THE DEN – It’s time to catch a program on my new 50-inch plasma TV. Eh? A loud moise from the kitchen. I go to see what happened. There is my wife’s brand-new crystal pitcher shattered into a hundred pieces on the floor. Then the clock strikes 13 o’clock just as the hot water heater, with its lifetime guarantee, burns out. This can only mean that my house ghost, Lawrence of Suburbia, has returned. “Lawrence, where are you? I’ll count to three.”
“Should I start your Teleprompter?” says a ghostly voice. “Miss me?”
“No. Because of you, Texas has had the hottest and driest summer in its recorded history. My pipes broke, the foundation cracked, the yard died and my electric bill for the a/c tripled. Go away.”
Do you ever have those days when the car won’t start and the cat disappears? Then you discover you lost your winning Lotto ticket worth $57 million, you’re laid off at the sewage treatment plant and discover the reason car won’t start is because the cat is lodged in the fan belt? It’s not just bad luck or happenstance. It’s because you probably have a Lawrence, too, even though most people think ghosts only haunt Scottish castles, Italian monasteries and Chevy Volt dealerships.
He continues: “Since last I saw you I was in charge of Bin Laden’s security detail. You’ve heard of the Arab Spring? In all modesty, I’m responsible for the Syrian Summer. I had a stint as safety inspector for BP’s Gulf of Mexico drilling operations. I mentored Rush Limbaugh on how to attract women listeners. He clearly has no idea about sex. No wonder he’s had four wives and no kids.”
Lawrence pauses for breath. “That sex mess began when Obama asked me, ‘Should I demand that Catholic institutions be required to offer their employees birth control programs? That might be trouble.’ I told Barry I had smoothed out everything and there would be no repercussions. Then he brought up my recommendations on Solyndra, so it was a short gig; like when I served as George W’s adviser on WMDs. I swear those giant windmills looked like IBMs aimed at Crawford. I was Rick Perry’s mnemonics coach, and wrote the new Texas sonogram laws. Don’t you love being the laughingstock of America? Oh, do you receive the Longhorn Network?”
Lawrence is always bragging on himself, like the time in New Orleans when Brownie told him, “You’re doing a heck of a job.” I won’t even get into his work on Wall Street, but when he says your house is under water, it’s actually under water. Now he’s working for Bill Maher, washing out his mouth with soap after every show. “I sold a black helicopter franchise to Glenn Beck. I got Disney to produce ‘John Carter.’ Cost a quarter billion dollars to make and thus far is the biggest bomb since Hiroshima.”
After he leaves, my TV explodes. The warranty doesn’t cover ghosts.
Ashby is haunted at email@example.com