Freedom Lane: Helen Gets Stuck on the Toilet
Da’Quarius finished mopping the floor at his Uncle Paulie’s pizzeria, Paulie’s Pizza. His arms were sore from a few hours hard work, but he felt accomplished with the result. The floors were sparkling in the early afternoon sunlight.
“You’ve done good, kid,” Paulie said, exiting the bathroom with his newspaper tucked under his arm. “You want me to have Tony make you a grinder for lunch?”
“Yeah,” Da’Quarius said. “Get me a fried chicken grinder.”
“Ok, ya little mook,” Paulie said. “One fried chicken parm coming up. TONY!”
“I heard ya,” Tony said from the kitchen. “It’s coming right up.”
The door to Paulie’s opened, and a man walked in with his hand in his pocket. He had long, greasy hair and a bearded face. He wore a Yankees hat and a big back coat. “Welcome to Paulie’s!” Paulie exclaimed. “What can I get for you today?”
“Money,” the man said, pulling a gun on Paulie. “Everything you got in the register and what’s in the safe in back.”
“Easy now,” Paulie said, putting his hands up. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
“Stupid?!” the man yelled. He grabbed Da’Quarius and put the gun next to his head. “Give me the money or I’ll blow this little shit’s brains all over the floor.”
“OK,” Paulie said. “I’m getting it.”
“Nuh-uh,” Da’Quarius said. “Don’t give him shit!”
“Shut up, Kid!” Paulie said. “Do what he says!”
“I ain’t goin’ out like no bitch!” Da’Quarius said.
“Listen to your grandpa,” the man said.
“He’s my Unca!” Da’Quarius said.
“I’ve had enough of this,” the man with the gun said. He raised his gun to pistol-whip Da’Quarius, but he lost his footing on the wet floor. He fell forward on top of this gun. He shot himself in the chest with a muffled bang. With a spreading pool of blood, the man was dead.
“Shit,” Da’Quarius said. “I just mopped da’ damn floor!”
“This is serious, kid,” Paulie said. “There ain’t nothin’ funny about what’s going to happen next.”
Created, written, & directed by Budgerigar Orville Bigelow
Co-created by executive producer BluntSharpness
Season 2, Episode 2:
Helen Gets Stuck on the Toilet
Rose was outside gardening away while Helen snuck into the upstairs bathroom for her morning ritual. She pulled down her pants and large panties and did her arduous business. When she was done she noticed something wasn’t in the right place.
“Where the hell is that spray?” Helen said to nobody. She saw it on the opposite side of the sink. “Dammit. I’ll shit on the floor if I try to get up for that.”
Instead of getting off the toilet, Helen picked up her cane and used it, holding it bottom first to reach for the can of air freshener with the hooked top. She nearly had it. If only she cold reach one or two more inches… Helen stretched as far as she could go. She almost had it…
“OH HELL!” Helen exclaimed as she felt something pop in her back. She fell back down on the toilet. He cane fell off the edge of the sink and out of her reach. She sat for a moment to gain her coposure. After a minute, she leaned over and tried to retrieve her cane. The pain was too much, and her body flopped right back down onto the toilet.
Helen relaxed her body and let her back feel the cool porcelain of the toilet. She tried again to move, but she fell back on the toilet, ass first. “Dammit,” she said. “I’d rather be anywhere but here.”
“What was that noise!” Tony shouted, coming from the kitchen. “Holy shit! Is that guy dead?!”
“No,” Pauile said. “He’s napping in a pool of his own blood after shooting himself self in his FRIGGIN’ HEART! OF COURSE HE’S DEAD YOU STUNAD!”
“Don’t yell at me!” Tony snapped. “I’m calling the cops!”
“No!” Paulie said. “Lock the door and close all the blinds, kid. We’re going to take care of this ourselves.”
“What do you mean: ‘ourselves?'” Tony asked.
“Oh, madon,” Paulie breathed as Da’Quarius locked up and closed all of the blinds.
“I’ll ask again,” Tony said, stepping closer to Paulie. “What do you mean: ‘ourselves?'”
“He means we take dis body an’ dump it in some swamp,” Da’Quarius said. “For da’ record: I’m in.”
