We humans…living, animate beings…have a
tendency to refer to nonliving things such as
chairs and tables as
inanimate objects… inert and harmless. We label them thusly and then
go on our way, feeling superior, smug and safe.
Fellow humans, be warned! They have
deliberately lulled us into this false sense of
security. We need to be aware that so-called
inanimate objects can be and often are dangerous.
Before it's too late, we must pass laws to protect
Let me give you some examples of the
behavior of out-of-control, evil inanimate
objects. If humans had committed these atrocities,
they would have been arrested, convicted and
punished. But we have no legal recourse against
renegade inanimate objects.
A few years ago in the middle of a Kansas City ice storm, I
stepped out onto the back porch of the house where
I'd lived for ten years. In all those years, the
back steps had done nothing but lie there quietly,
never making the slightest threatening movement
until they saw their opportunity.
The instant I set foot on that top step,
it slid right out from under me, whacked me on the
backside and shoved me down to the next step which
repeated the process!
whack, shove, whack, shove, all the way to the
I will spare you the graphic details of
my bruises. Suffice to say, they were extensive and
excruciating. Had another person inflicted those
injuries upon me, he'd have been charged with
assault and battery and sent to jail! Those steps
should have been sentenced to at least five years in
maximum security with termites for guards.
Needless to say, I never trusted those
steps again, but my bicycle was a different story.
We have always been great friends, going for rides,
soaking up the sunshine, smelling the honeysuckle.
One morning my bicycle and I were out for a ride,
going really fast around a cul-de-sac, leaning over,
pretending to be a motorcycle…it loves doing
that…when suddenly, without any warning, my bicycle
fell on its side, and the pavement sprang up and
viciously attacked my face!
It smashed my forehead, bloodied my nose,
crushed my lips and chin, and my head hurt for days!
So far as I could tell, that pavement
sustained NO injuries and, of course, received no
punishment. It should have been sentenced to life in
one of those prisons where the inmates still crush
rocks. Wouldn't have been a very long life!
The bicycle claims it was a victim, too.
Said the sand tripped it. It did sustain some
scratches, and it has exhibited no violent
tendencies since that time. So, for the bicycle, a
suspended sentence and another chance.
My face had barely recovered from this
incident when I needed to get my Christmas
decorations out of the attic. The only way to get
into that attic was to drag a ladder across the
garage floor, center it under the small opening and
climb up. Ladders are notoriously untrustworthy, so
I was cautious climbing up the ladder, but I totally
trusted that attic. I let it keep my stuff, for
I had a box of Christmas decorations in
my arms, one foot still in the attic and the other
on the top rung of the ladder when the two of attic
and the ladder parted ways, plunging me straight
down to the floor below.
As I tumbled downward, my only thought
was, "Oh, lordy, I hope I don't land on my face this
The garage floor took pity on me and only
smacked against the more padded areas of my body.
The death sentence for both the attic and
the ladder. Conspiracy to commit murder. The floor…a
few months in rehab and enforced separation from
After being so cruelly betrayed, I sold
the condo that harbored that attic and moved into a
house several miles away. It's a nice house.
Hardwood floors, sunroom, and a lovely storm door of
heavy, etched glass. I liked that door from the
first time I entered that house. Apparently the
feeling was not mutual.
I had some furniture delivered and
propped the storm door open for the delivery guys.
When they were finished, I went out on the porch,
undid the latch and started back inside. That's when
this lovely door, which had never done anything
except sit in the doorway, preening itself in the
sunshine, suddenly showed its true violent nature.
Instead of gliding gently closed, it rushed forward,
grabbed my ankle and tore a chunk out of my heel.
Copious bleeding, excruciating pain and 8
stitches in the emergency room.
I would have liked to do to that door
what it did to me…smash it! Tear a chunk out of it!
But it's an expensive door. And…did I
Oh, dear. Does this mean…I'm harboring a
Perhaps this would not, after all, be a
good time to press for legislation against the
crimes of inanimate objects. Let me redraft my
proposal and get back to you.