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"Things that don't go bump in the night. (long)"

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Marc (33 posts) Click to EMail Marc Click to send private message to Marc Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Jun-28-03, 09:00 PM (Pacific)
"Things that don't go bump in the night. (long)"
This is a re-print from another board.

Thought is was funny.

While traveling I stopped at a Zany Brainy store and saw that they had a blimp for sale. It's called Airship Earth, and it's a great big balloon with a map of the Earth on it, and two propellers hanging from the bottom. You blow up the balloon with helium put batteries in it, and you have a radio controlled blimp.

I'd seen these things for sale in Sharper Image catalogs for $60-$75. At Zany Brainy it was on clearance for $15. What a deal!

That night my wife was playing tennis and it was just my daughter and I at home. I bought a small helium tank from a party store, and we put the blimp together.

Let me tell you, it's quite a blimp. It's huge. The balloon has like a 3 ft diameter.

We blew it up with the tank, attached the gondola with the propellers, and put in batteries.

Then we balanced the blimp for neutral buoyancy with this putty that came with it, so it hangs in the air by itself neither rising nor falling.

It was easy and fun, and then I blew up another balloon and made Mickey Mouse helium voices for my daughter.

We flew the blimp all over the house, terrorized the cat, attacked the fish tank, and the controls were so easy my daughter could fly.

Let's face it, blimps are fun.

Alas, the fun had to end and my daughter had to go to sleep. I left the blimp floating in my office downstairs, my wife came home, and we went to bed, and slept the sleep of the righteous.

At this point it is important to know that my house has central heating. I have it configured to blow hot air out on the ground floor and take it in at the second floor to take advantage of the fact that heat rises.

The blimp which was, up until this moment, a fun toy, here embarked on a career of evil. Using the artificial convection of my central heating, the blimp stealthily departed my office. It moved silently through the living and drifted to the staircase. Gliding wraithlike over the staircase it then entered the bedroom where my wife and I lay sleeping peacefully.

Running silently, and gliding six feet or so above the ground on invisible and tiny air currents it approached the bed.

In spite of it's noiseless passage, or perhaps because of it, I awoke. That doesn't really say it properly. Let me try again.

I awoke, the way you awake at 2:00 AM when your sleeping senses suddenly tell you without reason that the forces of evil on converging on you.

That still doesn't do it. Let me try one more time.

I awoke the way you awake when you suddenly know that there is a large levitating sinister presence hovering towards you with menacing intent through the malignant darkness.

Now sometimes I do wake up in the middle of the night thinking that there are large sinister and menacing things floating out of the darkness to do me and mine evil. Usually I open my eyes, look and listen carefully, decide it was again a false alarm, and go back to sleep.

So, the fact that I awoke in such a manner was not all that unusual.

On this occasion I awoke not uncommonly to the false sense that there was a large menacing presence approaching me silently out of the gloom, so I opened my eyes, and there it was! A LARGE SILENT MENACING PRESENCE WAS APPROACHING ME OUT OF THE GLOOM, AND IT COULD FLY!!!

Somewhere in the control room of my mind a fat little dwarf in a security outfit was paging through a Penthouse while smoking a cigar with his feet up on the table, watching the security monitors of my brain through the glossy pages of his rag. Suddenly, caught completely off-guard, he saw the LARGE SILENT SINISTER MENACING FLOATING PRESENCE coming at me, and he pulled every panic switch and hit every alarm that my brain is equipped with. A full decade's allotment of adrenaline was dumped into my bloodstream all at once. My metabolism went from "restful sleep mode" to FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE OR DIE!!!! mode" in a nanosecond. My heart went from twenty something beats per minute to jack-hammer speed.

I always knew this was going to happen. I always knew that skepticism and science were mere psychological decorations and vanities. Deep in our alligator brains we all know that the world is just chock full of evil and monsters and sinister forces aligned against us, and it is only a matter of time until they show up. Evolutional instincts knows this too. It knows what to do when the silent terror comes at you from out of the dark, and leaves no room for doubt.

When 50 million years worth of evolutionary survival instinct hits you all at once flat in the gut at the speed of sight it is not a pleasant sensation.

Without volition I screamed my battle cry (which is indistinguishable to the sound a little girl makes when you drop a spider down her dress (not that I'd know what that sounds like) and leapt out of bed in my underwear.

I struck at the approaching menace with all my strength and almost fell over at the total lack of resistance that a helium balloon offers when you punch the living daylights out of it with all the strength that this sudden, middle of the night terror produces.

It's trajectory took it straight into the ceiling fan which thrust the floating goblin into my nose at terrifying velocity.

Seeking a weapon, I ripped the alarm clock out of its plug and hurled it at the presence which seemed to be re-arming itself with a wobbling motion (breaking the clock and putting a nice hole in the wall.)

Somehow at this moment I suddenly realized that I was fighting the blimp, and not a monster. It might have been funny if I didn't truly feel as though the heart attack I was having would refuse to subside at my findings.

On quivering legs I went to the bathroom and literally gagged towards the toilet while shaking uncontrollably with the shock of the reaction I'd had.

