Wednesday, November 01, 2006

To Blog or not to Blog that is the question...

Well, Lately it seems for me it has been to not blog. What a hellish couple of weeks I have had. To begin I quit my job and came home. I can't tell you why or what it was, just know I'm much happier for doing it. Unfortunatly I came home to my house turning into a mock up of disneyland, real rats included. Yes, ladies and gentleman, it turn out we have a rat infestation. I'm moving, not sure where or when, but it is happening in the next couple of days. I can't sleep listening to them knaw through the walls of my house. Yes, it is disgusting.

Now that I have put that unpleasant thought into your head, forget about it and here is a story to warm the heart.

On halloween I scare myself to death with scary movies and practical jokes on my friends. But ghosts are no laughing matter especially for those of us who have come face to face with them before. I wouldn't ever classify myself as a scifi dork(but come on who didn't play D&D when they were younger?) but I have always believed that ghosts do exist. It all started when I was about 15. I had one of those summer jobs that you love to hate. My friends Giles, Saliny, and Downs; We were all working at this mansion doing restoration for the park district. Basically they thought of us as cheap labor and they were right. There were three other guys working with us as well, Seamus (The guy who dated my dream girlfriend), Hyde, and Frye. We all happened to play Lacrosse together, so we knew each other.

The Cheney Mansion can be found in Oak Park, Illinois and as the story goes was inhabited by Miss Cheney till she died in the early 80's and left her mansion to the park district for use to rent out for special functions. Garden Parties, Weddings, Music recitals, the occasional Bar Mitzvah plagued the weekends of our summer as we would help run security making sure the antique objects in the house were not destroyed. During the week painting, gardening, and other menial tasks were dished out by our slave driving boss, her nickname, the troll.

Our Motto, what the troll didn't know wouldn't hurt her. An average day for us consisted of use getting into work about 9:00am. immeadiatly we would all go to the kitchen and spend an hourmaking cappucino and breakfast for ourselves. Then we would all shuffle off to the various rooms we were painting. Occasionally the troll would leave to run errands and all of us would find a bed and take an hour nap. We were only caught once doing this. Around noon we would take an hour lunch at Tasty Dog or mickeys. My friend Downs is famous at Tasty Dog for creating the Fat Bastard COmbo meal; One Chicken Sandwich, Two Chicago Style Hot Dogs, One order of Cheese Fries, and a coke. Imagine eating that every day for a summer and he wonders why he can't get a date.

Anyways our afternoons consisted of rolling up tape balls and using the extension poles for the paint rollers to play stick ball in the ball room. Occassionally we would sneak outside and play 500 in the backyard. Yeah, we were the opitimy of slackers, but we still managed to paint that whole mansion, have an exquisite garden, and live to regail you all with the story I'm about to share.

There were a couple other parts to our job that none of us dared talk about. Not because we couldn't, but because who would believe us. Every morning when we arrived at work our first task of the day was to drain the free standing antique tub of water. The question that should arise in everyones mind is why was the tub filled with water every morning? Well, we also would like to know that answer since it wasn't connected or even in the same room as any plumbing or faucets. At the end of day we would shut off all the lights to the third floor, but as we exited the building all of them would suddennly go on. The troll would then ask us why we didn't shut the lights off and send us back in to turn them off again. Sometimes it would take us 3 to 4 times before she would say, forget about it. There were nights when I would come home from a party or begin out wiht my friends and we would roll by the house to see weird shadows and the lights on in the third floor bedrooms and ballrooms. We all knew there was a ghost, we all hoped it would leave us alone, and none of us told the people who came to have their wedding there about it.

One night while working a wedding, My friend Downs and I watched as all the windows on the thrid floor unlocked themselves, swung open, and then a minute later closed and relocked themselves. While painting the servant hallways, my friend Saliny kept hearing banging on the door, everytime he went to answer it, no one was there. He went back to painting until suddennly there was banging all around him. He went straight to the troll and said, "I'm done for the day!" The only people allowed int he basement were mansion staff, this basement was huge. It seemed small till you found the tunnell to the secondary basement, where there is a painting of all the original towns elders. There facial expressions change from day to day.

To all of you I know this doesn't sound that scary, but when it happens to you you'll understand. Unfortuantly the troll would never let us stay overnight in the house, it was an insurance risk. For some reason I think there is more to it then that. If you ever find yourself on the west side of Chicago, make sure to stop by the Cheney Mansion and see for yourself, I guarantee something weird will happen while your there!