“This is bad,” Paulie said. “We can’t call the cops. It’s bad for business to have our customers standing on the floor where a dead body was.”
“He was trying to rob us,” Tony said. “He had a gun!”
“Doesn’t matter,” Paulie said. “We’ll forever be known as: Paulie’s Pizza: that pizza place where that friggin’ mook whacked himself on the floor.”
“That don’t sound right,” Da’Quarius said. “But I agree. We dump da’ body in a swamp.”
“What’s with you and swamps, ya mook?” Tony asked.
“It’s better than yo’ mama’s house!” Da’Quarius replied.
“You take that back!” Tony replied.
“Make me,” Da’Quarius said, taking his apron off.
“Shaddup!” Paulie exclaimed, “the both of you! I gotta think this out. What I wouldn’t give to be alone with my thoughts right about now.”
Helen looked at the designs of the tile on the floor. Green square. White square. Green square. White square. Green square. Missing square. Green square. White square. She took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes. She had just finished yelling for Rose, and her voice was shot. Rose couldn’t hear her outside, and the minutes slowly ticked by.
“I always knew I’d die on the toilet,” she said. “You hear that, reaper! You got me; dead to rights on the shitter. Come and claim me!”
Helen waited with no response. “That’s what I thought,” she said under her breath. “Pansy.”
Helen sighed and looked around the room. She was beginning to get bored waiting for Rose to finish her gardening and discover her trapped on the toilet. She looked around for something to read, and pulled a magazine from behind the toilet. It was old and moldy. She opened it up and the smell of mildew rose up to her nose. She threw it into the trash in disgust.
She drummed her chubby fingers on her thighs for a moment and looked at the clock on the wall. The seconds ticked by as she sat and watched. “I’d rip you off the wall if I could get of this damn toilet!” she said. She took the magazine out of the trash and threw it at the clock. It fell of its nail and crashed to the floor.
Helen cackled. “Got you, you little fucker!” she exclaimed.
It was silent again. Helen sighed. She wondered if she’d ever be able to lift her own body off the toilet. Then, she had an idea.
“You pick up his head, Tony,” Paulie said. “I’ll get his feet. Da’Quarius, you pull my car around back and back it up to the loading door.”
“Why do I gotta touch him?” Tony said. “Let the kid do it!”
“I got a bad hand!” Da’Quarius said, showing Tony his deformed left hand he called his lobsterclaw.
“So you’re gonna pull the handicapped card to get out of this?” Tony said.
“I ain’t handicapped, bitch,” Da’Quarius said. “I’m missin’ two fingers and got a bulge for a hand.”
“Forget it!” Paulie said. “Your father was a capo, and he’d be ashamed of you right now. Run to Wal-Mart and get us a duffle bag for the body and some bungee cords. Take my car and credit card. Back it into the alley when you come back. Da’Quariud and I will be waiting.”
“You got it, boss,” Tony said, heading to the back to get Paulie’s keys and card. Neither Paulie nor Da’Quarius spoke until they heard the door slam and the car start.
“Dat mo’ fucker is a pansy-ass bitch,” Da’Quarius said. “You sure he ain’t gonna call da cops?”
“He may get woozy around corpses, but he ain’t no snitch,” Paulie said. “His father worked under my father until my father got capped. That’s why I gave him the job here. We both strayed away from the family business, if you know what I mean.”
“So what happened to Tony’s dad?” Da’Quarius asked. “He didn’t get capped too, did he?”
“No,” Paulie said. “Tony’s pop is serving life without parole because my dad snitched him and the rest of his crew out.”
“Damn,” Da’Quarius said. “Tony ain’t pissed at you for dat?”
“He was,” Paulie said with a shrug. “He actually kicked my ass for it pretty good. He stopped when he realized I wasn’t going to hit him back. We’ve been friends ever since.”
“Why didn’t you hit him back?”
“I deserved it,” Paulie said. “My dad put his dad away. It’s how these families are. Besides, he needed it.”
Da’Quarius nodded. “An’ here I thought black families were da’ most fucked up.”
“Enough reminiscing,” Paulie said. “Get this mook’s feet. We’ll get him in the back and wait for Tony. He’ll be back soon.”
