Commentary by Danielle Wilson
Every year we have a blowout Kentucky Derby celebration at our house, and every year, in anticipation of said party, we run around like maniacs finishing DIY projects begun in October and taking a half-hearted stab at spring cleaning. I’m reminded of the 1982 film “Poltergeist.”
Two weeks out, life seems to be going along per usual, but as we approach the first Saturday in May, strange things begin to happen. My children start disappearing, one to her best friend Lisa’s, another to his room at the end of the upstairs hallway. And the youngest, whom I’ll call Carol Ann for this piece, is literally nowhere to be found. I can sometimes hear her high-pitched voice at night, coming from the walls … or wait, maybe the TV, but I can never seem to locate her. It’s as if she’s been spirited away into another dimension, one filled with demons by the names of Snapchat and Instagram.
With a couple of days to go, my husband Doo and I aren’t sleeping much. Terrifying questions prey on our sanity: Will we suffer another ham-tastrophe reminiscent of 2011? Why have only 15 percent of our guests RSVP’d? Will it rain and fill the swimming pool excavation with muddy water and skeletons of an ancient Native American burial ground? It’s not unusual for us to hallucinate chairs set up in odd formations and bottles of Makers Mark mysteriously floating through the air. So I call in professional help.
The Maids arrive in force, wielding strange high-tech probes they call “vacuums” while assessing the paranormal activity of filth in every room. Our domestic predicament is declared “legit” and the exorcism begins. Hours later, having located Carol Ann ensconced in a “Gossip Girl” marathon on Netflix and sanitized the home against future bacterial possession, they depart, announcing “This house is clean.”
Doo and I can only hope they’re right. Mint juleps only go so far in taming a party poltergeist.