It was a dark and stormy afternoon. Very dark. Very stormy. And my mind – my mind had gone absolutely blank. What was I supposed to be doing, anyway? Where was I? And for heaven’s sake, what was that big pile of dirty dishes doing in my sink?
Then suddenly, the doorbell rang.
A strange postman was there. He handed me a glowing white packet with no address on it. “This, ma’am, is an Idea Booklet.”
“I don’t understand,” I said. “I didn’t order anything at all from anyone.”
“Well, the folks at Upson Panels, they thought that all the homemakers out there would like to know how you can have lovely crackproof walls and ceilings with washable, non-dust-catching surfaces.”
“Gosh, that does sound exciting,” I said. “There are plenty of cracked walls and dusty surfaces in here.”
“New arrangements and decorating schemes, too,” he said. “Go on, have a look. Thousands of other homemakers have been thrilled with the schemes the Upson folks have come up with. And their lives are never the same, folks tell me.” And then – all of a sudden - he had vanished into the peculiar darkness.
“My new Idea Booklet!” I said, as I closed the door and sat down on the settee. I flipped the booklet open and stared at the blank pages. “Where are all the ideas for my ceilings and walls?”
And then – I don’t know how to describe it – these new panels started growing up out of the floor, covering the walls. They glowed faintly with a green light. And then I heard the dishes rattling in the sink.
The house was getting some ideas of its own. I knew things were about to change.
[From Ladies' Home Journal, 1945.]