Archive for June, 2013

Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

June 22, 2013

Exploding Building1

Don’t Wait for the Movie!

(Episode 57)

            “Well,” Ruth drawled, in her best hard boiled detective’s voice.  (Ruth would come to believe that she had been the first make this remark upon Ramey flattening their cook/suspect with a shovel.)  “That’s a positive ID.”

“I’d say so,” Leland agreed, removing the cuffs from his belt and placing them on his new prisoner.

“Honest Leland, I didn’t do it!  I did not do this!”  Ramey cried.

“We’ve figured that Ramey,” Ruth consoled him.

“It was this woman in my head,” Ramey insisted, pointing to his head, then pounding it on the wall.  “She’s obsessed.  She is just obsessed!  And she’s violent.”

“Yeah.”  Leland nodded, pulled Ramey back from the wall, and grunted as he hefted Stan’s bulk upwards so as to get him back into the cell.  “My guess is that she figured if she just out and identified our suspect, she’d never get as good a whack at him.”

Ruth nodded.

“I don’t trust myself around him at all,” Ramey admitted, backing away.

They’d just about got the unconscious Stan back into the cell when Ruth sniffed and said, “Do you smell something Leland?”

Leland hadn’t.

“That’s natural gas.  I mean the kind we use in homes.”

Leland stopped lifting Stan and sniffed.  He nodded.  Then he sniffed closer to the floor, as did Ruth.

“It’s collecting down here,” he said.

“There’s some kind of a gas leak,” Ruth agreed.

“Kimmel doesn’t have gas service,” Leland said.

Leland’s lips traced a grim line.  “Ramey,” he said.  “Help me get this prisoner into the squad car.  And Ruth, call 911 about a possible gas leak, but warn them it could be an explosive device.   Then I want you to drive you all up to Ramey’s house and I’ll call Agent Hailey and route her your way.”

Ruth nodded, and ran to make the call.  But Leland blocked her path, sending her out the back.  “On your cell, outside!” Leland said.  “We don’t want sparks.”

Ruth shook her head, and waved her arms, as if to say, “of course!  I don’t know what I was thinking,” and nodded.

Ramey overcame his reluctance to lift the prisoner – in fact, gripping him so hard around the neck that his knuckles went white, and the prisoners face went blue.  Leland had to pull Ramey off and send him down to the prisoner’s feet to lift.

Finally Leland and Ramey got the prisoner into the back of the Sheriff’s car.  Meanwhile, Ruth made the call and got in behind the wheel.  They couldn’t talk Nancy in until finally, Leland snatched her notebook and tossed it into the car, and Ruth hit the door locks.  Then Leland smacked the fender.  “Okay, now git!”

“What are you going to do?”  Ruth asked with concern.

“I’m going out front to clear the street,” Leland said.

Ruth nodded , then squirreled away, in a spiraling cloud of gravel and dust.   ‘Without the sirens and lights, please!’ Leland thought, but didn’t bother to shout after her knowing it would do as little good.   He was already running through the jail and out the front onto Main Street.  It was morning with its usual smattering of locals, mixed in with bunches of tourists in shorts and flowered tops.

Within a few minutes Leland had recruited a few of the more responsible townspeople he knew, and had gotten the area fairly well cleared.  He was feeling fairly good as the crowds were staying well back of the police tape barrier they’d quickly strung.  And the gas service and emergency bomb squad was on its way, though all of that would take at least an hour.

Leland was just thinking this when a van load of Japanese tourists turned the corner, heading the wrong way up the one way Main street, driving right through the police tape and smiling with cell cameras extended out the windows.  Leland stepped to turn them around, just as the Sheriff’s office exploded with a blast so powerful it rolled the van completely over on its side and then back again onto its wheels, which were racing by this time, taking the van right through the front window of Kramer’s Mercantile.   Leland, himself, was thrown several yards backwards by the blast.  When he awoke, in what seemed like hours, later, the first thing he noticed was that the star on his shirt front was tarnished, as if it had been burnished by fire.  And as he absently licked his index finger to scrub it a little, he smelt the smell of his burnt fingers and hair.  Then he heard the screaming in Japanese.  It was all quite disorienting.  Then, pretty soon, there were all the reporters and even several cameras staring at him.

END of PART ONE: Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

 

PART TWO:  The Cognitive Web also by Eldon Cene is coming soon to a dedicated serial fiction blogspot near you.  Watch for web directions!

