About a year ago, Frosted Mini-Wheats was giving away Guitar Hero mini toys in the boxes. Since the cereal kept showing up on shelves two for four, we bought a ton of it and collected a bunch of those toys. Turns out that Elliot loved these little noisemakers. (One ended up in the toilet and kept working!) Anyway, as toys tend to do, they lost their luster and Elliot stopped playing with the only one we seemed to keep track of:

This too disappeared into the bowels of the house. Last Sunday, I decided to move one of our couches and see what I could unearth. I knew that there had to be at least three Hotwheels lodged under there. I ended up finding about five crayons, some Duplos, and other various things. I vacuumed the dust bunnies and put the couch back in its place. Then I sat down on said couch. What do I hear?

The little tune at :36 seconds

Immediately realizing it was one of the long lost Guitar Hero trinkets, I removed the couch cushions and dug around down there amongst the stuff that somehow always lives in couches: crumbs and beer bottle caps (OMG when’s the last time anyone drank a beer in my house??) and other debris. Alas, I came up short. I sat back down and there was silence. Strange. As days went by, every time a dog jumped on the couch, the noise came back. Sometimes it plays for the full 10 or so seconds and sometimes it cuts itself off. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. But it always plays the tune from the red button.

I posit that this little toy is somehow embedded in the actual infrastructure of this couch. I have no idea how we’re going to get it out of there. It’s one of those things you have on your mental to-do list but forget about until it presents itself again. This one is overshadowed by all of our larger house issues, like the aforementioned foundation crack that we managed to pinpoint yesterday after ripping up the damaged carpet. It’s not huge, but it’s obvious. This led to us investigating a spot in our bedroom where the carpet was pulling away from the wall and alas, there’s rotting wood and dampness there too. This then led us to wonder if some discolored spots on the hardwood could also be from small fractures. Maye the place in the kitchen where the vinyl isn’t quite flat (liquid rolls one way) is also a result of a hairline fracture in the 40 year old slab. This is shaping up to be a Much Larger Problem. But we just don’t know for sure. The true answer eludes us.

It’s frustrating and stressful and always in the back of my mind. No matter what. Ash and I have been trying to keep busy at night to keep from fretting about these things but this is a homeowner’s burden. We knew the house was old. We knew it could have problems.

Tonight, we’re going to watch Defiance (I think Daniel Craig will do a great job of distracting me) and worry about all this tomorrow. Everyone deserves a break.

One thought on “Phantoms

  1. We have one of those!!! Btwn that and the American Idol Ipod toy that came with a Happy Meal (For me!) we have been rocking out every time we come across them.

    When we sit down on our couch, our Radio Flyer rocket goes off. It resides behind the couch when we “Clean up.”

    Hang in there!!

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