Monday, November 4, 2013

Hot Hat Box

Who the Bleep Did I Marry, Evil Kin, Swamp Murders, and the list goes on and on. They’re television shows that showcase true crimes. I love them. I learn so much. Sometimes I take notes.

From the show, Who the Bleep Did I Marry, I’ve learned to be suspicious of slick talking guys who paw through my panty drawer looking for my bank statements. I don’t actually know any slick talking guys who paw through my panty drawer looking for my bank statements, but I remain suspicious of them.

Watching Evil Kin keeps me on my toes. I have a checklist. Do the neighbors resemble zombies? Do the neighbors resemble people who resemble zombies? Do my evil kin resemble the neighbors? Check for fresh graves in the neighbor’s backyard. Don’t get caught.

But it’s Swamp Murders that has given me the biggest heads up. What I’ve learned from Swamp Murders is that the body always floats—sooner or later it floats—always.  This isn’t just true of dead bodies; this is also true of a lot of stuff you’d rather stayed down there in the muckity, muck bottom of the swamp . . . like sales receipts.

Like sales receipts tucked away in the bottom of boxes, stacked in the garage, waiting for garbage day. Receipts for pointless, silly purchases that add little to no value to my life except that the purchase was pretty and I wanted it. Those sales receipts. They float. Like dead bodies thrown in a stinking swamp they bob right up to the top of the slimy water or the top of the box the hat came in.

I love hats. I love fancy hats you can’t wear in public, because the public who wore these fancy hats are all dead Victorians—not swamp murder dead—but still dead.

My husband does not appreciate my fancy hat problem. So I try not to stress him with my fancy hat problem. It’s better that way. Luckily, he’s an engineer so he rarely notices when I’ve added another hat to my fancy hat collection. He rarely notices that we have rugs or furniture or walls.  Unless . . . he finds the stinking receipts.

My husband’s voice boomed from the garage.

“Hey, what’s this receipt for?”

“What receipt?”

“The receipt in this box, under these other boxes, under this stack of Goodwill stuff.”

I had a sinking feeling that I knew which receipt had floated to the surface of my fancy hat swamp.

“Receipt? What receipt?” 

Delay, deflect, deny—I watch modern day politics, I know how to stall the inevitable congressional hearing.

“This receipt for a women’s white felt riding hat with lace veil.”

“I’m sorry what was that?”

His voice bounced and echoed a bit.


Do you have any idea how many boxes were out in that garage?  A stinking swamp’s worth that’s how many, and just like on that show where people are always trying to dump the evidence in the middle of the dankest swamp that stupid receipt bobbed straight to the top of the cardboard heap.


Linda (Hats Off) Zern  



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