Every relationship needs a yin and a yang, a salt and a pepper, an apple and an orange, a chocolate bar and a giant jar of peanut butter. It’s imperative that when one person screams, “There’s a murderous, meat-eating troll under our bed!” the other one has the sense to say, “Go the fuck to sleep!”
Sadly, Tom and I are both yangs. Not only does he not tell me to go the fuck to sleep but he also keeps a lead pipe on his side of the bed in case the troll attacks him first. Our family emergency plan includes running shoes and a promise from Tom that if a zombie bites me he’ll immediately shoot me in the head. I’m also pretty sure that the first time one of my daughters has an encounter with a monster in her closet we’ll be sleeping in a motel until I can convince an unsuspecting neighbor to risk his life to see if the coast is clear.
The other night was no different. We both jumped out of bed when we heard some crazy ass killer walking around our house, whistling. Yes whistling! I’ve heard bumps in the night, creaks, knocks and even the occasional groan or two when Tom overstuffs himself on beer and BBQ before he goes to bed. But whistling!? Clearly it was an axe murderer. Of course we had no visual proof of this because it’s impossible to see anything from under the covers, but a simple process of elimination was all we needed.
It wasn’t a ghost. Ghosts knock shit over, speak inaudibly through electronic devices and sometimes lay a nasty ghost fart when you least expect it. And it couldn’t have been a butcher-knife killer. They wait to sneak up on you mid-shampoo in the shower. No way was it a chainsaw killer. We would have heard him coming before he even got up the driveway (they really need a re-brand). It wasn’t a demon either. They’re like teenagers and slam doors and shout obnoxious things like “Get Out!”
It had to be some happy-go-lucky, I-just-escaped-from-the-mental-institution-and-used-the-guard’s-face-to-break-the-glass-on-the-emergency-fire-system-to-get-this-axe, homicidal lunatic with some seriously badass whistling skills. (Plus, axe murderers always have songs. Just ask Lizzy Borden.) Then, suddenly, something occurred to me.
“The TV is on,” I said.
“Yeah, so? It’s always on,” Tom said. “Otherwise I’d be up all night listening to killers creeping around the house.”
“Right. But I don’t hear the whistling anymore. Maybe we should rewind the DVR a bit.”
He pulled it back about ten minutes, hit play and there it was—our axe-wielding whistling murderer was just some middle-aged dad running through a field, arms open, celebrating the fact that he finally found a yogurt brand that made him shit every day. In case it’s still not clear–it was a yogurt commercial.
Yup. Two yangs.
So if you’re dating someone and thinking of spending the rest of your life together, the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, try screaming, “Holy shit! There’s a murderous face-eating troll in the closet.” If the response isn’t, “Go the fuck to sleep,” or “Shut up,” or anything that makes any sense at all, run. Because the only thing scarier than being stalked by a homicidal maniac is spending eternity with big, ugly, puffy bags under your eyes because you and your life partner are too chicken shit to get a good night’s sleep. (And you’ll be cranky too.)
But if you insist on getting married anyway, be sure to trade the bread-maker and the salad bowl on your registry for a lead pipe and some eye cream. You’ll thank me later.