Back in February 2005, I was living in a creaky old house that had been dubbed Arkham Asylum. It was named that because a) I was a Lovecraft geek, b) the other resident, my then-boyfriend Christopher Jones, drew Batman comics for a living, and c) the house was made entirely out of eldritch noises and non-Euclidean angles. We’d put a lot of work into that house, but it still remained… full of personality. I do miss that weird home.
Back in 2005, I was also still a terrible cook.
Tales of my bad cooking were somewhat legendary. There was a day in my life where I attempted to make a grilled cheese sandwich three different times, and I managed to set all three on fire. There were pre-made soups that turned into curdled chunks of inediblity. One time, I actually did manage to set water on fire.
Beyond that, during this particular winter, I’d repeatedly had issues with eggs. I’d dropped entire batches of scrambled eggs on the floor. I’d fumbled two uncooked eggs, in separate incidents, onto the stove top, where they promptly caught on fire. I dropped hard-boiled eggs onto the floor at work. I dropped an entire grocery bag of food on the Arkham Asylum’s back porch, causing 18 eggs to roll underneath the deck, making them irretrievable and, eventually, smelly.
One particular dark, cold night February night in 2005, I had managed to get some eggs home without causing them any grievous harm. Chris wasn’t home, so I decided that I’d relax, watch a movie, and perhaps make some hard-boiled eggs for a snack.
I knew I was tempting fate, but I’d gotten the raw eggs into the refrigerator without incident. This victory was heady and potent. Also, it’s pretty hard to mess up hard-boiled eggs, right?
Thus, I salted some water, popped in some eggs, turned on the stove, and headed into the living room.
…where turned on a movie.
…and where all thoughts of eggs vanished from my brain.
45 minutes later, I hear things.
The main level of The Arkham Asylum consisted entirely of a large L-shaped living room and the large kitchen. There was an outside entrance into the living room at the front of the house, and two more in the kitchen. The layout was such that, if you were in the living room, you couldn’t see the outside doors in the kitchen. In fact, you couldn’t see the kitchen at all until you were practically in the doorway.
So I was home alone, at night, and Chris wasn’t home, and I was hearing things in the kitchen.
Strange noises. Sudden noises.
“Hello?” I call out. (You know, as if a criminal / evildoer / stray tiger would reply, “Oh hi!”)
No response. Just strange noises.
What follows is how I know why people behave in horror films the way they do. It’s true: if you hear creepy noises in your own house, you’re going to goddamned investigate. You know why? Because sitting there wondering what the fuck is in your house feels worse than just getting up and finding out what the fuck is in your house. Lovecraft had it right: the unknown is far more terrifying than the known.
So I got up.
And I grabbed the nearest sword.
(Yes, I have swords. Plural. Don’t judge me.)
I held that sword like a baseball bat, and I slowly crept toward the kitchen door.
I slowly emerged from the darkness of the living room, and into the already-lit kitchen. I peeped around the corner, and only saw dark glass in the windows and outside doors. I checked and double-checked and triple-checked with my eyes, seeing no invasive prowler / meter reader / Julian Sands lookalike warlock.
I inched further into the kitchen. I didn’t hear any more of the noises, but something had to make them, right?
Sword aloft, I got midway into the kitchen. The stove was at my right elbow.
This stove, by the way, was inhabited by one pot of hard-boiled eggs, where all the water had boiled away. The naked, dry eggs were now engaged in the profession of exploding one by one, like slow, protein-filled fireworks.
Not that I saw or remembered putting the eggs on the stove. I was busy staring at the black glass of the back door, nerves singing, expecting to see the boogeyman leap at me at any moment.
BANG! said the stove.
And that, my friends, is how I came to bludgeon the shit out of a pot of eggs with a sword.