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.