Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The bed is squeaking. Somewhere. Underneath. It started suddenly a day (or night) ago. Squeaks are like that. Abrupt. Unexpected. Out of the blue. One day (or night) the air is quiet and the next you are confronted with ... that sound.
Maybe it's brought on by a change of seasons, humidity or barometric pressure. Maybe my springs are getting rusty or the bed's getting old. There are a whole lot of variable possibilities, but one thing's for sure: it's annoying.
Perhaps, on occasion, you've experienced the joy of a squeak all your own. Most of us have.
Joyfulness or no, there aren't many positive things to be said about a squeak. Unless you squeak by to win a race, squeaks are troublesome anomalies in the universe. And I'm not only referring to beds.
I'm referring to mice, the notorious squeakers of the animal kingdom. Having a squeak originating from a mouse inside your house is far from joyous (unless you are a cat). So, I guess in the glass-half-full scheme of things, a bed squeak is more desirable than one emanating from a critter capable of leaving a trail of droppings in its wake.
Mice aren't the only animals known to emit squeaks. Other rodents squeak, but less famously so. Rabbits squeak when confronted with the jaws of a fox or other near-death experiences, which happen quite often, due to the bunny's position at the giving end of the food chain.
Rats are rodents. I'm not sure they squeak. I've never heard them utter any sound; then again, I don't think I want to.
While obviously not rodents, elephants have been rumored to squeak, but I've never witnessed this. Besides, unlike a rodent, an elephant could never sneak into your house to squeak, so to speak. Not even through a wide-open door. Even if it did, you'd probably recognize it standing in the middle of your living room.
Unlike an elephant in the room, bed squeaks can be difficult to ignore. You get up one morning, squeak-free, and by nightfall you are squeak-laden. What creates the squeak and from where does it originate? Unsqueakable questions, to be sure.
My squeak occurs when I roll over, shift or otherwise do anything besides breathe in bed. This is troublesome because when it comes to slumber, I am a pancake; I need to be flipped to keep from burning (or at least from getting too hot under the covers). So I flip, the bed squeaks, and the sound Ð a jarring noise Ð pulls me from sleep and I am left there, awake in the dark, with nothing better to do than ponder the squeak.
Come morning I will embark on a squeak attack. Armed with the primary-colored can adorned with two simple letters and the number a little bigger than 39, I wriggle under the bed and spray the stuff everywhere. Like an errant mouse in my house I will eradicate the squeak.
With a spritz and a sprinkle, I complete my mission. Thank goodness for WonderDrug squeak-repellent Ð miracle in a can: the stuff that takes my squeak from nails-on-a-chalkboard irritating to pure and glorious nothingness.
By nightfall, I am tired. I climb under the covers without a sound. I roll over in the middle of the night while my bed remains blissfully as quiet as a mouse. Next to me, my husband begins to snore Ð softly at first.
Jill Pertler, award-winning syndicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" is collecting fans on Facebook on her Slices of Life page. E-mail her at
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