Monday, October 7, 2013

Hello everyone! It's October, the month of creepy critters and goblins. Spirits and ghosts. Ghost hunting and seances.

When I mention what I love to do, I usually get two distinct reactions. One is for people to start sidling away from me, generally toward the closest door. Wish they'd stick around because they don't know what they're missing. The second one is a person's eyes light up . . . and they start asking questions. That I love because I get to share my experiences.

Yep, you guessed it! I ghost hunt! I just recently received word from Tennessee that my background check cleared, and I'm excited to head off on the first investigation this coming weekend.

But with age and mileage -- meaning my own -- a few problems arise on occasion. What kind of problems? Think we have the bones for one hilarious post here. Welcome to Runere Land!

When you're used to doing something on a regular basis, you run through a check list without thinking about it. The details have been ingrained by force of habit. But I was obligated elsewhere and had to rely on a family member who offered to run through the pre-hunt checklist for me.

Which meant I had to CREATE a check list! Over the phone. With another person scribbling their version of the instructions. Oh, the opportunities for error run rampant, and not just in translation. Hubby was my victim, I mean volunteer.

"Check the batteries in everything," I start, holding the phone steady against my shoulder with my chin, my hands busy with something else. I hear furious scribbling from the other end. It stops.

"Uh, what is everything?" I'm asked. "Exactly. I don't want to do this wrong."

"Both cameras," I say, tacking on after a bit, "You'll probably have to recharge the Nikon battery so it's full for the investigation, and buy an extra battery for the smaller digital. I can't remember the size. I just know the package when I see it." Dead silence. Wait. Was that a muttered, "Oh, like that helps". Only half pretending I didn't hear that I tell him, "You'll just have to check to see what kind."

 "They're different?" is finally hazarded over the line.

First item on the list and there is already a problem. I am now clutching the phone in my hand. Not that it helps. I decide to come back to that question later.

"Next, make sure the EVP room recorders are erased from the last investigation, and check the battery levels in each one. There should be eight units. Oh!" a thought pokes me out of the blue. "I have a new bulk package of batteries for them somewhere, so toss it in the ditty bag for me, please?" The scribbling sounds come much slower.

"How do you erase them?" That sounded a little peeved, but it was a good question. And maybe another problem. The instruction manuals got tossed when a g-kid spilled grape juice on them.

"Depends on whether it's the Sony units or the other units. I tell them apart by the little squigglies and shields on the tops," I offer helpfully. No way was I admitting that muscle memory was all I had to go on. Desperate, I close my eyes and imagine holding one, allowing my fingers to move as if operating it. "If it's one with the shield thingy on the front, you hold the almost small button, not the small small button, on the right side for three seconds . . .  .
. . . . Why don't I hear you writing? Never mind. I'll get someone else to drive and clear them on the way to the investigation site."

"Next?" is grumbled at me. I stick my tongue out. It's not like he can see me.

"See if the EMF detector is working. That's the hand held, white, wedge-shaped plastic thing with a fan of lights from green to yellow to orange to red on the top end. If it isn't working, change the battery, please? The small screwdriver to open the back is the zippered side pocket of the ditty bag." I relax a bit as scribbling sounds resume. "Pick a couple of extra nine volts for it. And new SD cards for the cameras. They can be minimal storage since I use a new one at each investigation."

A grunt comes over the line. I assume it's agreement and plow on. "My laptop battery has to be charged, so plug it in before you start doing anything else. Oh, and before I forget, toss the car charger in the ditty bag! Well, not toss. Hate when it gets tangled with all the other cords in there and I have to take every single thing out--" A throat being cleared ends my rant. "Put t in the small zippered inside pouch, please," I ask, my voice subdued.

"Put the drinks in the fridge, but leave the insulated bag out on the counter. That way they're chilling, but you see the bag so they don't get left behind. That should in turn remind you to add the Ziploc bag of  mini cheeses from the crisper drawer. And the cheeses remind you to tuck in the box of crackers. Crackers are salty, so tuck in cookies for a sweet. And maybe some fruit. But if you add fruit, I'll need one of the personal size wet wipes packages to get the sticky off my fingers. You got all that?"

"I've got a headache starting." Hmmm. You have to applaud honesty.

"And while you're out getting batteries and such, fill the truck and check the fluid levels. And make sure the g-kids haven't left any Happy Meal boxes or fishing tackle in the back seat. One is only embarrassing," I keep talking as I think, "but the other ends up being a trip to the emergency room to remove the treble hooks from someone's backside if they sit on a lure."  Did he just choke?

 "Oh.! Oh! Oh!" My enthusiasm is palpable. "MEL's coming with me, too! For the very first time!"

The ensuing silence is hostile. It all but pokes me in the ear.

"Who the hell is Mel?" explodes over the line. "How new is he? Has he been checked out? How do you know you won't be riding with some axe murderer or something? I thought I knew everyone in the group." Aw, he's worried about me! How cute after nearly thirty years! And maybe a tad jealous? The injury in his voice does as much as his next comment to negate that misconception."Somebody could take off with my truck while you're investigating!"

"MEL's not a who, MEL's a what," I snap. "He's the larger yellow handheld unit with needle EMF gauges and temperature recording capabilities. With a bottle cap shaped thingy on top with a wire poking out of it. But you have to open the box to see him. You can open it, but don't you dare take him out. Put him --gently!-- in the ditty bag on top of the rubber-banded tablets and pens. But you know what? This check list thing is not working. And when I get home the first thing I'm going to do is kick your truck!"

Good writing everyone!

Author Paula Hardin is part of the continuing #Tag! You're It! Introductory blog hop. Both of us would appreciate your popping over to her blog to check out her answers to four questions. Here's her blog address:

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