Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Worst Christmas Ever.

Warning: the story you are about to read is extremely troubling, and not suitable for small children. But I think it's a good cautionary tale about the dangers of excess.

The day after Christmas 1998, I witnessed one of the most disturbing things imaginable. It was late morning, around 9:00 AM, when I decided to eat a baked potato for breakfast, a meal I would soon regret. As I stood in my kitchen, I heard the unmistakable sound of a woman screaming. You can always tell the difference between a playful scream and a genuine scream; the sound a little girl makes while playing is far different than the scream that emits from a woman who has, say, discovered she's run out of canned pineapple while she's halfway through a Jello® recipe.

This lady was clearly in trouble. Her incoherent cries seemed to be coming from the direction of the community swimming pool. (We lived in a condominium development, and the pool was located right across the street from our unit.) When I looked out the upper window, I saw the screaming lady standing over the jacuzzi, too much in shock to move. I instructed my mom to call 9-1-1 as I started downstairs to see what was going on. Upon arrival, I immediately wished I had stayed inside. The woman had found the body of a dead man floating in the jacuzzi.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."

The dead guy—let's call him . . . "Stu"—had just been released from prison a day or two earlier, and had pretty much been drinking ever since. Stu decided that (in the spirit of Christmas) he would spend Boxing Day drinking in the jacuzzi. Although this was a particularly warm holiday season, Jack Frost was most assuredly "nipping at his nose," if you know what I mean. So the new parolee set out to enjoy his first days of freedom with copious amounts of the most unnecessary pool accessory of all—a case of hootch.

Worst of all, at some point during a long night of boozing in the jacuzzi, our hero decided the next best way to celebrate the holiday was to release himself from the uncomfortable bindings of his bathing suit. Now, I don't want to be judgmental, and he was, after all, a new parolee enjoying real freedom for the first time in who knows how long, but I think getting naked and drunk while flying solo in a community jacuzzi right under the warning sign would have been enough to guarantee Stu a lump of coal next Christmas anyway.

Anyhoo, sometime in the early morning hours, with the combined effects of so much alcohol and steaming hot, foaming jacuzzi-water, Stu experienced exactly what the large, red-lettered warning sign next to the jacuzzi said would happen.

Intoxication combined with excessive heat plays havoc with a person's blood presure. Stu had apparently passed out and subsequently drowned.

Poor Stu's corpse must have simmered a few hours before the neighbor-lady located him. And that's how I came to be standing over his ghostly-white, naked, lifeless body—with a piece of my baked potato still in my mouth and Stu's ghetto blaster still pumping out the poignant strains of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird."

Merry Christmas indeed.

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Blogger FX Turk said...

You might lighten it up by linking to my latest post.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

...and this didn't make a runner up for '98 Darwian awards? Stunning. It brings an entirely new meaning to the term, "distilled spirits."

Hip and Thigh

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 1:17:00 PM  
Blogger Away From The Brink said...

I had a similar experience back in the '80's in West Virginia.

I was on my way home from work when I saw a fire in a thicket off the side of the road. It was much too large to be a bonfire, so I called 911. The fire department arrived and doused the blaze. It became evident that someone's tar-paper shack had gone up in flames. Scorched kerosene heaters were in the rubble. And something else.

I looked carefully at what looked like a bone. Then I realized what I was seeing. I was looking at the charred legs of the man that lived in the tar-paper shack. One of the fireman began poking around and winced; he had found the man's skull.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 3:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very poignant piece of prose.

Do you think binging on coffee will have similar effects? I hope not; the antioxidants'll do us good!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 3:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!!! I've never actually seen a dead body before...wow.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

What a horrible story.

That man no doubt left behind some family or freinds who will never be able to enjoy Christmas without having this death brought back to memory.

I have a small fear every Christmas season that something will happen to one of my freinds or family and I'll never be able to have a joyful holiday season again. Of course I also fear, perhaps moreso, that something might happen to me, and my freinds and family will be unable to have a merry Christmas again. I have freinds whose mother died on Christmas Eve almost 2 years ago now, I cannot imagine how they feel at Christmas, everyone around them are so happy yet they must be remembering their mother.

Mafia Boss

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger bp said...

Interestingly enough, that year for christmas pecadillo asked santa for a large naked man in a jacuzzi...it looks like somebody was a good boy that year.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Weaver said...

That's disturbing. As a big kid I'll probably have nightmares tonight!
Who would have thought that throwing down a few cold ones and soaking in the jacuzzi would be hazardous to your health? I mean besides the people who made the sign. And everyone who had ever read the sign.
Reminds me of those pictures on Coke machines that say if you pull the machine over it could fall on you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:47:00 PM  
Blogger Aspiring Girl said...

I flippin love your blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger bp said...

Dude, this woman posted above me has you linked to her as her "Blog Crush." I thought that I was the only other blogger you cared about.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 5:31:00 AM  
Blogger FX Turk said...


Obviously, c-train has issues. However, I'm looking for the back-issues -- I don't know which is funnier: his retail tales of woe or his O. Henry revelation that you got exactly what you wanted for Christmas.

I'm going to have to re-classify all the links on my blog because of you two. I might have to miss lunch with your parents to do it ...

Thursday, September 01, 2005 6:26:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Martens said...

Hey C-TRAIN, now there's competition! And you have issues.

However, I'm not quite sure I understand her either (even though I spent 18 years of my life growing up with her).

Thursday, September 01, 2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

Yes, C-train most definitely has issues... issues that have convinced me to file for a restraining order and change the locks on my house.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger bp said...

Pecadillo my friend, you know me and me wiles so well. That means that you are also aware of the fact that a restraining order against me will accomplish quite little.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 3:38:00 PM  
Blogger Aspiring Girl said...

hey pecadillo...i know a cop. *wink wink*

Thursday, September 01, 2005 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger FX Turk said...

I just wanted to add that this has suddenly become the most boring blog on my favorites list.

What are you doing? Playing air hockey all day?

Friday, September 02, 2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Martens said...

hopefully at least ping pong, air hockey is for the ill whitted and requires no skill.

Friday, September 02, 2005 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Freeland said...

Comic genius like Pec's (Can I call you "Pec?") takes some time to fester...

Don't rush him when his creative juice is flowing (yes, "creative juice" and "post-Pecadillo-nacho syndrome" are closely tied)

Friday, September 02, 2005 7:06:00 PM  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

Thanks cuz'. It's good to know you got my back.

Friday, September 02, 2005 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger RadiantSky said...

Tragic story, very funny blog though. :)

Friday, September 02, 2005 10:38:00 PM  

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