Seaton: A Hot Day in Mud Lick

Mud Lick was hotter than a sinner’s ass in church. Sheriff Roy’s AC was on the fritz.

This would not stand.

Sheriff Roy believed in certain fundamental truths he liked to think were cornerstones of his character. Among these were truth, justice, the rule of law and the God Given Right to set the internal temperature of one’s residence to one’s personal tastes.

The problems began three days earlier when Sheriff Roy first really turned on the AC in his house. His thermostat was reading a full three degrees higher than it should. This, in the Sheriff’s mind, was an egregious breach of his home’s sanctity.

(As an aside, if you’ve never met Sheriff Roy, he’s definitely one of THOSE guys who doesn’t like anyone messing with his thermostat. Don’t do it. It’s a good way to get shot.)

The initial prognosis from the repair guy didn’t look so great. A burnt out fan motor was the root of the problem, and with the supply chain issues and all that nonsense it could be anywhere from five to seven days before the part came in. Then there was the issue of getting a service appointment booked, and the repair guy was already booked through next week with appointments from other folks cranking up their air conditioners.

Not to be deterred, Sheriff Roy found the needed part in a warehouse in Dismal Seepage. A short drive across state lines and the lawman had what he needed. Now came finding a repair guy who could do the job right. Fortunately while in Dismal Seepage, Sheriff Roy came across an ad for a place called “FrostiFresh Air Care” that seemed reputable enough.

On the day of the scheduled repair, Sheriff Roy was at home alternating between blasts of cold air from the icebox and cold glasses of lemonade to stay comfortable when a bright blue FrostiFresh repair van pulled into his driveway.

When the Sheriff opened the door, he was surprised to see “Ralph,” a doper he’d arrested for possession a few weeks ago, at the door with tools. He was clean shaven now, with a proper haircut, and wore a blue work shirt with the name “Dave” on it.

“Oh wow man, you’re the sheriff!” “Dave” exclaimed on seeing the lawman. “Far out! I get to work on your AC unit? That’s a trip, man!”

“And you’re the doper I arrested with your pal Pedro,” Sheriff Roy replied. “Where’s he? Is this some kind of joke? You’re not high right now, are you?”

“Oh no man, we’re cool,” Dave said with a grin. “Pedro’s in rehab and I’m here ‘cause this is my job, man! I keep people cool!”

“Are you still using?”

“Oh no man, I quit that stuff,” Dave replied. “Yeah that day you arrested me was kind of a bad day, y’know man? I smoked six joints that afternoon and ate a ton of ‘shrooms trying to see God. And not God like the time I smoked meth and he told me to go sell golden tickets to Mars, man. Like the real one.”

“…okay.”

“Anyway after I got arrested, my boss had a big sit down with me and told me I could either make money doing AC repairs or I could smoke weed. I liked weed, but I like money better, so now I just run around on service calls fixing people’s air conditioners.”

This was pleasing to Sheriff Roy. “I admire individuals like yourself who pull themselves up by their bootstraps after a setback. Let’s get you out to the unit.”

“Oh for sure man, this is only going to take about an hour tops.”

The men made their way outside to the unit where Dave quickly got to work installing the new fan motor.

“Yeah man, Pedro was right about Mud Lick,” Dave said idly as he worked. “Everyone around here’s super nice, man, even the cops! It’s not like in Dismal Seepage. There’s assholes all over the place there, man.”

“Is that a fact, now.”

“Oh yeah, Sheriff, you should totally have seen this repair job I did over there last week,” Dave said excitedly as if he were ready to relay an important story.

“I show up to this job and the first thing the lady of the house does is ask me whether I voted for Donald Trump or not. Isn’t that a trip, man? I told her I was just the AC repair guy and politics wasn’t really my bag.”

“Well you’re nicer than most of the assholes I’ve met in this backwater burg since we moved out of D.C.,” the lady tells me, and then proceeds to rip Dismal Seepage a new one.”

“Wait,” Sheriff Roy interrupted. “You mean to tell me some lady moved from Washington D.C. to Dismal Seepage, Arkansas?”

“And her husband too, man! What a trip, huh? Anyway so she was going on a tear about how there weren’t any good places to eat in Dismal Seepage except for that wing joint, ‘Cock Smokers,’ that got a spot on the Food Network, she was mad she had to drive two hours just to get her driver license information changed. She was pissed man!”

“What’d she expect, coming to Dismal Seepage?” Sheriff Roy wondered aloud.

“Hell if I know, Sheriff,” Dave replied.

“Anyway, that wasn’t the best part,” Dave continued as he finished tightening some screws on the unit. “When I was just about finished with the job, her husband called, and he was just screaming curse words at her, man! I could hear him yelling through the phone! Wild, huh?”

“What was the cause of the calamity?”

“So check this out man, they hired movers to bring all their shit to their new house off Craigslist. And they paid in cash, up front!”

Dave began howling with laughter. “They stole all their shit! How stupid do you have to be to hire movers off Craigslist and pay them in cash up front?”

Sheriff Roy tensed a little bit at this. “You didn’t happen to catch any names of these ‘movers,’ did you?”

“No man, alls I heard was those two cussing, Sheriff.”

At this Sheriff Roy relaxed a bit and chuckled. “Well, if they’re going to act stupid, they probably got what they deserved in the first place. City folk never learn.”

“I guess not, man. Hey, we’re done here, Sheriff. Hope you have a cooler day, man!”

Dave flashed a toothy grin and a goofy thumbs up.

“We’ll see when I get back in my house and fire this unit up. I’d best not see your truck leave my driveway until cold air’s blowing again.”

“Oh yeah sure, Sheriff. No problem!”

Dave waited as instructed until Sheriff Roy gave the all clear.

As cold air finally blew again through Sheriff Roy’s modest domicile, he couldn’t help but laugh at the plight of the city folk who came to rural America thinking they could change the way folks did things around here.

Many times, like in the case of Dave’s former D.C. clientele, they found themselves in for a very, very rude awakening.

8 thoughts on “Seaton: A Hot Day in Mud Lick

  1. Howl

    The only other half decent place to eat in Dismal Seepage is the Dew Drop Inn Bar & Grille – Live Bait in the Back. Just don’t ask for a pizza with anchovies.

          1. Kathleen Casey

            Don’t look at me. I keep a lid on it because I worry about what I’ll pop out with in court.

  2. Mike V.

    Oh how I can relate.

    As a cop in the Smokies, we get more than our share of tourists and “relocators.” I was on a roadside domestic once and a busybody stopped and said “You should have your domestic violence unit handle this!” I told her I had me and 5 other deputies to patrol the entire county for the shift and that right now, I WAS the Domestic Violence Unit.” She started the “Well where I’m from…” And I looked at her and said “But we aren’t there are we, we are here. Now please let me work.” Strangely, the wanted the office phone number to call the Sheriff.

    Sheriff Roy would have been proud of what he told her.

    1. CLS

      I’m sure it was perfectly acceptable and appropriate for a law enforcement officer of such rank, so yes, Sheriff Roy would approve.

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