Photo lifted from Google Images

Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

June 20, 2013

ID card5

A Positive ID

 (Episode 56)

 Stan really wanted inside the Kimmel jail.  Something itched, and as near as Stan could triangulate that fifty-odd year old weathered yellow jail was at the nub of it.  It was even interfering with his sex.  Something in that jail was a ‘scold’.  That was the best way he could phrase it, if he were to talk to someone about it, like a psychiatrist, which he wouldn’t.

Then, as luck would have it, Ruth called Carmella with her usual breakfast order that Sunday.   And apparently Stan’s Kandahar Omelet was a hit with the Sheriff.  Ruth asked, “Could you have the cook who makes that delicious chili-egg concoction bring it over himself?”            Or so this was the story.  When you’re wanted for rapes and serial murders, you really tend to look several times at any approach, especially when made by law enforcement.  On the other hand, it was true that Stan’s Kandahar Omelet had made a little culinary noise even in the sleepy town of Kimmel, Stan preened.  So it was with some unstaunched yearning that Stan laid each of the cooked bacon strips neatly on a paper towel, then cracked eggs and dropped them in the bacon grease to cook while he considered the request seriously.

Stan really felt he needed to have a look inside that jail.  Stan flipped the eggs.  And as the eggs bubbled in the bacon grease, Stan convinced himself by saying to himself, ‘Look.  If I were trying to sneak into that jail and thought up this scheme myself, wouldn’t I try it?’  Stan hoisted the eggs out, arranged the eggs on the plates with the bacon, toast and hash browns, decorated each with an orange slice and a sprig of parsley and placed them in the window just as Carmella passed to lift them away with a wink and a smile.

It was probably Carmella’s look that decided it.  Stan heaped up a fine, steaming dish, of what he liked to call his 12 Egg, Complete with Melted Gruyere Cheese, Kandahar Mortar, covered it with a checkered cloth, put on a clean and unspotted apron, and presented it and himself with a big pot of hot coffee at the jail promptly at 7 am early Monday.

After a few preemptory knocks, and the use of a password Ruth had concocted, the front door opened.  “Good morning, Ruth?   I’m Stan from across the way,” Stan said.  He made no move to enter.

“C’mon in, Stan from across the way.”  Ruth smiled.  “Boy, doesn’t that smell good,” she said, lifting a corner of the checkered cloth.   We all have saved our appetites.”  She gauged Stan as a slight frown flitted across her face.  “Just walk in there and the Sheriff will tell you where to set it.  And I’ll follow close behind.”  Stan noticed the young girl reporter from the café working at a computer.  He nodded.  Nancy appraised him, mentally taking notes.

Stan smiled his best as regular people did and stepped across the linoleum into  the Sheriff’s office.  “Breakfast?”  Leland smiled, looking up and examining Stan.  “Could you just set it on the bunk inside that jail cell just next to the one with the prisoner in it?”

Stan hesitated.  Leland raised his brows.

Stan nodded, passing into the jail proper.  Leland rose and followed behind, with Ruth following behind him.  “Is dressing like that illegal?”  Stan nodded as he passed Ramey, the transvestite, sitting sullenly on his bunk in the other cell.

“Ramey, what is it that happened to you?”  Leland asked.  But Ramey sat sullenly, staring at Stan, saying nothing.

“Cat’s probably got his tongue,” Leland said.

“You leave his cell door open all the time, like that?”  Stan asked.

“This is a converted jail.  It used to be a feed store.  There are no toilets in the cells.  So we have had to come to an understanding.  Isn’t that right Ramey?”  Leland showed a little irritation at Ramey’s sudden unwillingness to speak.

“He doesn’t talk much either, does he?”  Stan observed.

“Well, not at the moment, apparently.  Why don’t you just set the food down in there, and we can see if a little breakfast will lure some conversation out of him.”

Stan hesitated to walk into the cell.  “Go ahead,” Leland urged, hanging onto the swinging iron jail door.  “We’re right behind.  I’ve got my coffee cup ready.  And Ruth’s here with her fork and plate.”  Stan stared at them both.  Something didn’t feel right, ‘in a big way,’ he was thinking.

“What about that young girl?  She want some?”  Stan asked, back stepping.

“She’s already eaten.”  Leland blocked his path.

“Ramey, you’d better get over here, you don’t want to get left out.” Leland turned his head with some real irritation.   “Where the hell has Ramey gone?”

“I don’t know,” Ruth said, turning around herself.  “He was in there, just a moment ago.”

They both looked befuddled, Stan thought.  “You run kind of an odd jail here, Sheriff.”

“How so?”  The Sheriff replied.

