Elderly Man Found Frozen

“You’re not ‘elderly’,” my editor said.

What do you mean? I’m old!

“You’re not ‘elderly’.”

What would make me elderly?

“You either have to be 68 or infirm some how,” he said.

Where is that written? I’m elderly!

“You are not. You are not 68 and you are not infirm. You may be disturbed, but you’re not infirm. Thus, you are not ‘elderly’.”

OK.

Disturbed Man Found Frozen in Unheated Home

He continued, “saying you were found frozen implies strongly that you are dead. You’re not. Change it.”

I was frozen.

“Nobody found you frozen.”

OK.

Disturbed Man Shivers in Unheated Home

“Your story says that you turned the heat way down so you would not run out of fuel before the gas delivery. Right?”

Sigh. Yes.

“So your home was not ‘unheated’. Change it.”

I was cold. I was home.

“Change it. Something like, ‘winter’s storm’.”

Disturbed Man Shivers in Winter Chill

He always pays his bill promptly. He calls on Tuesday morning when he notices the tank down to 30%. Enough left for the week. The man is so worried that on Friday, he calls again to assure that he is scheduled. He also turns his heat down to 50 degrees to preserve what is left in the tank, which, by this time, registers zero.

The man calls again on Saturday morning and again on Sunday morning. Each time he calls they assure him that he is on the schedule for delivery that day. They also ask him each time if he is out of gas yet. Does he have to be completely out of gas for them to consider him for delivery?

MushroomThe propane company delivers Sunday afternoon.

Disturbed Man: I called on Tuesday. How come you didn’t deliver until Sunday afternoon?

Company Executive, Danny Locklear: We were backed up. Caught by surprise, as they say.

Disturbed: You were caught by surprise by cold weather in the middle of the winter?

Danny: We didn’t expect everyone to use so much gas all at once.

Disturbed: It’s 10 degrees out.

Danny: Who knew?

Disturbed: Don’t you have enough trucks and drivers to handle this demand for fuel?

Danny: We were geared up last summer. We thought we handled that pretty well.

Disturbed: Nobody uses gas for heat in the summer. They only use it for cooking.

Danny: Those chefs on TV all saying they cook with gas. They sure caught us by surprise. But I thought we kept up pretty well.

Disturbed: The chefs on TV caused a big demand for gas?

Danny: Who would ‘a thought? Iron Chef says to cook with gas and every trailer park in the county all of a sudden has Lowe’s delivering gas stoves. I tell you we were scramblin’ for a few weeks.

Disturbed: And yet, you didn’t expect winter temperatures in the teens to cause people to use more gas.

MushroomsDanny: Thought Jimmy and the truck could keep up.

Disturbed: You only have one truck?

Danny: Jimmy can’t drive more than one truck.

Disturbed: How many customers do you have.

Danny: No way in tellin’. They all over the county. Why, Rose, over on the lower road, has 40 or 50 tanks behind her house, all by herself.

Disturbed: They’re not being used. They’re just stored in her field!

Danny: Huh?

Disturbed: Do they all use gas?

Danny: Not much. That’s what we used for a projector.

Disturbed: You used Rose’s 50 tanks to project usage?

Danny: Well, Dad’s got a bunch in his field, too. We sort of averaged them all in.

Disturbed: How did you get into the gas business, anyway.

Danny: I didn’t even want it. I sort of had to step up when Dad passed.

Disturbed: Oh, I’m sorry. When did he pass?

Danny: Last fall. He was lightin’ the pilot light for the Simon’s furnace when he passed. It took out their whole wall. We all said it must have been Mom’s ham and bean casserole, but we’re not sure. He’s over in the regional burn unit and the Simon’s converted to electric. Bummer.

Disturbed: So he’s not dead? I thought you said he passed?

Danny: Gas, man. He passed gas.

Disturbed: So he could still be running the company…giving you advice and such.

Danny: Nah. The beard pretty much is gone and is preventing him from sayin’ anything intelligible. He said somethin’ like “more bucks” right before huntin’ season, but we couldn’t figure out what he was talkin’ about.

Disturbed: ‘More bucks’. He could have been saying, ‘More Trucks.’

Danny: Ya think?

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