Keeper and The Crate


Suggested Audio Jukebox:

[1] John Harrison “Creepshow”

[2] Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight”

[3] John Harrison “The Crate”



I just love me a surprise. Guess it has something to do with the fact that, whilst childhood is merely a fading memory to me now, I’m still very much a little kid at heart. Nothing warms my cockles more than to know that I have something to unwrap, I even leave a stocking above my fireplace every Christmas Eve without fail, despite the fact that it never ends up seeing the faintest bulge. I have a little boy of my own now and I get that a parent’s primary cheer comes from watching them devouring the paper to unleash their goodies but it’s still nice to know that you are being thought of once in a while. Nowadays the only deliveries with my name attached are bank notifications and they invariably end up saying the same shit… Empty you fucking loser. Get a job! I rarely even answer the door anymore as it never yields anything of merit. Woe has well and truly become me.


Recently things have taken a distinct turn for the more adventurous. Last week a stray meteorite plummeted from the skies, crashing and burning in my front yard. The small hunk of rock now has pride of place on my mantle piece and spending some time in the open air reminded me that I need to mow the front lawn. Green fingers have never been my thing but suddenly I have become the constant gardener. Then, on Thursday, I received a long distance call from my Aunt Bedelia. Hadn’t spoken to her for over a decade and I’d naturally presumed she had turned her toes up but it was great to see that she is still alive and kicking. She finally agreed to bake me that cake she has been threatening since the seventies and FedEx should be delivering that shit any day now. I’ve been too busy to care the past few days as I have endured a sudden cockroach outbreak and had to call the exterminator in to banish those crispy critters. And my long estranged pal Richard even made an appearance, taking me to the local beach to catch up on my tan. All in all, it’s been pretty manic.


Things appear to have calmed down now and my banal existence has resumed. Yesterday the most exciting development came when I beat myself at Chess, nothing out of the ordinary to report I’m afraid. I’m actually rather glad for the quietude as it gives me the time to catch up with myself, learn about current developments in my life, and reacquaint myself with my right hand. I masturbate far too much to be healthy and it has led to me possessing two arms of vastly varying sizes. My left is withered away like a snapped bough, no thicker than a polio ravaged T-Rex. The other is a whole different appendage, sufficiently burly to overcome Popeye in an arm wrestle and capable of cracking stubborn conkers between bicep and forearm. When in doubt…knock one out – that’s my slogan. What else is there to do with oneself when you live miles from the nearest living soul? I’m a creature of habit and pulling away at my pork chop invariably brings the same grunted rejoinder each time. For a few seconds I become Patrick Bateman and making gestures at oneself in the mirror never gets the slightest bit old. No Jacket Required skips practically every time now as Phil Collins is gifted every last one of my cum-faces. Apologies Phil, I guess I took the words of In The Air Tonight a little too literally.


We all do it, you know, in those moments when nobody can see us. Don’t try telling me I’m speaking out of turn, it’s cards on the table time. There’s no secrets amongst friends right? My party trick used to be dancing akin to Snoopy in my birthday suit, whilst slapping both calves with my winkle wand. You want another? I occasionally urinate in my bathwater. Don’t blame me, we’ve all been there. The moment you lay back the bladder bell chimes, suddenly the toilet seems so far away and tepid water is incredibly hard to vacate. It’s the same reason many of us exit the tub resembling that old hag from The Shining. She likely pissed in her bathwater too. No, I’m a proud wanker. My eyesight is fading anyhoots, there’s no scientific evidence linking it to cataracts so I’ll keep tugging the truncheon thanks. Sorry to have to share that with y’all, it’s just, well we’ve become so close haven’t we? Who needs roomies when I’ve got you lot. You always listen to my blathering and never form judgement on my character. We’re besties right?


I seem to have opened a can of worms here you know. What else can I admit to doing while we’re all being so honest. I know… I have been known to excavate my nostril with a digit on occasion. There, said it, out there. It’s a proven fact that the daily dust mites accumulate up there so I figure why not hoist a few stragglers from the cave. It’s no different from spring cleaning when you think about and a provides a fun round of musical statues when somebody catches you in the act. No really… I’m just scratching the tip. My favorite is the old tickly nasal hair routine. Always works a charm and, no sooner has my affiliate turned their head away in partial disgust, than I’m back in the trenches faster than you can say pick me a winner. A quick roll, tuck and a flick and they’re none the wiser.


That reminds me, when I was twelve I lined up for an arcade machine during a family holiday in Spain. There was this one obnoxious little enfant terrible who always seemed to be ahead of me in line and he was one of those urchins who you instantly take a disliking to, before he so much as flaps his lips. I conducted an experiment on this little cherub and slid a petite grey loiterer behind his left ear lobe, then walked away with my grin at full mast. The next day, I was in precisely the same position while he pretended to play Centipede even though he was penniless. The booger was still present, dangling like a pulpous ear ring. I may be a deviant but I always wash behind my ears so, really, who’s the wrong un?


