December 21, 2006

-image-the drawer

On one of our first married visits to my in-laws’ home in a little mountain town called “Privacy-What’s Dat?” my mother-in-law set us up in the guest /sewing/random piles of junk room. She asked us to keep the door open. (Excuse me? Yeah. We didn’t do that. MB laughed and closed the door.) The bed was frou-frouey and small — a double, I think. At home we have a king-sized bed because MB is so tall.

So, our first night there, I’m lying on my six inches of frouf, dozing fitfully because I’m afraid of falling out of the bed. I need to pee, but I’m also afraid of getting up because the bathroom door is just a sliding door and right across from the in-laws’ bedroom and what if they hear it sliding and know I’m peeing? Or worse, what if they hear me peeing? I need a door that closes, all solid and quiet. I have issues, people.

I just lie there, teetering on the mattress, talking myself out of peeing.

Suddenly, there are random scratching noises in the room. Kinda loud. Now, we are in the mountains where night is dark, very dark. Like “I’m sorta afraid how dark it is here” dark. So, great. I’m lying in a room full of childhood dark complete with creepy scratching noises. I’m now wide awake. Like anyone would, I just assume it’s that urban legend dude with the hook hand come to kill me in the deep dark middle of nowhere. My heart is racing. MB is snoring softly beside me dreamily unaware of our imminent, pointy demise.

The scratching continues, even louder now. Hook man is serious about this. That’s it. MB has to save me.

Shove — shove — shove.

Groggy. “Whaaa?”

“Do you hear that scratching? Do you HEAR it?”


“Yeah.” He turns his head towards me, groaning.

“It’s totally freaking me out. What IS it?”

“Honey …. it’s just the tortoise in the drawer ….” He yawns and rolls away from me. Nothing could possibly be more boring to him.


“The tortoise in the drawer …” he slurs again, a twinge of irritation.

“What are you talking about??”

“It’s the tortoise. He’s hibernating. In the drawer of that dresser.”

Silence as I take in that there is a slow leathery creature trapped in a dresser drawer a few feet away from where I’m trying to sleep and trying not to pee. I am deeply freaked out in a way that hook man could not even begin to touch.

“He’s hibernating??”


“But …. obviously, he’s not! He’s trapped in there, clawing away for his very life!” For emphasis, I claw the air frantically, much like a tortoise would. In the deep dark nowhere, I am instantly an expert on the needs of tortoises in general.

“Honey …. he’s probably moving around in his sleep …. just leave him alone. Go back to sleep …” He abandons me to my slice of the mattress, falls back asleep instantly.

Finally, much later, I drift restlessly off in the deep dark middle of nowhere to the soothing sounds of a claustrophobic hibernating tortoise clawing away for his very life.

I never did get to pee that night.


  1. I certainly hope you got to EVENTUALLY.

    Comment by Dave — December 21, 2006 @ 2:19 am

  2. Oh My WORD. The visuals were rampant in this post. He he he! Six inches of frouf.

    Seriously. A tortoise?!?!? In a dresser?!?!!?

    Wait. And a sliding bathroom door? Strange indeed.

    Comment by AmStaff Mom — December 21, 2006 @ 7:11 am

  3. LOL! Who lets a tortoise hibernate in their house?? Hilarious! Makes for great blogging anyway. Can’t wait to find out what’s hibernating there this year…maybe it’s the hare (do they hibernate?)!

    Comment by Kelly — December 21, 2006 @ 7:11 am

  4. I am HOWLING.

    first of all: //imminent pointy demise//????? hahahahahahaha

    Comment by sheila — December 21, 2006 @ 7:45 am

  5. “For emphasis, I claw the air frantically, much like a tortoise would.” Hahahaha! Oh, I’m laughing and almost spit out my coffee!

    Comment by Kathi — December 21, 2006 @ 9:32 am

  6. You tell the best stories.

    I picture the tortoise running in his sleep, like a dog.

    Comment by Lisa — December 21, 2006 @ 10:49 am

  7. Hook man? Hahahaha! Well, I would have guessed a mouse or shrew, being in the wilderness and all. The tortoise totaly threw me for a loop.
    You crack me up.

    Comment by missy — December 21, 2006 @ 11:40 am

  8. HA HA HA! I’m still laughing. And Kathi and Lisa are right on.

    Comment by AmStaff Mom — December 21, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

  9. […] To the dark dark middle of nowhere …. […]

    Pingback by beyond the pale » off we go — December 23, 2006 @ 11:49 am

  10. Good God.


    Comment by WordGirl — December 26, 2006 @ 9:29 am

  11. […] Remember? Posted by tray @ 12:01 pm    filed under:   Uncategorized      […]

    Pingback by beyond the pale » whatcha doin’? — November 17, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

  12. […] MB had to journey up to the deep dark middle of nowhere this past weekend. To get there, you must drive through this teeny tiny town and see this — the largest building in town — the courthouse where Charles Manson was briefly incarcerated after his arrest. You can’t miss it. You drive right past it. And then you’re out of that town, basically. We always look at it and go “Eeek!” or “Owww!” or “Aaaah!” or “Helter Skelter!” or “You’re not gettin’ me, psycho!” […]

    Pingback by beyond the pale » nutjob killer housed here — July 22, 2008 @ 11:14 am

  13. […] MB and I head off tomorrow morning — Christmas Eve morning — for the deep dark middle of nowhere and the steady stream of people barging through unlocked doors and the looming snowy mountains and the room with the tortoise in the drawer. […]

    Pingback by beyond the pale » merry christmas! — December 23, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

  14. […] After that, we’re headed to the deep dark middle of nowhere — although we live in our own version of that now — to hang with the tortoise in the drawer and in-laws in their underwear. […]

    Pingback by beyond the pale » back in the new year — December 22, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  15. Okay, so I’m really late to the party on this one. But I know that frou-frou midget bed at the in-laws, and the random piles of stuff. And also the shy bladder issues. :(

    That sounds like a terrible trip. Six years later, I am sorry for your terrible trip to see the in-laws.

    BTB, sometimes if I plug up my ears with my fingers, I can pretend that no one can hear me, and then I can pee.

    Of course, these days, I just need a trampoline…

    Comment by roo — January 5, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

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