There’s this rogue octopus tambourine in our house that constantly turns up at the worst times. Like when the baby has just fallen asleep and I’m tiptoeing across his room in hopes that he’s finally out…there it is, clattering under my feet.


Or when I’m groggily stumbling out of bed, staggering toward the sound of somebody calling for a drink at 3 am…there it is, planted just so in the doorway where I trip on it and crash into the door frame and break my face.


Or like the times when I’m carrying the sleeping four year old upstairs, balancing carefully and praying with each step that this is not actually the time when I really do fall with a kid in my arms…there’s that damn octopus tambourine, all cheerful and googly eyed, with a look on his face that says, “C’mon, lady. Just try to get past these jingly tentacles. Just. Try.


I honestly can’t say that I see anybody playing with that tambourine. It’s just there. Waiting.


And it’s not just the octopus tambourine. I don’t know how it happens, but there’s this mysterious phenomenon around here which causes all of the noisiest, most abrasive toys to be in the way at the worst times. It’s as though a secret troupe of tiny gypsies sneaks into our house at sundown and throws tambourines, and maracas, and harmonicas, and clam castinets around all willy nilly. Obviously the harmonica doesn’t make noise on it’s own. The gypsies know this. They just include it because it hurts your feet in that very special way that only a harmonica can. Ooh, and they love that game, “Catch Phrase.” It’s that one that beeps like a bomb counting down, slow at first and then faster and faster until you’re dying from  anxiety. It has buttons that are so easy to inadvertently press with your toes in the dark and it’s real hard to turn off when you’re frazzled. The gypsies looooove that one.


I imagine the gypsies to all look like young Cher, a few years after she was born in the wagon of a travelin’ show. Because, duh.


And it’s not just at night that they come around. No, the gypsies are up to trouble at all hours. Like yesterday, when Lily somehow found the maraca that I swear I put away. I know I put it away, but the gypsies found it and they gave it to my child who then snuck up behind me and used it to poke me in the butt as I was getting dressed after my shower. The gypsies did that.


I’ve thought about this a lot, and I really think there has to be a way for me to profit from this torture. Can’t I hire the gypsies out as a new home alarm system? I think unwanted intruders would think twice before breaking into a home armed with octopus tambourines and “Catch Phrase.” You’d definitely hear them coming, and you’d have plenty of time to call the police because I’d add complimentary harmonicas with every home alarm service purchased, so your intruders’ toes would be nice and mangled. I really think this could work. I may just turn this thing around and make something good out of our little gypsy problem.


Peace of mind has a new sound, y’all, and it’s maracas.













And just so you’ll have it in your head, too…

3 thoughts on “Gypsies

  1. Granny Garr

    Well, you know how much I love Cher. If you have to have gypsies, that would be the best kind! There is life after the house gypsies move on, but one never misses the pain of trampling a Barbie or her heels in the dark of night! I have the cushions out of the sofa discovering the treasures left behind by my grandchildren. I’ll mail the plethora of hair ties in an envelope to you with all my love. You may really need them if Cher’s hairstyle catches on.

  2. haleyherber

    YES. YES. YES.
    The sharpest, most pointy hot wheels car ever made somehow always ends up right by our bed. I have just about fallen to my death in the middle of the night so many times. And LEGOS. Oh my gosh don’t even get me started on those evil toys.
    I laughed so ridiculously hard at this post.

  3. haleyherber

    Oh and I’ve watched that Cher video like 4 times. Her hair, makeup and clothes are killing me. I wish I could go to the store like that and not be judged.

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