‘It was a dark and stormy night’. With those words, Edward Bulwer-Lytton began his now famous novel Paul Clifford. Ever since, this opening sentence has been synonymous for cheesy suspense stories. ‘Why then, Scotch, would you start this tale with those exact same words’ you might ask me. The answer to that is simple, actually.
It’s a goddamned dark and stormy night, that’s why. We’re halfway through May, it’s raining and 11-fuckin’-degrees-Celsius outside. The suspense of waiting for the sun to finally show up is fucking killing me.
But granted, the words do set the mood. Now that we’re talking about suspense anyway, I guess it’s okay to bring up a funny little anecdote I experienced yesterday.
It was a dark and stormy night. No really, it was. It was one of these nights you like to cuddle up on the couch, put on a cheesy scary movie and just keep munching popcorn. Yep, it was one of those nights, alright. But instead of being cuddled up on the couch, munching popcorn and watching cheesy scary movies with my family, I was outside in the garden.
I guess I have myself to blame for that. That afternoon I promised Nadia I’d clean up the pool, since the forecasts said the weather would be improving soon. How could I know that one of my childhood idols, Ronnie James Dio, would suddenly pass away because of stomach cancer? Of course I was devastated, as was Cookie. So we did what Ronnie would have wanted us to do on his dying day. We met at the nearest Hardrock Café, got hammered and joined the tribute-to-Dio karaoke show in session. Needless to say, Nadia wasn’t too happy when I got home.
Now that I’ve brought you up-to-date, Let’s get back to where I left off. While the rain soaked the clothes underneath my rainwear and got my Calvin Klein boxers to act as a sponge, only to even further mock the situation I was in (thank you, God. Asshole.), I tried hard to keep focused on swiping the dirt from the water in the pool.
After already a minute or two my hand cramped and I decided to take a break. As I was making my way to the backdoor, I noticed flashes of light coming from my neighbor Barry Michaels’ house. Enervated by the atmosphere of the weather I decided to take a look at what was going on. As I peeked through the window of Michaels’ living room, the thing I saw made my entire night. Michaels was sitting on the couch next to his wife, shivering in front of the TV. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had come up with the idea of popcorn and a horror movie.
Knowing that this opportunity would not present itself again in the near future, I decided to prank Michaels’ spoiled ass. Another peek into the living room assured me he was not just watching the movie, but truly experiencing it. He covered his eyes every few seconds and his wife let out short shrieks which seemed to make him very nervous. A thunder strike and a flash decorated the night sky. For a second I thought Michaels would jump up and hide under the couch. Unfortunately, he stayed where he was.
Another flash lit the environment. I noticed the muddy corner near the low fence that separated our yards. It was the favorite digging spot of Michaels’ dog. God I hated that animal. Well, maybe not the animal itself. Maybe I just hated it because it seemed more human and reasonable than its owner at times. Whatever my initial thoughts concerning the ravaging of my garden border might have been, the mudpool sparked an idea. Since I was already soaked, I didn’t think twice before jumping in the pool, quickly covering myself with the sticky mud. There was a low rumbling in the night sky; I expected a thunder flash and –strike anytime soon. Taking my chances, I quickly threw a small ball of mud against the window. Michaels had heard it, slowly got up from the couch and approached the window.
The next few seconds happened as if they were scripted. Just as my annoying neighbor looked through the window, trying to see into the backyard, another flash and thunder strike came crashing down. On that same moment, I raised my arms and roared. Michaels turned as pale as a ghost, screamed like a little girl and ran into the living room, almost knocking down his startled wife. A few moments later, I heard panicked screaming while he was trying to start his new humvee. He raced away, with his wife running behind the car trying to get him to pick her up.
It’s hard to describe how I felt when I saw it happen. I think I had an orgasm or two, or at least something that got damn-well near one. I hopped over the small wooden fence and returned to my pool-cleaning duties. With a satisfied grin on my face, the words ‘it was a dark and stormy night’ went through my head. Fuck, if all of May got to be like this, I could hold out until the first ‘bright sunshiny day’.