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She Had Blue Skin And So Did He

This poem by Shel Silverstein tells a story about two people with blue skin, not exactly a common thing. But really it’s a story about a lot of people out there, maybe even youA picture representing the poem Masks by Shel Silverstein, with a boy and a girl each carrying giant unwieldy masks.

MASKS

She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by—
And never knew.

Published after Silverstein’s death in a collection called Every Thing On It this poem stands out to me because it uses simple language and storytelling to address a complex problem that affects young and old alike.

Whether you’re a kid in grade school or an office worker about to hit retirement, chances are you struggle at least occasionally with your own personal version of ‘blue skin’.

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01/31/2012
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The Ex Girlfriend Who Secretly Lived In The Crawl Space Under The House

Years ago I was watching a crime show on a CourtTV type network and came across one of the weirdest (true) stories ever. It’s been a long time since I seen the story but I’m going to re-tell it the best I can remember, it’s just too crazy of a story not to tell…Picture of a house at night with a shadow of a tree on it that gives it a scary look.

So a lady (I can’t remember her name so let’s call her Laura) had decided to break things off with her girlfriend, things were not going well at all and she felt like it would be best for everyone to just go their separate ways.

The breakup did not go over well with the girlfriend though, and Laura sensed that there might be trouble ahead, but she had no idea of exactly how much. Oh so much trouble lol.

First there were the phone calls demanding that they get back together immediately. That was okay but then she noticed that a figure suspiciously similar to her ex girlfriend seemed to be lingering in the shadows and bushes at night. Pretty scary stuff but she did her best to move on with her life, thinking that this craziness will all pass when her ex realized that it truly and utterly was over.

Then the letters started to show up at the offices and homes of her colleagues and friends. Her ex tried to play on any possible prejudices of her co-workers, bosses, friends, etc by detailing how she had been in a relationship with a woman for some time and had not ever told them. Her ex hoped to get her fired and isolated from all of her friends and force her to go running back to the old relationship.

This was somewhat alarming as Laura worried about her job being in jeopardy. She owned a house and had a lot of financial obligations and couldn’t just lose income all of a sudden, not to mention all her friendships. A picture of a letter and an envelope together.

However, the letters were so startling and psychotic that it just made her friends and co-workers feel sorry for her more than anything. She didn’t lose her job but she did lose her sense of this whole breakup being even remotely in the realm of what’s normal.

Far from things cooling off as time went on they seemed to be escalating, her ex was not at all ready to let go and worked harder and harder to force a way back into her life.

Around this time Laura started to hear strange noises from under the house, scratching type noises kind of like raccoons were in the crawl space or something. But she was too busy dealing with all the craziness from her ex to worry too much about it. And anyway, if she put things off for a bit how much damage could raccoons really do under the house? Probably not much.

What she was worried about though was the fact that things around her house weren’t quite right. She started to notice slight little… changes.

Before work she would leave her coffee cup on the counter but when she got home it would be in the sink. Pillows seemed to have mysteriously shifted and towels were on the floor where she could have sworn none were there before.

‘The stress of all this is getting to me’ she thought. And there was a lot to be stressed about. For some reason her ex seemed to know every detail of her life, even her future plans.
A picture of a woman on the phone in the shadows in front of white curtains with some light streaming through it.
She would make a lunch date with a friend and her ex would instantly know about it. Getting an oil change, switched days off at work, no matter how trivial or important the event her ex seemed to be all-knowing and didn’t hesitate to show it. How could she possibly know all these things?

Paranoia might be too light a word for what Laura started to feel. Things weren’t adding up until one day she decided to call an animal handler to come and get the raccoons or whatever animals were living under her house.

The man shimmied under the house with a flashlight to assess the situation and see what traps would be needed. Moving the light around in the dark he found not a single raccoon or sign of animals.

What he did find were blankets and bottles and food wrappers strewn all over the dirt under the house. Somebody had been living there.

The man thought it was kind of comical, who in the world would be crazy enough to have lived under the house in such cramped and wretched conditions?

But Laura realized with horror that somebody hadn’t lived under the house, they were still living there. It was her ex!

All the pieces came together after that. Her ex had been living under the house and scratching around moving from section to section, pressing up against the floor to listen to…everything. All the phone calls, all the conversations, every movement. She was never actually alone, her ex was always slithering right under the floor.

She suspected also that her ex had made a copy of the house key and was coming into the house while she was at work. Eating, taking a shower, sleeping in the bed, rifling through all her things, having the run of the place. It was like they had never broken up.

Laura immediately had the crawl space cleared out and changed her locks. I’m not 100% sure on my memory on this but I think she also filed for a restraining order (and who wouldn’t do at least that). But a piece of paper generally won’t stop a psycho and it definitely didn’t in this case. Things came to a head when her ex took things to the next level.

Understandably wanting to have some company at the house with her (and not the under the house slithering type company either) Laura invited some friends over for dinner and coffee one night. And who shows up inside the house with them but her ex in a very agitated and psychotic state. Oh, and she had a shotgun. And she took them all hostage.
Picture of one eye of a woman, her eye is green.
Because you see, the ex wasn’t ready for things to be over. And she wasn’t ready to stop living on the property. And she really wasn’t ready to give up control just because Laura didn’t want to be together anymore.

So there they all were, the ladies sitting stiffly in chairs under the watch of the ex’s shotgun, with the outcome of the hostage situation uncertain. Would the ex snap and kill them all or would she be appeased with promises of getting back together? Things were looking kind of grim after a while until one of the ladies was able to break away without getting shot and ran out of the house into the dark of night.

Banging on the door of a neighbor’s house she got safe and had them call the police. Next was a long crazy night full of SWAT team operations and hostage negotiation. The psychotic ex was eventually apprehended and taken to a new and much more roomy place to live than the crawl space she had made herself at home in for so long.

As for Laura she actually kept living in the same house, although I don’t know how she could do it. Maybe she moved out eventually but personally if it was me I would have packed and got out as soon as humanly possible. How do you shake that feeling of being watched, somebody with their ear up to the floorboard or a vent? Every creak or banging of a pipe would freak me the heck out. And was that coffee cup there when I left this morning or somewhere else? LOL, I just couldn’t do it and I don’t know how she did it but she’s a braver person that I am.

I do know one thing though, if you hear scratching coming from under the house don’t wait to call someone to look at the crawl space 0_0. Who knows how long the ex would have kept living under there, creeping around and listening to every little footstep of the one person in the world she just couldn’t let go of.

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01/26/2012
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This Abandoned Goldfish Has A Secret

A screenshot of a frame of the movie The Passenger, where the alien is scared of the fish.
Here’s a cool little mini-movie that I came across the other day. It’s called The Passenger and it tells the story of a little alien-looking guy who has a problem:

Every time he tries to walk past the fence of a certain house a crazy rabid dog starts to bark like crazy, snapping his teeth and pushing on a loose board in the fence to try and attack.

His only option is to go the long way around it all by taking the bus. That is until one day someone leaves a plastic bag with a goldfish in it on the seat next to him.

This isn’t an ordinary goldfish though, it has a secret…

I thought The Passenger was a great bit of storytelling, not to mention animation work, and was very happy to have come across it on YouTube. I really liked how all the comedy was done in this video, especially when the main character was in the bus.

The opening of the umbrella, how he was still smacking the bag even after the fish went back to normal, the plugging and unplugging of the headphones, etc. None of these were revolutionary sequences to the art of comedy but they were executed perfectly and had me laughing the whole time. Oh and as for the bus driver he must be the most oblivious bus driver ever lol.

What do you think, did you like it? Y/N?

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01/24/2012