Post 258: Uh. Er. Um.

Folks, it’s like this. I can spend all my time on Craigslist looking for scary/funny/unbelievable things to post here. Or you can be an official minion and find them for me. The pay is low, in fact, all you get is the pride to say “I am a minion in Sparkyville”. Also, you get the satisfaction of knowing you help keep this historic and entertaining blog going. In an election year.

So how about it? Look to the right and you will find the information on how to submit. We are not talking whips and chains, that’s for sure. Now, to give you an example of what a minion actually can do, I present a week of Ralph. All Ralph, All the time.


Free out house (L-something NH)

Free out house. Located at ## L-something Ave south. If you want it come and pick it up.
The idea. Who would pick up an out house? Not without gloves, at the very least. And why drive all the way to L-something when no photos were included? Disgusting. 
Thanks, Ralph, you know how to pick them.  

8 thoughts on “Post 258: Uh. Er. Um.

  1. My University, back in the 20s developed a habit of building a lare fire on the Drill Field.
    Out houses from nearby houses (especially those inhabited by disliked professors) commonly wound up in the great stack of wood.

    This became a great tradition at the school (pretty much everything done more than twice is), and carried on well past the years of outdoor plumbing.

    Out of tradition, an outhouse was fashioned to adorn the top of the great fire, perennially decorated in the hated hues of that school of rakes, rascalls, and ralscalions diwn in Austin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John argued back and forth with himself. Should he? Shouldn’t he? He needed it, after all. He had a YouTube sketch comedy to do and his troupe’s latest sketch called for an outhouse. But outhouses were expensive when bought new or custom made, and his fledgling channel didn’t have the subscriber base to support a big budget — or really any budget, so he had to get what he could as cheaply as possible. Free was the best kind of cheap. But a _used_ outhouse? Somehow that seemed worse than the idea of buying used underwear.

    Well, he could at least go and _see_ it, right? He only lived maybe an hour from the person who was trying to pass it off on Craigslist, though he knew the area to be pretty deep in the boonies. If it was too crappy — literally or figuratively — he’d just drive back home and call it a nice little outing to the countryside. What the hell. It was worth a shot, and there was plenty of light left to inspect the merchandise before sunset.

    John packed up some gear — bungee cords, a tarpaulin, and just in case, several rolls of toilet paper and a gallon jug of distilled water — put them in the back of his pickup truck, and headed out to the sticks. The drive was pleasant enough; flat, orthogonal streets full of concrete buildings and residential houses gave way rapidly to winding roads and rolling hills full of thick stands of trees and vast fields of indolent cows. The smell of the air likewise changed from exhaust fumes and the faint, omnipresent twang of sewage to lush greenery and manure. If it ended up amounting to nothing else, it was a nice, relaxing drive.

    His GPS, which for the last half hour had simply chimed in every five minutes to tell him to keep following the route he was already on in an apparent effort to let him know that it hadn’t given up on figuring out exactly where the hell he was, finally chimed in to let him know his destination was just up ahead on the left. It was a simple-looking house lined with a thin copse of trees that separated the domicile from a large field out back where, presumably, its owner worked the land. John pulled into the driveway, turned off the engine, and got out. The ad bid him just to take it, so he didn’t have to talk to the owner first, but he felt he needed to just the same. Maybe it was his upbringing as a city boy, but he’d certainly feel nervous if some stranger just started poking around his yard, even if he was expecting them to.

    Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be answering the door. That might work out better, really. At least he wouldn’t feel bad rummaging around the guy’s property, so he wandered around to the back. He spotted it in the distance, right around the separating line of trees and wandered over. As he approached it, he noticed, comically, that it was about as stereotypical as an outhouse could get, complete with the crescent moon cut-out near the top of the door, the very symbol of an outhouse. If this worked out, it would be perfect.

