Sitting on my porch the other day eating a Jonathan apple, I was approached by a door-to-door salesman.
"How you doing, sir?" he asked with a voice full of phony sunshine.
"Spectacular," I replied, and I was.
"It is," and it really was.
"You look like the type of guy who hates to clean house, am I right?"
"Actually, I find it somewhat meditative," I told him. "Particularly the kitchen."
"A foodie, huh?"
"No. I hate that word. I like to cook and bake and be in the kitchen. The kitchen is the only place in the Universe that makes complete sense."
"I’m Colton," he said, sticking out his hand. From his other hand hung his bag of tricks. "And you are?"
"Michael," I said. We shook.
"I see you are a fan of apples," said Colton. (What kind of a name is Colton?)
"I like apples, yes. Calling me a fan may be a little extreme."
"I am a fan of avocados, though, but I’m all out at the moment."
"I see." Colton shifted. He was getting bored with our inane conversation.
"Did you know," I pressed, "that the word ‘avocado’ comes from the Aztec language and means ‘testicle’?"
Colton indicated that he did not know by saying, “I did not know.”
"Michael," he launched, "today is your lucky day."
"You have no idea."
"Have you ever found yourself scrubbing and scrubbing on something in the kitchen and no matter how much elbow grease you put into it the darn thing just won’t come clean?"
"At that point I’d just throw it away."
"And have to buy a new one, right, Michael?" He rummaged briefly through his bag of tricks and pulled out a spray bottle of cleaning fluid. "I present you OxyConkin’, the money- and time-saving answer to all your cleaning prayers."
"Seriously, OxyConkin’? That’s its name?"
"Yes, because it conks out stains.” When he said the word ‘conks’, he took a gentle swing at the air with his fist, causing me to crack up.
"OxyConkin’." I snorted.
"It was developed by German scientists using a secret formula of orange oil and oxygen. It is, without question, the latest in cleaning technology."
I laughed harder. “Cleaning technology,” I snorted.
"I’d be more than happy to provide a demonstration if you have any doubts, Michael."
"Oooh, boy," I said, wiping tears from my eyes. "You can call me Mike."
"Mike. Ok. You can call me Colt."
"Yeah, I’m not going to do that. Colt? Yeah, sorry." I shrugged my shoulders.
"Let me ask you something, Mike. Is your kitchen clean?"
"For the most part. I made a sandwich a few hours ago and didn’t clean up that. In fact, I left the onion out. I better put it away. I hate when my onion dries out, don’t you?"
"I wouldn’t know."
"Fast food guy, huh?"
"With your permission, I’d love to demonstrate the mind-blowing cleaning power of OxyConkin’. Shall we step inside?"
"By all means."
In the kitchen, I slipped my exposed onion into a plastic bag and stuck it in the fridge. Colton rummaged through his bag of tricks and came up with a cleaning rag. He squirted OxyConkin’ all over my largely clean counter tops, filling the air with a pleasant orange-y smell, and set to work scrubbing. He was going on and on about how awesome it was—on grease, on wine stains, on this, on that, but I wasn’t listening to him anymore. I stood behind him, watching as he cleaned and cleaned. Quietly, I opened a drawer and pulled out my Henckels chef knife.
Long, have I been a fan of Henckels cutlery. For anyone serious about cooking, Henckels is the only way to go. A word of warning, though: only get those made in Germany. It will cost you a pretty penny, but it’s worth it. There are more affordable Henckels available, made in that Land of Cheap Crap, China, but you’ll be getting screwed. Basically, you’ll be paying too much for an el cheapo knife. Because of the Henckels name, the price will be jacked up, even though you’re just buying an el cheapo knife. If you want an el cheapo knife, fine, but get a no-name and save some money.
Colton was saying something about how the orange oil and oxygen in OxyConkin’ work in tandem, literally pulling stain molecules up and surrounding them, when I stuck the knife into the back of his neck, all the way to the hilt. I twisted it and heard a pop!, which was most likely his skull and spine separating.
Seriously, people: Henckels knives.
Colton slumped to the floor, still clutching his fragrant cleaning rag. I got down on my knees and looked into his eyes. They were watery—tears maybe? His throat gurgled and blood oozed from his nose and lips. The moment when life leaves a pair of eyes is really quite extraordinary. There is an inner light in eyes and when it goes out, you can totally tell, even though nothing really changes. They don’t glaze or mist over, though that might be the closest way to describe what happens. Really, though, the inner light just, blink, goes out. Nothing changes, but everything changes.
Watching the inner light leave a pair of eyes is certain proof of the soul, I’m sure, and I’m lol-ing at the scientific types who think everything is just brain chemicals.
Lol, lol, lol.
I put Colton in the bathtub, where I undressed him, throwing his clothes into a heavy duty trash bag. His cell phone, too, I shut off and put in the bag. There was a lot of blood on my kitchen floor and leading to the bathroom. I have linoleum in the kitchen and hardwood everywhere else, so I cleaned first with paper towels, which I threw in the trash bag with Colton’s clothes, then with OxyConkin’. Apart from masking the stench of blood with that delightful citrus smell, it didn’t seem to perform any better or any worse than cleaners I have used in the past. The smell, though, was really nice. It was like I was cleaning up a murder scene in an orange grove.
Colton’s bag of tricks, along with everything in it and everything his blood had touched, went into the trash bag with his clothes. I knotted it shut and took it out to the garage where I threw it in my deep freezer, which was empty due to me having turned into a vegetarian a few months ago. Then, using my Henckels knives, I removed his limbs and head. (By the way, I was right—his skull and spine had separated.) These I put into another trash bag and stuck into the deep freezer.
Before I put his torso into its own bag, I removed his penis and balls. These I put on a plate and sat in my fridge.
When everything Colton had brought into my perimeter, including his body and blood, was bagged and freezing, I opened my garage door and wheeled out my charcoal grill, which I got going with some lighter fluid. While the coals were reddening, I wandered out to the sidewalk. I was sure Colton had parked nearby, but I recognized all the vehicles on my street. Perhaps he was a block over. His cell phone and car would certainly pin him to this neighborhood, but I was pretty confident.
"A door-to-door salesman, officer? I can’t recall any."
As I walked back to my grill, Jim from across the street hollered at me. “Whatcha grillin’, Mike?”
"Nothin’ much," I hollered back. "Just a hotdog and a few meatballs."
He waved and went inside his house, clueless like everyone else.