04 August 2005

Liar, Liar, truck on fire...

There is something that quickens one’s pulse when one comes home and is greeted by the sight of a crowd of police and firemen surrounding one’s domicile.

Usually, this means one of three things.

1. There’s a “Village People” tribute-band convention in town.
2. Someone is filming a gay porn video.
3. Something went very, very wrong in my laboratory.

As it turns out, it was none of these. I was greeted by the sight of our rotund police chief climbing out of his monstrous truck. Honestly, this fellow is the reason our community is known as the “City of the Extra Chromosome”.

“Dock-tore Evil…” He sneered. We know each other professionally.

“Chief Lard.” I replied cordially. “Would you mind removing your truck from my garden?”

LAIRD!” He spittled in response. “And no, I can’t. If I park on the street, the fire trucks might hit it” He stopped to admire the expensive monstrosity. He’d had it jacked up a manly six feet, so that he could pursue miscreant deer through the dense Pennsylvanian jungle. I often wondered how he got into it; a chain hoist, perhaps?

‘Why are the fire trucks here, Chef Layered?” I asked.

“Not that it’s any of your business, but they are performing a controlled burn on the abandoned house next to yours, for training purposes.” He replied.

Well, well, well. Our fire department is brilliant; they have yet to lose a foundation, although it has been touch and go a few times .

“Cha-CHING!” I thought to myself. My house is insured for far more than it’s worth.

“After all,” Said the insurance appraiser. “Your house is unique. For example, one of the corners of your kitchen ranges from 87 to 94 degrees. The floor tilts in multiple directions. Your house has character. Replacing the structure to its’ original form would require skills that few modern contractors have.” He added as he greedily calculated his commission.

I agreed. Few carpenters these days are demented neuro-syphilitic cross-eyed spastics with no sense of perspective and serious dementia. If only some sparks were to land on my oily rag collection, the house would be a write–off and I could afford to acquire a larger extinct volcano.

I casually piled the rags next to the propane cylinder and a five gallon jug of petrol to which the cap had been lost.

Careless, Evil, bloody careless. I resolved to be more safety-conscious with the next jerry can I purchased with the insurance money.

GOTCHA!” Bellowed Laird . “That’s arson evidence, that is!”
He directed his men to remove the pile and place it in his truck for safe keeping.

“I’ve got you now!” He chortled.

Really… sometimes it’s just too easy. I killed a few minutes bringing up Miranda warnings, search and seizure rules, personal hygiene; all concepts that made his eyes glaze over with confusion. Meanwhile, the sparks drifted overhead.


MY TRUCK!” It was the piercing agonized scream of one who has just lost a loved one. Too bad about the “evidence” then.

“Damn, I hope you had it insured.” I said in a conciliatory tone.

“Yeah.” He said as his sobs subsided “With Allstate; and for a lot more than I paid for it.”

“Well, that at least is good. Tell you what, I’ll go get you a beer” I said magnanimously.

“Maybe you’re not so bad, Evil” He sniffled.

I got the beers, only pausing to call the Allstate insurance fraud line.

“Hello? Yes, this is referring to a fire damage claim that will soon be made be one Mr. John Laird. Check the vehicle purchase price and for the presence of accelerants. I also understand there is some sort of financial reward for reporting fraud…”

Sometimes you have to work to make your dreams come true, sometimes it's as easy as a phone call.

And that's the way I likes it.