Odd Jobs

One spring there was another death in the neighborhood, this one the passing of one of the many widows living alone along the long county road. There had been an estate sale a few months back, and several of the deceased’s vehicles were purchased by residents at George’s farm and by George himself. The executors of the estate were now seeking out a local work crew to clean up her old farmhouse and surrounding acreage so the property could be put up for sale.

With a huge barn and garage full of unwanted yard sale leftovers, George could not resist the temptation of acquiring new treasures for no money down. He impulsively accepted the job at a fixed rate without putting any thought into the deal. His son J.D. was enlisted, along with Randy and Susan and their daughter Lacey. George and Gabriella planned to make occasional appearances to look like they were working, too.

The job was supposed to last one week, as stipulated in the agreement. But three weeks later George’s farm crew could still be seen toiling with the cleanup, as evidenced by the perpetual plume of smoke coming from the massive burn pile. That didn’t bother Randy in the least, as it allowed him to remain fully immersed in his true calling of environmental terrorism – something that had started as an enjoyable past time but had escalated into a full-on holy war at George’s 160 acres of unkempt woods.

One day, he accidentally started a good tree smoldering from one of the smaller burn piles. Randy signaled J.D. over, and the two men pondered their options over a few cans of Diet Flat Water. Then they had a few more. Most folks would probably attempt to extinguish the flames, or maybe even call the fire department. A decision was finally made. Randy and J.D. promptly cut down the doomed tree and just walked away, letting it burn out on its own accord.

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