“Well,” Stan had to laugh.  “Your prisoner just walked out the back door there.  A small girl is playing on your departmental computer.  And the cell here is painted like the waiting room in a bordello.”    And when this didn’t get a rise, he added.  “And still, you two are here, looking like you’re still gonna sit down to eat your breakfast without a qualm!”

“We are.”  Leland nodded.

“Don’t want it to get cold!”  Ruth smiled.

“He’ll be back,”  Leland said, settling himself.  Leland motioned with his cup.

Stan stood there in wonderment.  “Law enforcement sure is different in a small town,” he observed.

“Oh.  How so?”  Sheriff Leland smiled.  He looked inquisitive.  Ruth smiled, too.  “Yes.  How so?!”

Stan smiled.   “Let’s eat before it’s cold as Afghanistan,” he said finally.

Leland nodded.   Ruth nodded.  Everyone ate.

Stan was irritated.  They ate too slowly.  And their comments about his Kandahar Omelet struck him as perfunctory.   They might as well be having oatmeal.  And he couldn’t see or feel anything special about the jail – outside of the bizarre mural which covered the inside of the prisoner’s cell.  Stan asked about that, but neither the Sheriff nor his secretary seemed much interested in delving into it, other than to say that Ralph Bunch done it.  And Stan nodded, as he’d met Ralph Bunch.   “Kind of surprised there’s not a Chipmunk in it,” Stan joked.  But all it got was the Sheriff’s noncommittal, “How so?”

Their conversation seemed to pick up as Stan cleared the dishes and prepared to go.  But it was mostly about where Stan was from, his background, foreground, mid-ground, and about just about every other thing Stan didn’t feel the inclination to answer.  The whole morning was a bust as far as Stan could see.  And the prisoner still hadn’t returned, by the time breakfast was finished.  Which was just bizarre.  It wasn’t even a proper jail!   And Stan had become so irritated with the tepid reception to his meal, that his attentions had wandered and were festering in their own little pool.   So no one saw Ramey enter, passing in through the back door carrying a heavy shovel which he had hoisted over his shoulders like a baseball bat.

Leland had returned to his office.  Stan had just cleared the cell block.   And Ruth was leading the way out, when Ramey swung the shovel with all his strength, striking Stan at the base of his skull with a sharp “whang!”   Stan went down like a sack of onions.

Ruth turned and gasped.

Leland came running in, with Nancy not far behind.

Ramey dropped the shovel and backed away, looking at them with alarm.  “I didn’t do it.  I didn’t do it!”  He jumped, shivering with disgust.   Nancy wrote this down.

“I’d call that a positive I.D.”  Leland smiled at Ruth, nudging the blade of the shovel and then the skull of his suspected serial killer with a toe to see if he could ‘rouse him.

Nancy wrote this down.

Photo taken from Google Images

Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

June 19, 2013

Drinker2

Aftermath

(Episode 55)

“I hope you haven’t paid that bastard anything yet,” George Everlee swore.

“Now dear, I think it’s best we don’t decide anything just yet.  Let’s go home.  Tomorrow’s another day.  We can talk more about it then, after a good night’s sleep and a little time to reflect.”

“You’re probably right,” George agreed.  “All of my guns are at home, and I’ve probably drunk too much to hit anything square now.”

Arlene made a mental note to hide all of George’s guns, once he was home asleep and in bed.

Ralph, meanwhile, had returned to drink.  He’d finished off his first bottle of Three Feathers Whiskey, and was well into his second.  The bar let him bring his own, as Ralph couldn’t afford theirs.

“The troubhle his, with the nose,” Ralph slurred, waving his arm dismissively at Daffodils protrait, “With a portrait hits hallways tha nhose!”  Ralph grabbed the arm of the man nearest, pulling him closer.  “You cahn’t mhake ‘um happy!  It’s heither too lahrge  whore too schmall… whore too thish whore too that.  Hits nehver  jhust  rhight!!!”  Ralph stated angrily.

The man happened to be Stan.

“So that chipmunk really got into your head, eh?”  Stan asked.  He looked very interested.  Perhaps he was an art lover, Ralph thought.

“You chould say as much.”  Ralph nodded.  “I can’t hear him.  But I can feel him all over inside.  HIt’s like he’s ruhmmaging haround in there, meshing with how I fheeeeel habout things.”  Ralph grabbed Stan’s wrist.   “What I want, what I hintend to dho.  Hand as near as I can tell, he has no feeling at hat  hall…”

“Kinda make you want to strangle the little sucker, eh!”  Stan’s brows rose.

“Hi don’t know.  Hive nhever wanted to schtrangle anything?  Hide have to think about hit,” Ralph declared.

