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Ghost For Sale 


Monday, May 24, 2004

The first Amusing Child Encounter du jour was a little boy admiring the tin cars in the toy display. He asked which car belonged to the police.

Putting two and two together I figured he was headed for a career as an aligator skin tanner. Instead of going with the obvious, I asked, "You wanna be a cop, huh kid? Huh?"

"Nope," he sweetly replied, "I want to be a monster truck driver."

Why didn't he stop at monster? I have always wanted to ask people, if they could be any monster in the world, what kind of monster would they be. You know, then I could retort with a "Oh yeah, well I would be an evil cursed blob and I would ooze toxic slime on your face!"

I should have interrupted him right after he pronounced the word monster. He did pause a bit. I missed my chance again. We talked about Transformers after that.

The next Amusing Child Encounter was a little girl who mulled over the Comments section of our guest book.

"You can write about how much you like the muskrat," was my suggestion.

She went back to the fur trade display to recall which animal she liked best. As soon as she wrote I liked the, she turned to her mother to ask how to write a cursive lowercase R. Her mother wrote the R and the little girl took proceeded to finish the word red. Then she ran back to the display and returned to write out squi. Again she requested two more cursive lowercase Rs of her mother. Then she finished off squirrel.

The Museum, among all the "We loved your museum" comments from Kyrgyzstan and Venezuala, now has a "I liked the red squirrel" comment. Thank you, little girl, but next time write about how much you love the other flayed animals. They feel left out, especially the coarse pelt of that former raccoon. His nose is attached and everything. What's not to love?

Finally, my third Amusing Child Encounter was another little girl who, quite frankly, is probably my long-lost daughter.

"Do you have any ghosts here?"

Why, ghosts are my specialty, little lady!

I immediately offered her a tour of the vaults and the secret room behind the women's washroom and the chainsaw room that always creaks. Then her parents said that she can never sleep at night. There was no backing out now. A Bastardized Museum Ghost Tour it would be.

I showed her secret room. As I started explaining the background of that room and what we found inside, I noticed her mother's eyes getting wider. So when I got to the part where the Museum staff opened the locked door and beheld the horror within...I slapped on a PG rating:

"To find out what awaited us in this room, you'll have to wait ten years and become a Museum volunteer." Rather like the X-Men or Spiderman movies, I hinted at a sequel.

My wee ghost-seeker complained that I didn't have a very good ghost tour. I explained that Herbert does live in the basement and he rattles the chainsaw all the time. I couldn't be blamed for his hermit mood. So the little girl asked to buy Herbert. I offered to write up a certificate of sale for Herbert if she brings me a few pennies next time.

When this little girl comes back, I could sell her off a few more ghosts. Like this pair of extremely rare dual pink vortexes. A bargain at only $27.99, they mop up any spill.

Or, starting at $10.99 plus shipping and handling, I have a number of spectral wisps ranging from the intangible to the downright viscous. A charming addition to any modest bungalow-style home, they are guaranteed to chill.

In addition I could throw in the disembodied ghostly footsteps that once prevented me from sleeping for two weeks. I'm sure I have an irksome elf around here too, and a few leprechauns. I chained the leprechauns in a row next to the furnace. Once I week I ask them to take me to their treasure. Once a week they refuse. The furnace can no longer handle the leprechauns. May as well get rid of them.

*****

I've been having a real mental block in coming up with a conclusion for this post. What happens now? Do I tie in the little ghost girl with the little red squirrel girl and the monster truck driver boy? Do I let my imagine run wild and write the hilarious outcome of the little ghost girl and her ghosts? Can I throw in a car chase or a sex scene?

Unless the parents of these kids bring back their children, I can only guess at what the conclusion to this post will be.

The little red squirrel girl, after a painful courtship, eventually marries the little monster truck driver boy.

Following a series of affairs with peg-legged aristocrats across the Caribbean, the little ghost girl eventually crosses paths with the little red squirrel girl at a Wyoming service station. They exchange DNA samples and discover themselves to be sisters, separated at birth when their mother's personality split down the middle into the soccer mom prototype and the mom-with-a-lampshade-dealership paradigm. This chance meeting is fortuitous, as the abandoned child of the little ghost girl turns up one night, soaked to the skin, in the aftermath of a typhoon, in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant which the mother of the child (the little ghost girl) can't provide as she is a heavy smoker and the father ran off with a milliner of indeterminate origin.

I'm sure it'll all end happily when Herbert and his vapourous brethren throw a big party for the little ghost girl, her recuperating child, the little red squirrel girl, the little monster truck driver boy, the milliner and her new husband, the father of the recuperating child, and both the soccer mom personality and the mom-with-a-lampshade-dealership personality.

That's a pretty good conclusion.

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