The evening started innocently enough. In the den, Eamon played a cheerful game of “Oh no!” with his new Cookie Monster balloon. In the kitchen, Mimi toiled over the Culinary Circle rotisserie chicken she had recently ensnared from the Farm Fresh.
“Eamon! Dinner!” called Mimi.
The little feet pitter-pattered into the dining room. Mimi hoisted the small child into his booster seat and then sat down to join him for what they both expected to be a pleasant dinner.
They could not have been more wrong.
As they ate and discussed the day, Eamon chattered carefreely about his, “Bawoon! Cookie! Bawoon!” while Mimi thoughtfully agreed that as far as Cookies went, it was definitely a balloon.
Mimi and Eamon stopped mid-chew.
“Did you hear that?” Mimi whispered.
“Bawoon!” Eamon whispered back.
“No, I think it was coming from the air conditioning vent,” Mimi said, laying down her fork.
“Vent,” agreed Eamon. Then, for good measure, in case she had forgotten, “Bawoon.”
“We can check it out after dinner,” Mimi said, trying to sound as if she was not a bit worried, as if there were always loud banging noises coming from the air conditioning units.
“Check out,” nodded Eamon as he put another raspberry into his mouth.
They finished dinner quietly, both listening for the banging, which progressively grew more intense. Finally Eamon, realizing the gravity of the situation, pushed the remainder of his berries away from himself, looked at Mimi, and announced solemnly, “Check out.”
It was time.
Mimi went to the garage and found the tools they would need: a flashlight and a flathead screw driver. Meanwhile, the banging continued, as loud and raucous as ever. Together, Mimi and Eamon crept over to the vent and put their ears up to it.
Something was in there.
And it was definitely a something, not a someone. It sounded like a block, or a small dinosaur or a…
“Bobbin,” announced Eamon.
“A what?” asked Mimi.
“Bobbin,” repeated Eamon.
“What the heck is a Bobbin?”
But Eamon didn’t answer.
Carefully, Mimi unscrewed the vent. Holding their breath, not knowing what they would see, both peeked in their heads.
There was nothing there.
“Hewo!” yelled Eamon. “HEWO! Come out, Bobbin! Hewo! Come out!”
But no Bobbin emerged. Mimi shined the flashlight, but could see nothing but an empty vent that turned a corner. Whatever was banging in the vent was definitely farther in the vent than could be seen with just a flashlight.
“There’s no way to find out,” Mimi finally admitted in defeat. “Short of crawling in there, there’s no way to find out what’s banging around.”
Eamon nodded in understanding. He took a deep breath. “Crawl in,” he said, and dropped to his knees.
“NO!” cried Mimi, grabbing him by the diaper as he threatened to disappear into the dark. “I didn’t mean YOU should crawl in. I was just saying that we can’t find out what is banging around tonight.”
Reluctantly, and each with an eye on the vent, they settled back to discuss the bawoon, which was still very Cookie. The banging slowly began to subside.
Just when they thought everything was getting back to normal, the door front flung open.
Aaron came home, spent about 15 minutes trying to put the world’s most difficult screws back onto the grate cover, looked at me and announced, “I love that you THINK you can do stuff like this…”
“If you hadn’t come home right then, I would have put the grate back on and you would have never known.” (This is probably untrue.)
“How the heck were you going to figure out what it was anyway? There’s no way that you can see.”
“I was going to reach in there.”
He just stared at me.
“What? I would have turned off the A/C first.”
In summary, the Bobbin still has not been found, though the A/C vent finally stopped banging. I am no longer allowed near the screwdrivers, and Eamon tried to take his bawoon to bed.
COMING SOON: The Wolfepack Mysteries #20: The Case of the Popped Bawoon