Being a ghost, I’m occasionally pestered by some overzealous weirdos called ghost hunters. Basically, they wander into abandoned buildings with beeping devices they bought in the bargain bin at Radio Shack, and they wait for ghosts like me to moan. Or something. Apart from having had ghost hunters come after me, I’ve taken the liberty of watching several episodes of these ghost hunters, and the experience has left me with a mix of bewilderment and a depression so deep that immersing myself in puppy posters is the only way I can yank myself out of it.
One big misconception is that we ghosts spend all our time occupying abandoned houses—particularly houses that haven’t been cleaned since the Adams administration. Either that or train cars. Despite what J. K. Rowling writes, we do not tend to haunt toilets. Why abandoned houses you ask? No reason really. It’s mostly stereotyping. Somehow no one finds it scary when a ghost is haunting a courthouse atrium. So yeah, we’re actually all over the place, but a few of our more eccentric number get huge amounts of enjoyment tapping on water pipes to frighten the bands of ghost hunters who rove around like navigationally challenged dung beetles.
One of my ghost friends likes to mess with them by tapping in Morse code…except he just uses the next letter. For example, Hp kvnq jo b usbti dpnbdups translates into “Go jump in a trash compactor.” The ghost hunters are too dumb to realize it, and the last group spent a long time trying to figure out if it was some kind of ancient Mayan hieroglyph or something. Although, a few years later one of them did fall into a trash compactor. So there’s that.
Another one of my friends heard some ghost hunters constantly asking if he would show a sign of his presence. Normally he’d just ignore them, but he was in the process of chatting up a female ghost when they requested a sign. Needless to say, the ghostus interruptus didn’t sit well with him. So, when the next hunter asked for a sign of his presence, the ghost drilled him in the sternum with a crowbar. I noted that perhaps the ghost hunter was hoping for a more traditional form of communication, like talking, but my ghost friend was too busy telling me that the girl ghost had a thing for crushing sternums with crowbars. Or something. Last I heard they got married and didn’t have any children. Because ghosts can’t get pregnant.
That out of the way, people probably want to know what we do with ourselves for eternity. I can’t speak for all of us, but my main form of entertainment is stealing socks out of dryers. It’s a fairly boring hobby I suppose, but I now have a pile that is a little bit shorter than the Sears Tower. In case you’re wondering why you’ve never seen it, it’s because I put it somewhere no one will ever find it: Canada.
Some of you might be wondering: “Hey, how is it you can float through walls and stuff, but you can also pick up tangible objects, like socks?”
That’s a really good question. Words cannot accurately explain it, so I suggest running headfirst into a wall for several hours; I promise you’ll find the answer. Maybe.
Downsides to being a ghost? Aside from the whole “you’re never at peace” thing, it isn’t too bad. Of course, although roaming the universe for years on end sounds like fun, it turns out there really isn’t much out there of interest besides Earth. There is one planet that’s populated almost entirely by sentient toilet plungers, but all they can really do it hop around in search of clogged toilets that grow in the soil, for some reason. I did spend a few years there dropping toilets I stole from Home Depot just to watch the plungers swarm to the toilets like neurotic goats at feeding time.
Nowadays I spend my free time hiding medication in nursing homes. Either that or switching them out with caffeine pills. I suppose some people would call it harsh, but elderly people make really entertaining ghosts. In many cases, they’re worse than I am.
One guy, Earl, who died at age ninety (something to do with a caffeine overdose; not my fault) spends most of his time knocking things over in attics to frighten children. I asked him why he did it one time, and he mumbled something about how kids these days don’t have respect anymore. And that he liked scaring children. I thought about asking how knocking things over in attics would solve that problem, but he didn’t seem like the sort of person who had sufficient genetic luck to provide anything beyond a string of 1930s obscenities.
Oh, and that movie Ghost from 1990? Completely based on a true story. There really was a woman who thought her dead husband came back as a ghost. The only thing was he spent most of his time hanging around women who weren’t his wife. The whole time it was actually Earl helping her make clay pots or something. He seemed to enjoy it, and I didn’t see any reason to spoil his fun. I did put sentient plunger in the woman’s bathroom to see what would happen. She thought her husband really liked cleaning the toilet.