Last year I unintentionally bought a new car.
I was getting ready to leave for Dallas, followed immediately by a trip to Minnesota for a funeral, and had just put 4 brand new tires on my old car because I was trying to be an adult. Which is probably why I then accidentally ran over a Kawasaki motorcycle engine disguised as a trash bag in the middle of the road because karma.
Fast forward to that afternoon and I was pulling into the garage with a new car that I later named Hermione because she magically shaved off almost 3 hours from the 12-hour drive to Minnesota the following weekend.
This is a hot mess of stuff (paws for effect).
The funeral was for my Aunt Sue who had passed away a few weeks earlier from a horrific type of cancer (fuck you, cancer).
Before she died, however, she had just one request - she wanted to be buried with her dogs. All 5 of them.
My cousin Brandon must have known what I was thinking because he assured me that all 5 dogs had already passed away and been cremated years ago and that he and Amy (his wife) simply had to fly to Minnesota a few days early so they could search for them somewhere in his mom’s storage unit.
In theory this sounded easy enough but in reality was like looking for 5 needles in an entire field of haystacks that had been haphazardly shoved somewhere inside a jam-packed garage-sized storage unit.
Oh… and no one had any idea what the containers of ashes looked like. Except that they were all different (because of course they were).
Don't stop retrieving.
The Wednesday before the funeral Brandon and Amy flew out to Minnesota and
questioned all their life choices up to this point recruited a few local friends to help with the search.
Here is an abbreviated summary of Amy’s play-by-play she sent us while we were on the road:
8:00am Arrived at storage unit. Surprisingly all recruited friends showed up as well. Probably because we bribed them with beer.
8:05am Brandon opened the storage unit while I closed my eyes and hoped it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
8:06am I realized it’s way worse than I thought it would be.
8:07am I’m not sure I can hold off until the liquor stores open, so I’m going to get everyone coffee and spike it with whatever is in Brandon’s flask.
8:15am Brandon must have given a motivational speech about beer because everyone grabbed the nearest item and began searching for canine remains.
9:15am OMG THEY FOUND THE FIRST DOG.
9:49am SECOND DOG IS…… wait, false alarm.
10:18am SECOND DOG HAS BEEN LOCATED.
11:00am Someone decided to make a lunch run. I have no idea who because I’ve been trapped underneath a box fort for the past half hour but when they got back they shoved a burrito towards me through an opening so I’m grateful for that.
12:30pm THIRD DOG IS FOUND. High fives all around.
1:30pm We paused to take a break so I’m going to get drinks for everyone. Or possibly run away. I haven’t decided yet.
2:12pm I decided to go back because someone has to document this or no one will ever believe it. I also heavily spiked the drinks to increase morale.
2:13pm OMG THEY FOUND THE FOURTH DOG WHILE I WAS GONE.
3:03pm Apparently someone finally made it to the very back of the storage unit. I’m currently working on a plan to get them out alive.
3:21pm THEY JUST FOUND THE FIFTH DOG.
4:03pm [SENDS PICTURE] Meet us at the hotel bar at 6. I'll explain everything.
Putting the 'fun' back in funerals.
During a meeting at the funeral home on his previous trip to Minnesota Brandon had mentioned that his mom wanted to be buried with her dogs’ remains and had been immediately informed that they do not allow burial of non-human remains of any kind in their cemetery. I wasn’t sure how you can tell the difference between ‘human remain ashes’ and ‘non-human remain ashes’ but for all I knew they had a witch on staff who could feel the presence of ghosts and I’m guessing the barking would have given it away.
Fortunately the groundskeepers must have overheard Brandon’s request because they pulled him aside before he left and mentioned to him that if he wanted to slip one or two small personal items into the vault with Sue’s ashes before they covered it that they didn’t care what it was as long as everything fit inside.
Fast forward to the storage unit excavation. As each dog’s remains were located they had to be extracted from their respective container and placed into a single small burlap bag.
The first 3 were easy - they had been found in individual bags so Amy simply opened them up and added them to the burlap bag of dog soup. The 4th one had been sealed in a box of some sort but with a little effort they were able to get it open.
The 5th dog’s remains, however, had been sealed inside a solid brass greyhound statue for all of eternity.
I am unable to even.
It had quickly become apparent that the only way to get to the ashes was to try and break through the original seal which was located on the asshole of the dog statue because where else would it be.
While Brandon went to grab their tools the rest of the crew looked around for something to set the statue on while they worked so it wouldn’t slip.
And that’s how Brandon ended up drilling a hole into the asshole of a dog statue on top of his mom’s copies of The Joy of Sex and More Joy of Sex.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
I’d love it if you’d make a cocktail for yourself (because you’ll probably need it if you’ve made it this far) and join me in the Unconventional Creative Facebook Group for happy hour.
And while you’re at it, make a second drink for a friend and invite them along. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
This is what I imagine making a sacrifice to satan looks like.
THE PINEAPPLE ROSEMARY ELIXER
2.5 oz. Vodka
2.5 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Pink House Alchemy Pineapple Rosemary Shrubs
Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
Place vodka, pineapple juice, PH Pineapple Rosemary shrubs, and a small sprig of rosemary into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds.
Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Drink. Enjoy. Repeat.