Refrigerator Art, Set-up
If you can't find the bright side, polish the dull side.
On her early morning ramble, Despina realizes that she misses Alberto's exuberant company. He's probably exhausted. He just couldn't stand missing a single piece of action, she thinks as she remembers how faithfully he stayed at her side, introducing the various visitors with pride. He probably stayed up way too late to be his normal, energetic self, she thinks, shuddering guiltily. I really did try to keep him beside me to smooth the way. Everyone seems to like him and tolerate his excesses.
Restless after returning, Despina decides to high tail it into town before class to set up the refrigerator deal.
Once she is en route to town, she reflects that the hardware store is surely still closed this early, the proprietor unknown. Heading toward the now-familiar sheriff's office, she disturbs Tony at a nap. Rapping loudly on the door, she smiles her most charming smile.
"Ya kin save the high wattage. The sheriff ain't in, yet." Tony stifles a yawn.
Despina ducks her head quickly to hide her smile. "Actually, I think you ought to be able to help me."
A knobby fist rubs the sleep from an eye. "The bath room's empty. It ain't moved none. Ya ain't gotta wake a man fer he'p with THAT every second day!" he grouses.
Laughing merrily, Despina continues as if he had not interrupted, "I need to talk to the owner of those old refrigerators. I might be able to help him remove them with no expense or effort on his part. Might he be interested in a good deal like that, which would save him some time and effort bringing them up to code? I'd sure hate to see him fined for not removing the doors. All it would take would be for some town child to be trapped inside one of them and suffocate..." she trails off. That ought to rev up his "protector" instincts.
Tony’s eyes roll upward to access the hidden directory stored on the ceiling. "That'd be Cyril McDougall.” His tone grows more lively, hands waving in appropriate directions as he talks. “He lives in the big white house jist two doors past the store, right on the corner. Ya kain't miss it.” As he talks, he warms to the idea. “He already got one warnin' 'bout not removin' them nasty chemicals, so he jist might be int'rested."
Despina eyes the overweight shopkeeper clad in dirty bib overalls and a Dekalb Seed Corn cap rimed with sweat as he talks. "Old refrigerators? How much them Injuns willing to pay apiece for 'em?"
Despina’s eyes widen. "Pay? For discards? Nothing.” Her voice adopts a salesman’s bonhomie. “However, they will remove the ugly eyesores from your property for free, with no labor required on your part."
While his eyes narrow into a suspicious glint, Cyril asks cagily, "What them Injuns want with old motor-less refrigerators whose doors work, anyway?"
Despina’s head lowers a bit, her hazel eyes lifting to peer at him. "Frankly, it's not the Native Americans at all, directly." Her voice takes on a confidential air. "I want to set them up outside my new classroom as storage units to keep the books dry."
Cyril’s eyes widen in surprise. "Where'd they get books?"
Despina twists an auburn curl as a slight blush flushes her cheeks. "Well, there really aren't any at present, but I want to take the kids to the library to check out some. But first, we need a clean, dry place to store them safely."
Smugly, he pronounces, "Fat chance Alice'd let a bunch o' Injun brats run off wit' her precious books. We're s'ppozta remove them doors."
"Guess I lack imagination, or maybe I have too much." Despina frowns, elevating her nose slightly.
Lifting a gritty seed cap, Cyril scratched his head. "Yeah, well, we're runnin' a bit behind."
Despina’s body stiffens. "You do have the Freon removed, though, surely?"
"Ah, not egsakly." Cyril shoves both hands into the front of his bibs.
"Just what is entailed in safely removing and storing that?” Despina’s frown deepens. “They may want some compensation if it is very time-consuming, “ she pushes. “I just assumed that all the legal stuff had been taken care of properly. Aren't those fines pretty stiff?" She arches one eyebrow.
Cyril’s face twitches. His voice grows whiny and defensive the longer he talks. "I got a storage drum at the back o' the shop. Tain't nothin' ta puttin' a hose inta the line and drainin' it inta the drum."
"You'll supply the hose, I assume?" Despina’s eyebrow arcs upward as she meets his eyes.
Cyril's eyes slide off hers to a contemplation of a hang nail on his thumb. "I reckon."
With a businesslike nod, Despina says, "Good. We should be back into town sometime Friday morning." Her voice and manner let him know just how lucky he is that she's taken on his cause.
Last updated 1/29/10 Where’sMeKilt- Old refrigerators? 1/28/10 Added “tells”. Changed back to Friday. 12/12/09 - Moved last two paragraphs from start of “Some Assembly Required”. 12/6/08 - Changed Friday to Saturday 1/1/06 Freon otherwise 7/20/04.
Word Count: 834
Sunday, October 28th, 2001 1:04 p.m. (pandemo)