“Hold up,” Da’Quarius said. “I gotta figure out how to lift him.”
Helen opened the cabinet door and gripped it from the top. If she didn’t have her cane, she figured she could use the cabinet door for leverage. Enough leverage to get the air freshener, at least. She didn’t know how long she’d been stuck ever since she smashed the clock on the wall, and the room still stunk.
“Rose is going to make me get one of those damn medical walkie-talkies for around my neck,” Helen said to herself. “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! Bullshit!”
Helen gripped the cabinet again, this time putting some weight into it. Her back screamed in protest, but she fought anyway. Her backside finally began to lift from the toilet when the cabinet creaked. She fell back onto the toilet.
“Shit,” Helen said, looking around the room again. She was hoping to get another idea, but nothing came to her. It was the cabinet door or nothing.
“Here we go,” Helen said, gripping the door for the third time. When she put her wait into it this time, she didn’t let up when her back started to protest. She was going to get off the shitter come hell or high water! Her feet were firmly planted on the pink rug when she finally started to rise.
“Oh yeah,” Helen said. “You can’t keep this bull dagger on the shitter! I’m getting out of here!”
Helen was almost on her feet when the cabinet door creaked again. It came off the hinges and Helen fell to the floor in front of the sink. She landed across the rug in a heap. The door fell inside of the cabinet, knocking the various bottles and cans of cleaner over.
Helen stared at the cracked ceiling of her bathroom, wishing she were still stuck on the toilet instead of stuck on the cold bathroom floor.
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
“What do you mean you can’t get him up?” Paulie said.
“Dis guy is heavy as fuck,” Da’Quarius said. “Can’t we just drag him?”
“We’ll get blood all over the floor!” Paulie said.
“He drippin’ everywhere anyway!” Da’Quarius said. “If we each get an arm we can drag him to the back door easier.”
“Alright,” a sweaty Paulie said, moving so Da’Quarius could get the would-be robber’s other arm. “I’m going to make Tony mop all this shit up for bailing on us.”
Da’Quarius moved to the other side where Paulie was holding the body up by its right arm. Da’Quarius gripped the left, and together they heaved the body to the back door. Once they got there, they let it drop and they leaned up against the wall.
“See,” Da’Quarius panted. “Wasn’t dat easier?”
“Yeah,” Paulie said. “Oh shit! I got a hand-truck in the back! I’m such a dumb gagootz sometimes!”
Da’Quarius started laughing at Paulie, then Paulie joined in as well.
“Can I ask you something?” Da’Quarius asked.
“Go ahead,” Paulie said, looking out the window to see if Tony was pulling up yet.
“I know you carry a piece,” Da’Quarius said. “Why didn’t you take a shot at the guy?”
“Honestly?” Paulie asked. “Any other day I would’ve. That’s why I carry. I just didn’t want him to freak out and shoot you, ya little stunad.”
Da’Quarius nodded. Paulie looked out the window again. “There’s Tony,” he said. He opened the door and met Tony, who was getting out of Paulie’s car with his duffle bag and bungees from Wal-Mart.
“Oh!” Paulie exclaimed. “What’s with the bag?!”
“What?” Tony said, holding up the bright hot-pink duffle bag. “It was on sale!”
“On sale my gray-haired balls,” Paulie said. “Did it ever occur to you that we would want to be as inconspicuous as possible while transporting a dead body that we don’t want any Johnny lawman to take notice of?”
Tony held the bag out to Paulie. “There ain’t no pleasing you,” Tony said. “It’s big enough to fit this guy and a few bricks. Be grateful.”
Paulie snatched the bag out of Tony’s hand. “Yeah, I’m grateful,” Paulie said. “Since the kid has to help me load this guy up into the trunk and take him to the swamp, you get to mop up the floor inside.”
“Yeah yeah,” Tony said. “I got it. Any thing else, your holiness?”
“Yeah,” Paulie said, stepping up to Tony and looking at him in the eyes. “Thank you.” Da’Quarius looked away at this, not wanting Tony to see that he knew that despite all their fighting they were pretty close.
