The other evening I arrived home early from work. It was cool, but not cool enough to send me directly into the house. Janice's car was parked out in front of the house so I knew she was home. I opened the front door to a very happy puppy dog. Milo jumped up and down. He was wagging his tail so hard and fast, he cleaned everything off the top of the coffee table. One swipe sent the TV remotes and the Kleenex box flying to the floor. I looked around the house and could not find Janice. It was so nice outside, I figured she went for a walk. I put Milo on his lease and we headed out the door.
Milo and I turned left at the bottom of the driveway and headed up the hill. I could hear voices and laughter toward Chris' (our mayor) house. Sure enough, as Milo and I approached, we could see Janice, Steve, Dee, Linda and Chris, sitting in lawn chairs, cold beers in hand. I knew everyone was having a very good time. I was wondering if I should join them. I am not much of a drinker. Chris has a reputation. Chris likes to entertain and always has plenty of beer, etc. If you stop, you will be offered a drink. It would be rude to turn it down.
Chris can be one of the funniest guys you will ever meet. The only problem is that you never know when he is serious or telling a tall tale. Milo and I decided to join the conversation. Chris was telling us a story. He has a next door neighbor named Bernie. Bernie has lived in Sunshine for many, many years. He was raised in Connecticut but moved here so long ago that one can remember the year he arrived. Bernie must be in his 80's now. He has invested in property and owns three houses.
A while ago, Bernie went back to Connecticut to visit his parents. They were getting quite old and ailing. Not planning on being gone for long, Bernie stocked up on fire wood for the upcoming winter and filled the freezer with lots of meat. Up here, you never know when you will get snowed in. He made arrangements for Chris to collect his rents and make the deposits. He also asked Chris to check in on his place and to make sure everything was in good order until he returned. Chris loaded Bernie and his suitcase into his Ford Ranchero. The two then headed east. Chris delivered Bernie to his parents' house and returned to Sunshine a week later.
Last month Chris received a call from Bernie. His parents have passed and he is planning on returning home. He has already tried to return once with a couple of his buddies from Connecticut. Chris calls them the "prune juice posse". Evidently the prune juice posse made a wrong turn and got lost on Long Island. They turned around and went back to Connecticut.
If you are like the rest of us, you are asking yourself, "I wonder how long has Bernie been gone?" Twenty two years. Yes, Chris has been collecting rents and making deposits for Bernie for twenty two years. Now, what about the house? Chris went over to check on the interior. He opened the front door and was repelled back by the smell. Chris quickly closed the door and went home. He poured himself a couple of shots of booze and pondered on what could be causing the terrible odor.
He gathered up his nerve and returned to Bernie's. He poured two more shots and walked the short distance to Bernie's side door. He peered through the door and noticed a brown ooze under the freezer. It seems the freezer quit working and the chest full of frozen meat, twenty two years, was now thawed. Chris returned home and had two more shots. He figured he had better make sure it was the freezer and the brown ooze causing the stench. He took one more shot and went next door. He took a deep breath and opened the door. While holding his breath,he lifted the lid to the freezer, looked inside, closed the lid and ran outside. Sure enough, the freezer was no longer working.
Chris knew he had to act fast. The bears are coming out of hibernation in the next week of two. Hungary, they would be attracted to the smell. Bernie and his prune juice posse' were soon going to make a second attempt to travel west again. The only thing that seemed logical was to seal the freezer, or should I say the contents of the freezer. Chris made a trip into town and stopped at Home Depot. There he picked up some bags of premixed concrete. After stopping at his house for a couple of shots, he went to Bernie's to address the situation. He held his breath and opened the door. He lifted the premix concrete and carried it into the stench filled house. He lifted the lid to the freezer and poured the contents of the bag into the freezer. He repeated this several times, taking a couple of shots between each venture.
The smell has subsided and now. He is looking for some brave soul to help him move the freezer out of the house.
I am asking for some prayers for some special people, both Sunshine neighbors. Mary and Donna.
Smiles to all,