I am supposed to report that Homer was burned up in the recent wildfires, but I can’t bring myself to do it; no, not because I’m overwhelmed with grief, but because it isn’t true.
Supposedly, according to Homer’s spouse and his fellows in the paintball games I reported on last week, that idle pastime that they were engaged in, well, according to them, Homer went into a steep little canyon in order to cross onto the next ridge over, and before he got to the top on the other side, a wildfire swept up the canyon on a strong wind, and spread over the entire series of woodland foothills. And although his remains have not been recovered, he is presumed to have been consumed by the fire.
Under the circumstances, however, I feel I should divulge a few comments Homer shared with me, incidentally, in passing, over sandwiches we ate sitting on our overturned buckets, the way coworkers often do, about his domestic relationship. His wife, he thought, somewhat vehemently, was cheating on him, and it was his belief that she would be impatient to remarry if she thought he was dead, so he wanted to make an official report as to his demise, if any opportunity to fake his death should come his way. Then when the new couple was all nice and cozy, he’d spring the trap; he’d turn up alive and well, exulting vaingloriously in his own *inimitable way, that “at last, aha!, infideltious slut, I at long last have grounds for divorce – thereby taking half of everything the rich old bird had. Haha!”
*I’m paraphrasing from memory, of course, not verbatim.
Alas, I couldn’t bring myself to be a party to such a mean fraud, so I have to say I don’t think Homer is dead at all. I think he’s skulking around some evacuee camp, acting under an alias, and keeping his radar tuned to developments at home, biding his time.
I, too have activated my various listening posts, anticipating either him contacting me, or, heaven forbid, some forensic anthropologist from Chico State finds his ashes. So far, though bodies have been found in the area he supposedly went into that day, his hasn’t been one of them.
I wish I had more to report. But, like so many things that have happened this year, it’s a baffling situation, at best, and only immature, impetuous pups rush to any conclusions. In short, we can only bide our time until Biden gets elected and, like Superman, comes out of that stuffed shirt of his and sorts all this mess out. Meanwhile, be safe, Homer, keep that mask on so someone doesn’t spot you on the street and cancel your missing person status before the time is ripe – for your wife’s…what? Surprise? More like the shock of her life.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: A Surprise Arrives…
Here’s what I found in Homer’s pack, when he (or someone else) left it on my doorstep last night:
“Archimedes,” I mused to myself as I went through the contents of Homer’s rucksack, “would glow with approval at the sight of this elegant little block-&-tackle, these safety belts and swivel hooks with spring-loaded thumb snaps. Even aloof old Euclid would crack a smile in his marble visage to see how artfully you’ve employed his principles of geometry.
Exhibit 1. (aforementioned) Block-&-Tackle
Exhibit 2. Rain-Fly/Ground Cloth
Exhibit 3. First-Aid Kit
Ex. 4. Pocket Knife
Ex. 5. Plain Brown Wallet w/ Modest Amount of US Currency
Ex. 6. Flashlight
Ex. 7. Bic Lighter
Ex. 8. Underwear and Socks
Ex. 9. Toothbrush and Comb
Ex. 10. Certified Copy of Homer’s Marriage License
I am not by nature a paranoid old conspiracy-theory monger, but even my reserved judgment, even temper, quiet nature, subtle doubts and demure personality – I say, even w/ all that caution I can’t help being, well – not suspicious, certainly – but, I think, a bit curious about what Homer might have been contemplating when he ventured into that canyon… .
Meanwhile, back at the proverbial “ranch”—we’ll keep the idle reader posted as soon as the developments have been vetted and scoured for any inadvertent inconsistencies or credible falsities...