His Lordship

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I’m Jason L. Secrest, an aspiring author and impoverished college student. Sometimes I blog. When I’m being real about real world things that other people also believe are real I post at wiseyetharmless.bogspot.com. Then there are the moments that I’m also being real, but in regards to a different real world where there is a real annoying talking demon in my basement and where my non-fake butler/valet/gentleman’s-gentleman knows Jujutsu. In those moment’s I’m Jason L. Secrest, Lord of the Manor, and I blog directly to you from my mansion study at whathowadsworth.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dumpster Diving

From my first night in the mansion I have known that it has various secrets. Some I’ve discovered with little effort (Beezle made his presence known speedily), while I have probed at others with very little success. On rare occasions I stumble into something unexpected and surprising. Whether I am pleased by such surprises has been widely varied. For example, I recently stumbled upon a secret compartment containing a sum of money large enough for me to pay my tuition for one semester (have I mentioned that I’m a poor college student?). On another occasion, I discovered carnivorous toilet. I barely escaped with my life and gained a new resolve to pay better attention to phrases like, “Perhaps this restroom is best avoided, Sir.”

This week I made an entirely new discovery, and I’m not certain what to make of it. It’s got to do with the dumpster. You see, I was thinking about my recent troubles with William. I chronicled them for you last week, but let me briefly refresh your memories.

I took issue with Will’s evening bathroom habits. He took issue with my existence as an authoritative figure in his life. Changing the topic, he requested that a door be added to the dumpster to improve his access. I suggested that he take a room in the mansion. He took offence and left me wondering what was so compelling about living in a dumpster. I ended my thoughts by asking you, my readers, for your thoughts.
Nathan Major, a good friend and associate suggested, “When life gives you a kid in a dumpster, buy a new dumpster.” Beezle heartily agreed and promoted swift action on my part.

I appreciated the humor from Nathan, and ignored the sincerity from Beezle, and went on with life a little less stressed for a few days. However, I kept thinking about the conversation and Will and the things he’s dealing with as a teenager. I was a teenager a short time ago… I’d never go back to it – not if you paid me, not for the world. I remember having some weird notions and strange feelings about things; and how nice it was when somebody who knew better would just nod their head and go along with me for a little while.

I remembered Will’s birthday too, so I started making some phone calls to welders to see about getting a door on that dumpster. The first guy said, “you want what?” and wouldn’t quit laughing long enough to talk business. The next one was serious enough, but he also said that “it is a violation of state and federal law to modify a dumpster in a fashion inconsistent with its original design and/or intended purpose.”

Finally I ran across Stan of “Stan’s Odd Jobs and Custom Welding.” I asked for an estimate on cutting a door into the side of a dumpster and braced myself for another disappointment. After a long silence he drawled, “Wellllll, I guess I’ve been asked to do stranger things. I’ll jus’ come down ‘n’ take a look right now, if that’s ok wi’choo” (“wi’choo” translates from redneck to “with you” in standardized English).

Stan’s base of operations is close and I had just enough time to shove Will out the door on a fake errand and wheel the dumpster into the garage before Stan knocked on the door. I let Wadsworth get it, but I stood back in the hallway and watched the exchange (I enjoy watching Wadsworth work, it’s inspiring.)

Stan is average in height but stocky.  He has a dark tan, a wind worn face, and sandy brown hair that usually stick out in every direction. He had it covered it with a well used cap, but it didn’t help much.
When Wadsworth answered the door I watched Stan remove his cap respectfully and say, “This the place that wants a door in the dumpster?”

“Yes, Sir, Lord Secrest is expecting you.”

“And you don’t want me to do nothin’ in the basement, right?”

“No, Sir. That will not be necessary.”

“Good, ‘cause I’ve been here before. You know you got a monster or somethin’ down there? ‘Boilzees’ or ‘Beezus’ or somethin’? Worst customer I ever had.”


Stan jumped and his eyes widened. He whispered behind his hand, “Does he do that all the time?”

Wadsworth nodded and said, “Frequently, Sir, yes.”

Stan licked his lips and raised his voice, “Now, Mr. Beezus, you agreed in writing that I don’t replace nothin’ ‘less I put it in wrong or it broke.”


Stan scowled. “Also, I inspect carefully for signs of intentional vandalism.”


After a short silence Wadsworth said, “I trust that your business with Bezel has concluded. May I show you to the garage.”

Stan nodded, and I spoke up, “Thank you, Wadsworth, I can take it from here.”

“Very good, Sir.”

While I walked with Stan, his eyes wandered everywhere and he did a half turn every time he took a step. He caught sight of a particularly dazzling chandelier and let out a low whistle followed by, “What’s a place like this cost anyways?”

