John Grindrod: Paranormal moments for one who’s never been normal

By John Grindrod - Guest Columnist

I’ll be first in line when it comes to admitting my behaviors have never been what most would call normal. The list of my idiosyncrasies would far exceed my weekly allotment of words, so you’ll just have to settle for the occasional glimpses I provide you on Wednesdays during my weekly rants.

Despite all my quirky times where my whimsy is on full display, I’ve never been one to add to my eccentricities by telling anyone I’ve seen Big Foot lumbering through my back yard or claiming to have witnessed paranormal activity, that is, until recently.

I periodically find myself traveling for business and in hotel rooms trying to find the firmest part of mattresses that hundreds before me have used and heading down to hot breakfasts that, back in my 1960s growing up, I don’t ever recall hotels offering.

In one of my rotational visits to The Drury Inn and Suites outside of Columbus in Dublin, something has happened on several occasions in my assigned rooms that has indeed got me thinking about the paranormal. I’ll tell you the story, and you decide for yourself whether there might not be something a bit ghostly going on.

Of course, one of the first things I do when I check in and drop my bag on the end of the bed is snap on the TV, an LG flat screen, similar to the ones I snap on in the Clarions, Hamptons and Holiday Inn Expresses I sometimes find myself using.

While this has never happened in any other hotel, including other Drury Inns where I have stayed in other cities, in the Dublin Drury, where I am treated like royalty by a very attentive staff, the television will frequently change channels by itself, always from ESPN to Fox News.

The remote is across the room from where I am on the cabinet with the TV. I’m either doing some work-related paperwork or maybe some ironing, and the channel suddenly changes.

It’s not that I really have anything against the change, as it really doesn’t hurt me in any way. I have been known to watch Fox News with some regularity over the years anyway.

I’ve never really mentioned this to anyone at the front desk, for fear the friendly folks will think I’ve lost my mind. I will tell you that I can think of no logical explanation that this should happen other than an intervention from a ghost with some Republican leanings who wants me to spend less time watching the Cavs slug it out with the Celtics and more time watching Tucker Carlson.

As for this whole experience, I did a little Google search to see if there was any reasonable explanation. It turns out this has happened before, and I found some explanation as to potential causes on the website eHow by contributor Stella Noble, who began by admitting how difficult it is to determine exactly why this happens. She did say that occasionally a remote can pick up another remote’s signal from a nearby location. I suppose I can buy that, given the one wall that divides one hotel room from another, but why does this only happen when I’m watching ESPN and the channel switches to Fox News?

Noble also covers sunlight hitting the remote, but, of course, in my case, it has happened several times when it’s dark and none of the sun’s wavelengths are at play. Noble also mentions as sort of a catch all, and, to my way of thinking, perhaps a cop-out for not really nailing the cause down, good old-fashioned TV malfunction.

So that’s how my life goes at one of the most smartly run and friendliest hotels on my circuit. What with nightly hot food and adult beverages, hot breakfasts and free pop and popcorn, there are perks galore at my Dublin Drury. And, for this frequent consumer, you can add one more perk, one Rod Serling might have once intoned in one of his episodic epilogues in his iconic sci-fi show of the 1960s: “It’s a perk to be filed under ‘P,’ which also stands for ‘Paranormal,’ in the Dewey Decimal System of (dramatic pause), ‘The Twilight Zone.’”

By John Grindrod

Guest Columnist

John Grindrod is a regular columnist for The Lima News, a freelance writer and editor and the author of two books. Reach him at

John Grindrod is a regular columnist for The Lima News, a freelance writer and editor and the author of two books. Reach him at

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