Last year I wrote this post fooling many into thinking I was moving to my beloved Portland. Since I pretty much blew my wad last year, I figured I would be unable to fool anyone with an equally devious post. So this year I\’m going back through the archives of better times when Thursday Night Liver Practice was an actuality and not just a faint pleasant memory. Back then Matt Curry would write an extremely long and extremely funny email imploring the Ultimate community to come out to the Blarney Stone on Thursdays for beers and shenanigans.
One April Fools eve he out-did himself and sent out the following email. It will lose something in the knowledge that it is a hoax. So try to pretend that it isn\’t. It\’ll be funnier that way.
I have been trying to think of some other topic, but when one constant thought is running amok in my head, I can’t think of anything else. Bear with me…
I had no idea how civil suits worked. But now it looks like I’m going to have a crash course in this particular part of our judicial system since I’ve just been named “The Defendant” in a subpoena I received through my lawyer.
I won’t have the time to read through Civil Suits for Dummies, but I may want to pick up @ss Reaming for Dummies. My lawyer says that because I was so forthcoming with the truth that this won’t go over well for me, so I am bracing for the worst.
I have already given deposition testimony as to what I am about to relate to you, however my lawyer advised me that I should change the names of all individuals involved (except for me and legal entities) until after the jury reaches its final verdict on monetary damages.
I was having such a marvelous 2005, too…
Some weeks ago, I was helping some married friends of mine move. Derek and Kara (not their names, of course) did not want to spend the relocation grant money provided through Kara’s new company on a full-blown moving service. They decided to move all of their stuff themselves but with help from PODS.
PODS is an acronym for Portable On Demand Storage, and it amounts to somebody unloading an enormous empty crate onto your driveway that looks like a small railcar, you fill it up with your earthly booty, and then they schlep it to your new driveway, wherever that may be. They will also provide boxes – really good boxes that, as it turns out, can be taped up airtight.
Since Derek and Kara would need help, I selflessly volunteered my time to help them box up absolutely everything they own.
Derek and Kara had two dogs: Fido and Lassie (nope… not their real names). Fido and Lassie were constantly trying to help us pack – Lassie especially since I had to chase her away from the big metal crate on many occasions.
On the last evening that we were packing, Kara ran to a friend’s house to drop off some borrowed tools while Derek went for pizza. I volunteered to keep packing stuff away since the POD was to be picked up the very next morning, and we were behind schedule.
Derek and Kara had an antique tool chest on metal casters that was to be moved. The upper half of this chest had four drawers while the lower half was just a tray on which you could stack paint cans about two-high. This tool chest had non-locking drawers that slid in and out very easily for something of that age. Derek did not want any tape holding the drawers shut because of the residue that the tape would leave on it, but we figured that since it was slightly smaller that the large boxes provided, we could wheel it into one and tape the box shut. This way there would be no tape on the tool chest, and if the drawers were to open, they wouldn’t open very far, and the cardboard wouldn’t damage the antique.
While I was left alone, I figured that I’d pack up the chest myself. Standing up a large, long box on its short side in the POD, I wheeled the chest into the POD and into the box. Then, after going back inside the house to track down the tape, I made sure that the box was sealed tightly. I wanted to make sure that this box didn’t move around much, so I wheeled their large gas grill into the POD and positioned it up against the tool chest’s box, locking the wheels, to brace it during the move.
Derek arrived back at the house at the same time Kara did, so we all took a break and chowed down on some pizza. About an hour later we became very determined and loaded up everything else with record speed. Derek blared his radio to keep the tempo going. When the last box was loaded, the three of us in ceremonial fashion slammed the POD door shut.
Also in ceremonial fashion, we cracked open some beers and began the post-loading rehydration.
While we were sitting around shooting the shizzle, Kara was calling for Lassie. Fido was playing in the back yard, but Lassie was nowhere to be found. Fearing that we locked Lassie in the POD, we hurriedly unlocked and opened the door, but Lassie was not among the boxes. Noticing the fence in the backyard, Derek told me that their gas grill – the gas grill that I had moved – had blocked a hole in the fence through which Lassie had escaped before. I told Derek that I was outside the entire time that they were gone except for when I went looking for the tape, and that must have been when Lassie made a break for it. Since I had no idea about the hole or Lassie’s tendencies, Derek said that it wasn’t my fault, and that the other times Lassie had escaped, she had always reappeared the next morning.
Feeling just awful the next day, I went to Derek and Kara’s house to see if Lassie had returned. She hadn’t. We watched the movers load the POD onto a flatbed truck and drive away. Kara was sick to her stomach that Lassie wasn’t back by now, and I felt horrible.
Derek and Kara left some food on their porch, and the neighbors all would keep watch for Lassie. Whoever found Lassie would keep her until Derek and Kara would come back in a few weeks for the closing on their old house.
