My poltergeist’s name is Bas

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a poltergeist.  His name is Bas, short for Bastion of Evil.  I’ve had him since college.  I’m not quite sure why he started homing in on me, but I first noticed him when my random player for my music playlist started playing the same few songs over and over again.  Apparently the Bastion of Evil is very fond of Bon Jovi, which I can’t say is surprising.  Birds of a feather, you know.

Bas has expanded his repertoire since then.  He makes all my important emails get caught in the spam filter, eats my socks (only the right sock, for some reason, and he favors patterned socks that can’t easily be paired with other sort-of-similar socks), and hides that thing I’ve been looking for.  He also likes to put my flute in a different place every time I set it down, but I think that’s just because he doesn’t like my flute-playing, which, fair enough.  You don’t have to be a spirit being of malicious mischief for that.

Truth be told, I’ve been impressed at the steady way in which Bas has been working to improve his skills.  He’s been showing real initiative and discipline.  I especially admired the way in which he recently caused two lightbulbs to burn out just after I’d put the ladder away after replacing three other bulbs that had been out for weeks.  It’s Bas’s attention to detail that sets him apart from the other poltergeists.

He’ll go missing sometimes.  It took a while for me to see the pattern, but once I started to look, I realized that, when I didn’t notice him around the apartment for a while, there would be odd stories on the news:  one time after Bas disappeared, the Vice-President shot his friend in the face while duck-hunting.  Another time not long ago, Bas vanished for a while and a British Petroleum oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and started spewing oil uncontrollably.  When Bas reappeared, he seemed particularly smug and put “It’s My Life” on loop for a week (longest week of my life).

Over the years, I’ve tried various techniques to overcome my poltergeist.  Of course, I went with the ever-popular exorcism.  This seemed to go well–no one’s head started spinning around, nothing caught on fire–until the end, when the priest turned to go and found that Bas had tied his shoelaces together.  Subtle.  The computer then started playing “You Give Love A Bad Name” without any apparent cause.  Also, it turns out that holy water stains duvets.  And Bas was still around.

I tried talk therapy, to see if there was some underlying issue we could resolve that would break this cycle of mischief.  I would ask questions like “How does it feel when you inflict injury on others?” to a seemingly empty room.  Then a crash would come from somewhere nearby, and I would run out to see a friend rolling around on the floor with a fork stuck in her foot, whimpering “It hurts!”  And I would yank out the implement, clean up my friend, and stomp back to my room, muttering “You could have just mysteriously typed it on my computer screen, you know.”

Your Ghost Is a Gift

Your Ghost Is a Gift (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the end, I decided to embrace my poltergeist.  Not literally, because I’m guessing that ectoplasm is even worse for fabrics than holy water is, but metaphorically.  Bas is a poltergeist, and he’s mine.  I check my email spam filter regularly, buy new socks to replace the ones he’s eaten and resign myself to listening to a lot of Bon Jovi.  In return, Bas doesn’t blow up my apartment, and he stays out of the way when I’ve got a guy over.  A poltergeist will do a lot for a woman who keeps him well-supplied with socks.

18 thoughts on “My poltergeist’s name is Bas

  1. As long as Bas doesn’t come knocking when you’re hosting a party where you hope to play a variety of music rather than just Bon Jovi, s/he sounds like a pretty entertaining poltergeist! Hilarious post!

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    • Thanks! Yeah, Bas isn’t really the partying kind. He just sort of sulks until everyone has gone, and then puts runs in all of my pantyhose. Everyone loves a passive-aggressive poltergeist!

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      • Harvey (film)

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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        Harvey

        Original poster

        Directed by

        Henry Koster

        Produced by

        John Beck

        Written by

        Mary Chase
        Oscar Brodney
        Myles Connolly (Uncredited)

        Starring

        James Stewart
        Josephine Hull
        Peggy Dow
        Charles Drake

        Music by

        Frank Skinner

        Cinematography

        William H. Daniels

        Distributed by

        Universal International Pictures

        Release date(s)

        October 13, 1950

        Running time

        104 minutes

        Country

        United States

        Language

        English

        Harvey is a 1950 film based on Mary Chase’s play of the same name, directed by Henry Koster, and starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull. The story is about a man whose best friend is a pooka named Harvey—in the form of a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall invisible rabbit.

        Contents
        [hide] 1 Plot
        2 Cast
        3 Reception
        4 Home Video Release
        5 Honors
        6 Remakes and other uses
        7 References
        8 External links

        [edit] Plot

        Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) is a middle-aged, amiable (and somewhat eccentric) individual whose best friend is an invisible 6′ 3.5″ tall rabbit named Harvey. As described by Dowd, Harvey is a pooka, a benign but mischievous creature from Celtic mythology who is especially fond of social outcasts (like Elwood). Elwood has driven his sister and niece (who live with him and crave normality and a place in “society”) to distraction by introducing everyone he meets to his friend, Harvey. His family seems to be unsure whether Dowd’s obsession with Harvey is a product of his (admitted) propensity to drink or perhaps mental illness. Elwood spends most of his time in the local bar, and throughout the film invites new acquaintances to join him for a drink (or to his house for dinner). Interestingly, the barman and all regulars accept the existence of Harvey, and the barman asks how they both are and unflinchingly accepts an order from Elwood for two Martinis.

