Gracie’s got a ghost

Every once in a while, I roll my carcass out of bed early.
Recently, it hasn’t been to accompany, my wife, the “Pearl of the Orient,” to the swimming pool but to wheel my bike around Drizzle Creek in the cool of the early morning . . . and, of course, to stop by the Bakery to see what’s new with the early-risers.
The early-risers generally are made up of an entirely different crew than the regular 9-11 a.m. coffee break crowd, except for Moose, who’s liable to be there most any time. So there’s a whole new pool of debating skills and information to stimulate one’s cranial functions.
This week, as I ambled in to the usual chorus of jibes about having “overnight accidents,”, Grace and Sheila were deep in discussion on the general uselessness of the male of the species, both resenting their spouses who were still asleep while they, themselves, were out after the almighty dollar.
Grace looked particularly forlorn, and kept rolling her tongue up into one cheek and grumbling.
“You look beat, Grace. Grumpier than a bear with a sore tooth,” I observed as Grace rubbed her jaw tenderly.
“Exactly! I’ve got a tooth that’s raising Cain and my appointment isn’t ’til October. I wish he’d pull ’em all out!” she harumphed, taking another slug of coffee and wincing as the hot liquid hit the tender tooth.
“Pull ’em all out! Why on earth wouldn’t you just get ’em fixed up and visit the dentist more regularly,” I wondered aloud, looking for, and expecting, a unique female perspective.
Grace didn’t disappoint.
“Because I hate going to the dentist and if I got them all out, I wouldn’t ever have to go back,” she snapped, the sore tooth not improving her demeanor at all.
“Sorry,” she apologized, “But I haven’t been getting a lot of sound sleep lately, what with this tooth and that pesky ghost.”
“Ghost? Tell me more,” I remarked as I poured refills and turned on my mental tape recorder. After all, it’s important to keep the facts straight.
“Oh, the ceiling fan kept coming on the other night with no one touching the switch,” Grace recounted. “I was afraid there was a problem with the wiring so Dave crawled around in the attic for an hour and pronounced everything was normal.
“He didn’t even step through the ceiling drywall, which is surprising as I expected him to double clutch when he ran his head into the shingling nails sticking down through the roof,” she snorted, obviously tickled by Dave’s discomfort or imagining him sitting astride a rafter with both his legs hanging through the ceiling.
“Anyways, we always have these strange little things happen and we figure it’s just the ghost of either the long departed Harold or old Frank rattling around the house they occupied in lives passed,” Grace explained as she drained her cup and held it out for a refill after an examination of the clock showed another five minutes before the opening bell.
“I told my house guest about it and she freaked. Let a wail out of her every time the house creaked or a bug hit the screen. Haven’t been able to get a decent night’s sleep for the past week,” she moaned before finally rising and heading off.
So the next summer night you are cruising through Pinewood in the wee hours and the moon is shining brightly, keep an eye on Grace’s house for something white and ethereal drifting around the vicinity of the swimming pool.
It might be a ghost . . . or maybe just Dave and Grace out taking a late-night skinny dip.

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