It’s been a long time since we cousins have posted anything on this blog, so I’m wondering how many Followers we still have. But for those of you who are, and for readers who have just clicked on, intrigued by the title, I hope you enjoy this personal memoir, circa 1990.
One bright summer day my teenage daughter and I were doing some cleaning in the kitchen of our home in Fullarton, Ontario. My husband, Bob, was outside doing some yard work.
Our house was an old one, built in the 1890s, I believe, and the kitchen was long and narrow with one short row of cupboards. At one end of the kitchen cupboards there was a black iron pipe running from the basement to the roof. This pipe acted as a plumbing vent of sorts and someone had nicely boxed it in to look like part of the cupboard setup.
Small as it was, maybe 16 inches square, the cupboard was floor to ceiling so we used it as a closet for brooms and mops. I was wiping it out that day in the course of washing down the kitchen walls. My daughter was in the kitchen with me; I believe she was washing dishes at that moment.
The pipe running upwards through it was mostly uniform in diameter, but there was one spot about shoulder height where a joint was covered with a ring, giving the pipe about an inch of extra thickness all around. All at once I took note of something dark and fuzzy scrunched behind the pipe. It was sitting just above this joint on top of this ring almost completely hidden by the pipe. Whatever was it and how long had it been there?
I took a closer look and froze. The “thing” was mottled brown, about the size and color of a large dead mouse or small rat. Not being very brave myself, I hesitated to pull it out and verify my suspicions.
I called my daughter to come and see, hoping she’d remove the thing. (She has always been much braver than I when it comes to tackling small beasties.) She took a look at it, then wrinkled her nose. No way was she going to try pulling it out, either.
By now we were fairly sure it was some sort of intruder that had crawled into the cupboard somehow and died back there. And we were sure it had to come out. But we were both certain that neither of us was going to have a go at poking or pulling it out. Even if it didn’t smell, it still might turn into an icky mess in our fingers.
What to do? Ah, men are brave! So I went out to the yard to call Bob and solicit his help in removing this creature. (I didn’t tell him it was a creature; let him find that out for himself.)
He came in to see what had us all so petrified, eyed the dark fuzz for a minute, then reached back and yanked the dark lump out. And smiled.
The “creature” was actually two things: two scouring brushes that attached to one of those old floor polishers. Probably not originally brown, but grubby and rusted with age. Our hero held it up for us to inspect. Quite harmless.
Isn’t it amazing what your imagination can conjure up when you see a bit of brown fuzz lurking n some dark corner?
This account originally posted on my main blog Dec 20, 2015.