat him with my lamp and then wet my pants.”
Truth be told, if I’d been in that situation, and a clown had jumped out of the closet, I’d have wet my pants before beating him with the lamp.
So about the bathroom renovation…
My house is ancient, and the people who lived there before did most of their own repairs. Which is to say, a lot of stuff is totally jerry-rigged. Makeshift. Mechanically creative. When I decided I was ready to replace the shower stall in the back bathroom, I knew better than to expect it would be pristine underneath.
First, the contractor, a friend of mine, tells me he is there to start the demo. Then he sends pics of some wood rot around the drain. To be expected in an old house, I remind myself.
Then pics of some wood rot on the bottom of the wall behind the shower. No surprise there – The back wall had a bit of a crack in it.
Then some pics of wood rot around the perimeter of the shower pan. No surprise there either. There is no air vent, heating vent, or fan in that room. It gets damp easily.
Then a pic of the joist and crawl space below the shower section of the floor. In the center of the photo, there is a mushroom… A cream colored, beautifully topographically sculpted fungus, big enough to feed a small country, or at least a large city, for a day.
THAT was a surprise.
It wasn’t a clown, but it was damned unnerving.
It has since been pushed down into the dirt and been broken, sprayed and sterilized (Pretty much everything short of set on fire). The room will get fixed, my son’s room will go back to normal, and hopefully neither of us will be tortured any more by thoughts of clowns, or mushrooms, or clowns with mushrooms, or mushrooms shaped like clowns.
Please, let us not find anything else.