Mr. Freely and the Java Sensation
You must login to vote
"Venti, double Late, red eye with almond and let me have that special brew in place of milk please." Mr. Parker ordered from the old cashier. "Yes sir, do you want room?" Mr. Freely asked the customer. "No, thanks." Mr. Parker had been getting a cup of coffee from the little java shop for about a year now. He was an ailing man with many health problems that usually kept him down. Lately however he had begun to feel better. He didn't know why exactly, only that after he had his morning cup, he would just feel better. Hadn't always been that way but ever since Mr. Freely started working there and whipping up his "special brew", things were starting to look up. "Have a great day Mr. Freely!" He said feeling better after his first sip. "You too!" replied Mr. Freely.
Mr. Freely was 79 years old and was working at what was the best job he had ever landed in his life. For most people, working at the local Jack and the Coffee Bean was a kick start in to a blossoming Mc'y D's career. For Mr. Freely however, it was a dream come true. Mr. Ignacious Poindexter Freely had spent the better part of his life working as a sewer sweep in the backwater town of Scranton, Ohio. For 50 years he would crawl down the man hole cover on Elm and 1st, and with his little golf cart of implements, work his way down to 27th street then cut down to Oak. It would take a week to complete the grid and then he would start over again.
What does a sewer sweep do you may be wondering with hands poised to cover your ears incase it is anything like what you may be thinking. Not to worry, it is nothing like you are thinking. No, it is much worse. Don't worry, I won't hit you would the unsightly details, needless to say you have already supposed what would have been the better days of old Mr. Freely's pungent career. I think the hardships would be a picture you couldn't invent with the most disturbed of imaginations. So we will keep it at that.
Well, I said I would not go into the worst gory details but Mr. Freely did live his life in a sewer.
What is worth mentioning though was his last day he spent on the job. It was a defining day, the day that changed the life of old Ignaceous P. forever.
"Whistle while you work... tweet tweet..tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet....." Mr. I. Poindexter Freely sang to himself as he worked his way from Maple to Birch on 13th St. 50 years he had spent in this crappy job, sorry, you have to find another word for your job because this word was taken, so on this anniversary of his 50th year in this crappy job, Mr. Freely was sweeping and raking along as he always did. "Tweet Tweet Tweet Tweet ......Huh, What, what's this," he said noticing something that seemed to be glowing beneath the layers of excrement. Mr. Freely removed his glove, the gardening type, not the rubber sanitary kind, and reached down into the brownish muck to find what he had seen. In all his years of sweeping the muck down towards the storm drains that emptied into the Ohio River, he had seen many things. He had found a 100 dollar bill once, a good size stash of every kind of drug you couldn't get at the pharmacy, a baby alligator and even a severed foot once. Yes, he had figured he had seen every type of refuse one could have stuffed down a toilet so he was a little surprised to see something glowing red. As he carefully sifted through the putrid discard using his fingers to carefully pinch each nugget between his fingers, he happened on something he couldn't process away with his manipulation. As he brought it out and peered at it, it struck him as kind of an odd thing to be finding down here. Not because of the shape which was small and looked a bit like a huge gel cap, but because of the red glow. It seemed to have its own bioluminescence. "Gosh, I wonder what this is, maybe it is worth money to those local boys like some of the other goodies they bought from me?" he said out loud as if there were some other fool who would be down here wading in crap. 'Guess I'll just have to see what it is worth to those boys.' he thought.
Just then he heard a noise, it sounded like a voice. That seemed very unlikely considering the current surroundings but there it was again. It was a voice, actually two voices. "You idiot, what the hell did you get us into?" "Me, you were the one that said I should it somewhere where no one could find it." " Ya, you freakin moron, but I meant somewhere everyone else couldn't find it, not us too." "You should have been more specific then." "Oh shut up and look. It shouldn't be too hard to find down here the way the little baby was glowing red like that." "Who we gonna sell it too huh Mikey?" "I don't know Joey but we are gonna be sittin on the beach drinking Mai Tai's and watchin the woman peel there tops off just to get close to us once we bet paid." "Ya, huh huh," Joey laughed, "We're gonna be rich." "We're not gonna be nothing but dead if you don't find that thing so get down there and start lookin." "But Mikey, that is dooty down there!" "Ya, thats what your gonna be eatin for dinner if you don't find it."
