header image

Friday, April 15, 2005

When Jif Fell to His Knees and Converted

This one was inspired by recent posts at Julie's place.

A few years ago, when we were househunting, we went from one bizarre prospect to the next, trying to get into the grotesquely overpriced excellent school district where we hoped to raise LG. We looked at about 40 houses before we found the one in which we now live. One of those houses had carpet so ugly, it nearly changed our eternal destinies.

We walked into this brick rancher, about 30 years old, and saw that it was decorated with all the latest colors and textiles. And by "latest," I mean the most modern available. And by "available," I mean available in the mid '70s when the house was built. At one time, it had been "all that," but all that had not been updated in any way. It was like stepping into "That '70s Show," but Ashton Kutcher* was nowhere in sight.

Who was very much in sight, however, was Buddha. This appeared to be the home of a devoutly Buddhist family. There were books on Buddhism, there were shrines, there were figurines and statues of every sort of Buddha, every shape and size. As we approached the family room, I could see that it was a step down from the kitchen. No, I don't mean it was inferior to the kitchen. I mean, you had to walk down one step to get into the family room. But this was not so easy to see. The step and the floor below were covered in long shag carpet. This long shag carpet was black and brown and white spotted. Big spots. Can you picture it? If you close your eyes and picture that carpet, and if you're really getting the picture, that carpet starts to move -- to wave and undulate right before your eyes. That's the kind of carpet it was. The kind of pattern it was. It moved.

I followed the realtor down into the rolling sea of carpet and took a few steps into the room. Just then I heard a "Phhhhuh. Thud." sound behind me. I turned to see my husband on his knees beside a rocking chair, head bowed toward the two-foot tall Buddha he cradled gently in his arms. I just stared for a moment. We read the Holy Bible, various versions. We pray "in Jesus' name." We are both officers in the Presbyterian Church. We had never discussed this bowing and loving the Buddha thing. But there was Jif. On his knees.

"What are you doing?" I asked, in what I hoped was a religiously tolerant tone.

"I didn't see that step," he answered, flustered.

"And your friend, there?"

He looked at the statue in his arms as though seeing it for the first time. "It fell out of the rocker when I bumped into it. I caught it."

"But you still love Jesus, right?" We both started to laugh so hard, from exhaustion, frustration, and the absurdity of the scene, that the realtor suggested we call it a day.

This family story has become known as "The House that was So Ugly, It Brought Jif to His Knees and Converted Him to Buddhism."

I know that some blogfriends are moving right this minute, and some are househunting. If you're doing that sort of thing today, may your new home be blessed. BLESSED.

*or "Asthma Catcher," as blogger spell-check calls him :)

31 heads are better than one . . .

Anonymous Julie said...

Hmm, seems to me that shag carpet should be a sin in every religion. I know everytime I see it, I can't help but cry out, "Oh Lord!"

 
Blogger Susie said...

julie, the Lord draws us to Him in mysterious ways;) Thanks for the inspiration from the househunting posts:)

 
Blogger Andrea said...

My parents have that shag carpet. I'm totally serious! I think it's a remnant that they got second-hand, but I can totally see that carpet in my head because I saw it every day for years.

 
Blogger Spurious Plum said...

My childhood bedroom had carpet like that, but it was ORANGE and white and black.

ORANGE!

If I knew that converting to an Eastern religion would've made that carpet disappear, I would've converted in six seconds.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Oh, Susie! That is the greatest story!

Now, how can I *not* weigh in on this one? :)

We looked at a lot of houses, and there were some that we just drove up to, looked at the outside, and drove away.

I caught up on Julie's House Hunting series (through your link, thanks!), and can completely understand the nostalgia factor.

You've inspired me to write a little about my "house history!"

 
Anonymous mrtl said...

