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It’s Not Happy About All The Changes, You Know

May 2, 2011

Here is a contribution from my life :
From 1990 to 1997, I lived with my family in Naperville, Il in a typical sub-development in a typical house that was built in the 70s. I was a teenager (class of 96, go ‘SKINS!). Anyway, this house had what I jokingly refer to as a ghost parrot. That is, it mimicked sounds.
I dropped a bunch of colored pencils on the tile floor of the kitchen one day. My brother and I were upstairs the following day, when the exact same sound, as if it had been recorded, came from the bathroom in between our rooms. We looked inside – nothing on the floor. “Ha! Nice one!” We said. The joking always made us feel better.
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Our tomcat loved to play at night, and the he tore up and down the stairs just about every night chasing who knows what. The distinct sound of cat claws on carpet was our lullaby. My dad hated it, “someone stop that fucking cat! We don’t have money to be replacing carpet all the time!” Well one night the crazy cat is playing, dad shouts, and my brother steps out of his room to put a stop to it. After a moment, he opens my door while I’m in bed reading. He asks me if I’d been listening to the cat tearing up and down the steps. “Of course” he says, “Umm… us too. It’s just that… “. “What?”, I ask. I get up and follow him to his room. In his closet, the cat is curled up in his clothes hamper fast asleep. “I didn’t know he was in here, I just opened my closet door just now.” We slowly turn to the stairs. Silence. Clearly, I grabbed my pillow and bunked on his floor that night. This sort of thing continued until we were almost desensitized to it.
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Things changed when we were getting ready to move out. My brother had moved to St. Louis. My parents had split up and my father had moved out. It was just me and my mom taking care of the house and keeping it pretty for the realtors. I was out of the house most of the day and evening, at school and hanging out with friends and what not. One day Mom said, “It’s not happy about all the changes, you know. Acting out. Having a tantrum, I expect.” “Who’s not happy?” I asked. “You know. The house. And let me tell you, the dog isn’t happy either.” She was referring to her Jack Russel Terrier who was (and is) her constant companion. I didn’t inquire into the details.
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One weekend, Dad came over and we did an emergency search, box, and organize in the basement. One wall had sprung a leak and ruined some documents, so we went about moving everything over to the other wall. It took us all weekend, and was backbreaking work (we had collected a lot of shit over the years). Monday afternoon, it rained again. I returned home at the same time as my Mom. It turns out that the dog had finally flipped out and was running to the basement door, screaming, and running back to her arms shaking like a leaf. Finally, she had put the dog in the car and went to McDonalds. I didn’t think anything of it (self-absorbed 17 year old, remember). Dad returned on Tuesday to pick some things up. We heard, “GOD DAMMIT!” and every other curse word coming from the basement stairs as he stormed up. “Why did you move everything back to the other wall??? The boxes are all wet now!” he screamed at Mom. I went down and this is what I saw: every box had indeed been moved to the other side of the basement, and set on it’s side. That is, the boxes weren’t lid-up, but stacked haphazardly against the wall with lids facing out. To this day, my father honestly believes (or chooses to believe) that my mom with a muscular condition undid in one day what took us two, just to irritate him.
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Conclusion: we were showing the house, the the basement door had to be kept closed. The cat’s litter box was down there, so it had been open for the last 6 years. I was watching tv, and mom was outside brushing the dog, when someone started insistently knocking on a door. Well it wasn’t the front or back doors, because they were made of metal. It was a wooden door. I ran to the kitchen and looked dumbfounded. Mom mouthed, “well, answer it!” from the other side of the glass doors. “I’m trying!” I mouthed back. And then it hit me. As soon as I realized where the knocking was coming from, it stopped. I walked over to the basement door and opened it. We left it opened from then on, unless there was scheduled showing. We sold the house and never looked back.

– Posted by follier ; Reddit.

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