Chapter 24: The Gift Of The Mad Guy, Blunder Woman Returns, Crimson Ger Appears
Being the giving, compassionate neighbor that I am, I wanted to return the favor that Morticia did for me when she anonymously delivered a bag of fake dicks to my house. And yes, folks that may be inquiring, Kojak can in fact eat a bag of dicks, but I won’t let him because they have to last. It’s not like I have an endless supply.
So I went out with Methusela last time and bought a little something for the yard, something I though Morticia might appreciate and something that Ger might not take an instant dislike to. It was not expensive, nor was it something I could pick up at the local Family Dollar either. But it WAS something that was too unwieldy and heavy for me to pack up in my shitbox, so I arranged to have it delivered.
Apparently, the delivery was a surprise to Morticia. Which is as it should have been.
I was up a little earlier than usual several weeks ago, on a Saturday when it wasn’t supposed to rain and, dammit, it surely was not raining. I was figuring out what needed doing outside that I could fit into a couple of hours in the late morning, as I wanted to go hit a local campsite with Kojak in the afternoon. So I was knocking around when the UPS truck pulled up next door, and the guy in brown wheeled out this massive box and trotted it up the walk to Ger’s door.
Morticia answered pretty quickly and took one look at the box, and I thought she was gonna have a coronary. I think she remembered the mis-delivery of the dildoes that I was apparently going to be the beneficiary of in perpetuity (or at least until she stopped coming across the boxes). But the UPS guy was very comforting, apparently, that this delivery was not from some shady sex shop but, in fact, from a reputable chain store. I was able to hear the latter part of the conversation as I took a minute to park my ass by the open window.
“I’m NOT signing for it. I didn’t order it. I’m not paying for it.”
“Ma’am, you don’t understand. You are merely signing to accept delivery. It’s all paid for already, and apparently it’s a gift. The store is the return address.”
“Let me see the label.” She steps over and bends close, examining it for tampering or something.
“Lady, please. I’ve got a truckload of sh…stuff to deliver. Sign for this, tell me where you want it and I’ll be outta your hair.”
“Alright. But there had better not be any moneys owed on this thing. Put the box… ah… over there.” (points to the walkway by the side of house, near the back yard)
“Sure thing. Thanks loads, lady. Have a great day.”
After he left, she walked around to where the box was and circled it, like a lion might stalk its prey. First clockwise, then counter-clockwise, head cocked to one side as if the box might start speaking.
She grabbed it and tried to give it a good shake, but it was too heavy. She checked the label again. It was not addressed to Ger, or the hurch itself, but to her. I know this because I sent the damn thing. And she seemed perplexed.
Finally, she got up enough courage to go in the house and come back out with an XACTO knife. She cut away the tape on the top of the box and pried it open.
She then started pulling packing material out by the handfuls until she saw the top of her newly acquired item. She reached in to pull it out, and then realized there was more to it than meets the eye. So she used the knife to drop one of the cardboard panels, and the remainder of the packing material poured out around her feet.
She just stood there, looking at the item for a bit, jaw slightly agape but not so wide as to need a sign.
She pulled the flap back up, trying to re-close the box as much as possible but to no avail.
She stood there, tapping her chin, trying to figure out how to best handle the situation. The box itself was about four to five feet high. The item inside was between three and four feet tall. And it was heavy. Not cheap plastic shit – heavy stone.
Suddenly, her fingers stopped drumming on her chin and a smile creased her lips. She turned quickly and went back inside.
Morticia came back out with four hurch members, and explained with a lot of pointing and gesticulating exactly what she wanted them to do. They nodded throughout, human-sized bobbleheads, and then went to work. Two of them grasped the item in the box by the top, two of them slid the box out from beneath the item, and there it stood in all its stony glory.
A birdbath. A birdbath that weighed close to eighty pounds, I thought. A birdbath that had a beautifully sculpted pedestal, and was about thirty-six inches across at the bowl. It had a lovely pair of cherubs standing in the middle of the bowl, and they were back-to-back facing outwards (which, if you stop and think about it, is the only way they could have been facing if they were back-to-back). They had lovely, detailed little horns held up to their lovely, detailed chubby lips. There was a drain plug in between their feet, so that old, nasty water could be drained out and replenished with clean water.
They stood the birdbath up at a strategic point in the yard, and I thought that would be the end of it.
But it wasn’t. Because the hurch members went back inside, coming out a few minutes later with two statuettes to put on either side of the birdbath. One was the traditional Mary Magdelene statue, with her hands palms-out. She was placed on the right of the birdbath, her right hand very close to the rim.
The other was the classic welcoming statue of Jesus, which was placed on the left, left hand close to the rim. It was as if Jesus and Mary were holding the bowl for the birds to bathe in.
A lovely idea. They stood for a short time, admiring their handiwork, and then they all went inside for a nice rest. The rest of the day was quiet.
Then the following day, Ger decided to run a garden hose out to hook up to the base of the birdbath, which would supposedly then cause water to cascade down from the horns of the cherubs and fill the bowl with nice, clean water.
Which was when everyone discovered, much to their chagrin and my amusement, that the birdbath had a glaring defect in the way the interior hoses were threaded. Or maybe it was intentional – I had not seen it in action, so made some simple assumptions.
Water began pouring out in little streams, but from the cherubs’ tiny detailed groins. It gave the entire tableau the appearance of Jesus and Mary inviting birds to come bath in angel pee. And that was the moment I realized that Methusela had been watching from the sidewalk, because she began to laugh so hard I thought she would have a stroke.
A passing minister from the local Methodist church glanced over to see what the commotion was all about, locked eyes with Ger long enough for Ger to see him roll his eyes in mild disgust, and walked on. Ger turned shades of red that I had never seen before.
Sadly, I could not get a picture of it because within the time it took me to go back and find my phone, the hurch members had hastily thrown a tarp over the scene and anchored it in the yard using tent pegs. Morticia could be heard inside, screaming at someone over the phone. I can only assume it was some poor schmuck in the lawn and garden department at the place of purchase, as clueless as she was as to what the problem really was.
*This story is dedicated with fondness to the memory of Steve Barber, AKA Trig, a fanatically funny friend that could erect a deck so fast he was nicknamed Viagra. Your humor, wit and wisdom were always a source of pleasure for me and I miss you greatly, pal.