tom bo li de say de moi ya, yeah, jambo jumbo
(originally posted 3/9/2020)
Location: Suburbia Time: The Present
As their kids stood quietly waiting for the school bus to arrive, two women stand a few yards away chatting.
“Did you hear about Alice and her plot to kill her husband?” asked Mrs. Anderson, a short lumpy woman with formerly-black hair (it was now mostly-black with grey roots).
“Kill her husband?!” exclaimed Mrs. Butler, a taller and less-lumpy gal whose physical attractiveness sat about ten years in the rearview mirror, the tone of her reply making it clear that she had not heard about the plot.
“She roped all of us in. We could have all been accomplices” said Mrs. A.
Mrs. B stiffened slightly as she digested the fact that up until that moment she had considered herself as one of ‘All of us’”. Seeing her friend stiffening Mrs. A quickly clarified her comment.
“You’re not a member of the neighborhood Facebook group, that’s what I meant.”
Mrs. B unstiffened so Mrs. A continued.
“Alice had sent out a message to everyone, everyone in the Facebook group that is, to flush their toilets at exactly 7:15 a.m.” With that a large smile crossed Mrs. A’s face.
“What was that going to do?” inquired Mrs. B.
“You know how if you’re in the shower and somebody flushes the toilet it will make the water scalding hot for a few seconds?”
Mrs. B nodded.
“Alice thought the effects would be exponential. She wanted to cook her husband as he stood there in the shower.”
It took a few moments for Mrs. B to process what she’d just heard. Her particular processing was a three step process. First, she made sure that this scheme was in fact not grounded in reality. While her understanding of plumbing and septic systems might have not been on par with a trained professional, she quickly ran through the mechanics of such a plot to make sure that it wouldn’t work. Once that was accomplished she tried to internalize how anyone could actually believe that such a plan would actually work. She knew Alice and never suspected that the woman was a dumbass.
Finally she wondered to herself about what Alice would have said to police if her little plot had worked and her husband would have fallen out of the shower all red and boiled like a lobster. It would have been an open and shut case.
She wrapped up her processing by marveling at how the ignorant can live right under our noses for years without anyone suspecting. Not so much a double life as a single dumb one.
“Can you believe that?” asked Mrs. A.
Mrs. B just smirked and shook her head.
“Turns out the police can’t charge her with anything. Ignorance of the law might not be an acceptable excuse but I guess ignorance of the laws of physics is.”
The bus rumbled up and the children dutifully climbed aboard. Soon they were rumbling off to try and learn something about math, history, physics and septic systems.
The two women remained standing there.
After a long pause, news of an attempted murder is a hard act to follow, Mrs. B asked “Why did she want to kill him? Ben seems like a decent enough guy.”
“Apparently”, and with this Mrs. A leaned in conspiratorially, “Last weekend they went to dinner with some of Alice’s old friends and he embarrassed her.”
“Goodness. What did he do?” asked Mrs. B.
“Details are a bit fuzzy but apparently Ben had a few drinks and started to sing along with a song that came on in the background at the restaurant.”
This was clearly not the answer that Mrs. B expected. “What on earth could he have sung that made Alice want to murder him?”
“It’s a bit of a long story but Ben had seen some sort of Behind the Music program where Lionel Richie explained that in his song All Night Long he’d made up a bunch of lyrics to sound like they were African or something. Ben thought that this was so amusing that he took the time to learn all of them.”
Mrs. B’s face was a mask. It was impossible to tell what was going on behind her eyes.
Mrs. A did not care and rambled on.
“To hear him tell it, he’d waited his whole life for the chance to show people that he knew these made-up words. He saw his moment to shine and took it. To hear her tell it, he sprang up, knocking over a number of drinks, and began hopping around belting out nonsense at the top of his lungs. Everyone at the Bonefish Grill was looking at him. She was mortified”
Finally Mrs. Butler spoke… “What was she thinking? She could have flushed away her whole future.”
Mrs. Anderson caught the intended pun but did not laugh. She wondered if Mrs. B was even listening to her Lionel Richie story or was fumbling for a funny retort to Alice’s assassination attempt the whole time.
As they began to walk back to their respective homes Mrs. B, still chuckling to herself about her flushed comment, said “Can you invite me to that Facebook group?”
“Will do” said Mrs. A with a wave.