“But you’d like to kill it, if you could, wouldn’t you?  Maybe poke around inside, see how it works?”  Stan insisted.

“HI don’t know.  Hi would kind of like to find a way to talk to it, if I could.  Mahybe bhe friends.” Ralph nodded.

Stan shook his head.  “Be friends.  Talk to it,” he muttered.

“But it doesn’t seem to talk.  It’s more like it burrowed  into my midbrain, whore something,” Ralph reflected, where Stan had left him.

The next time Leland glanced around from speaking with Agent Hailey, the ‘psycho’ Leland’s cook acquaintance had mentioned was gone.   “You see where he went?”  Leland asked.

“Who me?”  The sparkplug man replied into the mirror.  “The guy’s who’s been trying real hard to just stare straight ahead?”

“Somehow  or other I’m going to find a good reason to punch you real hard in the ribs,” Leland snarled.

Sparkplug man hoisted his glass.

Leland  walked over to speak with Ralph.  “Don’t bite me,” Leland cautioned.

“Hi nehver meahnt to bhite yyou, Lehland.”  A tear ran down Ralph’s cheek.   “That’s hall what hi have bheen shaying!  Hits that damn chipmunk.”  Ralph gestured at the painting with his raised drink.  “She mhade mhe dho hit.  The Dehvil mhade mhe dho hit!”  Ralph bawled.

 Leland nodded.  “Who was that fellow you were talking too, just now?”  He asked.

“Who?  Him?…”  Ralph glanced around.  “Hi dohn’t know.  Juhst a rheal nhice fhellow Lehland.  Dhidn’t look lhike a Dhemocraht.  Buht he saihdt, “he felht mhi pain.”  Ralph searched Leland with dog eyes.  “Dho yyou hunderstand?”

“No, I don’t understand Ralph.  I don’t understand it at all.  But, I’m working on it.”  Leland patted his arm.

“How are you doing?”  Agent Hailey asked.

Leland thought it might be permissible to squeeze Agent Hailey, ‘Suzanne’s’, shoulder as he sat down beside her on his return.

She smiled.  “It seems the evening has crashed, and your painter friend over there is in tears.”

“Ah!” Leland waved her concerns away graciously.  “Ralph’s been kicked when he’s down a lot harder than this.  That’s the thing you get to know about artists.  They’re not too good in the stand-up sort of way, but boy can they endure.  They’re like moss.  They find a way to make a home of wherever they find themselves, even gravestones.”

“There’s a practical sentiment.”

Leland smiled, and shrugged.

I know the next person we need to talk to.”  He nodded conspiratorially.

Photo of anonymous bar patron by Carl Nelson

Quantum Traveler

June 14, 2013

Editor:  We are adding a new category here at SchnOOdles Blog, hoping to attract the modern moneyed, retired set where “70 is the new 16”.  And maybe even introduce a few of our youthful readers to the new 70’s.  We’ve title it “Quantum Traveler” in an effort to capture the ever changing  hip, new, approaching singularity.  Like charged electrons, these Quantum Travelers appear wherever you look for them; their very nature and the nature of their travels governed by what you’d expect, yet appearing unexpectedly, exploring the conundrum.  And for this  new blog category we’ve chosen two quantum ‘entangled retirees‘, Larry and Gary.   Follow us down the ‘wormhole’ as they pop up here and there, each redefining the other, as we follow their behavior.

Entangled particle, Larry.

Entangled particle, Larry. 

 

Larry again, in Fiji

Larry again, in Fiji

Photos by the Particle Twins

Gary, again.  Trying to gain the upper hand on his other,  through a little self-promotion.

Gary, again. Trying to gain the upper hand on his other, through a little self-promotion.

Entangled particle, Gary.

Entangled particle, Gary.

Seattle Celebrity News!

June 12, 2013

Seattle Retirement Celebrity Sends Photo

Larry in Fiji1

Seattle World Traveler Retirement Celebrity, Larry Nelson, sent us this underwater shot  from Fiji, where he is hanging onto  a coral cabbage leaf to avoid being swept away by the current.  You may follow the exploits of this near septuagenarian risk-taker at  http://www.sailblogs.com/member/pantarhei/

Photo by Sandy and Rankin of the SV Gypsea Heart.

From the Editor’s Perch

June 10, 2013

The High Cost of Medical Care


The High Cost of Medicine

To increase the availability of medical care, we must drive down costs.   And I can’t see costs going down until medical consumers begin to shop.  Let me illustrate this with two recent examples.

