Kerrian’s Notebook, p. 147 “Is that a body in the dumpster?”


PMustangDr copy

Last summer, Bridget’s Mustang would not start, just as she tried to leave for the trip back to Texas. We called our trusty road travel service, but there was a problem with the tow truck people they sent out.

Read “How many tow trucks does it take?


After a full day of waiting, making phone calls and finally, giving up hope of Bridget getting on the road anytime soon, the car was delivered to the repair shop after hours. Sadly, the story didn’t end there.


A fuel pump was replaced at the repair shop before they gave up and delivered the car to the dealer down the road. The new fuel pump didn’t help get the car started, but I had to pay for it anyway. The dealer discovered that it was a battery that had been the issue. They were doubtful about the need for the fuel pump, but hey – Bridget had a new one.

Read “How many mechanics does it take?


Apparently, that was the week that never ended its gift giving.


Bridget called last night and said that the Mustang had been sputtering a bit, so she suspected coils needed to be replaced and they did. But that’s not all her mechanic discovered.


The fuel pump from last year? Proved to be an after market bust and it needs replacing. Yup. After only 5,000 miles and less than a year.


This is my kid sister and I let her down by suggesting she take her prized car to be fixed at our local shop. Sheila and I feel so bad about it and the more I think about it, the madder I get.


There will be bodies. Several of them.


And I know just where to hide them. There is a big tire pile next to the woods out in back of the repair shop, along with a very large dumpster. My buddies and I will find a way.



Just kidding. Maybe. There will definitely be some loud talking.


By the way, I did some research and could not find a single case of a mechanic ‘disappearing’ after doing a lousy job. Looks like lots of people choose ‘loud talking’ over body dumping. That’s probably a good thing. Otherwise, who would we get to fix our cars?


*Photos by Patti Phillips




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Kerrian’s Notebook, p.124 “Is there more crime on Halloween?”


Halloween Pumpkin


Worried about your personal safety on Halloween? Afraid to leave your house unguarded, because of potential break-ins while you’re at the party across town? Think crime spikes on Halloween?


Seriously? That may depend on where you live, what day of the week Halloween occurs and whether or not it’s cold that night. Apparently, criminals don’t like to go out on cold and rainy nights any more than we do.


A Columbus, Ohio, TV program – Crime Tracker10 – looked into safety on Halloween in 2013, wondering if there were more break-ins while people were out trick-or-treating. And they found nothing remarkable at all, just some underage drinking, and occasional theft. They had to look back at statistics from several years ago to find anything as serious as disorderly conduct on the books. They did find that the area police departments traditionally put on extra patrol officers that night. A visible cop presence may be enough to keep the unfriendlies at home for the night.




Boston area residents don’t seem to have the same experience. The numbers on this chart published by the Boston Globe shows violent crime rates in the city during a four-year period. “The evening violent crime count on October 31 is about 50 percent higher than on any other date during the year, and twice the daily average.” Pretty grim. I would stay home or drive my kids to a party, walk them to the door, and not do any neighborhood trick-or-treating.



A website devoted to information about forensics colleges found that certain areas of the country focus on prevention of specific Halloween crimes:


  • Orlando, Florida – on the alert for adults wearing masks
  • Georgetown, Washington, DC – watching for burglars
  • South L.A. – watching out for children running from between parked cars
  • Lompoc Valley, CA – flamingo flocking (those plastic lawn flamingoes are used as a way to refocus Halloween energy. You can pay to have a bunch of flamingoes put on lawns or pay ‘insurance’ to keep from getting ‘flocked.’ (It’s a fundraiser for the PAL)
  • San Luis Obispo – increases the staff for the night and doubles the fine for certain offenses






Halloween is celebrated all over the world, and in 2013, a reporter in the UK looked into Halloween crime in the USA. He found some pretty nasty cases, but I’ll only chat about two. You can read about the rest by clicking on the link.


1) A nine-year-old girl dressed in a black costume, complete with black hat and white tassel, was accidentally shot by a relative who thought she was a skunk. She was outside her house in Pennsylvania when he fired a shotgun, hitting her in the shoulder, arm, back and neck.

I don’t know about you, but all the nine-year-olds I ever met were at least four times the size of the biggest skunk I’ve ever seen. The report did not mention whether alcohol was involved.


2) When people in Delaware saw a body hanging from a tree in 2005, they assumed it was a Halloween decoration. Nope. By the time anyone realized that it was actually a dead woman, she had been there for three hours.

By Anthony Bond: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/halloween-2013-eight-real-life-2657825

I doubt that I will be able to pass an outdoor Halloween display again, without checking to see that the scarecrows really are made of straw.


Stay safe everyone and have a Happy Halloween!





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Kerrian’s Notebook, p.121 “Is that a body behind the bookcase?”


I don’t often get rattled by stuff going on in the house. Sheila and I share the upkeep duties and over the years, we’ve settled into a routine about our likes and dislikes with the household chores. I take care of the cars and painting and she chooses the new furniture and carpeting when something needs replacing.  We take turns on the things that annoy us both – like cleaning the garbage cans. I’d rather just buy a new one when the outside can starts to stink like a dead body, but I know that’s the coward’s way out.


But, this week? I am not happy. My office needs a facelift and I’ve been putting it off for longer than I care to admit. Sheila chose the new carpet and it’s going to look great with the furniture in here. Thing is…I’m the one who does the painting, and I just don’t want to.


The plan always is: paint the walls before laying the carpet. That means I have to empty the space before painting. Take down the travel photos, move the bookcase and other furniture, box up the books and supplies, put away the computer, take apart the electronics, lay down the newspapers. The painting part is fine – it’s the getting-ready-to-paint part I hate. After all, there might be a body behind the bookcase.


Maybe the 8 year old paint really will be okay for another few months.


Maybe the 15 year old rug really isn’t that ratty looking.




Sheila is rolling her eyes.




Sheila just plopped paintbrushes and a paint tray on the desk. She’s not worried about the body.


I rolled the handcart out of the garage and noticed the store label – the one that tells the model number.  It said “Model 185.” Does that mean it can handle a 185 pound body? Hmm… Good to know just in case I need to move something heavy.


*Photos by Patti Phillips

*Thanks to author Rebecca Jeanne Antley for giving me the idea for the title.  I wonder if she’s ever had a body behind one of her bookcases…  🙂




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