There are only two things that make me swear: stubbing my toe in the middle of the night and aluminum track storm windows.
Last night…I did it again.
It doesn’t matter whether I am half-asleep or awake, or how wide I swing around the bed. It doesn’t even matter whether I am coming or going, I will inevitably clip the same toe on the same bedpost.
It is a toe that I have broken multiple times, and the bedpost knows this, which is why it targets that toe.
Why does it do this?
Because it is evil.
My bedpost is possessed by malevolence that goes deeper than human understanding.
Just like my storm windows.
My aluminum track storm windows were designed by Satan himself. Many consider them his best work. Currently, every storm window in our house is either jammed up or down.
It is not that they refuse to budge, because they will move; but only up if you want them down and only down if you want them up – and in exchange for any motion at all, they exact a toll in smashed fingers and slashed thumbs.
Therefore, you can see why I say my bedpost and aluminum track windows are evil. Their mendacity is palpable.
So when I stubbed my toe, I swore.
I swore so loudly, so creatively and with such vehemence that I not only roused my wife but stampeded the cattle up the hill and sent the sheep across the road into a swirling panic.
In the morning, my neighbor came by to complain about his sheep.
“You stubbed your toe again,” he observed.
“Yes,” I told him, “my bedpost hates me.”
He nodded in perfect understanding.
“I suspect it is possessed by a demon,” I told him.
“That’s pretty common around here.”
“Sure,” he said, “it’s because of the swamps.”
You see, the landscape of South Central Minnesota was once dominated by an endless morass of noxious, nasty marshes that even normal swamp creatures would have nothing to do with. The Lakota gave it a wide berth and the Ojibwe steered well clear of anything the Lakota avoided.
In short, what lurked there was downright unsavory.
But in the last century, stubborn Germans and bullheaded Dutch settlers drained and tiled the swamps and put the land to the plow. In doing so, they concentrated all of that noxious nastiness into an area that is known today as The Minnesota State Mosquito Refuge.
It is what borders my property to the west.
“Yeah,” my neighbor said, “I’ve been battling that evil for years.”
“More or less.”
“So what can I do about my bedpost?”
“Let me think on that.”
So while he pondered, I rested my throbbing toe on a kitchen chair.
After mulling over the problem for awhile, he suddenly snapped his fingers
“I’ve got it,” he said, “the only other time I have heard you swear like that is when you were cleaning your storm windows. Even the coyotes flee when you do that.”
“And your window cussing is louder and longer than your bedpost cussing.”
“You need to convince whatever is possessing your bedpost that there are meaner and more powerful spirits loose in your household. I doubt if its pride can live with that.”
“What will that do?”
“It will force the malevolent creature of the bedpost to join his buddies in your aluminum track windows.”
“That way they can tag-team you, but look on the bright side, you will only have to deal with them twice a year.”