Fred & Wilma, Day 3


7.  3rd Day

Night passed uneventfully. Sun came up and all was as well as it could be. Had a short line at the potty. I found Kathleen and asked if she had brought her camping coffee pot.  She had and soon had dug it out and we started a pot of coffee on the barbecue grill. 

Leigh and I have a difference of opinion on the strength of coffee, so since I was the one making it she lost out. Later when the sun is up a little more we can use the Mr. Coffee on the solar electric and she can have her strongass coffee, as in when I drink it I say aaaarrrrggghh that's strong!

 I looked at my watch. Wrong. I no longer have a watch. The  last selfwind one I bought crapped out over a year ago and I never replaced it. I have some pocket watches I could use but I'll have to see who has a watch so I know the time. Got to thinking, and I guess today is day 3 of this crap, whatever this is. Well, fudge.

 I found Wilma, and asked her if she thought we should go down to the high dollar store now and maybe get up close to the front of the line. She decided that was a good idea. I found some cheap lightweight chairs and threw them in my truck. Found Elfonzo and we three took off. But other people had the same idea as us so we were still like number 30 in line.

 A sheriffs deputy showed up and about that time it looked like the doors were opening up. I had remembered this morning to dig out a couple of headlamps cause it's darker than a motherinlaws heart inside the store, even with the doors open. The clerks and the sheriff started letting people in, and the line started moving slowly. As we got close to the door I started picking up a fragment of conversation the deputy was having with the people in line. So I went up closer to hear what was being said.

 He said that the sheriffs dept. had minimal communication with people at the state level, and that at the present time he knew of no plans to get the grid back up and running.  He also said that our county sheriff had met with the county supervisors and other department heads, and were apparently going to be dragging some generators around to various water districts and running some water wells for a few hours at a time. But he didn't know when our turn would be.

 Well, that was certainly good news. If we can find out when that will happen, maybe we can all get a shower and maybe wash some clothes.

 We got up to where it was our turn and I asked Wilma to go in first as I wanted to talk to the deputy, and Elfonzo went with her.  She went in and I struck up a conversation with him, he seemed like a talkative kind of guy. The main thing I wanted to find out was if he knew if any food supply trucks for the store might be coming in, because the store was starting to be like a movie star. He looked at me kind of funny and said "What do you mean, Like a movie star?"

I said "You know, Slim Pickens?"

He didn't budge one iota, not even a glimmer of a smile. I said "He was an oldtime movie star?"

His response was "Oh."

Well crap, now I feel old. But he had no idea of any resupply trucks.

 I managed to go inside without further explanation of Slim, and started in on my list. Water. Nope, nuh uh, no way. All gone. Canned vegetables. Managed to get a few cans of beans, corn, and canned potatoes. Found some dish soap, got one pack of paper plates that was left. Went down the feminine hygiene aisle, and there were 3 packs  of that left so I scooped up all three. Got some other stuff on the list. The clerk with me was adding up and she said "Thats it, you are at $101.50 now. "                                      

"Okey doke. Here is  $120.00, you keep the change, please." She smiled and said "Nice doin business with you."

Then I asked her if she knew of any resupply trucks. She said her manager had told her this morning he had zero communication with anyone and that the store would be out of stock by 8pm tonight. He thought.

Well crap, that was bad news.

 Got outside and found the miscreants at the truck. Got my stuff loaded and told them what the girl had said. As we started home, I pulled into the Sinclair gas station and minimart. Went in and the place was as empty of stuff as our current presidents head. Then I sequentially pulled into the chevron station and the valero and the national and found the same thing at all places. I mean there wasn't even a napkin left. Small wonder, there are probably 3000 to 4000 people in this little suburb, and we are all competing for the same miniscule supply of stuff.

 I thought about things for a minute, then I backtracked a little way and pulled into the little shopping center where the cafe is, and parked in front of the propane office. Got out and knocked on the door, and a guy came and opened up. I asked if they were still doing propane deliveries, and he said they had very little propane left in the trucks. I asked him if they had enough to pump 100 gallons into my tank. He yelled something to the back and the owner came out. I talked to him about that and he said "Yes, but the price is now at $10 per gallon, and if you argue about it no sale." So I closed my mouth as I was about to argue about it.

I debated with myself if this was a good idea or not, and my need for propane won out. I made the arrangements with the guy, and he said cash money up front. I said that's fine, I have the cash in $100 bills. He accepted that. So I asked him when, he said 30 minutes. We loaded up and left.

 When we got home I hurriedly ran inside and started asking people to go move their cars onto the lawn to make room for the propane truck. The guys had just got that done when here comes the truck. I ask Kathleen, Leigh, Elfonzo and Wallace to stand outside and guard the truck.  And I asked James and Marie to watch the back. Then got all the gates opened up and stuff moved out of the way. By that time he was ready to unroll the propane hose. He said "Got the cash?" And I gave him an envelope with ten $100 bills and he smiled and said "Let's do it."

The 100 gallons topped off the tank to about 80%, and I was happy. Now I just gotta figure a way to get it from the tank to the barbecue grills. I think I have enough fittings to do that very thing. But that comes later.

 Kathleen came up to me and suggested I shut off the pilot to the hot water tank. I smiled at her and said "Thats why you are my daughter, you're always thinkin! No reason to waste the propane on the pilot."

 After the propane guys left we discussed the car situation and decided to leave them on the lawn for now. About that time I heard a noise and I looked around and Renee had a walkie talkie talking to Omry asking her to tell gammy the propane truck was gone. You should have seen the look on my face. I had completely forgotten about the damn radios.

 So I asked if she had found the charger too. "Yep" she said, "but it would be nice if we had more radios."

"More radios?  How many you got?" "Two." "Well, crapanitley, I got two more. Lets go get em."                              

 As we went into the house my stomach started rumbling. Wilma giggled when she heard that and said Leigh was out back cooking some lunch on the grill. I smiled and wiggled my eyebrows at Wilma. She smiled back.

 Renee and I dug the other 2 radios and charger out of my desk, found the 2 still had most of their charge left. I asked her to give them out to somebody. Then she took a good look at my desk area, and spotted the two battery chargers and the small solar panel I had sitting there. She said "Does this work?" And I said "Does a chicken have lips?" And she said "NO!" Well crap, I thought they did.

 "Yes these work. But I think all of my AA rechargeable batteries are charged." She said, "Mom and I have some we would like to charge." So I showed her how to set them up and she started charging batteries. She asked how long it would take and I said "Probably all day. It isn't a rapid setup. If you want faster, lets plug in my normal battery charger to the solar inverter, that charges pretty quick." So thats what we did, but we left some on the solar charge panel also. I showed her another solar battery charger I had hidden behind some stuff and she looked at me and said "Why do you have this kind of stuff?" And I said "Look around you. This is why." She nodded her head, gave me a hug, and went into the front room with gammy.


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