Get thee behind me, Fluffy!

My Fellow Inebriates,

This morning my mum drove my dad to the airport for his first-ever business trip with the corporate dark side.

Like many unbalanced people, she did a thorough scan of the house, and then another identical one, looking for unlocked doors, appliances left on, liquor cabinet secured, etc. Through the window I watched them drive away. Then I went back to sleep. All the bears were asleep—Glen, Red Bear, Fluffy…

Mum dropped Dad off at the airport and Miss P off at Grade One. She and Miss V shared a ginger cookie at Starbucks and did the grocery shopping. Finally they came home.

And one of the stove burners was on.

It wasn’t a burner anyone had used that morning. They’d used other ones, but not that one. And there it was, on “Lo.”

Obsessive compulsives like my mother check for these things before they leave the house. They make sure they are last to leave, just in case anyone else has an idea about turning on all the lights or taps for no good reason. When you have OCD you look out for stove burners—even ones you haven’t been using.

My dad was incommunicado on a five-hour flight to Toronto. The kids…they would never touch the stove; my mum has frightened the living daylights out of them regarding fire. As for my mum…she didn’t use the burner, but she doesn’t specifically recall checking it, although she recalls checking three times that the front door was locked.

It has a little red light! She would have seen that! My mother is a freak about stuff like this. She couldn’t have left the house without seeing that!

Now, I was sleeping off some Malibu dregs, and although I did briefly get up to say good-bye to my dad and remind him to check in with Ravenskye for me on Facebook, I conked out straightaway after. So I don’t know about that burner…

But I have an idea.

I think it was Fluffy.

If you’ve been following, you know Fluffy is the Fleecy-marinated semi-comatose bear who arrived shortly after my Granny died. He was her bear, and some strange shit’s been happening since his arrival. Cold spots. Noises. Fearful kids.

I’d like to say this all seemed benign, but it was creeping me out. And now! Finding stove burners on is a seriously sinister development. Somebody is trying to get our attention—as though being offensively redolent of fabric softener wasn’t sufficient. Fluffy, I don’t know what you want, dude, but you are seriously giving me the willies.

So here’s what I proposed to my mum: buy some chardonnay. Granny and I had a history of occasionally drinking chardonnay together, particularly some nice unoaked ones and a Semillon blend once. We had some good chats over her chardonnay, and she didn’t mind me dipping into her glass.

My mum has company coming this week anyway, so she did visit the booze shop. But she didn’t buy chardonnay; she bought sauvignon blanc.

I told her she is messing with things we cannot even comprehend. She is thumbing her nose at powerful spirits by buying the wrong booze.

She said she prefers sauvignon blanc and that the wine consultant recommended it.

Good enough for me, but will it keep Fluffy out of mischief?

If I don’t post for a few days, it’s because he’s set fire to the house.

She’s heeeere

An eerie feeling has been creeping up on me …someone might be around. Someone who isn’t with us any more.

The general policy around LBHQ is to be skeptical about paranormal activity. Things get weird enough when your brain cells spend the percentage of time marinating in tequila that mine do. It’s already a sufficient struggle to keep track of the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny without entertaining the notion that my deceased Granny might be haunting us.

BUT. Weird Things Have Happened.

If you missed my last reports about Granny, here are the facts:

  • Granny was my mum’s mother. She was part of the liquor-store shopping expedition during which I was purchased in 2005.
  • Granny was one of those people who understands bears. She even had her own bear, which my mum sent to her seven years ago, and which resided with her in Ireland.
  • Granny and I enjoyed a glass of chardonnay together from time to time when she visited Canada.  
  • Granny died in November.

We try to be very fact-oriented around here, but with two little girls under six ruling the household, things get unavoidably fanciful.

And those girls have been ardently wishing for Granny to come back.

Do they know what they’re asking? OMG! I don’t think they do. You see, my parents haven’t shown them any zombie movies or documentaries about the Shroud of Turin, nor do they read William Peter Blatty books to them at bedtime. Thus the kids have no points of reference vis-à-vis resurrection, the undead, or even poltergeists. So when they wish for Granny to return, they’re expressing an innocent hope without tapping into the arsenal of pop-cultural paranoia to which we older types have ready access.

HOWEVER. There Are These Weird Things.

Exhibit A

Cold spots. If you’ve seen The Sixth Sense you know things get cold when there are ghosts present. Well, our house has been freaking cold! In fact, only when my dad fixed the furnace did it get warmer. You be the judge.

Exhibit B

Noises. When my mum had her birthday last month, my dad took the kids out for a few hours. The house became uncharacteristically silent, and she started doing my typing. Then, suddenly (!) there was a loud crash from another room. Something had fallen. All by itself. Now…was it the precarious pile of toys in the living room simply conceding to gravity, or was it Granny wishing Mum a happy birthday?

Exhibit C

The kids are terrified of going upstairs. When Granny died in November, the whole family talked about it without any reference to the possibility of an afterlife, ghosts, spirits, haunting—any of that stuff—and certainly without any ideas about the dead coming back or watching us or trying to communicate. And, despite some sadness over Granny’s death, the girls bounced back quickly to their normal selves—and had no reason to be afraid of roaming the house. UNTIL…

Exhibit D

Fluffy. The weirdest thing has been the arrival of Fluffy, the bear that, years ago, my mum sent to Granny in Ireland, and which was returned to us after her death.

Shortly after Mum’s brother brought Fluffy back to us from the funeral, the girls became afraid. First the four-year-old refused to go upstairs alone, then the six-year-old (never previously afraid) became anxious too. Now neither will go upstairs without the other. When questioned, they don’t produce a reason, but something has changed.

Fluffy remains uncommunicative, his brain seemingly damaged by the long soak in detergent and fabric softener he was subjected to before his trans-Atlantic flight. Catatonic as he is, Fluffy has still captured the affections of my bear-fetishizing once-upon-a-time girlfriend Dolly (perhaps she digs catatonia too).

Getting jilted isn’t the weird part, though. The weird part is Fluffy’s impassive, expressionless yet overwhelming presence. Oh, we regular bears have tried to get to know him. He even sleeps in the bear bed with us, his sheer fluffiness taking up half the bed. But he doesn’t respond, even when I grind up against him obnoxiously just to elicit a reaction. Nothing. And yet, he is. Fluffy is here.

I don’t know if Granny ever talked to Fluffy while he lived in her room. She was very solitary; she used to stay in, reading and smoking (Fluffy has probably been in nicotine withdrawal the last couple of months).


Streakers. As you know, I spend a lot of time staring—just staring—and the almost-things I see are just in my peripheral vision. And there are more of them since Fluffy arrived! My mum says this comes from drinking wormy mescale. You be the judge.

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Okay, so Fluffy’s not friendly, but is he possessed?

My mum says it’s just jealousy and mescale talking, but I think so.

Has Fluffy permanently stolen my girlfriend?

Yes. Fleecy is to Dolly what Axe body spray is to teenage girls, and I can’t compete with his outrageous floral aroma.

Is Fluffy going to compete with me for liquor?

We’ll see. I don’t mind if he helps open bottles, but he isn’t any more equipped with thumbs than he is with a vocabulary.

Is Fluffy harboring Granny’s ghost, and is she gathering strength so she can reveal herself to us? OMG! I don’t even have any chardonnay to offer her.

Granny was my mum’s mother, so I asked her if she thinks Granny’s here. She says she doesn’t know, but she’s going to tighten the cap on the mescale.