Each of these recent news stories deserves a second look, because we can never learn too much from the internet.

Bargain Freezer

If, heaven forbid, somebody were to die in your house, would you
A) Call 911
B) Call the coroner
C) Call your lawyer
D) Stuff the corpse in a freezer, wait six months, then sell the freezer to a neighbor for the bargain-basement price of $30

If you answered anything but D, you must be a new reader here. Welcome!

It seems a resident of Goldsboro, North Carolina decided she needed a little more time with her dearly departed mother. She also had a spare garage freezer. Problem: meet solution.

Of course, nobody wants their beloved frozen relative disturbed by a nosy neighbor or a house guest looking for a popsicle. Voila! Yet another creative use for duct tape discovered.

Unfortunately, six months later, our creative problem-solver had to move. A freezer is big and bulky and moving companies charge by the pound. In addition, the contents of those things tend to melt once disconnected from the power. You are playing “haunting roulette” as it is; why double the odds by causing freezer burn if you use it at your new abode?

Fortunately, your neighbor has good business sense and a nose for a bargain. You agree to let the freezer go for $30, but only if she agrees to wait a few weeks for the members of a nearby church to come by and open the freezer themselves. You tell her you’ve volunteered it for a “church project.” The only real lie is that you didn’t actually notify the church.

Three weeks later, nobody has shown up. Church project or not, it is time to open up the freezer and make some space. The buyer has just hit Costco to stock up on meat, and summer is fast approaching. “I went in there and I opened it up,” she said. “Lifted the lid and I saw a foot. And I put the lid back down and I tried to analyze what I just saw. And it looked fake so I opened it again and I looked again. But then I recognized the foot. It was her mother’s foot.”

This was obviously a bit traumatic, and it is easy to laugh at the victim. By whom, I mean, the neighbor who got bilked for $30. So here is a little test. Feel free to give a more complete answer in the comments. What would you have done?

A) Called the police
B) Used the crowbar you keep handy to save your frozens
C) Consulted a psychologist to help deal with your unhealthy foot obsession
D) Contacted your new neighbor and offered them a freshly duct-taped freezer for the bargain-basement price of $50

Dashboard Hitchhiker

Our next story is out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, where a woman survived a scenario that you normally only experience in a driver’s education simulator. A four-foot long rat snake crawled out of her dash board, across her feet, and back into the dash, before eventually settling into the back seat.

“It was rough and scaly. I do not know if I had my hands on the steering wheel or not. I am not the most flexible person in the world, but I can guarantee my knees were up next to my ears.”

Just FYI, that is not a recommended driving position.

I described the incident to Codex, who asked, “Rat snakes aren’t poisonous, are they?” That. That is why I am the initial emergency-handler in our household. For the record, the proper thing to do in this type of situation is 1) stop the car, 2) not panic, and 3) stop the car NOW. After stopping the car you want to exit your vehicle and take small children and pets with you. The snake is not a pet. Close the door behind you. The police will want an interesting story to tell around the station that afternoon, and “crazy motorist who thought there was a snake in her car” is much better when the snake is real.

Notice that “is the snake poisonous?” doesn’t appear on the list. There is a reason for that: it doesn’t change anything you should do. Sure, after the fact, ask it if it is poisonous. Feel free to have a nice, healthy panic attack.

For the record, the motorist lived and remains unharmed. The snake was caught by wildlife officials and released back onto the highway. It planned to continue hitchhiking until arriving in Sandy Hook, Mississippi, where it has relatives.

Fort Myers Sewer Drain Unclogged

Residents of Fort Myers, Florida called officials after identifying a foul odor coming from the sewer in their neighborhood. Workers from the Lee County Public Works Department were immediately dispatched, commando-style, to investigate the problem. There were heroes forged that day, good readers.

The investigation didn’t take long. Something was blocking the 14-by-24 inch pipeline. It had a distinctive smell. The experts knew they were fishing for a dead alligator.

Is that comforting? That dead alligators have a distinctive smell, and that it is a common enough occurrence that road workers recognize it?

What they pulled out will be fuel for conspiracy theorists over the next two decades. An excavator was brought in, hooked up to the carcass, and an eleven-foot alligator was fished out of the drain. That’s one of the worker ‘gators. How much larger will the soldier ‘gators be? What about the queen? It could be a thirty-foot monstrosity, but we’ll never know for sure. The pipes aren’t large enough to let it escape.

“It’s just part of what we do,” said Randy Cerchie, director of the county’s DOT. True heroes typically understate their accomplishments. The alligator was disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. No word on next of kin.

Flying Beach Umbrella

The most unlucky woman alive, now deceased, was impaled by a runaway beach umbrella in Virginia Beach on June 9. This should serve as a warning to all of us that when our time is up, our time is up. Also, don’t mess about with dark powers you don’t understand.

A heavy gust of wind dislodged the umbrella, sent it up into the air, and straight into the victim’s chest. An eye-witness said, “It kind of looked like something from the Wizard of Oz. Literally.”

Police investigated and found no signs of foul play. This is not a surprise. Imagine the mound of paperwork required to bring charges against the umbrella that would hold up in court. Still, we at Tempest in a Teardrop have begun our own investigation and have contacted Harry Dresden for a more definitive opinion.

Meanwhile, we can only offer our measly condolences to the surviving family members. They might want to watch the Final Destination movie franchise and take precautions.

Hopefully you’ve learned something valuable from each of today’s four featured news stories. If you have additional information or facts we might not have completely made up, let us know in the comments. Stay safe!


The Spork Speaks — Tempest in a Teardrop — tempestinateardrop.com