Mysterious noise puts me on the case


It was quite the mystery.

As we all know, it has been cold the past couple of weeks. Very cold. Some days, even brutally cold. For me, it has been downright torture. I was talking with my dad when it was six below zero here. In my hometown, it was 72.

Just close your eyes and imagine 72 degrees right now. Kind of makes you weepy, right? But don’t cry – the tears will only freeze to your face.

Back to the mystery. My wife and I own an older home. Not that old – it was built in the 1930s – but old enough. Old enough to make noises. You know those popping sounds older homes make in the heat, the cold – pretty much all of the time.

But we were now hearing some real bangs. They seemed to come from all over the place. The bathroom? No, maybe the living room area? Possibly the back yard?

One thing seemed clear: The noises were coming from the outside, and sounded like something hitting the house.

As my hearing is pretty terrible – thank you, loud music – it was a real problem for my wife.

“Did you hear that,” she said as we were sitting on the couch. “What was that?”

“Hear what?” I answered.

But I did hear it a couple of times. So, I would suit up and go outside to try and find the culprit.

I don’t have the greatest winter gear, mind you, but I have some decent boots and a good jacket. My gloves are actually pretty pathetic. I need to do something about that.

I would go outside and trudge through the snow, knocking icicles off of the house and looking for any obvious problems. An old telephone wire connecting to the house had a large chunk of ice on it and I couldn’t break it off. Maybe that was hitting the house.

My wife wasn’t buying it.

So I would go out front and look for tree branches that had fallen. Maybe an incredibly fat yet agile raccoon had climbed up on the roof and decided to do the River Dance.


Finally, one night last week, we were sitting on the couch binge watching “The Sopranos” – hey, better late than never – when we heard a very loud bang.

This one I heard. I think the neighbors heard it.

It sounded like it was coming from the garage area. Again, I geared up and went outside to do another futile perimeter check. I came up empty.

I wondered if it was coming from the attic, so I went into the garage to grab a flashlight. On my “workbench” (I put that in quotes because, honestly, I don’t really do any work out there), I saw some ice, but it looked strange. Why would there be a little ice up there?

I saw more ice in a box to my right. I picked it up. It looked … greenish. Green ice? I kept moving to my right and the trail led me to the answer.

Diet 7-Up.

There was a 12-pack of the stuff on top of our outside refrigerator. Well, actually, there was one can left. The rest had exploded after freezing. I found exploded cans behind the fridge. I found them behind my covered riding lawn mower. I found them near the chainsaw.

Mystery solved. My wife and I had a good laugh, and I wondered aloud why I was such a moron to leave soda out in the garage when it was below zero.

I brought the beer inside too. Letting your beer explode would be a punishable offense.