        Veta (Josephine Hull) and Myrtle Mae (Victoria Horne)
        His sister, Veta Louise Simmons (Hull), tries to have Elwood committed to a sanatorium. In exasperation, she admits to the attending psychiatrist Dr. Lyman Sanderson (Charles Drake) that, after so many years of putting up with the invisible rabbit, she sees Harvey every once in a while. This causes Dr. Sanderson to let Elwood out and lock Veta up. After sorting out the mistake, Dr. Chumley, head of the sanatorium (Cecil Kellaway) decides that to save the reputation of the sanatorium he must bring Elwood back. At one point, when her daughter asks how someone possibly could imagine a rabbit, Veta says to her “Myrtle Mae, you have a lot to learn and I hope you never learn it”.

        When tracked down, Elwood goes through several ordeals, although he remains largely oblivious to the plans put in place for him by Dr. Chumley, Judge Gaffney (William Lynn) and Veta Louise. In a poignant scene where Dr. Sanderson and his nurse Miss Kelly (Peggy Dow) follow Elwood into an alley at the back of his and Harvey’s favorite bar, Charlie’s, Elwood tells the incredible story of how he came to meet Harvey, and explains the way in which people react when they meet them. In a later scene, he gives Dr. Chumley an insight into his philosophy of life:

        Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

        —James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd

        Elwood also explains that Harvey has the power to stop time: “Did I tell you he could stop clocks? Well, you’ve heard the expression ‘His face would stop a clock’? Well, Harvey can look at your clock and stop it. And you can go anywhere you like — with anyone you like — and stay as long as you like. And when you get back, not one minute will have ticked by. … You see, science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space — but any objections.”

        In the final scene of the film, Elwood (along with everybody else) arrives back at the hospital. By this point, Dr. Chumley is not only convinced of Harvey’s existence, but has begun spending time with him on his own, with a mixture of admiration and fear.

        Dr. Sanderson convinces Elwood to come into his office where he’ll receive a serum called Formula 977 that will stop Dowd from “seeing the rabbit”. As they are preparing for the injection, Elwood’s sister is told by their cab driver about all the other people he has driven to the sanatorium to receive the same medicine, warning her that Elwood will become “just a normal human being. And you know what stinkers they are.” Upset by the very thought of this, Veta halts the procedure by banging on the examining room door, at which point Elwood comforts her and explains her tears to others with, “Veta’s all tired out, she’s done a lot today”.

        Miss Kelly (Peggy Dow) and Dowd (James Stewart). Judge Gaffney (William H. Lynn) is in the background.
        As Elwood is leaving, Dr Chumley asks Elwood for Harvey’s help, and Elwood, being the obliging fellow he is, makes no objection. Dr Chumley, arm in arm with an invisible companion, asks ‘Have you ever been to Akron?’. The inference being that Harvey will now use his power to stop clocks and mystically transport Dr Chumley to a personal paradise, in Akron, Ohio.

        After the gates to ‘Chumley’s Rest’ are closed, and Elwood is leaving, he stops, turns around and has a conversation with an invisible Harvey, who is already back from his trip to Akron and reaffirms their friendship. Elwood and his invisible companion saunter off towards the Bus stop, following Veta and Myrtle Mae, towards the planned last stop of Charlie’s Bar and another drink.

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      • You may be correct. Harvey was a “pooka”. I’ve had a pooka in my life,too. However, I think I have a Bas lurIking around as well. He’s rolled my ATV down ridges three times, he’s the reason that I have scars on top of scars (one on each knee from chainsaw incidents); and perhaps he has been there on several of my “bold” adventures. Bas may also be the reason that I have Orthopedic Assoc. and Maxie Coffey Towing Service, on speed dial. I like my pooka much better than Bas. And, if Bas doesn’t like that, then he/she can kiss my Bas ass!

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      • Actually, Harvey was shown on Hallmark Theatre in the 60’s as a play. I remember watching it on tv. Remember thinking, pooka’s are cool, I’d like to have on someday. Glad I didn’t tell my parents. That, plus the Barbie doll hanging, might have given them reason to believe that I wasn’t “just right”.

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  2. We all need a BAS to lay the blame on or we’d all be as “Mad as a box of frogs!”. Love those Brit’s and their way of speaking!

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  3. This post made me laugh out loud! It sounds like a relatively good natured poltergeist – you know, he’s not causing your central heating to break down or opening windows when it’s snowing, so he can’t be all bad. And it sounds like you know how to deal with it!

    Like

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