Mikey and Joey were small time crooks who had just made the biggest score of their lives, then just flushed it down the toilet and not the proverbial one. Whoever thought that they would get a chance to pull a heist from of all places, the American Cancer Center, but that was where Johnny the crime boss had tipped them to the big score. He had said, "If You’s two guys can get in dare and gets whats they gots in that case, you’s guys will be on easy street the rest of you’s lives."
And that is what they had done, broken in and gotten their ticket to easy street. With out knowing it, they had stolen something the government had been working on since its conception and only now had perfected it. They had stolen the cure for Cancer
"Look!" said Joey as they came around the bend in the corridor, "That old man over there, what’s he doin down here?" "That's the sewer sweep, maybe he has...." Just then Mikey notice the red glow emanating from the old mans hand. "Hey, mister, what you got in your hand there? Hey, come here you old fart, you gots something that belongs to us. You best give it back if you knows whats good for you!"
Mr.Freely had heard what they had said. What he had in his grimy hand must be worth millions. He didn't know what it was but he was not going to miss a ticket out of this shit hole if he could help it. So, without a second thought, he opened his mouth and popped the little pill size object in his mouth and swallowed.
"Holy Crap Mikey, did you see what that guy just did?" "Mikey had seen what he had done and was having trouble trying not to vomit from the thought of it. It really was a double dose stomach wrenching ammo as not only did the old man just swallow what promised to be his multi-million dollar ticket, it was covered in a slightly decayed, viscous mixture of feces and everything else that went down the crapper. "What the hell!" He said barely able to speak. "You shmuck!" he said as he choked down the sample of lunch that had found it's way back up, "Your Freakin Dead!" he said as he pulled his chromed 38 special.
Old Mr. Freely hadn't thought about the consequences or maybe he actually welcomed them. He would finally get his ticket out of the crappiest job anyone could have but not the way he would have expected. POP..POP.. the little 38 special cried out in a sound so loud you could here it all the way from 1st to 27th street. "Holy Crap!" said Joey, "you got the bastard!" "Now what we gonna do Mikey? The cops are gonna heard that for sures!" As Mikey approached the lifeless body of the old man lying face down in a pile of feces, he realized what his anger had just cost him. He couldn't recover the item now that the streets had been rung with obvious gunshots up and down every manhole cover and outhouse in town. "Crap" he said in a literal sort of way. "Well Joey, I guess its back to robbing liquor stores and little old ladies for us" "Ya, Mikey but at least we got a job!" "Ya, I guess your right. Come on, lets get the hell out of here and get a shower." "I'm taking two." Joey said not realizing the stupidity of the statement.
Mikey and Joey had been wrong, no one had heard the shots down in the bowels of the city. They had left their meal ticket to rot in the belly of this old dead man lying in the pile of feces, or had they?
About an hour after the final meal of old IPF, a couple of rats had come upon him and weren't picky about where they're next meal was coming from. One of the rats had begun to nibble on the ear of the foul smelling corpse when it suddenly stopped and headed tail over ass away. Mr. Freely's leg twitched, then his hand, then abruptly Mr. Freely's head popped up out of the putrid pile and he looked around. Where was he? What had happened? He couldn't remember but he was certain of the taste he had in his mouth and a little Listerine was sounding like Ambrosia about now. He lifted himself up out of the muck and looked around. He recognized where he was but could not remember a thing. He knew he was famished though which seemed a bit odd since he hadn't been hungry since he had started taking the medication for liver disease he had been diagnosed with about a month before.
"Damn, I think I will go get me a nice steak down at the Chop and Pop." he said to himself. After I clean up a bit."
