December 4, 2009


With Scott out of town, my two biggest problems are

1) I do not sleep

2) I tell everyone on the internet---not just YOU, oh my friends --- but anyone who happens to surf through via a google which could be hordes of roaming perverts, really, considering some recent titles. *ahem*

Last night, I managed to MAGICALLY fall asleep, deep deep beautiful sleep, before eleven. I haven’t had more than 4 consecutive hours since Scott left. 8 days ago. SO this was a BIG deal. I was HAPPY in my sleep. I was dreaming about world freakin’ peace, dancing children building me a new laptop out of candy canes and hope, lions conspiring with lambs to cook me Eggs Benedict...that's how happy I was.

Then the alarm went off. Not the BEDSIDE alarm. The REAL actual "someone is trying to get in your house and kill your children” alarm. I sat up clutching bedside covers. My trusty Bagel, sleeping beside me in a sprawl that managed to spread out fifty pounds worth of dog so as to cover 73% of a king sized bed, heard the ruckus as well.

His response was to crack a single eyeball, flop onto his side, and think at me, "Hey, can you go see if that is murderers? Because if it’s a storm, or just neighborhood kid hijinks, or even a run of the mill burglar, I will let you handle things becau-----snore."

I leapt out of bed and staggered down the hall, bedchecking that both my children were present. Maisy was lying in a little ribbon under the covers, not moving so much as an eyelash even as the alarm klaxoned and hooted. I thought she must be murdered already and went and snatched her up in a lather of panic, and she said, "MMMMrfmurmble, no Mommy, shhh" at me and flopped back onto the bed. I ran back to the hallway to find Sam alive and well and blinking at me from his bedroom doorway. I sent him back to his room.

The phone rang. It was the alarm company. "Ma’am? Do you want the POLICE?"
I said, "YES. ALL OF THEM."

I hung up and grabbed Scott’s billy club and checked the guest room for slavering creeper-men with axes and bad intentions. I checked the downstairs as well. Murderer free. I was about to check the basement when I realized that I truly, truly, truly did want to go down into the basement with my husband’s billy club. It isn’t even a REAL billy club. It is a PROP billy club left over from a play where he was some kind of a Bobby and went about telling people that Bob was their uncle and ending all his sentences in guv'nor. I also did not want to load up the gun with the police on the way. It seemed like a GREAT way to start an unintentional shoot out.

(Aside: Beloveds, do you see how I managed to convey to the boob surfing internet killers that I have a freakin gun? Pretty sly, eh? Last time the alarm went off – also when Scott was out of town--- I GOT that gun and I loaded it and I ALMOST MURDERED AN OPOSSUM. In Icy cold blood I almost murdered him. So. You have been warned, killers of the world. You have been warned.)

I took the prop billy and sat on the front stairs leading to my kids’ bedroom waiting for the police to arrive. About this time, the dog slithered off the bed, plopped onto the floor, and flopped down beside me at the top of the stairs. I have since renamed my furry guardian, “The Ronco 2000 Attack Carpet.” He put his big head in my lap and drooled in a comforting, protective manner. AWESOME.

Bagel did not TRULY rouse himself until the cops actually arrived, at which point he LEAPT up, tore down the stairs, and madly wagged his whole back in as I escorted two simply ENORMOUS men with GUNS into the house. "Hello! Hello! Welcome!," his back end said in wag-morse-code. "Are you the POLICE? Or MURDERERS come in the dead of night with guns? Either way, can we be FRIENDS! You smell like CRIME! MMM CRIME SMELLS EXCITING! Do you keep any more extra CRIME in your BUTT? Please, allow me to check your butt for interesting crime with my enormous snout!"

I dragged Bagel off the main cop, and we waited nervously at the top of the basement stairs while the main cop and the auxiliary cop went down to check my basement for the slavering creeper-men with axes. I love cops. SO much. They drew their guns and checked all the corners. I said to Bagel, rather pointedly I must confess, "YAY! This is quite a bit more reassuring than, say, BEING DROOOLED ON."

We were certified creeper man clear. The cops said that a combination of house settling warpage and big wind and possible improper latching or, you know, SOMEONE OR SOMETHING PUSHING AT THE DOOR could have caused the alarm circuit to lose contact. Probably just a roving killer. He would have moved on by now. Either that or it was that CUSSED Opossum who seems to KWOW when Scott is out of town and come to bedevil me, and I should have shot him last time.

Guess how much sleep I got LAST night. Heh.

Posted by joshilyn at December 4, 2009 7:14 AM

Oh man! Except for the part about being visited in the night by handsome burly cops, that really sucks!

My husband was out of town a couple of weeks ago when we had a power outage, but not a regular power outage were the power goes OUT. Ours just dimmed and set the carbon monoxide detector off. We had recently had electrical work done so obviously there was a fire lurking in the walls waiting for me to stop worrying about it so it could kill me and my babies. That was the assumption anyway. Luckily, I live near family. They live in houses not recently tampered with and they had the same problem so at least I knew I wouldn't die alone. Comfort... it's still better when delivered by handsome burly policemen.

Posted by: Em at December 4, 2009 8:18 AM

I don't know how you make the most inane or inconvenient things so damn funny, but thank you.

Glad you were not murdered in your bed or, you know, drowned in dog drool.