Tony looked a little shocked at this. “You’re welcome,” he said. “I’ll get that shit mopped and make us some lunch for when you guys get back.”
“Wash yo’ hands first!” Da’Quarius called.
“Just get that friggin’ mook to the swamp, kid,” Tony said, stepping over the body to get back inside.
“There’s some old patio blocks next to the trash pails,” Paulie said. “We’ll line the bottom of the bag before we put our pal in. We gotta wrap him with the bungee cords so nobody spots the imprint of an arm in the bag. When we throw him in the swamp, he’ll be sunk for good.”
“You done dis before?” Da’Quarius asked with an eyebrow raised toward his uncle.
“What do you think, kid?” Paulie asked. “I just heard a lot about the old family business from my old man, ya dig.”
“I dig,” Da’Quarius said. “Let’s get dis sack of shit off the floor.”
Helen stared at the ceiling, still unable to move. “Ain’t this a bitch,” she said, trying to move her bare bottom off the cold bathroom floor. If she could just move over an inch or two, she could be back on the pink rug t hat sat in front of the sink.
“At least I’ll have more dignity dying on the bathroom floor than I would have on the toilet,” Helen said. She looked to her side and noticed her cane was next to her. “A lot of good you’re doing me now.”
Helen saw something else, and, in a moment of clarity, reached over and took what she so desperately needed. He put her hand in the air and pushed the button on the top. A flowery scented mist filled the air of the small bathroom.
“At least I won’t die with the scent of my shit in the air,” Helen said.
Suddenly, Helen saw a light on top of the ceiling. “Shit,” she said. “I must have gotten some of that flowery shit in my eye.” The light kept growing. After a moment, she realized she was moving toward it.
“It’s the light!” Helen shouted. “Fuck yeah! I’m going to crush so much snatch in heaven!”
Without another thought, Helen urged her soul to leave her body.
With a splash, the pink duffle bag fell into the swampy waters barely a couple of hundred feet from I-91.
“See ya later, bitch,” Da’Quarius said.
“I’m glad that’s over,” Pauie said. “Tony should have the place cleaned up by now. Let’s go get us a slice, a soda, and call it a day.”
“I ain’t arguing wit dat!” Da’Quarius said.
The two began walking back toward the car when Paulie’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He answered the phone and listened. “Shit,” he said, putting the phone back in his pocket. “That was Rose. Helen took a spill.”
Helen opened her eyes. She expected to be greeted by angels and Saint Peter. Instead, she was staring into the worried faces of Rose, Paulie, and Da’Quarius. “Are you alright?” Paulie asked.
Helen moaned. “I thought I was dead,” she said. “Why’d you have to wake me up and ruin it for me?”
“She’s OK,” Da’Quarius said.
“We were so worried,” Rose said. “You were saying some wild stuff. The paramedics said you were probably hallucinating from breathing in all the chemicals you spilled. They helped you to bed and told me to let you get plenty of rest.”
“I don’t need rest!” Helen said, trying to get up. “I just spent three hours on the shitter!”
After some struggling, Rose finally got Helen to calm down and take a nap. She left to the upstairs hallway where Paulie and Da’Quarius were waiting outside. “She’s finally asleep,” she said. “What happened to you two? You’re filthy! Is that blood on your clothes?!”
“No,” Paulie said.
“Dat’s pizza sauce,” Da’Quarius said. “Tony spilt it all over da place. We spent all afternoon cleanin’ it up.”
“Really?” Rose asked. “When I called the pizzeria, Tony said you guys went out.”
“Yeah,” Paulie said. “We went out for lunch.”
“You work in a restaurant,” Rose said.
“What’s with the twenty questions?” Paulie asked.
“We work wit pizza all day,” Da’Quarius said. “Maybe we wanted a cheeseburger instead!”
“OK,” Rose said with a cocked eyebrow. “Get cleaned up, but be quiet. I want Helen to get some sleep.”
Rose went downstairs and left the pair at the top of the stairs.
“That was close,” Paulie said. “Think she knows?”
“Shutup,” Da’Quarius said. “She don’t know a thing.”
“You stunads would last about five minutes in the slammer,” Helen said, before snoring away.