The Mystery Switch
By Harrington A Lackey
It was the perfect house for Frances Yankedwire. Located in New Hampshire, it was everything the octogenarian wanted – a house in a busy neighbourhood with lots of young families. As a matter of fact, the previous owners who occupied it were a middle-aged couples with three young kids. They sold the house and vacated it in late June of this year. Frances was the first and only one to look at it on a hot day on the first of July.
Frances looked through the house with her real estate agent – Barney Sellout, whose record to sell every house to the first homebuyers earned him disdain among his colleagues at his real estate firm. He won the firm’s #1 seller award every year. However, he had been known to use devious ways of selling to the first home prospector by lying about some of all of the homes’ features.
But Ms. Yankedwire wasn’t being duped. Barney showed all of the two-floor brick home’s features. Barney didn’t have to invent lies, because Ms. Yankedwire loved the home and as much as she looked at it, the more she wanted to sign the deal. However, she couldn’t see that well and her hearing was terrible.
Barney showed the woman the garage, which held a secret he wouldn’t share. He pointed the lady to three switches located on the garage’s right side. “Here are your switches. This one closest to you turns on the garage lights. The one next to it turns on the outside light right above the outside garage door. Now, don’t touch the last one, because… it turns on the water sprinklers around the front lawn.” Barney had lied about that last switch; he wasn’t about to reveal what the former owners hadn’t taken down in January.
Ms. Yankedwire didn’t pay too much attention, because anything Barney told her would be something good about the house. “I’ll take the house,” she exclaimed.
“You will?… That’s wonderful!” Now, all Barney had to do was try to hurry the lady out of the house in the hot weather, into his hot car and drive to the agency’s office before she changed her mind. After arriving at the agency, she signed on the dotted line and within a week she moved in.
She celebrated her first night by drinking a glass of sherry while she called her son to tell him the good news. After she hung up the phone, she walked to the garage and decided to push all the switches off, which is what the agent told her not to do with the last switch. But she went upstairs anyway and went to sleep.
When she turned that last switch on, some long white plastic blob emerged from her lawn. It blew up slowly until it yelled, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” Then the music began to loudly play “Frosty the Snowman”. It blew up to where his comical face made the float reach eight feet in the air. At the same time, over 1000 Christmas lights of every colour came to life on the roof, blinding a young man passing by while riding a motorbike. As a result, he lost control of his bike and fell off the road. Blinking Christmas lights turned on all around the yard in the bushes and trees. More lights lit up around the front door. Meanwhile, Frosty stopped singing and immediately afterward, Elvis’ voice began blaring, “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.”
But, Ms. Yankedwire didn’t notice any of this. She was practically deaf, and only heard a little music, but dismissed it as just some loud young neighbours. Also, she couldn’t see much from the light show going on in her own yard. Then she quickly went to sleep oblivious to all the Christmas hoopla going on in her yard, but most of her neighbours were shaken out of their wits.
The Christmas show went on and finally shut off at 3 AM. Ms. Yankedwire got plenty of sleep until she woke up at 8 AM. She went downstairs in her robe and fixed a small portion of bacon and eggs. A few hours later, some neighbours walked over to welcome her to the neighbourhood. They politely told her about the Christmas festivities that went on outside last night, but she couldn’t hear what they were saying. She just pretended to understand, nodding her head because she thought it was the polite thing to do.
That evening, Ms. Yankedwire’s Christmas show came on again. This continued throughout the rest of the week. When the neighbours had enough, they called the police and complained. When two cops arrived at the old lady’s door they tried to explain what was happening to her home, and if her “show” continued, they would arrest her. She still didn’t understand.
That night when, once again, her house reminded the neighbours about Christmas, they took matters into their own hands. Ten of them killed Frosty and tore him out of the ground. They ripped off all of the lights out of the trees and shrubs and damaged the speakers that played all of the Christmas music. Then a few climbed up a ladder and yanked off all of the lights.
Meanwhile, Barney, Mrs. Yankedwire’s former real estate agent passed by in his car. He looked and laughed heartily at the scene. He said to himself, “Ah another happy cust