Imaginary home invasion is awesome, no? If you’re like me, living alone is mostly cool, most of the time. But there are those moments — conveniently positioned on the heels of a long trip or in the middle of the night when I’m blindly stumbling to the bathroom — that I’d rather live without. They’re those moments when I’m positively sure there’s a serial killer in my house that’s going to PUT ME DOWN A WELL WITH A BOTTLE OF LOTION.
I’m nothing if not rational.
The first time I suspected Ted Bundy to be lurking was a couple years ago when I returned home late from a trip to my friend Gail’s in Louisville. I was talking to my mom on the phone — there’s safety in having her on the other end to hysterically dial 911 if necessary — when I heard what I was sure was a maniac sneeze on the steps to my basement. Now granted, this would’ve been the most ladylike, dainty serial killer ever, but I don’t think I need to remind you of a little film called MONSTER do I? Charlize Theron could’ve been there ready to bludgeon my ass with a tire iron. You don’t know.
Anyway, my mom’s advice, as I said, “Um, mom, hold on. I think I just heard a raving lunatic sneeze in the basement,” was to tell me to get the hell out of dodge. Which I did. I went and sat in my locked car in the driveway while I investigated through the windows to see if Charlize would appear. In no way was I going back in without getting this checked out, so logically, I made my brother and his girlfriend come over at midnight and search the house. Because the best mass murders involve relatives.
Needless to say, we didn’t find Charlize or Ted Bundy. So I only slept with two canisters of pepper spray and a paring knife that night.
Fast forward to two nights ago. I busted in the house, ready to pee my pants (why do we hold it until all the kegel exercises in the world won’t help?), threw down some bags and my purse on a chair in the dining room, and flew into the bathroom.
Here’s where I give you more info than you probably want to know but I’ve got to give you a clear picture of what happened — it’s my obligation as your narrator. I take it seriously.
As I was peeing and peeing and PEEING, I suddenly heard a humongous THUD. Like, the ghost of Jeffrey Dahmer and possibly Kevin Spacey from the movie Se7en were arm wrestling to see which one got to behead me. My reaction? To jump up mid-pee and defend myself. Right. You heard me. Mid. Pee. I’ll let that sink in a sec.
About 1.4 seconds later I thought better of it and sat back down to finish my business. And then…and THEN, I hauled ass out of there, undies strewn about the ankles, wielding a tube of toothpaste and my Clarisonic face brush as weapons. I was going to clean the SHIT out of those bastards.
As I got myself together, frantically searching for Kevin and Jeffrey, I looked at that dining room chair where I’d thrown all my bags. And then I looked at the floor where one of said bags had fallen with, you guessed it, a thud.
And then I went and stood on the porch, second guessing myself and my sanity for a good measure. After about five minutes of eyeing that bag with skepticism from the porch, I decided that yeah, it was probably the noise I heard. And then I went back inside, calmly picked the bag off the floor, and took the safety off my pepper spray. Just in case.
- Try to keep your overactive imagination at bay. Do not mistake your Keurig coffee maker for an alien robot killer. I may or may not have done this. Five or six times.
- Always have a weapon handy. I find vegetable peelers, cans of creamed corn, socks and rolled up issues of Marie Claire are not especially effective.
- Enlist the help of others if necessary. As with my case, it’s very helpful to make them drive 15 to 30 minutes to get to you and ideally, do so between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. They love it!
- Don’t defecate on yourself. Unless you think that’ll help your odds of getting out of the situation. In that case, bombs away.
- Lastly, remember no one likes an overdramatic victim. Just tell Monster she’s got the wrong house. And do what you can to pit Jeffery and Kevin against each other. Works every time.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I need to go sharpen my knives.