Posted by: Jen at December 4, 2009 8:50 AM

Oh dear, what an exciting evening....this means you should play more WoW, clearly...and shoot that opossum and make him a mantle clock.

Posted by: Sarah at December 4, 2009 8:59 AM

As a single, dogless woman I say, "STOP IT!!!!" You are scaring me.

And I have no slobbering companion, alarm, OR husband that will return home at some point to restore sanity and security. Only cops, who are not burley, and who I hesitate to call 'cause I don't want to be, "one of those women".

But - please don't stop being so funny and using such great words. Totally worth the price of scary-admission.

Posted by: Mit at December 4, 2009 9:29 AM

Have you ever tried just lying down on the couch, fully-clothed? In my insomniac days, that would sometimes help. I think it was because I didn't feel obligated to sleep. After all, I wasn't in bed; I was just lying there.

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at December 4, 2009 9:31 AM

Bagel sounds about as impressive during times of horror as Frodo is. Of course, I'm not sure I should expect much from a beagle in that regard.

Posted by: Heather at December 4, 2009 9:41 AM

I think maybe we live parallel lives, you know, except for that part where you're a best-selling author, and I'm, well, yeah. My husband's been gone for his third week out of four or four out of five. Really at this point, you start to lose count. And every person in my town and the 10 people who read my blog know about it. So, I lie in bed at night waiting for the roaming murderers/rapists/burglars to come break in and kill me and my children in our sleep. I don't have an alarm. Smart of me, right? So I just sit and listen for breaking glass all night. And there's a group of teens roaming around our neighborhood stealing things from cars. It's really added to the fun this week. Since I don't have a gun (and don't want to shoot some teenager I probably know) I sleep with a large kitchen knife under my husband's pillow, so I guess I'm ready for any murderer or large ham that visits me in the night.

Oh, and also there was a 'possum incident once at our old house. We had a pet door in our storm door, and he was headed straight for it. I slammed the regular door and left my husband out there to deal with him. It's every man for himself when there's a bloodthirsty 'possum involved.

Posted by: Lori B. at December 4, 2009 9:45 AM

Yanno Joss, the more scary and horrifying something is, the funnier you retell it. I nearly choked on my oatmeal, especially when I got to "auxiliary cop." I'm so sorry you went through that, but doesn't that mean Scott gets home, like, today??

Posted by: Jess at December 4, 2009 9:58 AM

Funny things I think about when I'm left as the sole protector of home and heart in the company of worthless dogs, roaming wildlife, and (as yet) no gun or faulty burglar alarm:

First, when intruders appear, will I be able to unleash my superhuman powers quickly enough to gather my children into one room and move every huge piece of furniture to block the door as I toss the phone to my 8-year-old, cock my head and say, "Buddy, go ahead with that 9-1-1 call now."

Second, my husband panics if there's a spider in the house...and I'm losing sleep when he's away?

Posted by: Lesha at December 4, 2009 10:32 AM

I'm sorry to be laughing so hard my coffee spurted but come on... "Please, allow me to check your butt for interesting crime with my enormous snout!"

Posted by: pam at December 4, 2009 10:35 AM

I'm sorry about your disturbed sleep. I grok, I really do. But I'm glad it gave you another funny story to tell us. I'm also glad you weren't murdered, with Bagel as a drooling audience. Silly dog!

Posted by: Julie G at December 4, 2009 10:48 AM

Have you ever tried heating a bed pillow or snuggly blanket in the dryer for a few minutes before bedtime? Almost as good as a living, breathing bedwarmer. Absolutely useless against murdering murderers or opossums.

Posted by: Laura at December 4, 2009 12:21 PM

I just bought Gods in Alabama as a Christmas gift for my mother in law. From the beginning I was going to get Between, Georgia but it was called 'My two mommies' in swedish, and had a pretty bad photo of some woman wearing terrible makeup on the cover, so Gods in Alabama it is. I'm a little nervous about the amount of sex in it, but my boyfriend tells me the woman has five children, so she should know what sex is already.

Posted by: Asa at December 4, 2009 3:09 PM

As I read this I heard the wheezy dog voice in my head that you're always using when describing your pet. Really, I did. It makes it funnier yet. Glad everything turned out all right.

Posted by: Avallia at December 4, 2009 5:00 PM

Heh. And Eek! How do you make being scared and sleepless so hilarious?

Posted by: Aimee at December 5, 2009 12:42 AM

Ooh, laughing and tears at how you snatched up Maisy, sure she was already murdered, because I would do the exact. Same. Thing.

Posted by: Brigitte at December 5, 2009 7:56 AM

Huh. Seems to me the last time you had a burly cop show up at your door you did NOT let him in...

Posted by: Sara at December 5, 2009 3:32 PM

Crime fighters always smell better than criminals. Your dog is smart.

Posted by: juliejulie at December 7, 2009 8:24 AM

I prefer hot firemen. I don't want to meet any at 3 am though.

Posted by: GrandeMocha at December 7, 2009 9:20 AM

I also advertise on my blog that The Husband is out of town, then arm myself with all manner of weapons before trying to sleep. I lie awake and think how it really would be smarter to NOT mention that he travels on business. Have never almost murdered an opossum, though this really added SO MUCH to this story. Hilarious! (But I'm really sorry you had to go through all of that.)

Posted by: Susan M. Boyer at December 7, 2009 3:59 PM