A pal of ours recently acquired a new refrigerator. Not just any refrigerator. A back-to-basics 1950s era fridge that is smaller than today’s ‘big-bigger-monstrous’ sized appliances that need special spaces in the kitchen created for them. Today’s models even come with apps that will tell you what’s on the shelves inside while you are standing in the store. (Now I ask you, doesn’t anybody know what lists are for?) But, I digress. Cynthia St-Pierre, a multi-talented mystery writer from Canada, tells me that the fridge needs to be defrosted once a month. Yup. I told you it was a back-to-basics variety. She sent us a photo of it – nice creamy hue that blends effectively with her color scheme and the retro look that she has been working toward in her home.
On the silly side, I started seeing the fridge everywhere. We watch a lot of British mysteries on TV and suddenly, it was in every kitchen in every show that is set in the late 1940s thru the 1950s. The refrigerators have most likely been in the scenes all along, but now there was a background detail that had jumped into the foreground for us.
It got me thinking. Quite a few TV shows featuring characters that need to store a body until they can get rid of it, have freezers in the cellar. More than one show has featured refrigerators or freezers in the storyline – sometimes in room sized freezers – remember Castle & Beckett turning into popsicles before our eyes? They made it out alive, but not all unfortunate souls do. If the show is directed by a horror buff, then the discovery is all the more startling or even gruesome. We may even have show overspill – imagine opening your refrigerator (especially your freezer) after watching one of these masterpieces? I might be tempted to eat only fresh food for a while.
The concept of hiding bodies in cold household places goes all the way back to the “Green Lantern,” in episode #54, and to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” in the episode titled, “Lamb to the Slaughter.” I watched that one during a Hitchcock retrospective. Ewwwww!
It is only fair to note that not all retro freezers or refrigerators come with bodies included. Some current shows set in the 50s feature the retro fridge, but so far, no bodies have been found in them. The “Doctor Blake Mysteries” (from Australia) and the “Father Brown Mysteries” (from England) have plenty of bodies to be tripped over, but none have been found refrigerated. So far.
Just in case you don’t think this happens in real life, think again. In December, 2015, the fully clothed body of a woman was found in a refrigerator in a California garage being cleaned out after tenants had moved. The body was left inside the fridge and wheeled off by handcart to the coroner’s office.
Just last month (June, 2016) a woman found a body in a freezer that she had purchased in a yard sale in North Carolina. She was asked not to open it for a while because of a Sunday School project contained in it. The preliminary thinking about the seller is that the deceased was a relative and that she didn’t know what to do when the person died.
Keeping lots of chops and roasts in your cellar freezer? Hmmmm…
Ever notice that it is the size of a coffin?
Make sure that only a trusted few have access to it. If you happen to observe on a dark and stormy night that all the shelves have been removed and are leaning against the outside, you might need a witness standing next to you when you open the door.
Just to reassure you: no bodies were discovered during the writing of this post. Honestly.
Kelvinator photo: Cynthia St-Pierre
Freezer and the aqua refrigerator: internet photos
The cousins love antiques. Sheila’s Mom loved antiques and sold them after she retired from her teaching career. Sheila’s aunt loved antiques and had a thriving business that also included creating beautifully painted accessories for the antique furniture. Get the picture? It’s the unofficial family biz, although not under one umbrella.
We’ve acquired a few older pieces over the years as well; some were gifts, some were inherited, and some were garage sale/antique show finds. This past weekend, the yearly Antique Fair was held in a local community, the weather was gorgeous, and it was a great day to search through the vendor piles and stalls for the perfect bookcase. We have a LOT of books that need shelving and needed a unit that had a solid wooden back to it.
The Fair had everything from old furniture and glassware to handcrafted birdhouses and quilts for sale.
Little did I know that we would also find lots of places in which to hide/find bodies and/or methods with which to dispatch them. Lol
Ever watch a TV show or movie where poison or drugs were added to a drink? We found this ‘poison’ ring for $5. Soooo easy to open and dispense the deadly dose. 😉
Need a quilt to wrap the body in?
Need a place to put the body while waiting for the ‘package pickup’ company to arrive?
As far as we know, there were no murders committed while we were there, but there were quite a few large barrels and chests already packed by late afternoon.
Shovels anyone? 😉
*Photos: taken by Patti Phillips
I was taking the recycles out to the bin and my leg went through one of the planks in the deck. Nothing was damaged except the plank. Well, maybe a scrape on my shin, but not much else. This was the second plank I had gone through – and replaced – in a week, so it was time to get the whole deck redone.
Normally I would replace the thing myself, but my doc said no heavy lifting while I was finishing up the rehab. So I got my former construction partner on the line and gave him the job. He owed me a favor so we agreed on parts + a percentage for labor. Basically I paid for the lumber and the salary for his helper for the day. He would not agree to my paying him for his own labor, but I twisted his arm with the promise of having his family over for a couple of barbecues once the deck was finished.
Sheila and I have had a snake problem under the deck ever since we built the raised garden beds surrounding it. We inadvertently blocked off any runoff and the critters soon had their own swampy little place to live, full of food, shelter and water. They’ve been happy, but us? Not so much.
Since Todd was pulling out all the boards, it was the perfect time to level the ground below, then dig a small drainage trench about three inches wide at the edge so that the accidental pond could empty. After the water ran off, the sun dried out the exposed dirt and for the first time in a couple of years, the frogs/toads were off to greener, damper grassland.
The next step was to put a layer of small stones on top of the leveled dirt. That definitely changed the animal habitat. Without the artificial pond, and no food source that we could see, we hoped that the snakes would be gone as well. Foolishly, we didn’t have all the facts, but that’s for another story.
As I watched Todd and his helper work, I got to thinking that the mini pond wasn’t deep enough to hide a body. The unbelievably rank smell of a corpse rotting in the summer would have been a dead giveaway if I had one lying around, but now there was gravel… and digging….
If I was inclined to do this deck myself, nobody could see me in back of the house and passersby would think nothing of shovels and lumber and gravel and even cement coming in and out of the yard. And Bingo! Hiding place for the body. Who would notice a bag or two of quicklime? The neighbors would be none the wiser.
Hmmm…come to think of it….Milly’s husband has been away on a business trip for a really long time and they have a new patio and a new deck and new, high, lush landscaping around it all. Just kidding. Maybe.
If you think nobody would really do that, take a look at these recent stories in the news.
In April, 2014:
and, in May, 2015:
As for us? We’re both healthy and enjoying the new deck. 🙂
*Photos by Patti Phillips