Friday, July 21, 2006

Corrupting the Neighborhood

My crazy writer friends had only been here a few hours when they began corrupting the neighborhood.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting with three of the first arrivals. Larry the repair man was here, fixing our air conditioning system. (It’s supposed to get to 100 this weekend.) Larry’s been the fix-it guy for our system since we bought this house five years ago. He knew I’m an author, but somehow got the idea I write kid’s books. Where he got that idea is beyond me. (Unless the body count in kid’s books is rising these days.) At any rate, we were talking about sweet female things--to be more specific, a body in a hot tub--when Larry appeared on the deck, saying the air conditioning was all fixed. One friend (who explicitly told me to “leave her out of this post”) got all hot and bothered that he’d heard our conversation and would think it real. So she sets off explaining that we’re only talking about a book of mine. Naturally the rest of the gang has to pipe up and say how I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to kill people. Poor Larry. By now he’s glancing nervously toward his truck. He shoves me a paper to sign and gets out of here.

Five minutes later the phone rings. It’s Larry. “Hey, I was just thinking. Do you know you can kill a person with Freon?” He goes on to explain with great alacrity how it’s an odorless gas that displaces oxygen. “If you somehow found a way to tap into a line of freon and pump it into a house, you’d have a bunch of dead people.”

By now my pals are hearing my side of the conversation as I pull a few more choice details regarding this potentially juicy crime from Larry. “Man,” I tell him as we end the conversation, “five minutes of talking to me and my friends, and you’ve been corrupted. You arrived a repair man; you left a killer. My deepest apologies to your family.”

Something tells me it's going to be a very long weekend.


Cara Putman said...

What a hoot! Do we have an advance warning on the next Kanner Lake plot? :-) Praying God blesses your time!

Kristy Dykes said...


You should invite Larry to your novel brainstorming sessions this weekend.

Wonder what he'd say about romancing a woman? GRIN

Ron Estrada said...

You should take a walk through an auto plant. Oh, the possibilities!

Domino said...

In my critique group, there's a police officer who is still nice to me even though I've pelted him with questions. He's not a crime novelist, but a poet, nevertheless he's given me several tips.

I think it's wonderful how the community joins together to make our novels sing.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Sheesh...wait till he spread the word around'll either get tons of phone calls and murder suggestions...or...people are going to be making big, wide circles areound you...LOL!

William G. said...

Wait a minute, didn't you also scare the hot tub guy half to death?

Wren said...

That's really a neat way to gain resources!

Chris said...

You did go out and double-check his work after the phone call, yes? No stray hoses coming out of a canister marked BREON with fresh paint on the B?

Did he click off his cell phone before his chilling Mwah-ha-haaah laugh?

This will be a long weekend, Brandilyn. We're worried for you. Post again soon!

Dineen A. Miller said...

ROTFL!!!!! Poor Larry. But what a tale he has now. :-)

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Phil (my husband) says back around '88 the military was trying to use the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) --trade name Freon-- in fire extinguishers.

There was some problem because (from what I understand) when the extinguishers emitted the huge puff of HCFCs it sucked ALL of the oxygen out of the air (good thing) but as soon as it stopped, the oxygen came back. Good or bad, depending on whether or not there were humans in the fire. The HCFCs would have to be continually pumped into the fire.

So something happened and after the military put in something like 40,000 extinguishers, they discontinued use.

Could be interesting research! ;)

Todd said...


That's better than the one about the hot tub repairman. Can't remember where I read that.