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Schoepfle Snitzer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Nonsense is better than no sense at all.

Submitted: January 07, 2020

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Submitted: January 07, 2020

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All I thought it was, was an old piece of bone and a tree stump.  Some interesting debris I uncovered when I got around to cleaning up the back yard.  Halloween was coming and I wanted to create the proper atmosphere at the door.  I figured the bone and the stump would make fine looking and spooky candles.
 
Halloween happened and my candle display was quite popular.  Or maybe it was all the chocolate.  At any rate, I bought too much candy.  I glanced at the house to my right.  The soft blue glow coming through the blinds let me know my neighbor was watching TV.  In typical fashion, he had not participated in Halloween.  Bruno was not a people person.
 
Bruno was that one quirky guy every neighborhood has.  The guy who told the kids to get off his lawn.  The guy nobody invited to their block parties.  He was into things like astrology and tarot cards.  But he'd never caused me any trouble, and I liked giving him a hard time.  I rang him on the phone.
"Hey neighbor, I've got a bunch of Hershey Krackel bars, I know they are your absolute favorite."  I had no idea if he liked chocolate with crisped rice but I figured that would annoy him.
 
"I don't know man, I think I'm in for the evening."
 
"If you don't come over here, I'll come over there, and I'll make comments about your housekeeping skills."
 
There was a pause, then, "I'll be over in a minute."
 
The front door was open as Bruno's boots trod up the porch stairs.  His usual frown turned into a look of panic when he saw my homemade bone and tree stump candles.  He stopped in his tracks.  His voice got loud and high pitched when he was excited.
 
"Serge, this is very irresponsible!"  He pointed at the candles.  "You've created a Schoepfle Snitzer!"
 
I laughed.  I had no idea what that was and no interest in finding out.  Bruno lived in a different universe from mine.  His eyes never left my creations as he slowly backed down the stairs.
 
"You have no idea what you've done!"
 
He turned and ran toward his house.  He shouted over his shoulder.
 
"Call me when you realize you're in over your head.  Your mind has not been trained for this kind of power!"
 
I closed the door and chuckled.  That wasn't the first time Bruno came unglued over something I was unable to comprehend.  I decided the candy I didn't give to him was a win for me and popped down a few Krackels before settling in front of the TV.
 
Next morning, I'd forgotten about the Bruno incident.  The last Jimmy Dean breakfast croissant in the freezer reminded me it was time for a trip to the grocery store.
 
I'm the kind of person who talks to other people in public, inside my own head so I don't get in trouble.  This happens in situations like the grocery store parking lot.  I was at the back of the lot and saw an open spot near the door.  A car turned into the lane at the other end, closer to the spot than me.  "Do not park in my fucking spot" was what I said in my head.  Must have been my lucky day.  The car went straight and I pulled into the space.
 
As always, this happened:  I needed half and half for the coffee but some old lady was hogging the aisle, reading the ingredients on a carton of almond milk.  I decided to get kitty litter.  The detour should give the woman time to complete her thought process.
 
It didn't.  She was still mulling over the almond milk when I returned.  In my head, I spoke.  "Get the hell out of my way, you hag!"  She got a blank look on her face and walked off.  She left her cart behind, purse and phone in the basket.
 
"People just get stupider every day" was what I said to myself, as I placed the half and half in my cart.
 
I didn't connect the dots until the drive home.  A car passed me going the other way.  I could tell by the glow on his face, and the angle of his eyes.  The driver was focused on his phone, not on the road.
 
"That dumbass needs to get off the road" crossed my mind.  And he did.  As soon as I thought it, he swerved into the ditch on the side of the road.
By the time I'd circled around to check on him, another vehicle had stopped.  I slowed down enough to notice the blank look on the man's face.  I kept going.
 
That Bruno might actually know what he was talking about, and maybe I was in over my head with this Schoepfle Snitzer thing, caused me to panic.  I pulled into the Dollar General and parked in the last spot in the back.  I needed to get my act together.
 
"Maybe this is all a crazy set of coincidences."  After all, the notion that a random thought in my head could control another person's behavior is nuts.  The engineer in me took over.  I noticed a woman walking her dog past the store.  I devised a test.
 
"That woman needs to stop, pet her dog, and ask him, "Who's a good dog?  Who's a good dog?"
 
