Bates Motel Revisited
By Ed D.
If you turn left at Rube's Package Liquors, then drive one mile east along a tree-lined road until it dead-ends at the top of a hill, you've reached Russell Allen's Coal Mining and Trucking Company in southern Illinois. Picture an old, three-story farmhouse sitting on a second hill about fifty yards south of a huge storage building having a single floodlight attached to its peak. It's 9:45 at night and it is pitch dark.
I am hauling a 400-pound crate tightly bound by two metal bands in the cargo area of my delivery van. The crates contents have come all the way from Manchester, England to this isolated, country promontory. With no one in sight, I back the van to the only entry door of the storage building and turn off the engine. I use my cell to call my contact number - that of Russell Allen. After thirteen rings I am almost certain I'm about to spend one lonely night on this desolate hillside.
On the fourteenth ring Mr. Allen answers and I tell him of my arrival. He says, "I'll be right there," and immediately hung up. After five minutes had passed, I saw headlights in the distance coming toward me along the same dead-end road I had traveled. But the lights soon disappeared and I never saw them again. Ten minutes later, I glanced out my side window. From the edge of the darkness, not illuminated by the sole floodlight, came a large, bald-headed man in bib overalls walking slowly toward my van. I glimpsed a pair of cable-cutting shears dangling from his left hand. As my heart rhythm went into temporary ventricular tachycardia, I rolled down my window and greeted Russell Allen.
"I don't have a forklift, so we'll break down the crate - and we'll transfer the contents to my pickup over there." The pickup was the size of a golf cart and the steering wheel was mounted on the right side of the cab. "Back your van up to my pickup and I'll slide it into my pickup." So I backed and he slid. I offered to help but (luckily) there was only room for one man.
Once the contents were unloaded, I told him that I'd be back the next night with a second delivery. Mr. Allen responded, "See you then, partner!" (It only took three rings to reach him the next night but this time, instead of cutting shears dangling from his left hand, I saw a hatchet. Just kidding!)