Modine Gunch: Out with the Old

Me and my mother-in-law, Ms. Larda, were talking about it. 

Christmas is over. Now we got to put away our presents, plus the wrapping, plus the decorations we arranged behind our computer to give holiday cheer to Zoom, plus the stuff we ordered from Amazon our own selves. And some of us are still tripping over the porch furniture we drug in and didn’t take out because the hurricanes kept coming.

Ms. Larda wakes up one day feeling like everything is closing in on her. She tears through her house, boxing up and throwing out and stomping into smithereens. When she gets to the bathroom, she tackles the medicine cabinet, and finds pills dating back almost to Katrina. She never knew how to get rid of them, because she keeps hearing about teenagers with nothing better to do who experiment with random pills they find – she hopes they choose laxatives; that’ll give them something to do – and also about thrown-out medicine seeping into the groundwater, that will one day poison us or make us feel real good, depending.

Then Gloriosa tells her Walgreens got a drop box for used medicine and they supposedly safely dispose of it, God knows how.

So she puts it all in a little trash bag. Then she goes to the other side of her house —-she shares a double with her sons Lurch and Leech, with the sides joined in the back by a laundry room, so she can wash their clothes.

Once she’s over there, she sweeps the middle of their floors, but she can’t get to the edges because the boys ain’t so good at picking up stuff. They do have their lady friends over once in a while, so she hopes they at least make an effort then.

She opens the medicine cabinet over their bathroom sink, and is instantly sorry, because everything explodes out of it into the sink and over the floor. So she got to pick it up and while she’s doing it, she checks the expiration date on each bottle and puts the expired medicines in her trash bag.

Then she goes to Walgreens and gets rid of all the medicine. She feels like she has done her part to save stupid teenagers and the ground water.

A couple days later, Leech comes over and asks her exactly which medicines she threw away. She says she don’t remember. Expired stuff. Why? No reason. And he shuffles back to his side of the house. 

He drops by the Sloth Lounge later to talk to my gentleman friend, Lust. It’s closed, but we are in there cleaning, so Lust pours him a free drink, and I see them talking low, not maintaining social distance. They get quiet when I stroll casually by, but I hear the word “pills.” Uh-oh. As far as I ever knew, Leech’s drug of choice was beer. I don’t like this.

The second he leaves, I ask Lust what that was about.

Lust says, “Not what you’re thinking.” He lowers his voice.

“He lost his blue pills.” Blue pills? “Like some guys need. Not that I would know anything about it, but I hear they’re pretty expensive.”

Ohhh. THOSE blue pills. No wonder he can’t ask Ms. Larda. She’d want to know when the wedding is planned. And he can’t borrow money from his lady friend Trinkette. That would be awkward.

I notice he’s pretty grumpy for a while. Then, all of a sudden, like the sun coming out, he turns into his cheerful self, again. 

Lust gets the story. Turns out Leech dropped his disposable face mask in his toilet, and tried to flush it. That was a mistake. He had to plunge the toilet out quick, before it overflowed, so he grabbed the plunger they keep standing right there for emergencies. 

And there, underneath the plunger, was his bottle of blue pills. It must have rolled all the way across the floor, and somebody picked up the plunger for some reason and clapped it down on top of it.

 Who would have done that?

Maybe he better start cleaning his own bathroom.


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