Recently I had a long standing sebaceous cyst on my lower back removed.  It had slowly enlarged and gotten infected.  The surgeon said it was right on the line between doing it in the office and doing it in a surgical suite.  He would feel more comfortable doing it in the surgical suite, he said.  I have insurance, so it didn’t occur to me to inquire about the cost.

The procedure took 45 minutes of surgical time.  Billing for the hospital surgical suite use was around $8,000.  A bill for $2,000 from the surgeon arrived sometime later.  Sometime later a bill for $1,000 arrived from the anesthesiologist.  This is $11,000.  I had no idea!  After the insurance negotiated and paid their portion, I was still left with around $1600.  out of pocket expense.  This is still quite a bit to have a bump on my lower back removed.

I told my neighbor who said he was in his doctor’s office and showed him a like bump.  The doctor asked him if he’d like it removed?  My neighbor said, “Yes.”  My neighbor said the doctor recruited two nurses and they removed it right there in the office.  He paid $100.  (Whether or not this was the ‘after insurance’ payment or not, I didn’t think to ask.)

In retrospect, if I had stopped to consider the expense of the procedure, I might have done three things.  First, I might have had it removed earlier, prior to its growth and prior to its infection.  Second, I might have opted to have it removed in the surgeon’s clinic offices.  And third, I might have shopped around for a better price.  I told my son, for $11,000 we might both have flown back to Thailand for a week’s vacation, had the lump removed and returned, none the worse.  He’s currently watching me closely for another ‘bump’ to manifest.

My other example is my friend’s experience which I will give you in his own words:

I’ve had a blockage in my left ear since Feb. It was just normal wax
buildup; I tried hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide drops for weeks,
but that only softened it.

I made an appointment for the ear blockage at the clinic where my primary
physician works. They told me they’d clear out the ear canal with an
elephant wash. I asked the nurse how much that would cost, because I’m
uninsured. She said she had no idea and she would check. A day later I
searched for “elephant ear wash” on the web and found the Elephant Ear
Washer Bottle System by Doctor Easy
<http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005M2B5P0/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=U
TF8&psc=1
> . I ordered one with two-day shipping and canceled my
appointment.

The appointment would have cost $300 for the office visit + treatment.

The Elephant Ear Wash kit cost $30.

It’s nothing more than a spray bottle connected to a very narrow nozzle. I
cleared the blockage in 5 minutes.

The fact that the nurse had no idea that their treatment cost 10 times as
much as a perfectly safe home treatment–and the fact that I never asked or
had to ask about the actual cost before–says a lot about the health care
system.”

And folks, there you have it.

Photo by Carl Nelson of a scene from the play, Dark Farce, by Freddie Brinster

Update: 8.22.13  –  This article in the Wall Street Journal provides more focus and information:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324139404579017113415486176.html

From the Editor’s Perch

June 7, 2013
Are you going to "stop my suffering?"

Are you going to “stop my suffering?”

Mercy Killing

 

My friend and I, whose homes are both plagued with pests, got to discussing what to do with a mouse, still alive, which was caught in a trap.  I’d said that I took them outside and smacked them real hard in the head with a brick or a rock.  I told him I imagined it would be like an Act of God, like one of us being hit by a meteor  “…large as a house!” (with suitable arm flourish),  I added.  My friend shuddered a bit.

 

So I asked him what he had done with the mice he’d caught but not yet killed.  He looked a bit troubled by the recollection.  Apparently it was because it hadn’t gone particularly well.

 

He said that first he’d tried gassing the thing in the barbeque, which hadn’t worked.  So then he decided to shoot it with a rifle.  First he hung it on a board in his shed placing some thick lumber ends behind it.  “But it’s hard to hit,” he added, since he’d had to stand some distance away.   I asked him where he’d shot the mouse.  “In the mid-section,” he noted.  “It’s hard to hit!”  He said again.

 

I imagined my friend trying to explain to a neighbor passing by what he was doing, and rocked with laughter.

 

“No one passes by out there,” he replied.

 

 

All of this got me to thinking that this would make an interesting blog post.  But what would still others do, I thought?  So I queried people on my Facebook page, “If you found a mouse still wriggling in your trap, what have you done with it?”

 

Two guys said that they’d feed it to their cat (and save money).  A woman replied that she’d flee screaming.  One guy left it outside in the trap and forgot it.  When he next happened on the trap, the mouse was gone.  Another woman found a raccoon a neighbor had caught in a ‘humane’ trap – and released it.  “The neighbor was not happy,” she said.

