“C.W., get in here right now. “You,” I pointed to a group outside the door of our farmhouse, “stay right where you are.”
“Can’t come right now,” I heard a voice say. “I’m packing,”
“I’ll pack you for a one-way trip home if you don’t get in here.”
“May we come in now?” the apparent leader of the group said. He was a thin man with a ludicrous goatee and close-cropped hair. He wore patched jeans and a work-shirt opened in front. A large tattoo of an eagle filled his chest. He carried a suitcase in one hand and a large grocery bag folded at the top in the other. Behind him stood a slovenly woman with a face that might, at some point long ago, been attractive. Now, both her face and bosoms sagged, and a large expanse of belly hung over the tops of cut-off jeans. Two pale, emaciated men stood with her. Each had a grocery bag, similar to the leader’s, in each hand.
“No,” I said. “You may not come in. If fact, I would advise you very strongly to depart the premises before my wife gets back.”
“But we’re paid up,” the leader said.
“C.W.” I yelled over my shoulder, “I’m not telling you again.”
I heard a rustle behind me, and Reggie the Young Conservative walked into the room. “Oh hi,” he said to the group as he straightened the collar of his shirt. “I see you found the place.”
The leader looked at me with a nervous twitch, and said to C.W., “There seems to be a problem.”
“No problem,” C.W. said, “I’ll be finished packing in a moment and the place will be yours.”
“What the godalmighty hell is going on here?” I queried.
“Fundraising for the campaigns,” C.W. said. “You know we’re all going off for the long weekend.”
“So? I thought we weren't going to publicize that.”
“There’s this place on the net,” he said, "and they rent your house for you when you don’t need it.”
I turned to him. “So, you rented our house to these people?”
“No, the place on the net did. Isn’t that neat? The money will buy a lot of Nancy Pelosis.”
“A lot of what?”
“You know, campaign brochures with her picture on them. We can’t use the ‘jigaboo’s’ picture anymore, so our folks are running against the Evil Grandmother. You do know she has a secret chamber under a Methodist church near Golden Gate Park where they force young boys to have sex-change operations and then use them for sex slaves, don’t you? It’s been all over Fox News.”
I turned to the ones standing outside the door. “There has been a mistake,” I said. “This, this, …, this creature has no authority to rent our house.”
“The website said it was okay.”
“And how did you find the website?”
“A guy in ‘county-lockup’ told us about it,” one of the young men said.
“Shut up,” the leader said, turning to the young man. I saw the woman punch him in the ribs at the same time.
“And what,” I said, “do you have in those grocery bags?”
There was an audible crunch as several hands tightened.
“Oh, just some, uh, uh, …,” he struggled. Thinking must have posed a degree of difficulty for him.
“Religious tracts,” the woman said. She brightened, “Yeah,” she said with more confidence, “we planned a weekend of religious study.” Her whole being seemed to glow with the joy of explaining. “We vote the same political party as,” she nodded toward C.W. and said, “Mr. Trunce here, that’s the religious party, so it seemed like a great match-up.”
“Religious tracts, eh.”
“Tell you what I’m going to do,” I said. “I’ll leave you with, uh,” I looked at C.W. and then back at the group, “Mr. Trunce, and I’ll call a friend of mine with the Sheriff’s Department. He can come over, and when my wife gets back, the two of them can review your religious tracts. If they approve, our house is yours for the weekend.”
I would say their faces paled, but they were so pale already that any incremental change would go undetected. I turned to C.W. “Mr. Trunce,” I said, “may I have a word?”
I took him out of sight, motioned for him to lean an ear toward me, and said, so only he could hear, “You are in a world of shit if my wife catches one sight of them. Now you go and tell them.”
He nodded and walked back toward the front door. He had only taken a few steps before he turned and said, “No need. They’re gone.”
I heard a sound from outside and went to a window. Two unknown cars had pulled up in the driveway. From one, a long-haired man with no shirt on yelled, “Parteeee time.”
The group’s leader stopped him, and an animated conversation ensued. The group piled into a decrepit van and the entire caravan sped away slinging gravel everywhere. I turned to C.W. He said, “May I borrow your Bible? I’d like to be reading it when Mrs. Big Dope gets back.”