Listen To This Story
Welcome to Frankie’s Place! I hope you have a terrific time staying in my converted barn-studio! I’ve left you some of my best buds in the ashtray. Enjoy!
Games. I have a good selection of games: Plunk, Krazy Farm, Blinkers, and Chest. (Some of the pieces might be missing from Chest.) I also have a foosball table, which doubles as the dining table when you put the BP sign over it.
Pets. Please feed my pets. My Acid Ball Python (Monty) eats three mice a day. (The mice are kept in a cage under the sink, by the roach spray.) Monty suffers from a reptile dysfunction stress disorder so might seem a bit nippy when you try to feed him. If he gets too nippy, just give him a couple drops of his medicine, which is in a green bottle by the sink. Make sure it gets past his tongue as he tries to spit it out.
My rat (Keith) eats one mouse a day. He has Type-B diabetes, so needs an insulin shot around noon. His medicine is in a green bottle by Monty’s, but don’t get them mixed up (the bottles look identical), or they could go psychotic.
A new shipment of mice should arrive on Monday morning and needs to be signed for at 6 a.m. Please don’t miss this delivery, as both pets tend to get out of their cages if they get too hungry. (Don’t forget to feed the mice too. They eat anything.)
Kitchen. Please don’t use the kitchen.
Bathroom. The indoor bathroom, as you’ll see, is still a bit of a construction site after we had a problem with the cistern, but feel free to use the outdoor shower. The water pressure is uneven, but there should be enough water as long as you don’t put the dial past “2.” The toilet is just behind the skin-tanning shed.
Recycling. Frankie’s Place is a green place! It’s imperative that you sort the recycling properly. Grade-1 plastic (PET) goes in the orange bin, grade-2 plastic (PE-HD) goes in the yellow bin, and grade-5 (PP) goes in the red bin. Note that the Cathpart County recycling program doesn’t accept grades 3, 4, or 6 plastic. Make sure to separate the green and brown glass (brown goes in the green box, green goes in the brown box). Paper goes in the light blue box, but cardboard goes in the dark blue box. Note that any cardboard less than 3 mm is considered paper. There’s a ruler by the boxes. The day you leave just take all the boxes up to the end of the drive by the entrance to the cemetery.
Smoking. Fine anywhere except by the butane tank or near Monty. Keith likes it.
Wi-Fi. There’s no Wi-Fi in Frankie’s Place, but if you drive down to Jake’s café, just go in and ask Jake. He sometimes knows someone with Wi-Fi.
Walks. There are several lovely walks from Frankie’s Place. One of them goes past the pig farm to the Limeview Nuclear Power Plant and back through the McArthur Military Machine-Gun Training Base. Please note: If the red flag is up, don’t go through the field.
Shopping. There’s a Walmart in Farnsborough (down route 67, turn south onto the 303, about 50 minutes), but Mrs. Ligitaw’s market (3 miles, just past the cement factory) sells the basics. The local schnukk is a specialty.
Plants. The hum you hear is just the lighting rig on my indoor plants in the basement. But please water Axel, my Kentia palm on the barstool by the broken exercise bike. He suffers from low photosynthetic leaf disorder and needs three drops of chlorophyll around 3 p.m. It’s in a green bottle by the pets’ medicine.
TV. If you’ve brought one, plug your TV into the outlet by the Hooters poster (just disconnect the bug zapper). Reception’s probably not so great, but the light from the screen might be helpful as the barn wattage in the living space, I’ve been told, is a bit on the low side.
Garden. Please feel free to use the tractor tire lawn furniture, but if it starts to rain, you must close and bring in the Coors Light garden umbrella. It’s an antique.
Barbecue. If you use the outdoor brick barbecue, make sure there are no squirrels stuck in the chimney. (It takes weeks to get rid of the smell, as you might notice.) Try the local venison! The deer can be gutted and grilled quite easily, and you might get lucky and hit one on the way to the market. I tend to hit two or three a week, but it helps if you know the roads, and you sometimes have to speed up on the causeway.
Visitors. You may get some visitors. If they ask for product, tell them I’ll be back in a week. If they demand product, tell them to try Skeezy in Lonsdale. If they get threatening, tell them you’re a personal friend of Shrike and to just back off. If they look like undercover cops, tell them I’ve moved to Canada.
Have a great time at Frankie’s Place, and please don’t forget to give me a good review on Airbnb!
J.B. Miller is an American writer living in England, and is the author of My Life in Action Painting and The Satanic Nurses and Other Literary Parodies.