Murphy's Law

The Demonic Creature that Invaded Bill's Room

It was two in the morning when my alarm clock rang. I stumbled out of bed, grabbed the offending clock, and flushed it down the toilet, which proceeded to overflow. That problem could be handled in the morning, when I was somewhat incoherent at the moment.

But then it rang again. And again. By this time, my mind had worked out that it might possible be the phone ringing. I again stumbled out of bed, grabbed the phone, but the cord prevented me from reaching the toilet. I then decided to answer the ofending machine.

“Uhhhggsjdfaklica,” I said, in my usual “just-woke-up-and-don't-want-to-talk” tone of voice.

“Sean, get over here, quick! There's something in my room!” It was my friend, Bill. Some friend, calling me in the middle of the night.

“Uhhhdoyouknowitstwointhemorning?” I replied, still half asleep.

“Sean, just get over here! Some demonic creature has invaded my room, and is right now, eating my spare change!” He sounded like he was indeed, in real trouble. Besides, I had nothing better to do that night besides getting a full night's sleep before a major test the next morning, so why not?

“Okay, I'll be over in a few minutes,” I said, and hung up.

I pulled up to Bill's house, fully prepared. I was wearing my Official Sherlock Holme's Deerstalker Hat, had my Official Sherlock Holme's 5x-Magnifing Glass, as well as some improvised “Demonic Creature” traps. One trap was a fishing net with a wooden dowel tied to it as a handle, and the other was the bottom half of a fishing pole (minus the reel) with a sharpened piece of metal taped to the end and some rope tied to one of the fishing wire guides (my “Demonic Creature Harpoon” ala MacGyver). I felt as ready as I ever did.

There was Bill, waiting for me outside in his boxer shorts and clutching a Crucifix tightly. I walked up to him.

“Okay, Bill,” I said, and gave him one of my “You're Crazy” looks. “What's all this about a Demonic Spare-change-eating Creature?”

“Well, I usually sleep with my sliding glass door slightly open to get fresh air. Then, around 1:30, I heard something in my spare change dish. When I turned on the lights, this huge hair laden creature with the reddest eyes you can imagine leaped from the dish and made off into the closet. I grabbed my Swiss Army knife, made for the door, and got the heck out of there,” said Bill, obviously exagerating. Everyone knows that fresh air just does not exist down here in South Florida. He probably just doesn't want to admit to being stupid enough to leave his door open.

“How big was it?” I asked.

“As big as a greyhound.”

“Hmmm, dog sized …” I said, looking at my fishing net and harpoon.

“No,” said Bill, “bus sized.”

Suddenly, I wished I was somewhere else, anywhere else. Even a Barry Manilow concert. But Bill was just shaking terribly now, and besides, he looked stupid standing outside in boxers. What would his neighbors think? This was, after all, Coral Springs, where fun is illegal. So, I decided to go on anyway.

“Okay, let's do it.”

I slowly opened the door to Bill's room and a dank, musty smell waifted out. “Must be the Demonic Creature,” I muttered to myself. It was dark inside. Obviously, the DC (Demonic Creature) had enough intelligence to turn out the light. This was a bad sign.

“Flashlight,” I said, and turned back to face Bill. He handed me one. I turned it on, and a feeble beam of light came on. “Is this the best you have?” I asked.

“It's the only one I have,” replied Bill. Oh well, a little light is better than no light. I cautiously move in, ever on the lookout for the DC

I'll stop there, and leave the exciting climax to the Halloween Issue of the Atlantic Sun. Please be sure to read Part II of “The Demonic Crearure that Invades Bill's Room” next week. Until then, sweet dreams.

About

This is actually based upon a true story.

Honest.

No, really. I mean it.

Okay, so maybe it didn't exactly end up the way I said it did in the column. And okay, so maybe it didn't exactly happen the way I said it did. But it did start out that way. Bill did call me at 2 am about something being in his room, and yes, I did make the silly contraption and I actually did wear a deerstalker hat, but after that, I pretty much let my imagination go wild.

And no, I won't tell you what I was on at the time. You wouldn't believe me anyway.

This was actually a milestone of sorts. After this column I realized that I had the potential of taking the most mundane happenings and blow them way out of proportion (and get paid a lot more for it). This wasn't the first multipart column, it was the first I took major liberties with.

The grayhound joke in part one I shamelessly stole from “Welcome Back, Kotter,” Volume 2, Issue 6, Sept 1977 (the comic book. Yes, the comic book, and yes, you could be in the Superman Movie—details inside) (and it's pathetic—I can't remember my own beeper number, yet here I remember where I got this joke from after 9 years, from a comic book I haven't read in 20! Sheesh!).

Bill wasn't the one who owned the hockey stick, I was. Now, what was I doing with a hockey stick in Lower Sheol? Good question. Answer (as I still have the hockey stick): it was a gift from my cousin who lives in Detroit. At the time, we didn't have a hockey team (who would have thought that we would eventually get one? Odd indeed).

It's the thought that counts.

For dramatic purposes, at this point I felt it was better to have Bill own the hocky stick than for me to own one. It wasn't the first liberty I took with this incident, but it was about the first one I actually changed, instead of purely fabricated whole cloth.

This is also the first time that all three parts actually exist on my web site. I had parts one and two up for years now, but I had lost part three. Well, not actually lost lost; I had a copy in my scrap book (I used to cut out the camera-ready portion from the layout and saved that in my scrap book, but I had stopped that in August for some reason I can't recall—maybe because I stopped going to the weekly meetings), but I didn't have an electronic copy.

Flash back. I used to write all my columns on a Tandy Color Computer 2 with 64K RAM and a 160K single sided floppy drive using VIP Writer with output going to a Tandy Daisy Wheel Printer DWP-220, which sounded like a machine gun when printing. Well, most of my columns anyway. A few were writen on a portable Smith-Corona Skywriter, usually an hour or so before deadline.

Not only do I still have the Smith-Corona, but I have the Color Computer, disk drive and printer I used nearly 10 years ago! Plus the disks I stored the files on.

But I must have written part three on the Smith-Corona. And in the years my columns have been on the web, I haven't exactly gotten around to retranscribing part three. Until now. Finally.

But that begs the question as to what actually invaded Bill's room.

Some things Man was not meant to know. Let's just leave it at that.