I sat in my car surveying Billy Bob’s rural compound. A crash involving a battered Barbie car, a hula-hoop and a rusted barrel lay in the weeds. In front of me were half a dozen crumbling carcasses of gigantic earth moving equipment. To my right was a graveyard of broken household items; a shattered mirror, a decomposing sofa, a fry pan missing its handle, and more. So much more.
My older brother, Mike, sat in the back seat as our younger brother, Rick, climbed the rickety stairs and knocked on the door.
Mike and I stared in silent horror as a massive, furry white head emerged from beneath the steps. The body of a gargantuan moth-eaten dog followed the head.
“Psst.” I whisper shouted. “Hey, Rick!”
He turned around and I pointed to the creature waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs. Mike and I rolled up our windows. Rick walked down and patted the beast on the head. “Good dog,” he said and sauntered up the steps to the back, where he continued his knocking.
While we waited, the door of a vintage camper swung open. I cringed, certain Billy Bob would vault out, roaring chain saw in hand. Instead, a rooster and two hens jumped down from the grimy vehicle and crossed over to the grass to peck at insects, of which I am certain there were many.
After several more knocks on the door to the house, it opened. A beautiful eighteen-year-old girl, with a killer body encased in spandex, stepped onto the porch.
Mike and I started to get out of the car.
A grimace on the girl’s face caused me to re-evalute my move and her age. Now she was a well worn thirty-five year old woman. “Get back in there!”
We did as we were told.
“It’s down the road. We have to drive,” Girl/Woman said. She walked over to a camouflage ATV, pushed off a six-pack worth of empty beer cans and hopped on.
We followed her past the chicken coup RV and into some deep weeds.
How do I get myself in these situations? You could read last week’s post, Unicorns, Mountain Lions and Brush Hogs, or you could just assume that, as the Mayor of Crazie Town, I’m doing my duty and trying to purchase a mower.
Remaining on the ATV, Girl/Woman pointed to a group of trees. Rick and Mike exited the vehicle and whacked their way to the brush hog for sale.
“Any way you could get it out so we could look at it?” Mike asked.
“Nope.” She punched a thumb toward the house. “He don’t want to get up.”
We stretched a rope between my car and the equipment.
“You better not do nothing to hurt it.” She threw a worried look over her shoulder.
We dragged the piece of machinery into a clear patch and Rick began his expert negotiating tactics. “It’s not quite what we’re looking for, but we’ll give you $400.”
“No way,” Girl/Woman snarled. “And you’d better put it back where you found it before you leave.”
Mike and Rick gave it a second look and decided it was worth the asking price. I counted out $500 and handed it over.
Her fingers flashed through the bills and she nodded. Girl/Woman jumped off the ATV, a smile lighting up her face, turning her back into the beautiful eighteen-year-old girl. “How ya gonna get it in your trailer? I can bench press three-hundred pounds, so I could help.”
Mike’s plan was for them to tilt the brush cutter on its side, I’d “slide the trailer” under it and they’d flip it on. Girl/Woman was correct in her bench press statement and with her help, this endeavor went fine.
Unfortunately, Girl/Woman had laid the $500 on the ground to help lift and when she returned to the pile, $20 was missing. We kicked around in the tall grass searching when Mike joked, “Maybe one of the dogs ate it.”
“Max,” Girl/Woman hollered. The raggedy behemoth turned his head her way, a luscious $20 bill hanging from his mouth.
We took off before a replacement twenty could be demanded. As we drove back to our family farm, Mike and I concocted our stories of Girl/Woman’s life. A stripper who’d made it good, and likely to tell Billy Bob that she’d only been able to get $400 for the equipment. Rick was appalled by our assumption and insisted she was probably a schoolteacher.
In any event, I made it out of there with my life and ready to work on my next Crazie Town situation: How to remove a frog from the fresh water tank of my camper, whom I discovered last week, peering up at me from inside the intake valve.