Of Teapots and Men


by Richard Purvis

The crime, he thought of it as more of a public service, had been flawless. He had had all of the previous winter to plan it and he had been meticulous in his attention to detail. The loud, horrid noise played over and over and over was enough to drive a lesser man to insanity, but not him, no, he had remained lucid, his thoughts orderly and coherent.

The previous three summers had been torture for him; an endless cycle of noise, a cacophony of puerile tunes conveyed in public but designed to cripple him inside. Yes, any other man, a lesser man, would have withered under the annual summer onslaught. Not him! Never! He strengthened his resolve with each summer and refined his plans with each winter.

Killing the driver had been easier than he had thought. As per the anticipated scenario, confirmed by his careful observation, the ice cream truck went to Point A, the parking lot of a nearby city park where the driver ate his lunch every day at the same time. According to design, he had been waiting there, sitting at a picnic table (Point B) when the truck arrived. There being no one else around, he had strangled the driver, a small pathetic man, with electrical wire and buried the body in a shallow trench (Point C) in the woods. He left a triple-flavor banana boat topped with caramel and a small plastic children's teapot resting beside the dead body. He felt that he should say something, so he bowed his head and softly sang "I was a little teapot". But then he had a problem, the truck would create suspicion sitting by itself in the parking lot of a city park.

So, late that night, the night of the murder, he drove the truck to the Frosty Cone parking lot and left it there with a note purportedly from the dead driver stating that he was moving to another city to pursue a lifelong ambition as a hot dog vendor. Not realizing how late, or rather how early it was, he ran into the owner of Frosty Cone, Inc. who was on his way in for the day. In order to cover his tracks he told the owner that he was a friend of the driver and had agreed to drop off the truck as the driver had to catch a flight to begin his new career. Fine, said the owner, but who's going to drive my truck? I lose money if it just sits here all day. How 'bout you? You need a job?

Fearing that refusal would raise suspicions, he had agreed to take the truck out. What he didn't tell the owner though, was that he had removed the children's tunes from the truck and replaced them with something far more to his liking. The owner, who seemed to exist in a state of more or less perpetual inebriation, seemed none the wiser.

He was free! He took the truck out, free jazz blaring from the loudspeaker, to peddle his ice cream to a more upscale clientele. He had gotten away with murder and now he was planning a fleet of free jazz-playing ice cream trucks. Over the next two summers, he drove the jazzy ice cream truck, happy and content, dreaming of his business empire.

Sitting on the balcony of his condo one sunny day, a man heard the jazz-playing ice cream truck approaching - a clamorous, repetitious din that grated on his nerves. This was simply too much! Each summer the same noise, over and over again! Something had to be done before he lost his mind! Surely any action on his part would be considered less a crime than a service to art. After all, everyone knew that "I'm a Little Teapot" was meant to be played as a classical piece, not jazz!




BIO: Richard John Purvis is a Canadian author. He has a love of language and a dislike of poshlost in all of its insidious forms. His work has been published in "State of Imagination" and "eclectic flash".