By H. David Morrow FuzzyGem@worldnet.att.net
© H. David Morrow ~ October 25, 2004
A few years ago I tried to give Jascha to GW (Geneaholic Wife) for a Christmas gift. I had told her he was one of her ancestors and I had even unearthed (poor choice of word!) lots of documentation so she would be able to add him right into her genealogy program.
GW refused the gift for the (silly?) reason that he didn't fit with any of her existing lines. I, of course, had lost all the receipts and could not return him. So, being as I had already shelled out the money and couldn't get it back, I decided to keep Jascha here until I could figure out how to convert him back to cash.
Jascha served as a haunting (good choice of word!) reminder to never again try to provide an ancestor for GW. I may not be too bright, but I do learn from my past mistakes.
During my thrice-nightly trips to the bathroom (yes, I am that old), Jascha's ghost would often beat me to the door and shut it before I could get in there. So I stand in the hallway, legs tightly squeezed, waiting for Jascha to finish so I could get inside and start!
What brings up this history now? I'll tell you. Recently a friend asked if I would give her Jascha so she could give him to one of her relatives who couldn't find any antecedents further back than three generations. Jascha (born in 1842) would be the perfect gift for my friend's relative.
I've gotten over not being able to get my money back, so, I thought, "Sure. Why not?"
In fairness, I must mention that Jascha, without knowing it, performs a valuable function in my house. If something's missing, we assume Jascha moved it or took it. If GW discovers the washing machine is not running, she's sure Jascha turned it off. No ice cubes? Jascha either ate them all or never made a new supply. He's very handy to blame things on!
I told GW about the request to turn over our guest ghost. She suggested I discuss it with Jascha.
"As long as Jascha's ghost," I responded, "has nightly bathroom privileges, I don't think he'll give a d...arn!" (I had to change the word; Jascha didn't swear!)
So it was that one night I asked Jascha if we could talk for a moment. He'd just come through the door after flushing. He saw me, went back through the door, opened it and came out into the hallway.
I asked him if he would like to go live with someone else.
A tear came to his eye. "Am I too much trouble?" he asked with a breaking voice.
"No," I answered. "It's just that I thought you'd enjoy a change of scene. And stop that tearing-up. You know I can't stand seeing an old ghost cry."
"It's just that I've grown rather fond of you and GW," he said. "I had no idea I was such a trial for you both."
"We're fond of you, too. And you're NOT a trial! We hardly ever see you. In fact, GW never sees you at all. Your nightly bathroom trips coincide only with mine."
"Just the other day," I continued, "GW asked me how you were. What with Halloween coming up, she thought you'd want to give out candy to all the kids. It really shakes them up to get stuff from a real ghost who comes through the door without opening it." I said.
Jascha wiped a tear from his left eye. "I think she's very nice. You're lucky she married you."
"She tells me that all the time." I said. "You really don't want to leave here, do you?"
"No. I like it here and I'm used to it," Jascha said through a sniffle. "What can I do to convince you to keep me?"
"Wait a minute," I thought to myself. "I''m standing here, in front of the bathroom, at 3:20 in the morning negotiating with a crying ghost!"
"Weeelll... there are some things you could do," I told him. I had in mind Jascha's habit of hiding our dog's toys in the living room and constantly moving GW's glasses so she has trouble finding them.
"You mean I should quit re-parking the neighbors' cars? Stop digging holes in their lawns that make them think they have moles? Quit sneaking into their houses and pushing over chairs and lamps?" Jascha suggested.
I told him, "That would help. You've got the lady across the street so unnerved she's constantly on tranquilizers."
"I know. But she deserves it. She mistreats her pets."
"Look, Jascha," I said, "we just can't mix into the neighbors' problems."
"Do I have to quit putting lipstick on Fred's shirt when he comes home from visiting his girlfriend?"
"Yeah. What goes on between Fred and his wife is none of our business."
"She ought to throw him out," Jascha softly mumbled. "He's a philanderer AND an idiot.
"You're probably right, but we can't butt in," I told him.
Jascha was quiet for a long time. "Alright. You're taking all my fun away, but I'll stop my shenanigans."
"Oh, yeah. One more thing," I added to Jascha's list of improvements. "You have to remember to open the bathroom door when you're done."
"And I suppose you want me to put the seat down, too?"
"Well, GW would probably appreciate it. Besides, I keep getting blamed for it," I told him, "so I would be grateful as well." Jascha nodded his head in the affirmative.
"OK," I told Jascha. "Then you don't have to leave."
And that's how it came to pass that Jascha still exists here with GW and me.