“Chrissake, Betty, why’d you need such a big freezer, anyhow?”
“I told you, Frank, if we get a bigger freezer, we can get much better deals on the food we eat. It’ll work out cheaper in the long run.”
The elderly couple perused the appliance store, walking slowly down the aisle together, as they had done almost 45 years before. The wife selecting carefully, the husband impatient to leave.
Ten minutes later, Betty had made her selection.
“What do you think, Frank?”
Rolling his eyes, Frank’s simple response was “Jesus, Betty, that thing is big enough to hide a body. Do we really need something that big?”
“Frank, I told you. This will give us more options to buy directly from Old Colman’s place”. Doug Colman owned the beef farm on the edge of town, and had built up a successful business, selling his own frozen meat, in bulk, directly to the public.
“Whatever…”, muttered Frank, as he started walking purposefully toward the door.
Her mind made up, Betty handed over her card, and arranged for delivery in just two days’ time.
Next day, Betty spent the entire day clearing a freezer-sized space in the garage. Again, Frank took no interest. Frank had taken less and less interest in Betty as their marriage had evolved.
The following day, shortly after 11 am, Betty’s new freezer arrived as promised. The delivery men kindly placed it directly into its new space. Betty was left alone with the instructions. The main thing, it seemed, it needed 24 hours to get down to its designated temperature, before any food could be placed inside. There was nothing left to do now but wait. She returned to the lounge, where she found Frank, in vest and underpants, studiously reading the Sports section of the newspaper.
“Frank, do you wanna come and see the new freezer?”
“Busy”, muttered Frank. “I saw the goddam thing in the shop, anyhow. I know what it looks like.”
Betty bided her time.
By dinnertime the next evening, the freezer was ready to use. Betty served Frank, who was sitting in his favourite, rust-red armchair. Ignoring her, he was concentrating on the game being played on the tv. Once she had presented his meal, Betty returned to the solitude of the kitchen. Five minutes later, Frank exclaimed:
“What is this shit? For god’s sake, you stupid woman, didn’t your mother ever teach you to season food properly? Go get some salt, for fuck’s sake. Before you choke me to death.”
Mary looked around the kitchen. She instinctively picked up the salt cellar from the worktop. She hesitated, looked around once again, and replaced the salt, instead selecting a large skillet that was sitting on the hob. She stole silently back into the lounge. Frank was still glued to the tv.
One swift, decisive blow to the back of his head, and Frank never complained again, a perfect fit for Betty’s new appliance.