 

I decided to Google to determine the broader public opinion on this matter.    And here is some of what I found:

 

Dog hit by car with crushed hindquarters:

 

“Poor thing. I would call Animal control & tell them its an emergency. Maybe they will send someone right out. Hard to tell with our government agencies.”

 

“.if you have a gun, kill it, one shot behind the ear, if not, run it over again, don’t let it suffer.”

 

“Maybe take it to a vet? I wouldn’t though, it sounds like the dog is in a lot of pain. Maybe borrow a gun from a neighbor or get him to do it.”

 

 

Some people leapt right into a moralizing posture:

How do you put a mouse out of its misery quickly?

My mouse is sick and needs help moving on to the next life.

 

“I think the one who needs help here may be you. It is not your decision to make as to whether or not it is time for your pet to die.You are not a vet. If your pet is sick, take it to the vet. If you can’t afford to take it to the vet, take it to a shelter and don’t get pets again until you can afford their care. It is animal cruelty to try and kill your pet. You could be doing it when there is a chance it could get better. You could do it improperly and cause more suffering for the animal. Leave the mouse alone and if it’s time for it to die, it won’t need any help from you.”

 

Some people have gotten themselves into a hellofa mess:

Can you get a mouse off of a glue trap without injuring or killing it?

“You can dissolve the glue. Wearing gloves, add vegetable oil to dissolve the glue and, with a pencil, push the mouse off.”

 

“put it in a shallow pool of water, not too deep so it doesn’t drown, and see if the glue dissolves or loosens. maybe that could make it easier to get it off, and wear gloves.“

 

“Yes, if you have access to a beard trimmer you can shave it out of the glue trap. Just make sure your rabies shot is up to date.”

 

 

Some people expect a lot:

What is the most humane way to put a small wild animal out of its misery?

I mean for example injured mice and things. Sometimes my cats catch mice inside my house and I hate to watch them torture them to death.

 

Best Answer Chosen by Voters:

“The problem is with your cat.
Either you train your cat to kill the mice quickly , or just get rid of it.
Why not try to teach your cat to be nicer to your cute little mice?
Maybe if you got a vegetarian cat, it wouldn’t try to eat the mice.”

 

Some ring with certainty and authority:

Q: My mouse no longer has quality of life. How should my mouse be euthanized?
A:The only humane way to euthanize a mouse is by inhaled gas anesthesia overdose. This can only be done at a vet’s. There is no humane way to euthanize a mouse at home. Asphyxiation by carbon dioxide, by drowning, or in a plastic bag; freezing, cervical dislocation, or feeding to another animal are all incredibly cruel and inhumane. The only humane way to euthanize a mouse is by inhaled gas anesthesia overdose.”

Source(s):

http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.h…

 

Others sympathize and offer some simple tactics:

“I think wringing its neck would be best: However, its hard to explain how to quickly and efficiently do this……google how to wring a chickens neck and you will see what i mean.
Or just give them a whack on the back of the head, its how many mousetraps work:

Kudos for having the balls to do it: its a kindness.”

 

“when i had pet mice and they were sick and about to die we would put them in the freezer. it is really sad, but we asked the people at the pet store and that’s what they said to do.”

 

“simplest and most ethical way is a bullet to the head, if you havent got a gun then a hard quick strike with a blunt object also to the head.”

 

And finally…

 

“Do it quickly with a shoe.”

Photo pulled from Google Images

Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

June 3, 2013
'It's a clear cut case of demonic possession', thinks Ralph.

‘It’s a clear cut case of demonic possession’, thinks Ralph.

…and Squirellier

(Episode 54)

 

  As Leland and Agent Hailey settled back with their drinks, Ralph began.

“Good evening.”  Ralph gave a hesitant smile.

“Good evening, Ralph!”  Someone from the back called, to a titter of laughter.

Ralph nodded.  “I hope so,” he began tentatively.

“Just show us the painting!”  That someone called again.

“Shut up!”   Someone else called.

The commissioned painting was hung directly behind Ralph and covered in black velvet.  It was quite large as befitted a fifteen hundred dollar commission.

“As you know,” Ralph began again.

“Speak up!”

“Shut up!”

“As you know!”  Ralph leaned to close to the microphone.  The feedback nearly deafened everyone in the room.

Ralph pulled back immediately, and hesitated tentatively as if he were afraid to go near the mike again, which brought on another titter of laughter.  Ralph gazed out over his audience with saucer-sized eyes, and a hand dove for the peanuts.  He stood their cracking and eating several while his audience sat, waiting.