Unbelievably, (and with no harm to my undeserving reputation as "protector of the fortress") both my wife and daughter had completely slept through the incident. When I decided that I wasn't having a heart attack after all I went back into the bedroom and found the blimp which had somehow survived the incident. I was angry at the blimp, and handled it with a strange caution as though I had captured and tamed an evil murderous beast, yet there was not a hint of pride within me.

I took it to the walk in closet and released it inside where it floated around with the air currents released from the vent within. I closed the door, this sealing it in to its temporary holding cell, and went back to bed. About 500 years later I fell asleep.


At about 7 am my wife awoke to darkness. She had been out the night before and wasn't aware that we had assembled the blimp the previous evening, which is was now floating around the the walk-in closet that she approached.

The dynamic between the existing air currents of the closet and the suction caused by opening the door was just enough to to release the anxious evil Sinister menace fully prepared for its escape attempt.

This time the blimp did not survive the encounter, nor (almost) did I, as I had to explain to my very angry spouse what motivated me to hide an evil lurking presence in the closet for her to find at 7 am with half closed eyes. If the urge to chuckle at the confrontation had struck me, Id have been in the dog house for sure, but the attack (on my pride and my senses) the previous evening left me with no sense of humor.

I can order replacement balloons on the internet but I don't think I will.

Some blimps are better off dead.


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Llevram (5022 posts) Click to EMail Llevram Click to send private message to Llevram Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Jun-29-03, 06:05 AM (Pacific)
1. "Bats in the bellfry (not quite as long)"
That was pretty funny ... here is our recent story.

We live in an area where bats are not uncommon. We can go out at dusk and see them flitting about on just about any night. A couple weeks ago, my wife woke me from my restful sleep, around 1:00 a.m. with, "Rick, there's a bat in the house".

My obvious reply: "Huh, what?"
"There's a bat in the house".

At this point I was awake, and had all my faculties about me: "There is NOT a bat in the house, you were dreaming!"
"I was not dreaming, it flew right over me and woke me up".

As if on cue, the flying menace returned to fly into our bedroom, across and back out again. "See, there it was!" Well, no, I really couldn't see, as all the lights were out, but I could make out some movement and certainly heard something. So, I reassessed my analysis: "That was NOT a bat."
"Well, what is it?"
"Probably a mosquito hawk, or a moth."

At this point, I got up and turned on the light ... just as the bat mage another pass into the bedroom. With the light on and me blocking the doorway, it became a little confused as to where to go, so landed on the wall and sat there. Yep, that was a bat.

So my wife inquires, "How did it get in here?". Given the accuracy of my analysis up to this point, why she would ask me anything she wanted an intelligent answer to. The best I could do was "I don't know!" (though I think I figured it out, later)

So, I left the bat hanging on the wall, my wife peeking out from under the covers and went to get the bat catching gear. I managed to find a pillowcase about the time the bat resumed its rounds of flying down the hallway, into the living room, into the kitchen, then back down the hallway and into our bedroom.

I opened the front door and stood in the hallway, near the front door, to try and guide the bat outside. It would have none of that and started flying a limited route of living room, fly towards Rick, veer off into the kitchen, living room, fly towards Rick, veer off into the kitchen .... I could see this was not working.

So I went to go open the kitchen door, which disrupted the current flight plan, and saw the bat fly out of the living room into the hallway. I ran the 10 feet from the kitchen to the hallway to see ... no bat. Must have gone out the door! Success!

So, I closed the door and shut off the lights and went back the bedroom. My wife of course asks, "Did you get it out?".

I replied a less than convincing, "I am pretty sure" and recounted the recent events. After retelling her what I did, I followed up with, "It had to go out the door, or I would have saw it in the hallway". In my mind, there was one other alternative ... our son's door was open a bit, but I figured it was closed to much for the bat to make an entry there.

Lucky for me, I guessed right and we have seen no more bats inside the house. As to how it managed to make a 1:00 a.m. appearance ...

I figure it came in when someone left the door open at dusk, night or early in the morning, then stowed away on one of the ledges up high in the living room, out of sight. Then, after we all went to bed and all the lights were out, it started making its rounds, lookign for an exit. Our bedroom door is usually left slightly open, but when I got up to turn on the light, it was nearly 2/3 open ... so either the bat flew into it a few times or we had some of that dastardly convection going on (as in the previous story).

My wife recounted the story to her Mom, who replied: "We just had one in our house about a week ago, too". Obviously it runs in the family

Tools for Wizardry(r) 7

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Marc (33 posts) Click to EMail Marc Click to send private message to Marc Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Jun-29-03, 10:05 AM (Pacific)
2. "Yikes..."
Well you handled that a lot better than I would have.

In the future, (if you have some help) you could hold up some sheets to provide a featureless "wall" for them to echo off of and make a "channel" to the door. Then again, inside a house with the lights on and some big thing chasing it, it might not matter as the poor thing is probably in major panic mode.

Most of our bats are up in the hills on the river where I fish.
I am always amazed that as they swoop, dive, and dart around us, they never hit our monofiliment fishing line. It is hard to believe they can resolve something that small. I have had them hit the fishing lure on the fly after I cast though. Quick little buggers.


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