The Vile Vial

No ghosts here, but macabre in it's own right.

My father had this girlfriend named Kathy for about thirteen years. Suffice it to say, she's a whole story herself. Kathy moved in with my father when I was about seven and stayed around until I was eighteen. For a few years she was Bob Hope's assistant and I spent a large porton of my afterschool hours at his home in Toluca Lake.

There was a smaller "front" house, with the main house in back. This front was comprised of an office for Kathy, her two assistants and a room for the security guards. There was also Mr.Hope's main office and a huge, walk in vault, the kind you see in movies. There were only two things in the vault; Mr.Hope's entire collection of jokes, all filed away by type of joke and writer. The other thing in the vault was a dusty, unimpressive, little tray. On the tray were some sort of shot glasses and a vial of amber colored liquid.

Mr.Hope's office was usually locked but I had been in many times. If I was there, Mr.Hope let me play gopher girl and run things back and forth between him and the secretaries or up to the main house. He was always very kind and funny, of course, and he was especially fond of my red shoes. The office was massive. You had to walk through some sort of alcove first, which led into the main, large room. All the walls, even those of the alcove, were covered with large glass showcases with lighting and shelves, full of his various mementos.

As time went on, Kathy and the two secretaries began to wonder about the little tray with the vial and glasses. If it was valuable enough to keep in the vault, they wondered, why wasn't it put away or displayed in one of the showcases in his office? As does so often happen with curiosities, the wondering began to eat away at them little by little until they became quite fixated on it. As this fixation reached it's climax one day and whilst the security guys were distracted by their lunch, the three decided to each take up one of those dusty glasses, fill it with the amber liquid and drink it. This action somehow sated them for awhile, and for the next few months the little set was forgotten.

These some months later, I believe Mrs.Hope came to the office and entered the vault. She came out carrying the little tray and it's contents. While the three women looked at her she stopped to explain to them that she hated these things and how upset she was with Mr.Hope for having them in the first place. No one should even have to be near them, so she was taking it away. Just before she turned to exit she said, "This was Adolf Hitler's, you know."


  1. Scary! They could have died from drinking a substance they didn't know was safe!? Ack!

  2. Would you like a cup of tea? (Sorry. "Kids, don't call the lady names.")

    I am so happy you found my blog! I have been reading yours and have the same feeling of looking into a mirror. Yours is beautiful and so inspiring -- I should really resume regular updates.

    Did you ever finish your Halloween playlist? I put Kate Bush's "Hammer Horror" on mine this year.

    (Apologies if this is my second comment; my browser is acting somewhat possessed today.)

  3. AE - kindred spirit!
    Thank you so much for the kind words. I am so pleased to see some updates in your blog.

    I did finish the playlist, however, I got distracted in my excitement over the discovery of Jonathan Coulton, resulting in further entries regarding things musical falling by the wayside.