Finally, with both cheeks full of nuts, Ralph approached the microphone again, hesitantly.  “As you know,” he said.  “I am primarily a painter of rural, and that is in our case, agricultural settings.”  Though with all of the nuts in his cheeks this came out a little more like, “ur his hin hower cashe , hagghricalshurrrel shittings.”  This last got a laugh.  Ralph swallowed and drank some water.

“But fine artists down through history have not only reveled in depicting how their friends and neighbors earned their livings, but felt it their duty to celebrate it in song, story and painting.”

George Everlee nodded and started the applause.  “Farmers are the backbone of this community,” he  called out, “and we owe it mostly to just a great breed of Guernsey we have developed right here and now – in Kimmel County!”

There were lots of cheers.  Even fist pumps.

Ralph nodded.  “Praise the Lord for our abundance,” he said.

“Yes.  Yes. Yes,” it was murmured around the room.

“Are we in a tavern and drinking here, or are we in a church?”  The voice called out.

“Shut up!!!”

“As you know also, from my other times up here, that I believe ‘Wherever the Lord has brought abundance, the Devil views jealously.”  Ralph’s eyes narrowed.

The room was quiet.

“Wherever His Good Works Are In Evidence, the Devil plots.”  Ralph’s voice dropped and paused.

“Ah yes.  Yea, yea, yea,” some in the audience responded.  Others began to sway, (some from drink).

“And WHEREEVER the Good Lord Savior most blesses, THERE is where old Beezlebub most seeks to leave his brand!”  Ralph’s eyes bugged.

Hands were lifted.

But not George Everlee’s.  In fact, George Everlee was smiling stiffly, but looking around, wondering where this evening was headed, while his wife Arlene fought, inconspicuously, to get Ralph’s attention.  But by now, Ralph’s eyeballs were surely big as saucers, and the veins in his temple bulged.

“George Everlee’s Guernsey, Daffodil, was surely most blessed,” Ralph continued, pointing to the cloth covered painting, and with a nod to Ralph Everlee.

Leland had a feeling.  ‘This is fast turning into a wake,’ Leland thought.  ‘And for that, someone has to have died…’

But Ralph Everlee smiled, relaxed a bit, and nodded tentatively.

“Why I can still remember that frosty morning she was first delivered,” Ralph said.  “I was working on another portrait of a sort in a far part of the barn of Henrietta, George’s prize sow.  Many of you, of a few year’s memory, surely remember her.  I’ve got to say, she had the best flesh tones of any sow I’ve had the pleasure yet to paint in this area… mostly yellow ochre and Old Holland white with just the barest highlight of vermillion.”

Arlene blushed.  But George pumped his fist to a general cheer which arose from the crowd.   “It’s Stumps Magic Sow Cream” for any of you who are interested!”  George called out.

Ralph nodded, then moved closer to the mike.

“I know many of you here now – right now – have either laughed slightly, or just coughed, when you have heard me say up here in the past that an Artist has to Beat the Devil, each time he takes up his brush.  That Art is so important to the glorification of God, that the Devil must see to it himself, that this process – lent to us by God Himself – we call creation goes awry.  So that what is meant to be a glorification instead becomes an abomination.”

            Arlene and Ralph Everlee were now looking worried again, as were his kin, nestled nervously around, as to where this was going.  There was tittering and nervous reaching for drinks.

“I think you’d better just show us the painting, Ralph,” the voice in the back called.

And this time it was answered by a murmured chorus of assents.

“Before he does!”  Arlene Everlee stood up, bravely trying to turn the river of  some dark destiny to which it seemed Fate had deemed course through their celebratory evening.  “I just want to say how proud I am of my husband George, and his prize Guernsey Daffodil!  for the honor he has bestowed upon all of us here this evening who are gathered to toast our profession.  And I just want to add,” as she teared up, “that George has been as good a husband and provider these 25 years as he is a breeder and Daffodil is a milker.”

“Hear!  Hear!”  Voices cried.

They all drank to that, while Arlene blubbered and George Everlee kissed her.

“Show us the painting for Godsakes, Ralph,” another shouted.

“Well, to paraphrase Kris Kristofferson, I’m not going to say I beat the Devil,” Ralph said, gripping a corner of the drapery, and pulling.

Inwardly Leland prepared to cringe.

“But I drank his beer for free.  And then I painted his Face.”

Ralph had gotten most of the prize Guernsey Daffodil right excepting for the face, which resembled exactly that of a chipmunk.

A gasp rose up.

Silence gripped the room, while everyone fought to realize what to say, and turned generally towards George Everlee – whose jaw had fallen nearly to the floor – for guidance.  It was George’s herd manager, Earl, who finally spoke first.

