After getting to know Jeff for awhile it came time to see where he lived and meet his people. A generous soul, he invited us all out to the farm on Halloween night to partake in film watching and a bonfire “out at the gravel pit.” This was the first farm party and destined to become a tradition.
There were several of us on that trip: Dr. I, Big Brian, myself, Nurse Pam, Chuck, and Ensign Raiff- the last of which was angry with us. We had told him that it was a costume party, and he and shown up in a Captain Condom outfit, a skin tight super hero suit, a rubber condom hat that stretched down to the nose, several penis shaped eyeholes, and a fruity shimmering cape was half-a-back long. Naturally we had all worn regular clothes, so he looked even more ridiculous than usual.
The directions were simple, get off the I-90 at the Darien lake exit. Take a left, and then go on until you hit “the light.” A rare and joyous beacon of navigation in those barren wastes. Hang a right, then go on until we reach “the stop sign.” Another monolithic marker, like Stonehenge. It was a little ways on then, on the left. Actually the road cut a swath through the property, so when we arrived we were surrounded by Jeff Death’s prowling grounds.
On the way we speculated as to what the denizens of the farm would be like. We imagined perhaps that Jeff’s family had died years ago and he stuffed them, like Norman Bate’s mother, and we would be treated to a Texas Chainsaw Tea Party, with Jeff arraigning his deceased family around an antiquated living room, passing hor d’ourves around and pretending they were speaking…
Or perhaps he would come out in different costumes pretending to be them. “I’ll go get my Ma.” He would say, then reemerge in a dress. And in the same voice say, “Hi, I’m Jeff’s Ma. I’ll go get his Pa now.” Then come back in overalls and a cotton ball beard. “Hi, I’m Jeff’s Pa…”
Or the place would be filled with cripples and inbred deformities, slithering around and drooling. A misshapen chicken wing hand running through Brian’s mass of locks and, through a toothless mouth, saying “I like this here girlie Jeff.” While Jeff goes over to his overweight and near comatose mother, takes her shirt off and bellows, “I like knockers!” Then begins to breast feed off of her…
Yes indeed it would be a fun time up on the farm, and while his family turned out to be disappointingly normal, other events soon took some strange turns.
We arrived and disembarked, while Raiff skipped about in his Captain Condom outfit. Jeff emerged in his home made Leatherface outfit. He greeted us and glowered at Raiff. Jeff had a fancy for Nurse Pam, a girl of generous proportions, and often openly fantasized about bumping Raiff off, or arraigning an accident that he could be involved in, so that he could fill the breech in Pam’s life. Which is exactly why we brought him along.
After a pizza and a long overdue viewing of “The Love Butcher” (Which became another farm party tradition.) Jeff took us on a tour of the property.
He lived on his parent’s property and made a living helping around the farm. They grew hay mostly, but sometimes went in for cattle, “Beefers” as Jeff called them. There were several houses on the property, bleak things sticking out along a lonely road. One his parents lived in, another for his sister and her family, and Jeff’s double wide. A rotting barn was pushed back into the property, next to the phallic silo.
“Yeah,” Jeff remarked, “If I ever want to dump a body I know exactly where to put it. Drop it in the bottom of the silo, and pour a ton of grains on it. Acid would eat right through the sucker.”
We ventured into the barn and gazed upon a group of new born calves, lazily mewing about in Autumn’s darkness. Cute tender creatures they wandered up to us in absolute innocence. Their thick eyes belying absolute stupidity.
“They’re still looking for their mother, so if you stick your finger out they will suck on it. It won’t hurt, cows have only a bottom set of teeth.”
We investigated and found this to be true. The sensation was unique, like having a tight wet vacuum cleaner pull on your digit. Not great, but not really unpleasant. The obvious joke about what else Jeff had been sticking out for the calves to suck on was made. Still we were all wrapped up in this new experience.
Jeff walked away. “Yep, in a year from now, I get to blow their brains out.”
Which rather killed the mood for me. I turned around to witness Jeff lurching up behind Mark, a chainsaw raised over his head, and the peculiar wild-eyed Jeff leer over his face. The catch phrase for a recent film rattled through my brain, “THE SAW IS FAIMLY!” He spotted me and dropped the saw rather sheepishly, but gave me a look that said, “Hey, would you really blame me?”
The party drifted on. We clambered into the back of large battered pick up, and sat down for the bumpy ride into the backwoods of Jeff’s estate. Then Jeff decided to tell us that they had used the vehicle to haul manure the week before. Standing on the trip was a rough ride. Brian managed to scam the passenger seat, while the rest of us were knocked back and forth as the damn truck lurched up and down like a whack-a-mole. Raiff fell out of the truck and Jeff refused to stop for him. He ran after us, huffing and puffing, his Captain Condom cape flapping behind up, looking like the opening of that old SNL skit “Middle Aged Man.” The rest of us stood in the back and laughed. He grabbed the side of the truck and swung a flabby leg over. Out of breath after the 30 feet dash, he sputtered obscenities and raised his fist in anger, but didn’t brace himself while in his rage, and next bump he fell over again. This time he didn’t catch up with us, and had to hoof it the rest of the way to our destination. The Ol’ Gravel Pit.
A barren place filled with… well gravel. It was actually a depression, surrounded on the South and East by a long 25 foot high hill, that managed to keep the wind away. A perfect place for a bonfire. Jeff had hauled some old wooden pallets out the day the day before, along with some other sundry burnables. We were ready to rock! Beer and liquor was unloaded, and we dug in. The fire was lit, doused liberally with gasoline, and roared toward the sky. Brian plucked at his guitar for a few minutes, then, disturbed, put it down and pointed North.
“What the Hell is that Jeff?”
All eyes followed Brian’s finger. A little ways away was an abandoned school bus. Not for the first time I had Texas Chainsaw flashbacks. Oh God. He really was crazy! I’m a dead man. He’s going to drown me in wet cement and make a statue out of my body.
The real reason why it was there was rather mundane, so on the spot we came up with The Official Reason. Jeff, after watching Dirty Harry one time too many, had pulled a Scorpio and high jacked a school bus. With Clint Eastwood being the mayor of Carmel at the time, there was no one to stop Jeff’s violent rampage.
Jeff went along with it. “Yep. I killed the boys straight off.” He said in his cool killer voice. “I had no use for them.”
We all gave a toast to Jeff’s unstoppable psychopathic nature, and partied on. We drank deep and Jeff rambled on…
“Why is it when a man kills in war, he’s a hero, but when he kills in the heat of passion, it’s called murder?”
The night faded and I did too, passing out on a string of connected metal chairs, placed out in the pit from God knows where. When I woke up in the morning, my shoes were gone and so was everyone else.
This is part three of a six part series on this remarkable man.