The Haunted Toaster


Professor Percival Plumefeather and Paperfeet the Cat.

Sunday sucks. Sure, I can sleep in and eat a leisurely breakfast. But after that the hours storm by as I watch helpless. This feeling of angst (read: epic morbid depression) is worse in the autumn, when the sky is gray all day long, thus making it seem about 4 in the afternoon from 8 am until the actual 4 pm, at which point it then appears to be about 8 pm.

Making all of this even worse is a pressing deadline for a writing or editing project. Now, I do enjoy writing and editing work. Usually. Often. OK, sometimes. More often, I come up with creative ways to avoid the work, just like everyone else.

And so my procrastination mission begins. I start by checking my email 9 times in 23 minutes. I groan through a smile when I have an email. Then it’s to my normal stomping grounds. Mental Floss, AP News, Twitter, Facebook. The Book is filled with football predictions and statements of either support or aggression. You can only look at so many GIFs of hot girls winking on Twitter. I check my email two or three dozen more times (both email accounts – work and private), but nothing doing. I visit a site of ill-repute for about 129 seconds. I have a sandwich and read some more articles. Trump’s still a nit. Today he’s being a nit in France. I write an unflattering post about his self-promoted tough guy image vs. the fact that he doesn’t want to stand in the rain, but then I cancel it.

It’s the haunted toaster that saves me.

A friend has shared a short video of a woman whose toaster is possessed by the devil. She’s showing the interviewer a piece of burnt toast with the phrase “Satan Lives” scratched into the center. She reloads the toaster and flames shoot from it. The interviewer asks the all-too important question – “so, why do you keep this toaster?” The woman replies, “well, it makes great toast.”

There’s nothing about this that I don’t love. The questions. How did one come across a toaster that was possessed? Is the devil trapped in there? If not, then why would he possess this woman’s toaster, when there are many other, seemingly-more A list objects out there to possess? The phone booth from the film Phone Booth, a crocheted nosewarmer, Carson Wentz’s football helmet cam.

Next is the search for more haunted minutiae that belongs to people living in rural areas. These include a self portrait that didn’t scream “please institutionalize me” at all. Nope. Also a 32A bra that empowers the small-framed woman who wears it, perhaps the ability to unhook it and slip it out through her sleeve without removing her shirt is one of those powers. Also a mask that houses a captured Djinn and I guess whoever puts it on and gives in to the crushing temptation to speak in Jim Carey’s voice from The Mask.

There’s a haunted bottle that refills itself with water, a haunted (Ziploc) sandwich bag that restores or heals anything put inside (like my last sandwich?), a screwdriver whose previous owner was using it on the car that would fall and crush him and who will show up and (I swear) hang out with you and watch TV. His name is Xander. There’s also a historic daguerreotype that’s haunted by a Victorian man named Martin who will stink up your house with cigar smoke.

I wonder if something in my house is haunted. You know sometimes I hear a light ringing in my ear that reminds me of the one and only death metal concert I went to in the late 1990s. Occasionally we hear the neighbor’s thoughts and see a little girl writing her name backwards on my shower curtain in toothpaste. Nothing to worry about. Also there are some weird conversations between my cat and Professor Percival Plumefeather and Paperfeet, the stuffed duo who hang out on my desk and tell me what to write, what to watch on TV, and sometimes to cut myself with my nail clippers. But that lady’s toaster, I mean, come on!

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