“Well, he got her tits right,” he remarked gruffly.

Graphic of painting by Carl Nelson

Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

June 2, 2013

Chipmunk in wild3

Things Get Squirrely

(Episode 53)

 Agent Hailey arrived about the time things got going.

More chairs had been set out.  Most of the Everlees and their friends and relations had arrived and gotten their drinks and snacks.  From the silence it sounded as though Ralph Bunch had gotten the microphone feedback solved.  Behind the microphone, hung in the place of honor and covered in black velvet, was the commissioned painting.

“George Everlees prize Guernsey won the Kimmel County Milkers Association Producer of the Year Award, and has done this three years running,” Leland told Agent Hailey.  “She’s quite a woman.”

“I’d imagine.”  Agent Hailey laughed.

“So they’ve had her portrait commissioned.  The Association is thinking of having this done for each of the yearly winners, to be hung in a place as yet to be determined.  So this reception is a big night for Ralph.  That might be why he appears so nervous.”

“Or it could be that he’s always been a screw-up and a loser,” Leland’s sour new acquaintance to the right said.

“Excuse me a moment,” Leland told Agent Bailey.

Leland leaned to his right.  “You’re going to walk to the restroom and stay there until you think you can sit here with your mouth shut for the rest of the evening – or I’m going to hit you in the ribs so hard with my elbow here that you’ll see spots,” Leland told his new acquaintance.

“I can keep my mouth shut,” the man said.

“Okay.”

Leland nodded towards where Ralph was chewing peanuts, and then, as if in a fit of rage, smashing the shells.  He looked as if he were trying not to eat more, first pushing the bowl of peanuts away – then pulling it back.  He appeared quite conflicted.  “He doesn’t look quite himself tonight,” he noted to Agent Hailey.  “But then, Ralph is an odd duck.  I think I’ll go up and have a chat with him, just to be sure everything is alright.”  He smiled at Agent Hailey and excused himself.  “And don’t you even glance at her,” Leland said to the man on his right as he left.  The man’s head snapped forward.

Leland walked up to where Ralph was seated.  “Ralph, how’re you doing?”  Leland asked, reaching to take a peanut from the bowl.

“Don’t touch those.”  Ralph pulled them away.

Leland thought Ralph was joking with him and reached again.

Ralph’s head shot forward and Leland jerked his hand back instinctively.  It looked like Ralph had tried to bite him!

“What the hell, Ralph?”  Leland laughed.

“Don’t touch my fucking nuts!”

“Okay,” Leland said with some levity.  “I’ll leave your junk alone.”

Ralph just stood there looking at Leland, as if Leland were a wild animal he didn’t understand.  Leland didn’t know what was going on.  “You pretty nervous, huh?  This time around, about the show?”

Ralph seemed to break down, almost in tears.

“Oh Leland, you don’t know.  My career is over.  My life is probably ended.”  Ralph grabbed at Leland’s hand like a lifeline.

This seemed more like the overly sensitive Ralph that Leland knew.  Leland sat down.  He nodded to Agent Hailey to indicate that this might take a moment.

“I can’t paint anymore!”  Ralph said in hushed tones.

Leland furrowed his brows.

“All it seems I can do is to chew and harbor nuts, like a squirrel.”  Ralph sputtered with wide eyes.

Leland reached unconsciously for another peanut as he listened.  And Ralph flew at his arm with his teeth.

“Shit!”  Leland said, shoving Ralph off.  There was drool left on his shirt.  Ralph’s teeth probably would have broken the skin if it hadn’t been for the tough fabric.  “What the hell?”

“I can’t control it!”  Ralph cried leaning back, eyes wide.  “I tried to warn you.”

“Control what?”

“I don’t know.  The mind, I think, of the chipmunk.”  Ralph was focused far off on some thought.  “He’s so….   feral.”

Leland was at a complete loss.  Finally Leland decided Ralph had been better left alone.

Leland walked back to the bar.  Agent Hailey asked, “What’s wrong with him?”

“I don’t know,” Leland said.  “I hope it’s not rabies.  He was going on about some chipmunk.”

“This might not have been the best night for you to have attended.  But I feel now, like I’d better stay and watch over things,” Leland added.  “You want to go?”

“No.”  Agent Hailey smiled.  “I think I can handle a chipmunk.”

“It sounds like Ralph can’t.”  Leland frowned.

Finally, it came time for the ceremony to begin.

PhotoArt by Carl Nelson


%d bloggers like this: