Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Tingler and Other Tales of Horror

My husband recently dropped a small box of art pads at work and when he bent to retrieve it, he felt a twinge in his back. Little did he know, this hardly noticeable spasm would eventually become a personal re-enactment of the cheesy science fiction movie, The Tingler. You may recall, that was the movie where creepy centipedes were crawling inside of everyone, created by fear. (Vincent Price discovers they can only be killed by loud screaming.)
Where are maniacal doctors
when you need them?

My testosteroned other half finished his 10-hour work day without event. When he got home that evening, the pain had increased, but was still not that bad. At this point in the movie, discordant music was playing in the background, signaling impending doom. Darkness descended. We went to bed. Then it happened. At 5:30 in the morning, I awoke to hear his blood-curdling screams. Was he trying to kill a Tingler or had he thrown out his back?

His horror soon became mine. Just after his back viciously attacked him, we were hit with another snow storm and I was suddenly left with the lone task of shoveling the walkway and driveway. At 7:30 a.m., I bundled up and stoically trudged out into the blinding white to re-enact my own version of The Thing. That flick took place in Alaska where a DWI alien spacecraft crash landed. Unfortunately, the only way this invader-with-a-bad-haircut could survive was by drinking blood. (Kenneth Toby discovers it can only be killed through electrocution.)

One of my neighbors.
As I laboriously scooped up the thick covering of snow with my aluminum snow shovel, two men—one across the street and another in the yard next to mine—plowed away effortlessly with loud, smelly gasoline snow blowers. Something was wrong with this picture. Neither neighbor felt compelled to help a woman who was fecklessly flinging chunks of snow into tiny replicas of Mt. Everest. Perhaps they were really unfeeling aliens, touching down to tidy up my neighbors' yards. Then the blood-sucking would begin. Time to get the Tazer®.

As I ran around doing everything inside and outside of the house, my Beloved found solace in painting a model of a World War II Spitfire MK-II fighter plane, surfing the net and shooting off emails to his coworkers and friends. Unable to get up from his chair, he had surrendered to a peaceful existence within the confines of our kitchen. His injury forced him to sit and adopt a remarkably zen convalescence, despite the wriggling creature that was occupying his back.

Meanwhile, I sat bravely staring at the cable weather report, thinking about the blood-sucking aliens that must be lurking outside...waiting. The onslaught of snow was not over. It would return, again and again, plaguing our neighborhood all winter, like meteorological bedbugs.

NOTE: Special thanks to my husband, cheesy movie consultant and faithful, cranky companion.


  1. The only thing worse than a snowblowing male neighbor who won't help an old lady like me remove snow from my driveway... is the dumbaxx neighbor across the street with a snow plow. Thanks to him, I now have 6 foot high snow banks on either side of my driveway entrance. Yup, he moved "his" snow off his property and onto mine. I often think a lot of men call themselves "men" because they shave every morning. Can think of no other reason. (Hope my neighbor gets trapped under his plow... and isn't found until spring.)

  2. P.S. "Anonymous" is me, your old school chum who chain-smoked her way thru D.C. during the "Rally" and searched for Julia Child's "Chicken"! :-)

  3. Yes, Anonymous. I knew who you were from the first sentence!