And she did.
 
The sense of panic increased.  I realized my top priority was getting home before I wreaked more havoc.  I popped four pieces of gum in my mouth.  Way too much.  I decided to do nothing on the drive home beyond focusing on the road and chewing gum.  I made it to the house.
 
Where I turned off the phone, powered down the computer, and pulled the window shades down.  I needed time to digest.
 
Beer helps the digestion of things, and considering the circumstances, it wasn't too early in the day.  I regulated the alcohol consumption by whipping up a batch of nachos.  Fried corn, cheese, and ground beef provided the flavor and the volume.  The tomatoes made it healthy.
 
TV Land was doing a marathon of The Andy Griffith Show.  I settled in and gave the beer time to take effect.
 
After digesting and pondering, I realized I could use the Schoepfle Snitzer to take advantage of other people.  It would be easy to make someone withdraw money from their bank and hand it to me.  Given time, I could come up with more clever, more lucrative ideas than that.
 
But I knew, sooner or later, I'd get caught.  You don't want to give other people a reason to come looking for you.
 
And I'd never be able to control my thoughts in public.  I couldn't have people walking off without their purse or driving their car into a ditch.  Not my style.
 
That left me with only one option.  I had to give the Schoepfle Snitzer to Bruno.  I picked up my phone and clicked on his name.
 
As he instructed, I put the bone and stump candles on the front porch.  When I checked 15 minutes later, they were gone.  A sense of relief washed over me.  I slumped down into the couch, exhausted.  It was dark and I was asleep when the phone woke me.  It was Bruno.
 
"Serge, step out on your front porch.  You'll never doubt the power of a Schoepfle Snitzer again!  I left you a note on the seat of your lawn mower.  Later, dude!"  He hung up.
 
As I opened the door, I felt the house start to vibrate.  The cause was apparent as I looked toward Bruno's house.  It was shaking enough to make the foundation crumble.  With a loud crunch, the house separated from its earthly bonds and began ascending.  The vibrations ceased.  I watched Bruno's house fly up into the sky. 
 
Maybe you've been in a situation like that before.  You know you've seen something, but it's so outrageous your brain gets in an argument with itself about whether it was real.  My first thought was, "I need to call 911."  I dialed the numbers, but stopped before I pushed the call button.  I felt the need to verify what I'd seen.  Saying "My neighbor's house just flew off into space" wasn't something I was prepared for.  I walked into Bruno's yard.
 
Yup.  I was definitely staring at the contents of Bruno's basement.  There was the set of snow tires he hadn't used in years.  The pieces of the motorcycle I'd helped him taken apart.  He never got around to rebuilding the engine.  I bent down and ran my hand across the jagged edge of the basement wall.  It was hot.  I made the phone call.
 
The man with a scowl on his face and a badge with his picture hanging around his neck said he was Agent Weathers.  He was the FBI man assigned to this case.  He listened patiently as I recounted the events of the past few days.  It was obvious he did not believe in such things as a Schoepfle Snitzer.
"Now keep in mind, Mr. Wlodarski, I'm not calling you a liar.  It's just that everything you've described, aside from the disappearance of your neighbor's house, could be explained as ordinary events.  People walk off from their purses and drive their cars into ditches every day."
 
Everything about the man annoyed me.  Bruno's house didn't disappear.  I knew exactly where it went.  Into outer space.  Unfortunately, none of the other neighbors noticed anything when Bruno's house launched into the atmosphere.  Agent Weathers acted like someone loaded the house on a truck and hauled it off.
 
"Alright Mr. Wlodarski, if we have any further questions, we'll be in touch.  By the way, it's your call if you want to talk to the media.  If you want my advice, I wouldn't talk to anyone."
 
I didn't want his advice, but it happened that I agreed with him.  I planned to leave the phone off and take that vacation I'd been thinking about.  It had been a long day.  I consumed the rest of the beer and passed out on the couch.
 
At 5 am, it was still dark out.  I woke up, remembering Bruno said he'd left a note in my utility shed.  When I slid open the door, I saw he'd left a box, with a note taped to the front.
 
"Serge, I'm leaving you my coin collection.  They don't use coins where I'm going.  Should be worth about 20 grand.  Thanks for the Schoepfle Snitzer.  And do yourself a favor, don't make any more."


© Copyright 2020 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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