When I was eight (1960), a neighbor girl, who was thirteen, took me to see The Time Machine. I loved it! But there was an unforeseen side-effect: for several months afterwards, I wouldn't go into a dark room until I slid my hand around the door's corner and flipped on the light switch.
Walking the dog in the dark
Last Thursday, my daughter told me she and her family had enjoyed watching Stranger Things on Netflix (2 seasons!). That night I watched one episode around ten o'clock. I proceeded to watch the entire 18 remaining episodes through Tuesday morning, viewing several each day. Okay, more than several.
I always walk our dog, Lila (whose namesake appears in Sgt. Dunn #3, Brutal Enemy), at 10:00 pm. Just a quick one so she doesn't have to wait to go until I fall out of bed sometime the next morning.
There are three houses on our side of the street. We are the middle one. There's a street light on the corner about 100 feet north and another about 200 feet south. This means we are almost in the middle of the "not much light here" zone. It's dark. I carry a puny flashlight so I can see what she's doing - she's a black dog so I need it to keep me from walking into her butt and tripping over her.
Monday night at nine o'clock I watched Season 2 Episode 6, incorrectly thinking there were two more. I could squeeze those in by maybe 11:45 pm.
Lila stopped stock still and growled! What the hell? The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I mean it. Really. Stood up. I looked the way her nose is pointed and my weak human eyes don't see anything. She growls again. She barks.
And like every fool in a scary movie where the dog barks and growls, the idiot says, "Shush, Rover, there's nothing there." He turns around and there IT is. Whatever the hell it is. Scream. Crunch. Dog runs away to safety. He's the smart one.
I pull on Lila's leash and we beat feet it to the corner and back in like 20 seconds, with her pausing to tinkle. As we walk back UP the drive way she growls again. I still don't see anything. We race into the garage, me pulling her along as she's still gruffing at something.
I hit the "Close the damn garage now!" button on the wall and will the door to move faster.
We make it back inside the house and I stare at her. "Heh, heh," I say. "It was nothing, right, Lila?"
She stares at me like I'm an idiot.
Lesson: Don't watch a scary movie just before you walk your black dog at night!