Thanks, Susie! Selling houses has changed a lot. The house we're hoping to get was empty of personal belongings, save for two oversized photographs of what I'll assume were their two daughters on their wedding days. Otherwise the place looked like a hotel. It will never be that clean or that well decorated again, but it will be ours. (fingers crossed lest I jinx myself)

 
Blogger Effie said...

My hubby and I are in search of that perfect home as we speak--hopefully we will find something inspiring too, but in a good way! I don't know that I want my hubby to convert to Buddhism or anything though....

I had to laugh at your story--the carpet sounded scary but oddly enough I could picture the scene!

 
Blogger Susie said...

andrea, then you can testify, sister -- it moves, doesn't it? And you're right, once it's in your head, it's not gettin' out...

Plum, the promise of getting rid of that carpet crime would be enough to make even the most devout person consider the alternative religions.

ck, see, spreadin' the inspiration around. You know I'm thinking of you.

mrtl, I SO hope you get that house. It looks WONDERFUL. Just dream-housey. Let us know right away. I'm praying, but some of those folks are all criss-crossed up, they'll be de-circulating and fallin' out if you keep 'em that way too long;)

effie, all the best to you with your househunting. Yes, I hope that you don't encounter any houses that put you at risk of losing your religion -- or finding a religion;)

 
Blogger Ern said...

That is hysterical! I love it. I grew up with brown and white carpet. It wasn't berber, but I don't think it could be classified as shag either. Not that long. But my parents had normal beige carpet put in before they tried to sell the place!

Our Shiloh waits by the window like that. It kills me when I'm leaving, but I love it when I come home because his ears perk up and he gets all excited.

 
Blogger SierraBella said...

While house hunting we visited one house which was perfect... nice landscaping, wide street, very desirable neighborhood.
Then we went inside.
Everything was blue!
Now blue is my favorite color, but this was terrible.
Blue carpets, drapes, walls and even furniture.
Financially, the purchase would have had us eating beans for at least ten years. There would be no money available to get all that blue out.
We bought a smaller, less blue home...

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Sierrabella! "We bought a smaller, less blue home... "

Hee! That line completely cracked me up!

One of the houses we looked and drove away from was VERY BLUE with white trim. Not like powder or baby blue, not slate blue, but PEACOCK BLUE.

It was just too, too blue.

 
Blogger Greenthumb said...

I love house hunting, even when the decor is day-sgusting. It amazes me all the time what people think looks good. I know, I know, to each their own.

That photo of VBD Biscuit is very sweet. I'm the first one up and out the door in the morning and Harlow get's up and watches me back out of the driveway every morning, then goes and gets in bed with Nick.

She also seems to know when to start watching for Nick to get home. We have nose prints in a circle from her. It takes a roll of paper towels and a bottle of windex to get them off.

 
Blogger Squirl said...

Susie, back in the '70's that kind of carpet had a definite affect on anybody taking acid. I'm sure that's how that kind of carpet came to be in the first place.

 
Blogger laurenbove said...

I'm certain my aunt had that very carpet in her finished basement playroom. Psychadelic man!

 
Blogger Torrie said...

I dig you.

 
Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

That is so funny! What a great story! Carpet - what a personal thing. Like wallpaper, I suppose. You can learn a lot about a person by their carpet and wallpaper choices. I grew up in a rented home with bright orange semi-shag. It offended each and every member of the family. It also traumatized guests. We were all helpless to change it. Weren't you supposed to rake a shag carpet to keep the pile up? With a real rake, I mean?

 
Blogger Ash (Le Shark) said...

So hilarious. The more I read this blog, the more I laugh out loud. This is going to be especially useful during exam time, when students everywhere can use the fresh perspective that an enjoyable writer can provide. Good on ya!