Okay, while we’re here. During work experience at a local newspaper as a fifteen year old upstart, I took exception to one particular staff member who seemingly had it in for me. This shit heel saw me as a threat, even though my tenure was to be a short one, and gave me all of the menial tasks ordinarily heaped on her chubby shoulders. I took her baloney for three full weeks and kept my head down as I feigned doing any actual work. Then, on my last day, the whole office congregated to give me the send off they thought I deserved. As they prepared their cards and well wishes, I was banished to the kitchen to retrieve a tray of teas. Seven white, one black….sorted. I remembered everyone’s requests for sugar and sweeteners but figured that one cup in particular looked a little pale and lackluster. It was my tormentor’s cup of brew which seemed deficient, thus I took it upon myself to embellish with my own decorative stir-in.


I learned that day that snot doesn’t sink, no matter how rigorously you gyrate your spoon, it always returns topside once the current subsides. I was rumbled just as she raised her cup to take that preliminary sip. I watched as she blew the bunged buoy from one side of the rim to the other, before identifying it, and crying out at the top of her lungs “Ugh. That’s… that’s a booger. Someone’s put a booger in my tea”. I nervously cowered in my seat but thankfully no accusations were flung . Instead, I saw out my final hours safe in the knowledge that that was the last cup I would be required to brew. What can I say? I was a tad impish as an adolescent. We all go through similar metamorphosis and it’s how we adjust that’s important. I’m forty now and make a handsome cup of tea thank you very much. If I ever invite you over for a cuppa then rest assured I have learned my lesson; I drop my boogers in earlier now, while it’s still piping, allowing for swifter dissolution. Now then, anyone for Earl Grey?


Hold your horses motormouth. You’re getting carried away as per usual. These people aren’t here to hear about such debauched antics, I’m sure y’all have better things to do than listen to me rattle on about mucus. You’re here to find about the crate right? I haven’t forgotten, pull up a pew and Keeper will tell you all about it. At first I thought it was Bedelia’s black forest gateaux, although her single-tiered fancy would come in a far smaller receptacle than the one which docked on my doorstep. One would normally be expected to sign for such a hulking delivery but the postman was nowhere to be found. His paperwork was there, as were his boots and bonnet, so I signed the dotted line and dragged it inside to ponder its contents further. Poor fella must have gotten a nosebleed, judging by the blood-drenched consignment slip. Never mind, I thought, possession is ten ninths of the law and whomever sent this package my way evidently intended it for my eyes only.


It was marked 1834, some sort of arctic expedition and, judging by the antiquated design of the crate, it may well have been in transit ever since. Curiouser and curiouser, I decided to leave it be for the time being, it was so long since I last received such a mind-boggling gift, and I fully intended on taking my sweet time unraveling the bow. Whatever could it be? Maybe a blow-up doll complete with foot pump and replaceable valve kit? Could it be a set of hedge trimmers? Since burning myself on that damned meteorite my Gillette just isn’t cutting it anymore. As I sat pensively with my mug of PG Tips and looked for clues, the chains binding it shut appeared to rattle some. Whatever it was lurking inside, it wasn’t inanimate. I decided to take a trip to the cellar and retrieve my tool kit. I would need some hefty bolt-cutters and a crowbar to get to the nitty-gritty. It looked as though there was just enough space to steal a quick peek and, being the impatient type, I was powerless to resist doing exactly that. It was too dark to be sure, but I could’ve sworn I noticed a set of peepers staring directly at me. They were accompanied by a faint growling and I thought better of hanging the moment out, instead returning to my seat with the intention of stroking my chin some more.


Needless to say, I bottled it. That crate spent the whole of last night sitting in solitude and I didn’t offer so much as a cursory glance in its direction. I love animals, especially cats, they’re my favorite. However, the nearest pet store is almost an hour’s walk away and I dare not feed it my cheap industrial strength lager. That would undoubtedly send it into maximum overdrive. Two cans of that shit and Silent Shadow ends up impersonating Buffalo Bill in my boudoir. If he can’t handle the power then what chance does some 170 year-old crate dweller stand of harnessing such potent inebriation? It seemed best for both concerned if I just forgot I ever took that insubordinate gander. What you don’t know cannot hurt you, which means that algebra is ultimately harmless. All that emphasis on deciphering the code and never have I been required to use it in everyday life. Honestly, the shit they teach us in school. I remember my first ever interview with great clarity and not once did they attempt to bamboozle me with a conundrum about the Industrial Revolution. There I go running off at the mouth again and meanwhile there’s a dirty great crate stanking up my kitchen table.


I don’t think I can put it off any longer you know. I need to prove to you that I am a man not a mouse and have every intention of doing so after I finish this delightful wheel of cheese. I must remain vigilant at all times, no chances can be taken here as the contents of that crate have likely been held captive for the best part of two hundred years. That’s one helluva stretch, let’s do the math, don’t worry there won’t be any algebra. Multiply the combined age of three Golden Girls and then subtract Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and you should be in the ballpark. Whatever figure you arrive at, that’s a long time without company. It’s time to break those chains, lever open the lid, and let the little fella stretch his legs. I’m taking no chances, three Jehovah’s witnesses just came knocking and I invited them in for tea, just to show my hospitality. I told them it was a sign from God and, would you believe, they bought it? I’ll release the Kraken, retreat to a safe distance, and let them do any petting.



Okay, can anyone recommend a good carpet shampoo?

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