Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Boodlerag


My dad, Byron W. Thompson, was a mild-mannered and kind man. I favorably remember that it was Dad, who read us bedtime stories and cooked most of our suppers. Byron was a man of gentle and subtle humor. He would tell a joke quietly and then wait for it to sink in the brains of the four females in the household. After detecting the humor, he would have us all rolling with laughter. I was the youngest of three daughters so maybe I was the last to understand.

One thing, that seems a little out of character for my Dad, was his invention of The Boodlerag. We three girls never saw The Boodlerag, but we were fortunate or unfortunate enough to hear The Boodlerag from time to time. As I remember, The Boodlerag lived in the basement, and The Boodlerag made a looonnng moanful cry like the banshees in Darby O'Gill and The Little People. (Of course, you know how scary the Darby O'Gill story is with banshees forewarning death and Death, himself, coming to get you in a carriage, but I digress.) When we would ask Dad, "what was the wretched sound?" He would answer with a sly smile that "It must have been The Boodlerag." Now generally, I was the world's least courageous child, but somehow the sly smile made me feel that everything was okay and that we were safe and sound.

I am not sure how The Boodlerag came into being, but my grown-up science teacher self tells me that The Boodlerag moan was Dad blowing through some long tube like a vacuum cleaner hose. When I was fourteen, we moved from our home with a basement on Kensington to a home in suburbia with a crawl space and no basement. Strangely, we never heard The Boodlerag in the subdivision home so I guess that The Boodlerag is still moaning back in the house on Kensington. Hopefully, the little children know that The Boodlerag means no harm.

Did your father like to tease you with a creation of his own?

12 Comments:

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Luke said...

If we had any Boodlerags or similar creatures the lurked in our basement, I must have blocked out the terrifying memory of it.

But I was always wary for the something that just might be under the surface of the murky water in the sump pump well.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Margaret said...

My dad used to like to pretend to drive off the road; he would lift his hands off the wheel and turn them around and around. This got an outraged exclamation of "SKIP!" from my mom and lots of gasps from the three of us in the back seat.

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous JEnny said...

My dad was full of terrifying stories. That's why I can't sleep alone with the lights out.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Tink said...

The only childhood "wickedness" my Dad played on me was telling me there were creatures in my nose that would bite my finger off if I stuck it up there.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger daddy d said...

There may have some Boodlerags in the sump pump years ago. However, that big Wayne Pump has them long gone.

 
At 6:59 PM, Blogger peppypilotgirl said...

What a delightful story! Nope, I was scared enough of the basement on my own. I think my dad wouldn't have dared tell me scary stories for fear I'd've been in bed with them all night for weeks!

 
At 4:45 AM, Blogger theotherbear said...

Yes, we had drop bears, which are like koala bears but they have very long claws that would rip you to shreds as they dropped out of a tree and onto you. Hmm, how mean was THAT! We also had the tickle monster, who hatched out of an egg that was in a crack in the end of an old chewed up pencil. That was actually just dad's excuse to tickle us till we squealed.

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Molly said...

If I had to get up in the night to go to the bathroom I used to sit on the side of the bed and launch myself as far out from the bed as I could so that the monster I was fairly certain lived under there wouldn't be able to grab me by the ankles......

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Fond memories for sure!
My Dad was the mastermind behind telling me that I could be whatever I wanted to be, do whatever I wanted to do in life. So I became that nurse.
He was the one who taught me all about astronomy, science and biology. He was my best cuddle too.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger gawilli said...

I had a Boodlerag under my bed. My dad never told me that, I think I made it up myself. I still sleep with the covers up close and tight around my face. Boohahah!

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger coffespaz said...

What wonderful memories! No stories like that for me, at least none that I can remember. Probably because I was a child with little self-confidence. We did have some wonderful times though....

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Stephanie said...

My dad invented the Crayon Monsters. They came to life 'cause my sister and I left our crayons out on the floor and Daddy stepped on them.

I don't color today...

 

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