Surprises are part of homeownership, particularly for a person who bought a vintage dollhouse in an older neighbourhood. Thankfully, most of the unexpected discoveries in my house have been positive, like the strange noise that started up in my basement in the wee hours one morning last spring. Apparently, a sump pump can sound like a small monster truck when it’s working; a functional sump pump (like mine) means a dry basement. Who knew? Lucky me!
Last summer’s hatching of what seemed like hundreds of big hairy spiders from under the elevated floor in my basement was a less happy surprise. Scratch that. When my basement what invaded by beast after beast on eight legs, I dreaded going downstairs to do laundry or anything else. I also sprayed enough pesticide that I am surprised I still grow leg hair. (Don’t panic, friends, Leroy is never allowed downstairs, and Sherman doesn’t go where the Raid gets used). Thankfully, there have been far, far fewer subterranean critters this year.
Once in a while, despite having lived in my wee home for two whole years, I still unearth a surprise. This week, The Electrician said he found something fun in my garage. Immediately, my brain started running to the best possible surprises, maybe it was diamonds, which would be the best surprise ever, or big gold coins. Surprise pirate booty could be an awesome bonus too. I could build a big chest with iron rivets, and dig a big hole in the backyard. Then I’d have to buy a parrot, and–
The Electrician unceremoniously announced his find. “There was a machete in your garage.”
“A machete. You know…” he thrashed his arm about as if slashing his way through a jungle. Given the current state of my back yard after all this rain, it wasn’t a stretch for either of our imaginations.
“What the heck! Why would there be a machete in the garage?”
“I don’t know, but it was hidden on top of the door.”
I imagined horrible accidents involving missing limbs and asked, “You mean it could have fallen and sliced me up at any time? I’d could have been all Anne Boleyned up while bringing in the stinkin’ groceries!”
“No sweetie,” he patted my hand, “it’s in some kind of hard plastic case.”
“So it can’t fall on my head?”
“Well, maybe if you take a running slam at the door, but even then the worst it would do is bounce off and leave a little bruise. The case latches on. I put it back up there more securely, though.”
I thought about it for a while, imagining myself all badass with my surprise machete. Truly, what could be a bigger surprise than little ol’ me with a huge scary knife? “So you’re saying if bad guys come, I should get my butt to the garage and grab my machete?”
“No, call 911 love. The police will be here by the time you get out to the garage, unfold the ladder and haul it under the door, and retrieve the machete.” He smiled reassuringly. “I don’t think Sherman will let bad guys in unannounced anyway.”
Apparently, I don’t get to use my machete to defend my property: that’s what my big rolling pin is for.
I think I’m going to leave my bonus machete in the garage for the time being. One of these days, though, I’m going to want a particularly dangerous stirfry. What that day arrives, those carrots and zucchini won’t know what hit them.
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