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Somebody Else at the Royal Wedding (Part I)

May 3, 2011 by Somebody Else

Ah, the royal wedding. When I heard that Prince William was getting married to his dear Kate, I was pumped. History was going to be made. It was going to be a major shot in the arm for the tabloid industry.

I imagined myself in England attending the royal festivities as a reporter for Somebody's Webpage. The editor-in-chief (Somebody) thought this was a great idea, but explained that due to the prolonged recession, and the website's failure to earn a profit during its four year existence, an expense account to pay for the trip would not be possible. No big shocker there.

Obviously, my only option was to pay for the trip myself, but, alas, when I dug deep into my pockets, all I found was a bunch of lint. The last time I checked, that wouldn't buy a plane ticket. Oh well, I figured, at least I can watch the whole thing on television.

So, one day I show up at the office ready for another day of editorial work for Somebody's Webpage. I say hello to Somebody, who is sitting at his desk, slurping a black coffee.

Somebody gets up and tries to open a window to let in some fresh spring air, since the air conditioner is out of order and our landlord, Thurston Thornton (yes, the one who writes his Tells It Like It Is section for our webpage) has told us that it might be several months until he's able to get around to fixing it, maybe not until October, actually.

It turns out that the window is painted shut, so Somebody is straining to open it with one hand and spills the coffee he is holding in his other hand all over his shirt. And he is saying a few choice words about Thurston, when suddenly, speak of the devil, there is our landlord in the doorway.

Pretending that he didn't hear what Somebody had just said about him (or maybe simply not giving a rip), Thurston asked us if we could go with him to his house to help him move a bunch of old crap out of his backyard shed.

So, I bluntly asked him, "What's in it for us?"

He came back with, "You can keep for yourself whatever you like because I just want to haul everything out to the dump."

I was going to decline, but Somebody surprisingly spoke up and said, "Yeah, why not, we'll take a look."

After Thurston left, I asked Somebody why he had said yes.

He replied, "You never know, he might have some stuff back in that shed that's worth something."

So, trusting in my colleague's intuition, I figured, why not.

Thurston had rented a truck and had parked it next to the rather large shed. We stepped in and faced a mountain of apparently worthless garbage. Thurston pulled up a desk chair, put on his straw hat, sat down, and started sipping from a bottle of whiskey.

"Get to work, boys," he ordered.

"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea," mumbled Somebody, but by then I suppose it was too late.

While we were working, I noticed a big metal filing cabinet that appeared to be from the 1950s. I opened all of the drawers except the top one, which was locked. There was nothing in the lower drawers.

I asked Thurston if he had the key to the top drawer and he just laughed, said that he had no idea where the key could be, and told me that the filing cabinet had belonged to his long-deceased father.

Then, Somebody remarked that we could use another filing cabinet in our office. So, we made sure that we put it aside. That was the only thing we kept after we deposited the rest of the useless junk at the dump.

After we had put the filing cabinet in the office, my curiosity got the best of me, and I felt that I just had to find out what was in that top drawer.

"Probably just a bunch of old Playboy magazines," guessed Somebody.

"Hey, I've heard that Playboy magazines from the 1950s can be worth something if they're in good condition," I ventured.

I decided to call up my buddy Rob who works for a local locksmith. I promised to buy Rob lunch if he would pick the lock for me.

So, I go out and get cheeseburgers and fries for Rob, Somebody and me, and he shows up. The lock was really rusty, so Rob had to struggle with it for a few minutes, but eventually he picked it and we opened the top drawer.

Well, guess what we found. Evidently, Thurston's father had put a cloth bag in there. When we opened it up we found a little more than thirty thousand dollars. That must have been the old man's emergency cash stash in case the banks went under again like they did during the Great Depression.

Somebody and I split it 50-50, and then we each gave Rob a hundred bucks as a show of gratitude. As for Thurston, he gets nothing because the filing cabinet is payment for hauling his trash as he agreed. As you yourself are so fond of saying, Thurston: tough cookies!

Somebody took all of his money and put it into an indexed stock fund. That's his thing, but I had other ideas. With my dream of traveling to England to cover the royal wedding now within reach financially, I bought my plane ticket to London that same day.

(See Part II next month to find out what happened at the royal wedding!)

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