In honor of Halloween, a scary story that may or may not be true. Two crazy-awesome hockey goals you need to see. And mice driving cars by themselves? Sure, I want to see that

So we’re a day before Halloween and that used to not mean much to me, but I’ve got kids now and one of them happens to have been BORN on October 31, so yeah, I’ve changed my tune a little.

And while I’ve never been into scary stories or horror tales on Halloween, what the hell, I realize most of the rest of you all are, and I read this one Tuesday and it’s nuts.
I have absolutely no idea if Twitter user Grady Hendrix made this whole thing up, or if it really happened. Either way, it’s crazy scary. Read at your own risk 🙂

When I turned 9 I realized I could sneak downstairs after everyone was asleep and eat anything I wanted in the fridge. No one ever noticed! 
I could make a peanut butter, Cheez Whiz, & mayo sandwich, eat leftover pizza, scrape off the icing from birthday cakes – as long as I was careful I could do anything! 
Creeping down was the hardest part. I had to navigate the pitch dark house all the way downstairs in total darkness like a tiny ninja. 
One night in May, ’81 we ordered from Fish & Shrimp House. I waited until everyone was asleep & crept downstairs to eat the leftover sweet n’sour pork. 
It took forever. I finally stepped into the totally dark den & let down my guard. All of a sudden I heard a fork click on the counter. I froze. The microwave clock light showed the outline of a man sitting at our kitchen counter. 
He couldn’t see me, but I saw him: a skinny guy, eating our leftovers, and drinking our milk from the carton. 
I can’t explain how terrifying it is for someone to BE IN YOUR HOUSE. I slooooowly backed away, crept upstairs, and woke up my mom & dad. 
They made way too much noise & took way too long & by the time they got downstairs the kitchen was empty. 
Everyone said I read too many horror comics so they blew off what I said. But no way was I pouring milk on my cereal. 
I started tracking the position of everything in the kitchen. One day the paper napkin holder was on the wrong side of the counter. Another day a mug was in the sink that was NOT there the night before. 
My bedroom door didn’t lock so I kept a steak knife under my pillow. I must’ve stabbed myself in the hand 1000 times checking to make sure it was there. 
Then in August, I was in my room reading when I looked up. There’s an A/C vent over my bed. Behind the vent a pair of eyes were watching me. 
I freaked & raised hell until my parents searched our attic and the crawl space under our house. Nothing. I wasn’t very popular for a few weeks. 
The last week of August our house started to smell. One night, rice fell out of the vent over my bed. Maggots. The A/C people said something had probably crawled into our vents & died. 
Turns out what had crawled into our vents & died was the guy. We lived in an old house with lots of space between the walls & big ducts. He’d been living in them since May. At least. 
He’d put a foam pad beside my bedroom vent so he’d be comfortable while he watched me. The police said he’d made lots of “drawings” but when I asked they pretended they hadn’t said anything. 
No one ever identified him. He was buried as a John Doe. To this day I can’t look inside the vents in houses. 
But sometimes when I’m at someone’s house I’ll smell a little BO coming from their central air conditioning, and I’ll wonder who’s living back there in their ducts. Who’s living in the dark? 

 

**Next up today, it’s hockey season which means my second-favorite sport (besides tennis) is on my TV a lot, and what I don’t get to watch I try to see on the Intertubes.

Tuesday was an awesome hockey day not just because my Rangers finally played like a good team and beat the Lightning, but because I got to see two incredible “lacrosse” goals.

The first was by a Vancouver Canucks prospect named Nils Hoglander, playing in the Swedish hockey league. Hoglander has done this once before, but it’s still incredible. No goalie ever expects to see that.

Amazingly, we then got ANOTHER one of these insanely hard goals Tuesday night, as Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov did it for maybe the first time in NHL history.

Just fantastic. Hockey is the best.

**Finally today, I love a weird science story and this one is bonkers. Scientists at the University of Richmond (Va.) have taught a group of 17 rats how to drive little plastic cars, in exchange for bits of cereal. (Was it Frosted Flakes? Special K? Cinnamon Toast Crunch? These are details I need!)

According to this story from the BBC, “study lead Dr. Kelly Lambert said the rats felt more relaxed during the task, a finding that could help with the development of non-pharmaceutical treatments for mental illness.

The rats were not required to take a driving test at the end of the study. (whew. That’s good. Because parallel parking is a bitch).

How did the rats learn to drive?

Dr. Lambert and her colleagues built a tiny electric car by attaching a clear plastic jar to an aluminium plate, fitted to a set of wheels.

A copper wire was then threaded horizontally across the jar – the cab of the car – to form three bars, left, right and center.

To drive the car, a rat would sit on the aluminium plate and touch the copper wire. The circuit was then complete, and the animal could select the direction in which they wanted to travel.

After months of training, the rats learned not only how to make the ratmobile move but also how to change direction, researchers wrote in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.”

This is fascinating to me. But also, it’s fun to just watch the tiny rats drive around.

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