On the Mop

Saturday was a rough day with my grandmother.

However, I’ve not told the story of Saturday night.

As mentioned previously, I went to Big Lots Saturday night, for no particular reason except that I could. And there’s a liquor store in that shopping center, and since I had no beer in the refrigerator, I could rectify that situation.

Ultimately, I bought two six-packs. Bottles, naturally. The Sam Adams White Ale, and a stout from Charlottesville that the clerk recommended. Being a stout and porter man, I listen to recommendations on stouts. There’s a story that goes with that stout, by the way; has to do with the Dave Matthews Band, but I’m fuzzy on the details.

So, I got home. Put the beer in the refrigerator. Did other random things.

About 10:30 I went downstairs to liberate a bottle from the fridge.

My grandmother was standing at the kitchen door, half inside the kitchen, peering around the door’s edge.

“What are you doing?” I said.

“There’s a man out here,” she said, real anger in her voice.

My grandmother, the paranoiac that she is, wouldn’t have have her head outside the door if there were something truly on the back patio. “Let me take a look.”

She got out of the way, came back into the kitchen, and I stepped out onto the back step.

I looked around, particularly in the direction of the basement door, which was the direction that she had been looking. I saw nothing.

I looked at the bushes. Again, nothing.

Quite simply, there was no one outside. I told her such.

She came to the door, which I was holding open, and she pointed in the direction of the basement door. But that wasn’t what she was pointing at. Instead, she was pointing at a mop, propped up against the brick. “He’s standing right there!” she screamed.

If there were a man, standing on the porch, her scream would have alerted him, only a few feet away, that he’d been sussed out.

I walked over to the mop and pointed. “Here?”


I picked up the mop, took it to her, and held it to her face. “It’s a fucking mop! It’s not a man! It’s a mop!”

I put the mop back where it had been, went back inside, took my bottle of Sam Adams White Ale, and went back upstairs, leaving my grandmother fuming behind me.

An hour later, I went downstairs to make sure that she had locked up when she’d gone to bed. She was still awake, and standing in the dining room, a tea cup in her hand. “Still up?” I said.

“I’m going to bed now.” And she did. Strangely, she went to bed in her bed, instead of sleeping on the living room couch as is her wont.

It was a full moon. My grandmother always does get freaky strange when it’s a full moon.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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