by Mystic Madam Misty Murky Merkel
Associate Psychic News Director
Humor News Nuts Publications
Well, spring has come to Northern Michigan and I can again hear the pitter-patter of little wings flying in and out of my spare bedroom. The racket in my little bedroom indicates to me that the many thousands of bats that I share my trailer with me each winter have awakened from their hibernation and are now out snatching up flies and other bugs as they hatch out in my neighborhood.
Of course, many people would be disturbed if they shared their home with a bunch of guano dumping flying rodents but, I am kind of proud of my roomers. I certainly like them better than previous roomers I have had staying in my little extra bedroom. And, although the bats pay no rent they are still less expensive and far easier to live with than most of my former tenants turned out to be.
For instance, there was this woman called MS Wong. She certainly was a nice enough lady and paid most of her rent most of the time but, she always lifted the toilet seat up whenever she left the bathroom. I asked her why she did this and she told me that she grew up in a family with five brothers and they never lifted the toilet seat so, the seat was always wet when she went to sit down. So, after a while she got in the habit of lifting the seat up on her brother's behalf so, she wouldn’t get a surprise when she was in a hurry.
Now, although MS Wong's story was cute and sweet still, poor Madam Misty had more than a couple of surprises when she had to make a midnight trip to the potty. Naturally, Ms. Wong did not get her rental agreement renewed.
Then, there was the red-haired lady named Mrs. Shapley. She was a nice enough lady as well except, she had a little dog name Snickers. Of course by little dog I am being facetious since Snickers was actually a very large Doberman and he liked to attack and bite Madam Misty. I really like Mrs. Shapley and Snickers was a good dog except for the biting thing but, after Madam Misty's third trip to the emergency room and corresponding third blood transfusion, it was clear that Snickers and his owner were not a good fit for me personally.
My final human tenant in the little bedroom was Mr. Beekman. Now, Mr. Beekman was a very elderly gentleman and a retired merchant mariner. I rented the room to him because I thought he could afford the $9.99 a week rent. I figured that he had to be pulling in at least $400 a month in Social Security money. Well, sure enough Mr. Beekman paid his rent every week with a $10.00 bill and told me to keep the difference. What's more, not only did Mr. Beekman not have any pets but, he had the courtesy of never lifting the toilet set up. Of course, I would have preferred he did lift the seat up when he used the bathroom and then put it down again but, getting just a little bit wet in the middle of the night versus getting an unexpected dunking was certainly an improvement. It seemed that in Mr. Beekman I had finally found a tenant I could live with.
For several weeks all was going well with my living arrangements with Mr. Beekman then suddenly, after the first two months he started falling behind on his rent until he soon owed me rent for about 15 weeks. Now, at about the same time as Mr. Beekman became seriously in arrears on his rent hunting season was about to start and Mr. Beekman got out his shotgun and started target practicing outside of the trailer. The noise of the gunfire was a bit disturbing but, he always quit about midnight each evening and went into his bedroom to go to bed and smoke cigarettes until he fell asleep. But one night, at about three in the morning, I woke up to the sound of gunfire. It only took me a second to realize that the gunfire was coming from Mr. Beckman’s room. I went to his door and called "Mr. Beekman, are you alright?"
Mr. Beekman did not answer at first except to fire several more rounds. Then finally, Mr. Beekman yelled "Fire! The place is on fire Madam Misty."
I immediately remembered that I had a fire extinguisher down by the woodstove so I ran down and got it then, ran back to Mr. Beckman’s room and shoved open the door just in time to see Mr. Beekman exiting the room through a hole he had blown in the side of the trailer. I looked around for the room and spotted a fire burning in the wastebasket next to Mr. Beckman’s bed. I quickly put out the fire with the fire extinguisher while Mr. Beekman breathed a sigh of relief after escaping the burning trailer with his life and his shotgun.
"Are you o.k.?" I asked the old mariner as he gasped to catch his breath.
"I'm fine Madam Misty," he replied. "I'm just lucky I had my shotgun with me so I could blow a hole in the wall and escape with my life."
"You know I think you probably could have gotten out faster just by leaving your room and exiting the trailer through the front door," I pointed out.
"Yeah but, I've face down death before on the high seas and I survived by acting first before thinking. You see back during the Vietnam War, wow, am I glad I opted out of that one; I was once on a ship that caught fire out in Lake Huron. I was a cook in the galley when I accidentally dropped one of my cigarettes into a vat of grease. The grease started to smoke so, fearing an explosion and fire I abandoned ship."
"That's horrible," I said, "so what happened?"
"Well, noting happened to the ship. It seems the grease never actually caught fire and no one else jumped off the boat. No one even realized I was overboard until someone observed that no one had cooked any food for super. I was left alone on Lake Huron to drift with just my pack of cigarettes to keep me afloat. Finally, I drifted to shore but, the shore was located in Canada."
"You poor man," I said sympathetically.
"Yes," he said," I was stranded there in Canada until I could escape 15 years later. I don't know how I survived. Their culture was alien to me. I couldn't digest their food and I didn’t speak a word of their language. After a few hours of being in Canada I had given up on living then, a group of Native Americans found me and took me into their tribe. They taught me how to live in that terrible place so very far from my home. Finally, I made it back into Michigan."
"But, how did you get past the guards at the border. Without proper papers I'm sure they would never let you back in."
"Well Madam Misty, I used the oldest trick in the book. I simply walked across the border backwards and the border patrol thought I was leaving."
"Clever," I said admiring Mr. Beekman’s ingenuity.
"Well, I guess I'm going to have to be moving on from here Madam Misty," Mr. Beekman said in a sullen tone. "If you'd just hand me my suitcase, it's already packed and, I'll be on my way."
"You could keep staying here Mr. Beekman," I said, "I'm sure my insurance company will repair this wall right away.'
"No, I think I should be moving on now," Mr. Beekman said shaking his head no," I won't of course have to pay you the $9.99 rent or any of the back rent I own you since, it was your trailer that caught on fire and I feel very distraught after barely escaping the inferno. And, you know how litigation over rent and violations of safety code could drag on for years and no one knows for sure how it will turn out so, I think it best we settle it right now by calling us even, don't you Madam Misty?"
Of course Mr. Beekman," I said, “so, good luck to you and stop back again any time,"
And with that Mr. Beekman walked off into the early morning fog and I have never seen him again.
As for the insurance to fix the hole in my trailer; the insurance company sent out an adjuster and he nailed a green tarp over the hole. Two weeks later the insurance company sent me a letter denying my claim and billing me $5.00 for the tarp and another $35 dollars for the labor the insurance adjuster used to nail the tarp up over the hole.
Well, it's been four years since Mr. Beekman moved out and since then the tarp has long been ripped away by the wind leaving my extra bedroom open to the elements. The bats moved in about three years ago and I haven't had any problem with them at all. I keep the door on the bedroom shut so the bats can't go near my bathroom and monkey with my toilet seat. They also don't have any chance to bite me or make nearly as much noise as a shotgun. They don't keep their rent up but, most people don't do that either. So, overall, the bats are still the best tenants I've ever had.
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