Uzumakin’ Me Crazy
“Please Gazelle! I can fix this!”
“I’m sorry Jeremy, but this is a dealbreaker. The deal is broken. Goodbye.”
And with that Gazelle, Jeremy’s date for the evening, left abruptly, slamming the door behind her and making the whole house shake. Left alone he sunk into the sofa, head in his hands. This just kept happening. That was the third one that week, and while it might be said that he was taking things too fast it was only because they kept failing so quickly and so consistently. He had hoped to overwhelm the problem, but he had merely overwhelmed himself. Or just failed again slightly more quickly than usual. He wasn’t sure.
Jeremy had a problem when it came to romantic interactions. It wasn’t his overwhelming unattractiveness – which he largely managed to get around through sheer bloody-minded determination – or the fact he had no real identifying or outstanding personality traits other than being called Jeremy. To no-one’s great surprise these were not the showstopping drawbacks most honest, common-sense people would expect them to be, and indeed were no great obstacle even taken together. Rather, Jeremy’s problem was a tangible one, that was at the same time quite intangible, and it had to do with his downstairs window. A very specific downstairs window. Out of all the windows in his house this was the only one to present an issue, and it was a significant one.
Through this window came, unbidden and all times of the day and night, all manner of unquiet spirits. A great many of them were benign and passed through without making too much of a nuisance of themselves; merely commenting in their own ethereal way on the décor and on Jeremy’s choice of furniture. He did not mind them much. Others were less pleasant, barging in quite rudely and demanding cups of tea that – as ghosts – he and they both knew they could not drink. These ones were much harder to bear, but were better by far than the third type, which appeared only rarely and which made it their sole purpose in unlife to cockblock him at every turn. Their twisted phantom logic was that, as they were forbidden by law from getting any, they would spitefully prevent Jeremy from getting any either. There was no dissuading them from this course of action. Jeremy had tried every argument he could think of to no avail. And so now, at the end of his rope, he was forced to consider other options.
Ghost-proofing a window was no mean feat. Spooks were tricksy beings and could easily circumvent a lot of the things that would normally keep out undesirable supernatural elements. Triple glazing would get him nowhere, either, though would keep him slightly warmer and do much to help bring down that appalling traffic noise. But that was an issue for another time. For now, ghosts filled his mind, literally and figuratively. They suffused his upholstery and lurked in his tin of teabags, making a ruckus and upsetting the natural order of things. It was highly unacceptable, and so Jeremy took to the internet. Deftly wielding his mouse to fend off the surge of pornography that assailed him he plunged onwards, seeking answers, preferably useful ones. The internet as it turned out was chock-full of opinions on the best way of dealing with ghost-admitting windows. It was merely a case of working out who was talking bollocks.
At great length, he excised the bollocks (and avoided a shoal of pop-ups advertising a live show involving something very similar) and came away with something he thought of great value. The most widespread and most often agreed-upon wisdom concerning the subject was that a spiral deployed in any such window would adequately confuse and bewilder marauding ghosts, leaving them unable to cause mischief. This idea appealed for the very small amount of work it would involve, and so Jeremy immediately set about putting the spiral plan into action. He used slightly rustic materials, the better to make a conversation piece, and was rightly pleased with the results once he was finished. Now it was just a question of seeing if it worked or not.
It did. There was a distinct lack of aggressive spirituality in his house the following day, even as he brought another ladyfriend over. All was quiet and still in the house and his cack-handed attempts at seduction went off without a hitch. As he and his non-plussed partner sunk deeper into the shagpile he looked up to see a veritable tornado of confused spirits endlessly circling the spiral. And he smiled. Later he would taunt them in word. At that moment, with them watching, he taunted them in deed.
Albeit not a particularly long or exciting deed. But still.