The Mystery Fridge

Back in August of 2012, when I was downsizing to move from a 4BR home to a 1BR apartment, I had a dilemma of how to get rid of 40 years worth of “stuff.” The thing is, I like my stuff. All of it. But I had to be ruthless. I decided to have an auction to sell off all I could part with.

It was a good solution but it was a lot of work. And my kids (particularly Ellyn) had to help a lot. But I figured it was better to downsize at that point rather than leave it all for them to deal with later. And they agreed.

I told the kids to take whatever they wanted from the house but they didn’t want much. Especially since they knew I was using the proceeds to finance my 3 month trip to Italy.

So auction day rolled around and a couple things happened. One, my neighbors across the street were going to be out of town and they didn’t really want that to be public knowledge since I would be having a few hundred people gather in my front yard that day. They asked my daughter Ellyn to park in their driveway so it would look like someone was there. She did.

Second, Brad caught sight of a mini-fridge I had for sale and said, “gee, I wish I had taken that for my garage workshop!”

“Take it,” I exclaimed. “But hide it so it doesn’t get sold when you’re not looking!”

He picked it up and ran it across the street, putting it out of sight in front of Ellyn’s van in the neighbor’s drive.

The auction went on all day and I did well. And it was very strange to feel “cleaned out.” But afterwards the boys hung around and their best friend Javan stopped by with a sack of Wendy’s hamburgers and a bottle of scotch. We were ready for that!

Ellyn decided to leave and reminded Brad to get that fridge out of the neighbor’s drive before he went home. He agreed.

So now we’re sitting in the twilight – I had sold all the lamps so we only had the glow of the kitchen light spilling into the living room – drinking scotch and discussing the day’s events. What a crazy day it was!

Then, all of a sudden, the neighbor’s kids, Amy and her husband Rob, pulled into the drive across the street. Blast!!!

“Brad,” I yelled, “you didn’t get that fridge and now Amy’s over there!”

Meanwhile, Amy and hubby just sat in the car with the headlights shining on the fridge. It had to be a strange sight because first of all, Amy knew nothing of the auction. So after a short time she and Rob got out, looked it over and went around back into the house.

At our location, Brad was in the john. I was horrified. But I was much too tired to run out the front door and do anything about it. Soon, Brad burst into the living room on a dead run to go get the fridge. But as he passed his twin brother on the couch, Bill said in a low voice… “Hey, Brad… don’t take it away… just move it.”

Then that twin thing happened. In a micro-second, Brad looked at Bill and said, “OK.”

With that, Brad dashed across the street, picked up the fridge and set it back down in front of the driver’s door of Rob’s car. Just as quickly he came back across and disappeared into my house.

We were all stunned and thrilled with this development and watched to see what would happen.

mystert fridge 1

Pretty soon, Rob and Amy came back out. As they were walking toward the car they noticed the fridge in front of the driver’s door. They stopped abruptly. They looked at the fridge in amazement. Then they looked at each other and back at the fridge. I think they repeated this a couple times… but I’m not sure because we broke out in the most hysterical laughter you’ve ever heard in your life.

Can you imagine what they were thinking? And we were sitting there watching from across the street? I honestly could not contain myself.

After a minute or so, Rob and Amy turned around and went back in the house.

“They’re calling the police!” shouted Javan.

“No they’re not,” I said. “What would they say? That someone’s messing with a mini-fridge in their front yard?”

At that, son Bill declared, “I’m moving it again.”

I screamed in delight and Javan yelled “you’ll get caught!”

“No I won’t,” cried Bill and off he went. He darted across the street like a gazelle and moved the fridge to the middle of the front yard. In a flash he was back and Brad turned off the kitchen light so we were sitting in the dark. Again we waited but I was snickering the whole time.

Before you knew it, Rob and Amy were walking back out to leave. And when they saw that fridge in the middle of the front yard they literally stopped dead in their tracks. They stared. They were frozen to the spot. They stared some more.

Son Bill, who was officially toasted, said “they stopped dead in their tracks!” And he repeated that phrase with different inflections at least a dozen times. And each time I was struck funny again and laughed so hard I thought I would bust. Because you must remember, we were exhausted, and tipsy and slap happy to beat the band.

As we watched, Rob and Amy ventured tentatively into the front yard. Rob seemed to be looking for “tracks” of some sort while Amy reached out her hand to touch the fridge and tip-toed around it. I could barely sit up to watch as I was permanently doubled over at this point.

Suddenly Rob and Amy made a beeline for their car and we knew they were going to leave.

At that point we all burst out onto the front porch. Bill and Brad ran across the street to fill them in while Javan and I were literally draped over the porch railing like screaming hyenas. I think I could have died from laughing and if I had – I would have been happy!

mystery fridge 2

In the end, Rob and Amy didn’t think it was near as funny as we did. “ha ha,” they commented. And of course that made it all the funnier to me. I can only hope I see something that funny again in my life.

So what could have been a very sad day – parting with 40 years of belongings – ended on a very high note. And my boys (and Javan) made the day as they often do. What a blessing! I’ll never forget it.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Becky
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 07:46:37

    Hilarious story Starr!


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