Things that go grrr in the night

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It’s a quiet night. The first breath of summer is in the air at last; the windows and balcony door are flung open to let in the coolness. The breeze brushing my face is like balm on my hot skin.

The only light in the room is the soft glow coming from the laptop screen. I’m lying on the couch, my sister is surfing the web.  

Suddenly, the serenity is shattered by a brief, deranged growl. (Just so you know: there is no animal on the premises.)

“What the hell was THAT?” my sister whispers, pale with fright.

“I don’t know; probably the TV in your room,” I say, unconvincingly. Outwardly, I probably appear calm, having not even budged an inch from the couch. Actually, it’s only because I have been completely frozen with fear.

Then we hear it again, and it sounds decidedly closer this time.  

For a moment my sister goes just as motionless as I am. However, seconds later she turns in her chair and lunges at something towards the right hand side of her.

This time, it’s my turn to squeak: “What the HELL..?”

She grabs the offender and starts to laugh.

Seeing that I’m still a tad perplexed, she holds it up to the laptop screen’s glow. It’s her iPad.

As if on cue, it emits another growl. “It’s that stupid game!” my sister laughs.

Turns out my niece had played Talking Fred (the pig that imitates and responds to the player's voice) on the iPad and never turned it off. If you leave Fred on without playing with him, he sulks by, every once in a while, making attention-seeking growling and grunting noises.

Yes, indeed. Two adults were spooked by a game for toddlers…

In our feeble defense, despite the microphone in his hand, Fred IS one scary-looking pig, complete with an “Eat Me” tattoo across his belly, a red Mohawk, a bad-ass, spiky dog collar around his neck, a nose ring, cut-off camouflage trousers and combat boots…




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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


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