My wife scares me sometimes. Normally it’s just when she’s driving, but last night was an entirely different kind of fear. You see, I’ve never needed to dispose of a body, but last night my wife changed that.
She arrived home from Costco and asked for our help out on the driveway to unload the car. While the kids were busy struggling to move the fifty-five gallon drum of laundry soap and the five-gallon pails of peanut butter into the house, my wife was nudging me with her elbow and speaking in whispered code about the “item” in the trunk.
When I went to investigate she hissed “Not yet!” at me with a look in her eyes that made me shiver. I found myself glancing nervously up and down the street, afraid one of the neighbors might become suspicious.
“What is in the trunk?” I whispered through my teeth while deliberately not making eye contact and trying to appear as if I was just inspecting one of our drought-stricken bushes.
“We’ll talk later,” she whispered back, sternly. “We have to wait until it gets dark.”
OK, now I’m more than a little nervous. My flight instinct is in full gear. I want to run, but I can’t leave the kids. Must stay calm.
After an hour or so of my mind and pulse racing with all possible scenarios running through my head, we put the kids to bed. I kissed them each on the forehead and said a little prayer that I might get to see them again. Who knows what this night will bring?
Back downstairs on wobbly legs, I nervously followed my mysterious and scary wife out to the car. As she popped the trunk latch I instinctively flinched. And there he was.
“What did you do!?” I half yelled.
“Keep your voice down! The neighbors might hear.” She shot back. “It was on sale. I couldn’t help it. It’s for Christmas.”
There, taking up every cubic inch of air space in our Toyota Camry’s trunk, was the largest teddy bear I have ever seen. It was easily twice as big as my mother.
“Christmas!? It’s September. I have to hide this thing??? They already have two hundred stuffed animals, and you bought one that is bigger than all of them put together?”
“They saw it last time we were at Costco, and they loved it,” she said.
“Doesn’t Costco sell anything that’s normal size? It’s bad enough that I have to have a ten-quart plastic barrel of mayonnaise, but do they have to sell teddy bears the size of Smart cars, too?”
“Oh, relax. It’s not that big.”
“Not that big!? You couldn’t fit a breath of fresh air into this trunk with this thing. Did you have to remove the spare tire to get it in there?”
“OK, OK, just help me get it out.”
Just like a typical Tuesday night in New Jersey, there we were, pulling the body out of the trunk. I got him under the arms and she took the legs, and we moved him into the garage.
“OK,” she said, slightly out of breath after we’d gotten him up on the workbench. “Now just bag him up and hide him.”
I have fifty-gallon black plastic garbage bags that I use in the fall. They are massive. I got them at Costco. You can fit all the leaves from a medium-sized tree into one bag. I opened one of them and wrestled it over the bear’s head. When it was completely down over the top of him, it only came to his waist. There were two furry legs sticking out the bottom like a back alley crime scene in Disneyland’s Critter Country.
“What do we do now?” I asked. “He doesn’t fit.”
“Well, honey, it’s simple. Normally you just cut off their legs, but in this case, we are keeping him, so you just need to fold him up a little.” She then proceeded to fold, stuff, lie on, and seal up the garbage bag, with a very compressed giant Costco bear inside. “See, there you go.”
“What do you mean, ‘Normally you just cut their legs off..’?” I asked.
“Never mind,” she said, glancing away. “Just stuff him in the back of the closet, OK?”
“Anything you say, honey. I love you so much!”
I guess I should be thankful I wasn’t digging a hole in the middle of the night by the glow of a Lincoln Town Car’s headlights, but that whole thing left me a little on edge.
Merry Christmas, boys. Don’t ever do anything to anger your mom.
I think I’ll try to learn how to sleep with my eyes open.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2014 Marc Schmatjen
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