Clown Show

Clown Show
Vern's Stories fredhorn37@gmail.com

Fred & Wilma, Day 3 Still

 8.

After all that, I didn't know what to do. So I asked everyone to gather round. We talked for a few minutes. Kathleen asked how it went at the store. That's when I remembered what the deputy said. I told them about the water wells might be run for a bit, but we didn't know when. I said I didn't know if we had any more containers to put more water in, but when the wells ran we could at least shower. We could turn the water heater back on and heat up some water for a bit.

 Then Leigh said "What about all the buckets you have?"

"Buckets?"

"Yes, the ones you have food in?"

Well shoot, I had forgotten about those. Seems like a lot of forgettin goin on today. I asked her if she and the girls could dig those out and find someplace to store all the supplies that are in them.  Then clean the buckets and get prepared to fill them with water.

While they were doing that I took Autumn with me and we went to my shed and started digging thru stuff until I found all of my chlorine powder.

 Since I had retired, I no longer had access to my chlorine test kit to measure with. So, when we filled the buckets with water I would have to guess at the weight of the powder and then calculate how much chlorine would be in the water. Good thing we had all the charcoal filters I bought to remove the chlorine before we drank the water.

 Speaking of that, I don't remember who I asked to dig out those filters.

 The sun is still high in the sky and I am guessing it is about 12:30 pm. Wish I had a watch.

 Water filters. I start rummaging around in the shed, and Wallace walks up and starts helping. We move the two rollaround shelves outside. Then I start pointing out to Wallace my different filter setups, and we start hauling those outside.

 I ask Wallace if we should grab some more of the guys so everyone can learn how the filters work. So we grab most of everyone and I start in showing how the different filters work. I have two that are ceramic filters. I recommend if the water has not been chlorinated to chlorinate the water then filter it. First thru the pleated plain filter, then thru the charcoal filters I have setup. Charcoal filters will remove odor, objectionable taste, and chlorine.  Then filter thru the ceramic filters.  The ceramic filters are supposed to remove a lot of the crap in water, but better chlorinate first just to be sure.  Not sure how fast it will all filter, so until we learn that I ask for two people at a time to be on filter duty. So we will need 4 or maybe 5 empty buckets at all times to put filtered water in. Or if we keep the plastic bottles from the cases of water we can use those also.

 With that accomplished, I ask the guys, what next? Cause I don't know what we need to do. Renee speaks up and says we need more info. She has been monitoring some of the radios and still nothing. Elfonzo speaks up and says "Why don't we try to find the deputy if he is still at the store and see if he has any info?"

Works for me. Volunteers? Elfonzo and Leigh will drive to the store and see if they can find him.

 It is still daylight out. Elfonzo and Leigh drive down ave. 12 towards the store, and nobody is out and about. Cold as hell outside, at least for our area, that must be why. Heck 50 degrees and we start whining. They get down by the store, and no one is around. They get out and look at the store and there is nothing left inside, no employees, no food, nothing.  None of the stores in that little shopping mall appear to have anything left.

 Leigh looks  at Elfonzo and says "Didn't there used to be a hardware store behind this store?"

"I don't know, lets go look."

 They drive to the back and that is where a sheriff's substation should be, but there are no cars there. Where they all at? Now what?

 They get back out on ave. 12 and see flashing lights off east. They head that way, and see  a chp car sitting down by the substation, so they pull up to talk to the guy. He doesn't have any info other than he hopes his relief arrives soon, he has been here 16 hours already.  Elfonzo: "Any of the guys from the development been out and about?"

"Just a few here and there. Nobody's come over here."

"Has your radio started working yet?"

"Nope, no radio, no police radio either."

"Alright, thanks anyway, we're gonna get home."

"Hey, just a word of advice. If you get seen driving around, you might get stopped and asked where you're getting the gas for your car. They might even siphon out what you have in your vehicle and leave you stranded. So take care."

 "That wouldn't be good," thought Leigh.

They decided to take a side road and go the long way home to see if they could see anything going on. About 4 miles later they pull into the driveway with no information. Well, no news can be good news sometimes.

 Meanwhile me and the girls are working on the inventory and rearranging some of the supplies. We aren't in too bad shape so far. If the lights come back on soon we will be good. Wishful thinking I know.

 While inventorying supplies we come across the reusable feminine hygiene products I purchased last year. We also came across the two camping solar showers I bought. I ask the girls if they would like a shower. A chorus of "Yes!!" came from them.  So I go see Wilma and talk to her about showers and if we should use the water.

"Yes, we should. If the county actually gets a well running we can replace what we use. But in any event, if we don't monitor our hygiene we could become sick. So yes, lets get it set up."

 Back to the shed I go and dig out the small plastic hand pump I got for the barrels. I grab some screwdrivers and the pump and head out back to the barrels. The barrels are placed near the fence in my orchard area. The fence separates that from my neighbors driveway.

 I use the screwdrivers to remove the bung from the barrel. What you do is, place the screwdrivers into the bung in an X formation, and then twist to the left, unscrewing the bung. I did that for thirty years, beats having to buy a new bung wrench every time I gave one to a customer.

 The plastic pump threads right into the bung hole, and then you pump it up and down and it will pump. Then you can stop pumping and it will siphon into your container.

 The solar shower bags are black, and if you hang them in the sun they will absorb heat, making your shower more pleasurable. Now where to hang them. Don't really have a place to do that, so I go into the garage and get one of the plastic folding tables, and just lay the full bags on that. A couple of hours of sun should do the trick.

 Now I get to show the guys how to take a shower the Navy way. Heh, they gonna like that. Rinse off with the least amount of water possible. Soap up. Rinse off with the least amount of water possible. Heh. Fun times. But with only ten gallons of water available until the wells run again, thats what we gotta do.

 Lets see, what time is it? The sun is starting to get low in the sky. While I'm out back I check the  solar system. Up to 13.2 volts on both systems, so we good there. Dang, I wish I had a watch. Then I remembered the digital alarm clock in my bedroom. So I go get that and plug it into the solar electric outlet I have by my desk, and Wilma is standing there watching me. So I ask her to make a guess what time it is. She says 5:30 and I would have guessed about 5pm. So I set the clock for 5:30pm. Now we got the time. Alright.

 James: "Hey Pa, I was wondering if maybe we should have someone outside tonight to kindof keep an eye on things when it gets dark? And another thing, I'm worried about Tyler."

Tyler is James brother. He is in the army and stationed in Anchorage, Alaska.

"Me too James. Me too. All we can do about that right now is hope and pray he makes it thru this mess okay. We just gotta think that's the way it's gonna be."

"Well crap. I was hoping we didn't have to watch things that close. You think we need to?"

"Heck, I don't know. Just a thought."

"How about if we round up the guys and ask them? If we decide to do that, then we can figure out who and when?"

So we had a brief family meeting discussing that and what all we did today. Between James and his momma they came up with a watch rotation.

 We decided to start at midnight, figuring most people would wait until then to start any mischief. I was up first, fine with me. Couple of hours, then bedtime.  I decided to spend most of my time out by the water barrels, figuring that was where trouble would start if it came. Fortunately, all was quiet all night long.

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