there's nothing shady about the shade, now go to sleep

November 7, 2012

In college I worked at a pizza place just off campus where I waitressed or "served" or whatever pseudo PC name they're trying to call food-fetching these days. Our primary customers were frat guys, other frat guys, and incredibly smart drunk people, because a slice of pizza sounds so freaking good right now. (That's my impression of me, all the time.)

We were practically deserted one weeknight, about an hour before close, when my manager cruised around the corner and interrupted me eating cheese out of the freezer to let me know I had two guys out in my section, so you know, stop stuffing your face with cheese and get out there. I straightened my apron, shoved the handful cheese in my front pocket for later, and got down to business. I highly recommend pocket cheese; it's very sanitary.

Two guys were sitting in the section overlooking the oven all by their lonesomes with their heads bent over their menus. They looked for all the world like they had just fallen out the back of a Grateful Dead party bus, which is totally recreationally legal now in some places or so I hear.

"Hi guys, what can I get you to drink?"

"Water," and, "Water."

(Waitressing! A thrill-a-minute play-by-play! Up next: Cutting lemons! Filling the ice bin! Rolling silverware!)

Just as I was walking away the taller one called out, "–But hey man, uh, can we switch tables?"

"Sure! No big deal, sit anywhere you like." I called back, glancing around at the entire fucking empty restaurant and trying to go on about my merry fucking water-fetching way because seriously you're really messing with my groove here.

"BUT," he stopped me again, reaching out with one hand, "It's just that... this table right here, man..." He paused and looked over his left shoulder and shuddered at what I can only imagine was the ghost of captain bluntoid's black knight reflected in the glass of the Mystery Machine, before he lowered his voice conspiratorially, "...It's got bad vibes." He and his friend exchanged a series of increasingly knowing glances with one eye bigger than the other and I got bored and left.

After bringing back two waters to what I assume was a less "spiritually aggressive" table they managed to knock their heads together and pop out an order for a large pizza. I walked back towards the kitchen, leaving them talking quietly between themselves about hemp. After I put in their order, I stared off into space with my head in my hands and kicked my foot in the air and fiddled with the coffee pots until I heard a commotion echoing from the otherwise silent dining room.

When I stepped out from around the corner, both guys were up out of their seats, standing in the center of the room, and the tall one was agitatedly pacing back and forth.

"I'm sorry man, I just can't do it," he apologized seriously, wringing his hands.

"Uh, do what?"

"I can't eat here," he shook his head. "This whole place, man, it's got bad vibes. Bad juju, man. It's not right."

He gripped his friend by his shirt collar and they walked out without another word, because potheads are weird like that sometimes and/or the witch's ghost told them to get out before they turned into cat people. Either way I got to eat their large pizza so it was a party of one in my face for me. I owe you one, pot ghosts, thanks!

A few weeks ago Jon and I were out grabbing dinner and drinks for a friend's birthday and the group started discussing the attic ghost post, which was probably bound to happen because several people at the table have stayed in that room over the last few years and now I'm sure they're all scouring their brains for possible ghost encounters that they'd completely forgotten about until just now.

"Okay but wait," interjected the birthday boy, who was inexplicably covered in birthday zip ties, "I've had Bang come and visit me at night when I was staying up there before. Couldn't that have been what actually happened?"

Jon and I turned and stared at each other and blinked for several seconds before I slowly set my beer down on the table.

"Dude, uh, Bang sleeps in a cage at night. You know that right?"

"No, she came up the stairs one night and sat on the bed with me. I thought it was nice."

"No. She didn't."


"No. She didn't. Did she lick you? Did she snort like a pig? Did she jump on your face?"

"Well no, she didn't make any noise and she didn't touch me. But–"

"Have you ever heard her breathe 'quietly?'"


"Or sit down for five seconds and not try to lick your eyeballs?"


"She deffffinitely sleeps in a cage every night because she eats things. She has for years, every. night."



Anyway, I'm making a plan, so here's what we do: First we shake down a Colorado-bound party bus and knock loose a spiritually sensitive pothead to blaze up a mega-blunt in the back yard. THEN we trick him into traipsing up to my attic with jellybeans gently placed just so on each step leading up to the bed, where he can - hey look, some bongos! - jam out and get a good reading on the attic's potential vibes.

As the night cruises on we can text him questions from a safe distance like, "Could you or could not eat a sausage pizza right now?" and "What does juju taste like?" and "How do you think that window got broken?" and "NEVER OPEN THE LITTLE DOOR." If he he's still hungry when we're finished everything will be okay.
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