You just ‘ain’t right in the head’


Somebody in my family have decided it would be a really great idea if a bunch of us got together and went to the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Ky., to spend the night.

I did this once, a long time ago, when I was about 40 pounds lighter and my knees still worked. All I got was a bad night’s sleep because … well, it just wasn’t comfortable.

“You do realize that old men with bad knees can’t run that fast?” I asked when my family started making plans for another trip.

Waverly Hills is supposed to be haunted.

That means ghosts and such things hang around and torment people who are foolish enough to spend the night in their home.

Apparently, ghosts are kinda scratchy like that.

“Get out of my house, get out of my house,” a ghost will say. “The kitchen’s a mess and I haven’t put away the laundry.”

I don’t know why a ghost would be that picky. I mean, we’d all be paying — my family and I — some outlandish fee like $100 a night per person.

I’m sure a ghost can do a lot with that kind of money — like redecorate and maybe put up some curtains and whatnot.

I don’t think the ghosts would worry about things like carpet, or another kind of flooring. I don’t think ghosts worry about things like static electricity or getting the soles of their feet dirty.

“Look at these lovely throw pillows,” one ghost might say to another after a family of about 20 spends the night in the sanatorium. “They match the black holes of your eyes.”

That sounds like something a ghost would like to purchase.

And who doesn’t like a nice curtain?

“Did you see that old guy with the bad knees try to get away last night?” one ghost might ask another. “I laughed until I got hiccups.”

I’m pretty sure a ghost can get hiccups.

I don’t think a ghost would say, “I laughed until I wet myself.”

I don’t think ghosts can do that.

I may be wrong. I know that if a ghost decides to chase me, I can probably do that.

“Oh, the old man with the bad knees wet himself,” a ghost might observe.

I’m not sure what kind of ghosts are supposed to be haunting Waverly Hills, but they must be pretty darned scary. I mean, the place was a sanatorium. That’s where they used to send people who weren’t “right in the head.”

That’s what they said about people back in the old days. They weren’t “right in the head.”

My brother, Ron, who just had his ankle operated on, and will have another operation on the same ankle before the sleepover, said if any ghosts show up we can roll him out in his wheelchair as a sort of sacrifice while the rest of us get away.

“If we don’t see any ghosts, can we roll you out as a sacrifice anyway?” I asked.

“You ain’t right in the head,” he answered.

I don’t think he meant that I should be sent to a sanatorium.

The thing about planning such a foray into the realm of the supernatural (didn’t that sound spiffy?) is that everyone starts bragging about all the ghosts they’ve encountered in the past and how brave they were.

“But did the ghost you saw before know anything about interior decoration and throw pillows and the like?” I asked.

Because a ghost who appreciates a well-placed armoire and understands the basics of feng shui isn’t really worried about chasing old men with bad knees about.

They’re afraid such a person will bump into something or disturb some well-placed piece of dust or cobweb.

But, on the other hand, if you go to a place like Waverly Hills Sanatorium and you disturb such items, then a ghost might just come out and kick your …

“I chased that old man with the bad knees and he knocked over the vase in the electroshock therapy room,” one ghost might say to another.

“Oh, you poor thing,” the other ghost might answer back. “Let’s go torture that fellow they rolled out in a wheelchair.”