Things are getting strange at The Chainsaw House. The house ran out of oil so Lu and I went away for the weekend and saw possibly the greatest movie of our young adult lives - No Country For Old Men. When we returned things were slightly askew - tiny things, but things you notice if you have few things in life to take notice of. The stereo subwoofer was on, the fancy knife set I gave Lumas for his bachelor party was tipped over, and all the interior doors in the house were open, sans the front door. The bathtub was spotless (since it usually looks like a Dalmatian, there was no mistaking something was amiss). We asked Lori next door if she or Dave or Jungleboy had been in the house but she said they'd been in PA for the weekend visiting the grands. Had my roommate returned? None of his stuff was there, and I'd taken his key from the counter where he'd left it and hid it in the stream, so he would've had to break in. He'd never even been in the kitchen since he moved in, so I don't see why he would've been fiddling with the knives --- or cleaning the bathtub for that matter! He'd never even used it before, let alone cleaned it. On the other hand, some of his archery equipment (no comment) was still in the basement, so perhaps he was just getting his leftovers... and opted to... tip the...knives over?
At that time our spotty friends were visiting and I guess when you're already dealing with an army of uninvited guests, one more doesn't really ruffle your truffle. After PB&J and a trip for Lu to the Loo we happen to be situated in the living room for the Grand Exit at 5:30.
You know when you're driving along the highway and it's not quite sunset and you look to the right and there's a large pack of dark birds cutting the strangest trajectories across the sky, synchronized so exactly that you really couldn't say who the leader is but it's clear that they know? And there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to why they move in the direction they move, but they do it convincingly anyway? Well such was the phantom-orchestrated exodus of my Ladybugs. Within seconds they were gathered 'round the hole in the corner of my living room, flocking in from all over the house. In the hallway at the foot of the stairs, I ducked just in time to avoid a face full of beetles who were on their way in from the studio upstairs. By 5:30 they covered maybe a third of the living room floor - 10 square feet or so!
We ran down to the basement, and there they were, shooting through the hole and into the sink, like a polka-dotted oil leak! It was at this time that it finally occurred to me to investigate the plumbing of that rotty sink. Though the faucet was clearly hooked up to the hot water heater and wherever cold water comes from, the drain was clearly not meeting up with the main sewage line... not only was the pipe made of newish rubber (not nearly as dustified as its siblings), but when they reached the far wall, Hot, Cold and Poop ran out under the front of the house while Blacky continued west, underlining the adjacent wall, hugging the underbelly of the bulbous rock foundation (which kept this house "historical" instead of "firewood") and headfirst into the wall facing the backyard. Holding that rubber pipe, I could feel them in there, migrating through my hands to wherever this wormhole delivers them.
I went out to the backyard to where the pipe would logically emerge, but it wasn't there. Back inside, I could see that the pipe hits the wall at a downward angle, so it makes sense that it would be underground somewhere. But Lu and I searched everywhere within a 30 foot radius of the house and we didn't see a single ladybug. I called Dave, who was still in town at work. Now, when I call Dave, depending on what exactly he's in the middle of, he'll either become the most enthusiastic person ever or the most annoyed, I wasn't sure how he'd take this new information regarding his property. Either way, he always greets me with "Gavvvvvvy" which warms my heart immediately. This time he called me "Shmavvvvvy" and I kind of stuttered and momentarily forgot my purpose in calling.
Before I could ground myself, he hit me with, "YOU FIND A ROOMMATE YET, SHNAZZY?"
Not only did the question catch me off guard because I remembered the whole weird thing about somebody being in my house when I was gone, but I also considered drawing out the conversation for as long as possible, in order to see how many variations on my name he could come up with. But with Lumas groaning at me, I snapped out of it and cut to the chase, "Dave, dude, there is something weird going on under the house." Now, one of my favorite things about Dave is that he somehow expects cryptic foreboding lines like that, like he knows his life is a b-horror movie. Most people would respond, "What do you mean? PLEASE CLARIFY" but Dave just goes, "there's a machete in the back corner of my garage, I'll be there in 12 minutes."