I was watching the Discovery Channel the other night, and some archaeologists were maneuvering deep inside the tiny crawl spaces of a pyramid. I got the heebeejeebies just imagining anyone crawling in such tight spaces under millions of tons of rock.

The heebeejeebies came upon me as I recalled that day not long ago when I crawled under mom's house to fix a leaking pipe. Curiously, there isn't as much room under there as there was when I was a kid. Much like my jeans, the space had shrunk. That's probably the same kind of logic politicians use when they convert their pre-conceived notions into mandates from the public.

Anyway, I had to shovel out some dirt to wiggle underneath. Then I had to slide beneath the floor seals on my back, head first.

There I was, struggling with a pipe wrench, sweat in my eyes, saying to myself that houses should be built higher off the ground when something licked my ear.

Now I am on my back with my feet pointed toward the opening. The floor seals are right down on top of me. You can't scoot very fast when you are in that position.

Something licked my ear again.

They say that when you know that you are about to die, your life flashes right before your eyes. I don't know if that's true or not. I had visions of things I would like to do before I part this good earth. Maybe my software needs jiggling.

It licked my ear again.

I also discovered that in this position, one's peripheral vision is not really good.

I finally concluded that I would have to attempt to turn over on my side and confront this issue.

Now I don't know why I was gritting my teeth so hard when I made my move. I guess I wanted whatever it was behind me to see me looking fierce. They say when you happen upon a grizzly, don't let it know you are afraid. I would suggest, though, to first tie your pants legs around your ankles -- if you don't want the bear to see any evidence that you are scared.

When I rolled over and looked up, I was nose to nose with mom's puppy, Buffie. She was smiling at me. Then she licked my face.

Little did I know that when I had gone back to the truck to get my tools, she had come out of nowhere and had gone under the house through my little trench. And because I had to slip under there on my back and backwards, I was totally unaware of her presence.

On that first lick, I'm not sure what I thought it might have been. One's mind goes wild when you are in tight spots like this. I had run down a short list and ruled out most conventional creatures that might do me harm. There just wasn't enough room under there for them.

But what if there was some creature that time had forgotten, and it had been living under mom's house all these years? You see what I mean by one's imagination running wild. Sitting in the porch swing, with the wind on my face and 20 acres to turn around in, those kinds of thoughts never occur to me. This, I think, is a study in cause and effect. When you can't move, you think more. Funny, I never put myself in such a position to study algebra. Might have worked.

Anyway, Buffie and I got the leaking pipe fixed. Actually, she was a big help. She kept licking the sweat off my face. Fat boys under a house sweat a lot.

Now back to those guys in that pyramid. I wondered what kind of desert creatures might be in those crevices, aside from the legends that there might also be age-old curses involved in crawling around in some ancient fellow's tomb. Of course when I'm sitting in the swing, with the wind on my face and 20 acres on either side to turn around in, I don't believe in curses.

Now I've mentioned before that singer Jimmy Buffet says there is a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning. So where is the line between archaeology and grave robbing? I know where the line is between being slightly startled and having the heebeejeebies.



(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. E-mail: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com)

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