    As he reached the unit, however, the one thing he was afraid of became abundantly evident: It reeked.
    “Good God,” John gagged. It was going to need a thorough wipedown with bleach and maybe Febreeze, at the very least, something he’d have to do before he even thought about setting it up in his own back yard. And that wasn’t even considering that he’d have to deal with that stench as he struggled to get that thing on to the bed of his truck. But just to be sure, he opened the door. The stink punched him in the face, causing him to gag reflexively. Nope. It wasn’t worth it. Not at all. He’d probably end up vomiting all over the ground before he moved it an inch. John turned to leave.
    “H-Hello?” came a voice.
    Wait. Did that outhouse just greet him? John turned back to address the commode hesitantly. “Uh … yeah?”
    “Oh, thank God!” the voice replied. It was definitely coming from the outhouse. “I’ve been trapped down here for two days!”
    John briefly had a mental image flash through his head of a man falling through the hole and into a pile of liquefied excrement and gagged again. That was one of his deepest fears as a child whenever he had to use a portable outhouse at a park or large outdoor venue. John now had several questions he didn’t actually want answers to, but he asked one of them anyway, against his better judgement. “How did you get down there?”
    The man coughed and wheezed miserably. “Seat broke.”
    John closed his eyes and tried very hard not to think about it. That only induced pink elephant syndrome, causing him to think about it in even greater detail. Another gag. That, however, led to a brief flash of insight. The ad for the free outhouse had only been posted within the last twelve hours. The man had been trapped down there for two days. “Wait. How did you post an ad for an outhouse if you were trapped down there?”
    “I had my smart phone with me when I fell,” the man replied. “Fortunately, it wasn’t too soaked and covered with crap to work.”
    “So, hang on, did you post that ad just to trick someone into coming here to rescue you?”
    The man sounded sheepish. “Uh … yeah. Kinda.”
    “Well, why didn’t you just call 911 or something?” John asked incredulously.
    “Everyone at the fire department knows me. We all get together to play cards once a week. If I’da called them, I’d never live this down. No, sir, that’d just be too embarrassing.”
    John shook his head. “Friends? Family? Anyone?”
    “Nope,” the voice responded, seemingly with a head shake of its own. “I live alone, and it’s a small town. Word spreads fast ’round these parts. I’d be known as ‘Outhouse Joe’ before noon tomorrow.”
    John still couldn’t believe it. “So you just posted an ad for a free outhouse in the hopes that some random person would come for it and have no choice but to rescue you from it when they got here?”
    “That’s about the size of it. I figured, who could resist a free outhouse? Everyone love free. And chances are if I posted it in a neighbouring city, nobody from ’round here would likely see it, so I could get rescued with some discretion and nobody ’round here would be any the wiser.”
    “But,” John argued. “Who in the city would have any use for a– okay, you know what? Never mind.” He knew he had no choice. He couldn’t just leave, now. He did toy with the idea of calling the local police or fire station himself and letting them deal with it, but despite everything, he’d feel like he was being a jerk about it. Resigned to his fate, John sighed deeply, which was a mistake, as he gagged again. “Fine. What do you need?”
    “Well,” the voice began. “If you can just kinda lean over the edge of the seat there and grab my hand–”
    “Oh _hell_ no,” John interrupted. “You’re covered in shit. I am _not_ touching you.” He felt like he was being too harsh, so he hastily amended, “No offence.”
    “None taken, don’t blame ya, really,” came the response.
    “Okay, look, wait here a couple minutes. I have some things in my truck that can help.”
    “Please don’t leave!” the voice cried piteously, seeming on the verge of panic.
    “I won’t! Just wait, I’ll be back in a couple of minutes,” John insisted.
    “Okay,” the voice replied meekly.
    John walked back to his truck, shaking his head and muttering curses the whole way. Of all of the things John had been roped into throughout his life, this was without question both the most bizarre, and the most disgusting. Even more unbelievably, however, was that this was more or less act for act the exact sketch he had planned for his YouTube channel’s next production, minus the deceptive Craigslist ad. He even had the script done. If he had just brought his cameraman and camera, he could have filmed the sketch for real right here and now, no script required. It was too late for that though; by the time his cameraman got there, there wouldn’t be enough light to film in. Whatever. No point in thinking about that now.

    It took two trips, but he assembled everything he needed in front of the outhouse: Bungee cords, tarp, some yellow nylon rope he already had in his truck, and the jug of water and toilet paper for the man to clean himself off with. He cut off a good forty-foot length of rope, tied each end securely to the hooks on each of the bungee cords, effectively making a set of reins, then approached the outhouse. “Watch your head” he called down. Sickening wet squelching noises came from below as the man shuffled to the side. John dropped both roped bungee cords down. “Now, I want you to attach those bungee cords to the belt loops on your pants.”
    “Okay,” the voice replied. The rope jiggled and moved as he presumed his bidding was done. “Alright, they’re hooked up.”
    “Right,” John called down. “Hold on.”
    John yanked on the rope until he felt everything go taut. A quick, panicky squeal came from the outhouse, which John quickly identified as the unique sound this man made as the hooks hiked his trousers up sharply enough to give him a nuclear case of moose knuckle. “Hold on,” John called again, just to reassure him that he hadn’t done that on purpose. Mostly.

    Inch by painful inch, John pulled on the rope. The man yelped and groaned with each tug, but finally, he could see the man grip the edge of the erstwhile seat and haul himself out, flopping limply to the floor. He crawled his way out to the tarp John had laid on the ground for this purpose and gasped for some fresh air.
    “Oh God, you don’t know how I prayed for fresh air. Thank you! Thank you!”
    The man kept thanking him profusely, but John wasn’t done. “Okay, look, it’s no trouble. Just stand up so we can get you rinsed off a little.”
    “Oh, right, good idea,” the man replied. He slipped several times on the now-crap-covered tarp before managing to stand fully upright.
    “Hold out your hands,” John instructed, and seeing the man do so, rinsed off his hands with the jug, handing him some toilet paper to clean the worst of the crap off, then handed him the rest of the jug. “Pour that over yourself.” The man did so, moaning in relief as the worst of the offal was cleansed away, pooling on the tarp where his feet made an indentation. Well, it was an improvement, either way. With the jug emptied, the man tossed it aside and carefully stepped off the tarp and on to the grass, fully regarding John for the first time. “I don’t know how to thank you, uh–”
    “John,” John offered.
    “Right, John. I’m Arfur. I’d offer to shake your hand, but, uh…”
    “Yeah, I know, don’t’ worry about it.”
    “Hey,” Arfur said, squinting at him in the now-fading light. “Hey, I think I know you. You’re from the YouTubes, right?”
    John was taken aback. His channel only had a scant few thousand subscribers worldwide so far. He didn’t think he was nearly at the point yet where he’d start getting recognized in the street, least of all from some relatively local farmer who looked like he had more important things to be doing than watching some amateur comedy production on the Internet. “Uh, yeah. Yeah. WobblyTV, that’s my channel.”
    “Yeah!” Arfur exclaimed. “Yeah, I watch you guys, you’re funny. That one where you and that other guy and the girl with that moose and the paintball gun filled with cheese puffs and — yeah, I love that one!”
    That was one of his first productions which was more wacky than funny, but he appreciated that someone liked it, at least. “Yeah, uh, thanks. Thank you.”
    “Y’know,” Arfur said. “I always kinda wanted to be in one of your shows somehow, and I didn’t even know you guys lived so close!”
    It was obvious. Too obvious. And too perfect. “Well, it just so happens there’s one we’re planning on doing…”
    “Really?” Arfur said excitedly. “Oh, that would be amazing. When?”
    John let a slow grin creep across his face. “How does tomorrow sound?”

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