Being the nice friend that I am, I flew to D&K’s new hometown to help them unpack (I was on break between classes anyway). They hadn’t expected me, but I wanted to get out of Dallas for a change of scenery anyway, and they were glad to have another helper to unload their belongings. And darn glad they were because the first thing we had to unload was an awkwardly weighted deep freezer – the squat kind with the lid on the top. The only good thing was that the big metal crate was situated in front of the garage, and it was a straight shot to place the freezer in its new home at the back of it.
After hearing the whirring of the deep freeze successfully deep freezing, we went about with the rest of the unloading. This was supposed to be a wearily monotonous part of my day, but it didn’t turn out that way.
When I got to the box marked “Tool Chest”, I sliced it open, and to my horror, I discovered a very dead dog lying on the tray at the bottom of the chest. Derek and Kara were upstairs in the house, and thinking quickly (too quickly), I wanted to hide the dog so that Kara wouldn’t have a breakdown. The darn dog must have climbed into the box as I went to look for the packing tape in the house, I figured, and I never noticed her when I taped the box shut. Since I was standing in the POD with the open part facing the garage, the first thing I saw was the deep freezer. I picked up the hefty dog, set him in the freezer, and I ran back into the POD so that it looked like I was completely busy with unloading the crate.
My thinking was this: 1) Derek and Kara think that their dog ran away. 2) Derek and Kara would just die if they knew that their dog was dead. 3) I could dispose of the dog tomorrow. 4) Derek and Kara could envision Lassie living it up somewhere – and being non-dead.
We unpacked a lot of the crate, and I was very nervous as we positioned Derek’s wood-working tools around the freezer: a lathe, a table saw, a band saw, etc. I just knew that somebody was going to open the freezer to cool off as we sweated through the day. Luckily, the freezer never was opened.
The next morning, Kara had to report for her first day of work. Derek works out of his house, but he was going to use the early part of the day to go to the DMV and to run some errands. I told them both that I would be just fine sitting around for a bit, because after all, it was my vacation.
After they both left, I was going to dispose of the dog, but I didn’t know where. I had taken a cab from the airport, and I wasn’t going to call one so that I could take the dead dog to the closest dumpster. What I thought I could do would be to hide the dog in the outgoing trash – there was much trash being generated as a result of throwing away moving material – but I couldn’t very well put that big dead dog in a trash bag. It was way too heavy for one trash bag.
I didn’t exactly like what I was about to do next, but in order to save my friends from mental anguish knowing that their dog slowly asphyxiated, I had to do what I had to do.
A chef’s trick to slicing ground sausage is to freeze it slightly beforehand. (I know… I know… I don’t know what I was thinking – you don’t know how horrible I feel.) And the deep freezer was right next to Derek’s band saw. If I could divide the dog into pieces, it could be deftly hidden in the many bags making up D&K’s trash on the curb.
I turned the crank on the band saw so that I would have the maximum clearance and the most blade access. (If you don’t know what a band saw is, the actual saw band is about 1” wide, and this particular machine has an 11-foot saw blade band that is looped on a pulley system. Think chainsaw with an 11-foot chain.) I reached into the freezer and grabbed Lassie’s front paw: stiff as a board.
I turned on the saw and positioned the dog in front of the blade. Like pulling a loose tooth or ripping off a band-aid, I was cringing, so I had to do this quickly.
I plowed Lassie’s midsection into the running blade and discovered two things immediately: 1) overnight was not enough time to freeze Lassie completely, and 2) Lassie had been slightly pregnant.
The effect of the dog not being totally frozen is that it didn’t so much as slice cleanly as it did just spill open. I shrieked.
Instinctively squatting down to gather the effects of the ripping saw blade, and further to my horror, I saw the garage door open.
Going to her first day at work, Kara needed to present her Social Security card as a requirement for employment, so they let her return home to get that very thing. She had heard the saw running and had heard me yell, so she came down to investigate.
From here on, you can pretty much guess how the story is going except that I am not only involved in a lawsuit with Derek and Kara. You see, Kara is a dog lover (and so am I, truly), and she rushed to get PETA involved. If you are unaware, PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA is one of the largest animal rights groups in the country, and they have some very high-powered lawyers.
And this is why I’m screwed.
It all seemed so innocent. I was just trying to save my friends from dealing with the reality of a horrific accident. I really did care about them – I didn’t want them to hurt. The circumstances were just totally unlucky.
I mean, it’s not like I did anything stupid…
…like Pokemon getting engaged last year.
Happy April Fools’ Day. Doggone it… Have a great April Fools’ Day.
(man… that’s a good day. And before terrified readers and dog lovers spam the heck out of my email, read the above line once more to yourself.)Get your hair of the dog early for this weekend:
Thursday, March 31st (into April 1st), 2005
BLARNEY STONE on Greenville Ave in Dallas
9 o’clock PM CST (we turn to CDT this weekend, by the way… really)
[Non-text portions of this message have become really hungry for Hamburger Helper for some reason. A really, really rare mix with extra gristle. Hmmmmmmmmm… Or perhaps some chocolate. Chocolate’s always good.]