#12 - Awesome, Alan

      Our house is haunted by a ghost named Alan, who is a generally nice guy.

      We're not entirely sure why he hangs around, or where he came from. We asked him once, why he never does ghost things like throw chairs or slam doors. He got pretty offended by that and told us that we were being prejudice and it was typical coming from our type. We promptly apologized.

      On Christmas morning we woke up early. The window in our bedroom had a thick layer of frost, and we weighed the pros and cons of just staying in bed.

      "The floor is cold," you said.
      "Our house is haunted," I said.
      "There's a package for you in the entryway," Alan said.

      Probably the least best thing about living with a ghost is that they are definitely invisible. That and they never pay rent. We were pretty sure Alan was sitting at the end of the bed.

      "Really, who's it from?" you said.
      "They deliver packages on Christmas?" I said.
      "It's from me you guys," Alan said.

      We looked at each other, before springing out of bed and slapping our feet on the cold wood floor. A Christmas present from a ghost, what would it be? Would it be gross? Would it be invisible? Did ghosts have money? I supposed that it was most assuredly stolen.

      It'd been 20 years since I came down the stairs like that. An excited kid on a Christmas morning is surely the closest case of human flight ever recorded.

      "Holy shit, Alan," you said.
      "How did you get that in here?" I said.
      "Open it," Alan said.

      He was somewhere on the stairs behind us.

      The wooden crate was enormous, as big as a couch, bigger even. I got my crowbar from the tool drawer and started prying a board loose. Twenty-five minutes later, the side came crashing down and we were standing in front of the single largest collection of socks I had ever seen.

      "Gee..sus Christ," you said, covering your mouth.
      "...Awesome, Alan..." I said.
      "Oh, you guys... Alan said.

      There was a long pause.

      If this conversation was a mad lib, some things that could go in the pause would be, "Hey Alan, thanks for the socks." or "Hey Alan, Are you fucking crazy?"

      "Ok guys, here's the deal, your Christmas present isn't just a box of socks, check this out."

      Pause. Creaking floor. Floating socks.

      "Ok, check it out, see, Im wearing the socks, you can see my feet, and know where I am! Awesome right?!"

      We stared at the socked feet with a stunned silence.

      "I know you hate that Im always invisible, so now you can see where I am at all times, I got enough socks to last forever."

      "So many socks..." you said quietly.
      "Alan, did you work at a Costco in a previous life or something?" I said.
      "Right, about that," Alan said. "See I know a guy, that knows a guy...

      "ALAN, YOU ARE A GHOST. How do you have sock connections?"

      "Unbelievable deal, dirt cheap, practically free, had to buy the whole crate though, or else he was gonna walk."

      Just then, the socks stirred, and a small Cuban boy, deciding this was the opportune time, crawled out from behind the pile of socks.

      "You are... new family?"

      "Wow, wow. That definitely just happened," you said.
      "You know. I kinda saw that coming," I said.
      "Whoa, what the hell, I didn't order that," the erect pair of socks said.

      Our house is haunted by a ghost named Alan, who got us a 4,000 pairs of socks and Cuban boy named Pedro for Christmas.

2009 Broken Chair