Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bottom Feeders

Tragedy Strikes Arnolds Valley

A story twisted like a frozen pretzel had local law enforcement officials scrambling. A couple once rumored to be among the poorest residents of this rural community -- they didn't even have a working furnace in their 150-year old home -- died while entertaining their neighbors. 

In a setting eerily similar to death by lemonade, everyone at the feast succumbed to severe gastric upset or worse. Officials are now testing the leftovers.

Rumors blame the fiasco on the couple's pigs, Roxie, Mickey and Wendell, famous garbage disposals for the entire region, which may have some truth, according to Deputy Sheriff Earle Austine. Reporters spotted him leaving the scene of the massacre and followed him to a large farm on Forge Road, where he collected ice cubes for analysis.

Ice cubes? Not quite. Ice chunks would be more accurate, as in a malfunctioning freezer.

A Forge Road neighbor, a famous author of juvenile horse fiction who asked for anonymity, overheard Sheriff Austine speaking with the National Security Administration. The NSA apparently had recorded a call made from the Forge Road farm several hours earlier. "We cleaned out our freezer yesterday. Would you like the old food for your pigs?"

Within minutes of the call, signs appeared in the couple's pasture, "EARLY THANKSGIVING MEAL -- JOIN US TONIGHT!"

The Forge Road farmer later confirmed that, yes, the Thanksgiving menu bore remarkable similarity to the contents of his freezer: mini-quiches, peanuts in the shell, mahi-mahi, turkey, ham, Chinese chicken strips, conch, hot dogs, broccoli, cauliflower, greens, celery, casava, sherbet bonbons, cherries, and apple and peach pies.

"They were meant for the pigs!" he insisted, as Sheriff Austine handcuffed him and pushed his head  down into the backseat. "In fact, as our friends were leaving, he said, 'if we die, you'll know why' and I laughed in response, 'Yeah, I'd feel bad for two days.'"

"Friends! Two days!" the sheriff was heard muttering. "Fifty years at least!"

"What on earth is this all about?" says Virginia.

Let's just say Roxie, Mickey and Wendell had an excellent dinner tonight, thanks to our Forge Road friends.


  1. This is my favorite blog post of yours EVER! Thanks, Gerri and Bob for our delicious dinner. My stomach is beginning to churn now but I'm sure sure I'll be ok.

  2. Our sincere pleasure! Aged to perfection!

  3. So, the characters in James’ blog offered an interesting resemblance to some real folks we know. In fact, the events described are fairly familiar.
    After years of procrastination we decided to clean out our stand-up freezer which had become a solid block of ice inside, top to bottom and side to side, and it seemed to weigh as much as a small pickup truck. After much hauling and cussing, two strapping, young men and I moved the damned thing outside and I spent the better part of a day chopping out the ice and the contents of the freezer. It was a time capsule of long-forgotten gastronomic desires.
    I’ve read about frozen food caches left behind by Arctic explorers and adventurers over a hundred years ago being perfectly edible, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to chance it. Perfect for Karen and James’ pigs, we thought!
    Just before bedtime last night, I read James’ blog and had a good laugh. Later, in the wee hours in my half-sleep the words started to become real to me. In my foggy state I imagined Karen, James, their pigs, dog, goats, chickens, donkeys, rabbits, cow, parrot, and various local wildlife all lying about in their kitchen--done in by our abandoned food. It reminded me of the scene in the Monty Python movie “The Meaning of Life” when the Grim Reaper comes to collect everyone at a private dinner party. When one of the guests asks how they could all die at once, the Reaper points his boney finger at the salmon dish.
    “I wish I had told them three days,” I mumbled in my sleepy stupor.
    This morning I knew that it must have been a dream (nightmare). I know--I’ll call to make sure all is ok.
    But, what if no one answers?