Saturday, March 19, 2011
The Big Guns
I got out the big guns. I’m not talking about my real gun. I hate that thing. I want to get rid of it. I have no idea what it is—a shotgun, a rifle… I keep getting the two of them mixed up. I keep having to say, “Kurt, what do we have again?” when I want to tell someone about it. The only reason I got the stupid thing was because of the Evils. The cops couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do anything, so after I got hit with the hammer, I went down to Walmart and got the gun. I filled out some paperwork. It took fifteen minutes. The next thing you knew I was wheeling it out to my car in a shopping cart next to the macaroni-and-cheese, and some kind of ammunition—buckshot, bullets, I don’t know—was in the seat up front where babies usually sit.
One of the church ladies sent her husband over to show me how to shoot it. It nearly knocked me off my feet even though I lift fifty pound bags of grain on a regular basis and push wheelbarrows full of manure, dirt, rocks, you name it, every morning. But it’s been almost five years now and the Evils are long out of the picture and the gun has been sitting in the closet making me nervous… under the bed making me nervous… in the attic making me nervous... One time I put it in the extra refrigerator out in the garage but that made me nervous too because what if we get a thief who’s hungry? Plus I had no place to store the beer and hot dog rolls when summer came. Then I read about some guy who was moving to New Jersey and he got arrested on the New Jersey Turnpike because he was transporting his gun in a locked suitcase underneath boxes of china, dish towels and the toaster oven in the trunk of his car. So I’d like to get rid of it.
Anyway, I’m not talking about the real gun. I’m talking about something even more powerful. It’s so powerful that I almost told the seller of the winery house about it when she called to see if I had sold the farm yet. It appears that someone else is interested in the winery house and they want to make an offer but it’s also contingent upon them selling their property and I think she wanted to make sure that I was still interested before she told them no. Yes I’m still interested! We’ve asked for a house-selling contingency but they never responded! I assured her that my farm should sell quickly. I told her I have people coming from other states to see it. I told her to go look at my website so she could see for herself that my farm is beautiful and it’s priced right and it should sell in a timely manner. I told her that I just put it on Realtor.com. Then I almost told her about the statue.
It’s a St. Joseph statue, about three inches high, cream-colored plastic, and would look good next to Mary in the manger if you were missing Joseph. It could even fill in for one of the Wise Men if you were in a pinch. But he’s really for burying in the yard like a dog buries a bone. Or a pirate buries treasure. They say that if you’re trying to sell a house and you bury St. Joseph in the front yard, it’ll sell fast. You would think that the only thing selling is the St. Joseph statues themselves. They are all over eBay and for sale on websites with names like Good Fortune For You. But they work. I can vouch for that! This is the third St. Joseph I’m burying. It worked when I was selling the Oklahoma house and that was a tough house to sell because it was the second highest priced property for sale in the county in an area that was very depressed. It sold for the full asking price in two weeks to a cash buyer with no contingencies—no mortgage, no appraisal, no inspection, nothing. And then we practically had a bidding war but we were already in contract. People were coming out of the woodwork begging me to buy that place!
It worked for the Ferrum house with the Evils next door. No one thought I was going to get out of there alive. But that house sold in two months. It took a little longer. That’s because I had to do it very quietly—I couldn’t let the Evils know. I didn’t even put a for-sale sign on the lawn because if they got wind that I was selling, they would have done something to sabotage the sale. Both of those sales, like this one, were for-sale-by-owner. For-sale-by-owners aren’t easy when conditions are good. They’re almost impossible when conditions are bad. In this case, it’s the economy.
So I ordered another St. Joseph. You’re supposed to dig it up and take it with you when you sell the house but it’s so windy out in Oklahoma, any tell-tale marks in the yard where I had buried it were blown away and after digging the fifth hole with a kitchen spoon because everything was packed already and finding nothing but worms and a bottle cap, I gave up and left him there. Ferrum, I was so happy to get out of there I’m lucky I didn’t leave Kurt, never mind the statue. I wonder how many St. Joseph statues excavators will find in the future? I can just picture happy homeowners on their hands and knees, digging in the garden and finding St. Joseph. “What’s this Honey?” They stand up with a hand on a hip and blow the dirt off. Squinting, they hold it up. “It appears to be a religious artifact of some sort,” one of them speculates.
The thing came with a little plastic bag and directions. You’re supposed to bury him inside the bag, upside down, facing the street. It seems kind of mean putting him in the dirt head first, but that’s what it says to do. You have your choice of prayers. I said both of them. I figured if one is good, two is better. The horses hung their heads over the fence watching me. Effie went by in her old turquoise pickup truck. She tapped the horn. She probably thought I was planting spring bulbs.
When I was finished, I decided to do some weeding. You never know when someone will want to look at the place so you have to keep it up. You have to be ready. I weeded the flower beds. I weeded the vegetable garden. Then I got some mulch.
Later, when I went in the house there was a call on the machine from someone asking about the farm. It doesn’t mean anything. But you never know.