As he climbed the ladder to the manhole on 2nd St., he was thinking about how good he was feeling. He didn't know why but he was feeling right with the world today. So he decided right then he would never go back down a shovel other peoples crap again. He was going go get a real job. Yep, as soon as he went home and purged himself from the guise of "Walking Feces Man" that was what he would do.
As Mr. Freely was combing what was left of his hair and discarding the old smelly cloths into the trash bag, he failed to notice the two bloody holes in the back of his shirt. Two bullet holes that seemed to have no affect on old I.P.'s current state of health, a state that seemed to improve by the minute. He felt so good, he was going stop on the way to the Chop and Pop and get himself one of them tall coffee mochas., yes sir.
He had been serving coffee at the Jack and the Coffee bean for two months now. Phil Grodin, the owner had been hesitant to hire him because he was so old and couldn't provide any job history, or wouldn't, but he was available and since he had been hired, business had started to pick up. "I can whip up a mean pot of coffee." Mr. Freely had told him and sure enough, it was soon becoming the favorite of every one of his patrons. As a matter of fact, he had enjoyed it himself, not for the taste as it was bitter and had a strange aroma, but for how it made him feel. He hadn't felt this good in years and it seemed that with every cup he drank, the better he got. He might even be so bold as to say younger as well but that was silly.
He noticed the same on a number of his customers too. Old man Jenkins had stopped using his cane he had used since the injury back in 72. Miss Portley looked as if she had taken up stock in oil of Olay, Mr. Nivens the barber was back on the job which he had to quit due to arthritis. Yes, it seemed everyone was feeling better and he was the lucky one to have found such an excellent coffeeotuer.
"Why don't you take a break Mr. Freely, and have a cup of that fine coffee you brew." Phil said. "Oh no, Mr. Freely said, I wouldn't want to waste any of that brew, I think I'll just have the regular." "Mr. Freely, really you ought to try some, it is, it is invigorating" Phil said thinking about having another cup himself. "Oh, I feel just fine thanks." Mr. Freely replied. He did feel fine. He had felt so good lately that he was now jogging and working out to one of those exercise videos. 79 years old and he could jog 5 miles and usually quit because he got bored with it. Boy had life changed for the better and he wasn't sure why. He wasn't oblivious to the fact that he was 79 and slowly getting younger and younger. He had realized this when his doctor had pronounced him cured of the liver disease that had been killing him. Then there was the incident with his dog too. Bart was an old hound dog that was also on his last legs, I should say 3 since one had curled up on him and been unusable for the last year. One morning he was about to scold old Bart for drinking out of the toilet again when he noticed old Bart's leg was back on the floor. "Hey, boy what's up with that Uh...OOOhhh... C’mon boy, at least let me flush the toilet before you go and do that! Geeze!"
Sure he had waded in the excrement for 50 years and had his share of its flavor, but he wouldn't wish that on his dog. As he tried to shoo away old Bart, the dog postured and bared his teeth and gave out a growl.
"Whoa boy, no problem, if a little pissy water is what you go for, I ain't gonna stop ya."
The dog continued to drink the yellow liquid and after about a minute looked at old I. P. and barked. He then ran around like he hadn't since he had been a pup and bolted out the door with all four feet on the floor.
What a miraculous recovery he thought, amazing how I am feeling so much better and now old Bart is as well.
He thought about old Bart's reaction to him and how he was so dead set on devouring the tainted water.
He had watched old Bart stand at his knees whenever he was sitting down for a piss and when he would get up, old Bart would start lapping up the fowl mixture with enthusiasm.
The connection wasn't so hard to make, He had tried it out on his neighbor’s old dog Max with the same amazing results.
Now he was enjoying the charitable feeling he got as he watched his customers come and go, each day, looking and feeling a little younger enjoying his special brew.
"No," he said once more, "I think I'll stick to the regular thanks."
"Suit yourself." Phil said as he took another sip of the queer but invigoration brew.
Cheers to you" he said "Cheers to you I.P. Freely!"