Voice: Thursty is thirsty to make things disappear

June 05, 2001

A bit of whimsy:

Fifty-five years ago, when my older children were toddlers, a gremlin escaped the front lines of World War II and came to live in our front door lock. We named him Whisbick.

If anything was misplaced or broken, or if any other sort of mischief erupted, it was always Whisbick's fault. To be so tiny, Whisbick was guilty of a lot of deviltry.

Whisbick was left behind when I came to California from Tennessee. He has been replaced by a poltergeist named Thurston — Thursty for short — so named because he is so good at making things disappear. Until Thursty established residence in our apartment, everything was all my fault. But I have now shifted the blame to Thursty.


This poltergeist, I think, is out to get me. He is determined to drive me crazy. He is skilled in the art of dematerialization: He causes things to disappear so completely that they are never again seen in this dimension. Keys — eyeglasses — candy bars — mentionables and unmentionables — he can dematerialize in the twinkling of an eye. He can dematerialize the twinkle, though he has not yet dematerialized anyone's eyes.

At one time I attributed all the strange disappearances except the candy to my absent-mindedness. When I concentrate on doing a task, I block but everything else so thoroughly that I can't remember where I put anything. My family has long known that if I put something in a safe place, it is really safe: no one will ever see it again.

Before Thursty moved in with us, I attributed the loss of keys, eyeglasses, pens, pencils, erasers, white-out, etc. to their having fallen into a black hole, a veritable bottomless pit, which once in a while would disgorge an item or two.

But now I'm sure a poltergeist is responsible for all of the things that disappear around here. I'm sure because my husband, John, (who steals the candy bars from the fridge) is having the same trouble with his keys, eyeglasses, etc.

If this is not proof enough, we have two "caretakers" who are having the same difficulty in holding onto their belongings.

Once in awhile, one of the housekeepers misplaces an object. For instance, we sent one of them to buy candy and memo pads. We spent a week looking for the memo pads before my husband went on a candy-stealing spree and found the memo pads in the fridge.

I would never do such a crazy thing (though I once put rolls of toilet tissue in the freezer.) John wouldn't do it. The housekeeper wouldn't do it.

So who's left but Thursty to blame?


El Centro

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