 
Blogger Susie said...

ern, doggies in the window are the stuff of classic songs. Sorry you got trolled, but they say you're a "real" blogger after that happens. I got it my first or second day in blogworld, and it almost made me quit. You handled it well:)

sierrabella, that is very much what happened to us here. Most of the house was baby pink and baby blue. Two rooms, kitchen and master bedroom, were lavender. I despised it all. Somehow the spirit of the house came through, and we "felt" that it was our home the minute we walked in, even though we couldn't stand to look at it! We're still going room by room, painting, papering, etc.

ck your comment makes me sing Veggie Tales' Madame Blueberry's song: I'm so bloohoohoohoohoohoohoohoohoohoo, I'm so blue I don't know what to do. I think I got the right # of hoohoos in there.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Susie! Veggie Tales! I love those little guys! I don't think I've heard Madame Blueberry's song, though...

On the spirit of the house coming through... Susie, when we walked into our new home, we knew it was the right one for us. Even though someone else had already staked a claim on it (that deal fell through and we snapped the house up.) Let's hear it for "talking" houses! :)

 
Blogger Susie said...

ck, Madame Blueberry is the best. She's all about being thankful for what you have. Another song is "Happiness waits at the Stuff-Mart; all we need is lots more Stuff!" I call BJs, Costco, etc., "Stuff-Mart" now.

 
Blogger Susie said...

greenie, I love to look at houses, too, especially the model ones I can't afford, to get decorating ideas.
Dogs that care when we come and go are one of life's simple pleasures. And worth the dog snot on the window.
Thank you, my brutha, for "rounding up" that little sitchy-ay-shun I told you about earlier. You are a good brother:)

squirl, say it ain't so. I mighta peed in some luggage in my time, but ACID? Jif certainly "tripped" on it. PWAHHAA! I kill myself here.
Oh, THANK YOU for the sweet things you said at Bucky's. I like to think I'm pretty original. I don't see anyone else getting the brainy idea to pee in a suitcase, do you?

laurenbove, it would've been good for a playroom, especially if you play a lot of "cowboys." It looked like a giant, moving, I mean moooooving cowskin. Very shagadelic!

torrie, oh now you gotta show me up, with your concise, to-the-point comment, as contrasted with my talking-and-I-can't-shut-up rambling. That's how you wanna play this, huh? Here in my own house...;) Thank you for visiting, I'm diggin' you, too.

krankipantzen, (I still smile when I type/say your "name"), that carpet could have used a rake. Or a cattle prod (see reply to laurenbove). I find that I'm becoming anti-orange anything in my old age. The taste, the smell, yes, but not the color.

ash (le shark), your comment makes me feel GOOD. Thank you for that, I'm so glad you enjoy visiting. I am happy to do all I can to help the cause of higher education:)

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

We have one or two Veggie Tales VHS tapes... the one I remember has Buzz Saw Louie in it -- it's a Christmas themed one about the real meaning of Christmas.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Comment part two...
AND there is a song that Larry the Cucumber sings that I can't quite remember the name of, but I think it's cute.


Ugh... I think I need to get to bed.

 
Anonymous LadyBug said...

"And your friend, there?"

That line cracked.me.up. This post is hilarious. You have such a way of telling a story, Susie.
Thanks for the giggles.

 
Blogger Susie said...

CK, GIT TO BED!

hey, ladybug, what a nice way to end the night, with a visit from you. Thanks for being so kind to me, as always. I'm really appreciating kind tonight. As always:)

 
Blogger Andrea said...

CK: was it the one about wondering if that was Santa (Bob the Tomato) knocking on his door, bringing presents to a good cucumber like him? Only to find a Viking, a bank robber, and...the tax man?

Yes, I am 34 years old and I watch Veggie Tales (but it's only just because my daughter is watching it, really!!!)

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Andrea! YES! YES! That was the one!

How did that song go? It was so cute...

 
Blogger Gothamimage said...

People of carpet.

 
Blogger Susie said...

whisperingcampaign,
People love carpet.
(a sentence homophone. ta-da!)

 
Blogger Nicolette said...

What a funny story.

 
Blogger An Adventurer said...

Thanks for yet another hilarious story!

 


Post a Comment

<< Home