“Not much, surprisingly,” I said, “But that’s probably got something to do with the tenants.” I pointed to the basement. Stan nodded severely.


“The little son-of-a-gun’s got a mouth on him don’t he? He’s worse than my sister. ”


Stan shrugged, and we kept moving.

In the garage he spied the the dumpster up and said, “Well, let’s see what we got here… looks pretty standard.” He opened the lid and peered inside, “Metal’s in good condition; don’t see any corrosion at all. Should make for a pretty clean job. I think I can get ‘er done pretty quick. I think I’d charge you, oh…” he named a price, and I frowned at it.

“Stan,” I said, “This may surprise you, considering that I’m living in a mansion, but I not so well to do. I was basically given the place. Can we work out something a little cheaper?”

Stan scratched at the scruff on his chin and gazed at the dumpster. He folded his arms and worked his tongue around in his moth for a while. Finally, he looked back at me and asked, “You got yourself a Gardner?”

I shook my head. “Had one for a while, but I could afford to keep him on. Will’s been mowing the grass and Wadsworth handles the flowers.”

 “Well, I’ll tell you what: I’m lookin’ to pick up an extra job or two. You let me handle your grounds and call me first on any maintenance you need done an’ I’ll throw in the dumpster for free.”

 “I appreciate what you’re trying to do, Stan,” I said, “but I doubt I can offer you enough money to make it worth your time.”

Stan thought for a little longer and said,“Well, how about a cook? You got one of those?”

“Wadsworth does most of the cooking around here.”

“He any good?”

“I’ve never eaten better.”

Stan grinned widely, “Well I can’t cook to save my life. You have your Man rustle somethin’ up for me a couple time times a week and I’ll do your grounds for next to nothin’.”

I grinned, “I think we’ve got a deal.”

We shook on it, and he set up his equipment to work on the dumpster. Then he lifted the lid and said, “This’ll work best if I crawl inside. That way I can make the door flush with the edge of the floor.” He scrambled in. He let out a low whistle again and shouted, “Holy Moses! Wasn’t expecting that! This is some dumpster mister.”

Puzzled, I looked inside the dumpster. Stan was looking around him with the same look of bedazzlement that he’d displayed inside the mansion, but I didn’t see anything special: there were a few old suits, old news papers, yesterdays light refreshments, and that was about it. Everything looked standard.

“What’s so special about it?” I asked.

“Well Gee Wilikers; you ever been in this thing?”


“Then I think maybe you should get in here. This thing’ll shock you better’n a cattle prod.”

I heaved myself over the edge and in the process started saying, “Now, what’s so –,“ I had planned to say “special,” but I was stunned speechless. I found myself standing in a ten foot by ten foot by ten foot room. The décor was as just as grand as in the mansion. A chandelier hung from the ceiling. The walls and floors were polished, white, and sparkling. I wasn’t sure if they were stone or metal or some sort of wonderful mixture. The room was fully furnished with a large wardrobe, an unmade bed, a messy desk, several tables and stands of various types, and a set of ornate furniture. The newspapers that as viewed from above had been ripped and strewn about were now precisely folded, stacked, and organized by date on a short round end table in the corner. Yesterday’s refreshments sat invitingly on a silver platter on a cherry wood coffee table. I turned around in a daze to find that the wall behind only remained vertical till just below my shoulders, after that it took a sharp me angled upward until it met with the ceiling. A large window was set in at exactly the same height that the dumpster lid would be, in fact I could see the hinges on the upper sill. On exactly the opposite wall was a softly glowing silver door with an engraved golden handle. I walked to the door and reached out to finger the handle.

Stan grabbed at my hand and growled, “You got bolts for brains? Who knows but that it opens into that monster's fireplace? When I installed that ironwork, I saw more’n one door just like it, an all of ‘em were in nasty places, so you just keep your hands to yourself until I’m out’a this dumpster.”

I stepped back quickly, thinking shakily of the twenty foot flames I’d seen in Beezle’s suite. I walked to the window, put my hands on the seal and looked out. Will was standing in the garage and he looked angry.

To make a long story short, Will was fairly upset about the invasion of his privacy. The phrase that best sums up his side of the conversation was, “I asked you to put a door in, not have a party in my bedroom.” I however, am proud to say that I remained relatively calm, and after many apologies from both me and Stan he finally let it drop. He was also very pleased with the door. Stan welded installed in from the outside by cutting a hole and installing a latch. Will let us check it out from the inside. Inside the dumpster the door formed as intricately carved oak set into a crystalline archway. Stan kept walking inside the dumpster and back out again inspecting his work. He’d swing the door from side to side on other side and more than once I heard him mutter, “How the hell did I do that?”

Will still won't tell me what the silver door is for, but if I ever find out, I'll fill you in.

-Jason L. Secrest

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