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Poem: "Nitwits" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Nitwits"

This poem came out of the October 18, 2011 bonus fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug.  It has been sponsored by zianuray.  You can find more Monster House poems through the Serial Poetry page.


"Mom," I said, tugging on her sleeve,
"those nitwits are at the door again."

Mom sighed and went to deal with them.
I peeked out the window.
Three men each held a different piece
of shiny equipment.  Out in the street, their van read
Northern Investigations of the Transcendental Society.

"Uh oh, looks like it's time for a demonstration
of practical skepticism," I said,
as Mom pointed the TV remote control
and all the gadgets lit up at once.
I burst into giggles.

"Do you think any of them
have ever even seen  a real ghost?"
I asked.

Beside me,
our little old lady ghost
smiled and shook her head.

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9 comments or Leave a comment
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: March 14th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
<3. Simply that.

(But what if they really had a clue?)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 14th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> <3. Simply that.<<

That's always good to hear.

>> (But what if they really had a clue?) <<

Trouble, probably. I have yet to meet a paranormal investigator who can grasp the concept of a ghost being a good housemate. They tend to freak. Of course, so do most people in general, but paranormal investigators freak extra much. And then you've got a very excitable loon trying to evict or kill your housemates, which is not of the good.
paka From: paka Date: March 15th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
That seems kinda mean to me. Wouldn't it be kinder to show people a real ghost if they have a lot invested in the idea of ghosts being real?
my_partner_doug From: my_partner_doug Date: March 16th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
The problem with that, as Elizabeth pointed out in her above reply to aldersprig, is that the intent of most (if not all) 'invest[ors] in the idea of ghosts being real' are interested in eviction or extermination of the ghosts they're hoping to find. I don't consider it to have been 'kinda mean' at all, when what Mom did was shoo away the potential assassins of one of her cherished housemates.
paka From: paka Date: March 18th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I honestly hadn't thought that's how people would react to ghosts. I figured that if you go looking for ghosts, it's because you want to see if they exist, nothing more or less.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 19th, 2012 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)


You'd think so, but not always. Some are just curious. Some want to debunk everything whether it is real or imaginary. Some are downright hunters. It doesn't help that paranormal investigation requires care but attracts flakes and zealots of all stripes. If your EMF gear is junk, it'll alert to ordinary things like appliances or high wires. And if you're not careful, you can run into paranormal things -- not just ghosts -- that are pesky to dangerous in ways few people are equipped to cope with. Seeing one's teammate come down with migranes, or hallucinations, or having one's van shorted out, can make people real touchy about mystical beings.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 16th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)


Would you put a family member at risk so strangers could point and stare?
paka From: paka Date: March 18th, 2012 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Please forgive me. I hadn't thought of it that way. I'd just figured it would be nice for people looking to have proof that what they're looking for is out there. But I think you're right, since a ghost would be a person rather than just a weird phenomenon.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 18th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

It's okay. Most people just don't think in those terms. They're used to being seen as people. But consider that the off-the-radar housemates are kind of like illegal aliens, only without quite as much overt hostility aimed at them. Most folks don't know, don't care. Some just want to stare. And some are downright dangerous.
9 comments or Leave a comment