Disclaimer: Not my guys, Pet Fly's.

Spring Cleaning



The two men entered apartment 307's basement storage locker and looked around, the taller one's nose wrinkling at the dust/must/damp cinderblock smell. "Let's wrap this up, Chief, I don't want to spend the whole weekend down here."

"Okay. How about your board, here? When was the last time you went surfing?"

"That board is a classic, they don't make 'em like that any more. And I've had that board since I was eighteen."

"Ah. Antique value..."

"Smartass. What about these bongos of yours?" Boom-de-boom-boom. "Pretty good sound but they smell funny."

"Nice, Jim. Now there's a small island chain in the north Atlantic where we're legally married. Those are ceremonial drums, not bongos. And if you think they smell funny now, you should have seen them while I was tanning the reindeer hide."

"Oops. Sorry."


"Uhhh... Jim, can you hand me down that box? Thanks."

"Already with the nagging. Here."

"Oh yeah. I'm the nag, that's why we're cleaning the apartment on a beautiful Saturday morning when it isn't raining for the first time in the history of Cascade. Lesse, what've we got here... wadded paper... My 'An anthropologist is a people person' coffee mug, I thought I'd lost this. Um. Jim. The owner's manual to the Land Rover..."

A warning growl. "Sandburg..."

"I know, I know. We will not mention what happened to the Land Rover... ever again. But do you really need the owner's manual?"

A deep sigh. "Guess not."

"Toss it in the bag, or, we could do a ritual burning? A sacrifice to the Great Automotive Gods?"

"I've sacrificed whole vehicles to the Great Automotive Gods, I don't think one measly little owner's manual is gonna make a difference to the Ellison Curse."

The owner's manual was tossed into the black Hefty bag.

"Okay, we got a whole box of college textbooks over here."

"I need them."


"'Cause they're books."


The box Blair had been looking through seemed to contain nothing more of interest. He pushed it away, and it rattled. Digging through the wadded newspaper, he came up with a leather thong, brightly colored clay beads and a flat green jade pendant, the size of a quarter. There were symbols carved into it, he absently slipped the thong over his head to see them right-side-up. Could only recognize the Chopec language, not read it.

"Hey Jim, what's this? Chopec dogtags?"

Jim turned from contemplating the hooks Blair's ten speed bike hung from. "Nope. Wedding necklace. Now there's five thousand miles of Peruvian rainforest where we're legally married."

"Oh, sorry. You started it."

"You can keep it if you want."

A nervous laugh. "Uh... Jim, I'm flattered but..."

"It's more of an all-purpose clan thing. Giving it to a girl means we're married, if you wear it you're like my son or kid brother or something. Looks like the kind of thing you wear, so if you want it, keep it. Or toss it."

Smiling, Blair carefully tucked the pendant under his T-shirt. He got up and moved deeper into the storage area. "So why did you have a wedding necklace?"

"Eighteen months in the jungle, Chief, a man has needs. I had to catch and break one more llama before I went to her father, then Search and Rescue showed up."

"Speaking of llamas, did you know there's a moose head back here?"

"Speaking of expensive women, Carolyn wouldn't let me keep it in the living room. I had all my baseball caps hanging on the antlers. Never got around to putting it back up after the divorce."

"Four heightened senses. Four. The man obviously has no taste."

"This from the man with the largest collection of tacky Hawaiian shirts in the Pacific Northwest."

"Point taken. What's in these drycleaning bags?"

"My dress uniform and your orange parka."

"This is pathetic. We didn't get rid of hardly anything."

"Yeah, well. We reorganized. Made some room. Now the real fun starts. We're cleaning the loft top to bottom. Starting with that compost heap you call a bedroom."

"My room's not that bad."

"Compared to what? You may be used to living among ruins, but I'm not. I'll run a white glove drill if I have to."

"Well, if we're gonna clean that thoroughly we're gonna need some stuff from the store."

"I've got a list. Pine-Sol, Murphy's Oil Soap, Glass Plus..."

"And beer. Lots of beer."

~ End ~

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Page last updated 8/15/03.