Thursday night The Pony and I had a late night. He went to a Scholar Bowl meet, and, what with him not having his driver’s license yet (AHEM!), I had to pick him up at school around 8:00 p.m. I needed to stop by the lawyer’s office for some legal papers after school, then visit my mom. That’s a 40 minute drive both ways, you know. In the opposite direction of Backroads.
Rather than driving home for a couple of hours, I just went back to school to wait. That’s a perk, you know, of being a teacher. You kind of have the run of the school, and a safe haven to while away two hours as long as you don’t mind making small talk with the custodian and inhaling more dust than is probably healthy.
The Pony got back to school around 7:40 p.m. By the time we raided EmBee and hit the gravel road, it was 8:30. Full dark. T-Hoe’s headlights have never been quite suitable for the country. More like those needed in big cities with streetlights illuminating the thoroughfare. Not for south of Lindbergh, as my old St. Louis work buddy used to say, since she grew up with her mother telling her she was not allowed south of Lindbergh, because that’s where the streetlights stopped.
We went up the hill by the neighbor’s barn that almost sits on the gravel road. The minute we crossed the imaginary property line for our land, A DUST DEVIL CAME SWIRLING DOWN THE ROAD STRAIGHT AT T-HOE! Out of the blue! Or more accurately, out of the lights that barely cut the dark. Let the record show that we have never encountered a dust devil on our gravel road before.
As you might remember, this was during the time The Pony was hearing my voice call his name when it wasn’t me, and Hick was hearing my voice call his name when it wasn’t me, and I was hearing my mom call my name when she was 20 miles away.
“Look! A dirt demon!” The Pony knows how to push my buttons. I don’t go for that demon stuff. I won’t watch The Exorcist. I switch the channel when commercials for those kind of movies come on. I won’t watch that Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures with that Zak guy who provokes entities who haunt abandoned buildings.
“Stop that! You know I don’t like that!”
“I only said DIRT demon.”
“You know what you said. Now stop it.”
“Stop saying demon?”
“I don’t get it. I only said demon. I don’t know why that would bother you.”
“You don’t go around saying that over and over! You never know what kind of energy you could attract.”
“Hey, at least I didn’t play with an Ouija Board.”
By now we were in the garage.
“Um. Yeah. You’d better not! Especially since we don’t have one.”
“You’re the one who said you played with one when you were a kid.”
“Once. At a sleepover in 7th grade. It’s not like I sat around in a pentagram conjuring spirits. I participated ONCE with an Ouija Board, and I never will again.”
The Pony had argued so long that the automatic lights went off after the garage door closed.
“Okay. So I guess if you want me to stop saying demon, I’ll stop saying demon. But remember, there's enough stuff already in our house that there's no room for a demon. And nothing is as scary as a teenage boy.”
Sometimes, I think The Pony needs to be put on a short lead until he remembers his training. I did NOT turn T-Hoe’s headlights on for him to see the way to the steps and the porch.