Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cloverdale's Puzey Palace Bed and Breakfast

Ms.Paula Puzey and her cat Muffin are the co-owners of the
Puzey Palace Bed and Breakfast on Highway One outside of Cloverdale.

My flat in Cloverdale had a leaky toilet seal. Having to stand in a puddle every time I had to ‘take care of business’ prompted me to call Jiffy Plumbers (who by the way were anything but Jiffy). In their attempt to replace the seal they pulled the toilet from the floor and damaged the water pipe causing a small flood resulting in water seepage from the upstairs into my downstairs bedroom.

When I returned to Cloverdale from Pleasant Grove on the 6:15 P.M. Coastal Express I was met at my flat’s door by two of Jiffy’s highly qualified (yet totally inept) plumbers wearing life vests complete with flashing homing beacons attached to the their collars. The more stupid looking of the two, judged primarily by this multidirectional teeth, also sported goggles and a snorkel. I stopped half way from the canal bank to my front door. They sheepishly waved. I asked how long.
They replied “In a Jiffy,”
“That long?” I said. I turned with suitcase in hand and set course for Ms. Paula Puzey’s Puzey Palace Bed and Breakfast.

“This is a Christian establishment,” she told me as I checked in for a two night stay.
“I’m a Christian and know how to behave.” I said while waiting for her to write my name in her guest register.
“Talk is you’re one of them Mormons,” she said looking up at me over the top of her reading glasses.
“Like I said Ms. Puzey. I’m a Mormon and a Christian.”
“Can’t be both. You’re either on the Lord’s side or ole Scratch will have your soul.” She put the finishing touches on my last name and closed the book.

“They’ll be no drinking of spirits in the room. Muffin is unforgiving of spirits,” she said putting up the first of many fingers to illustrate the house rules.
“Mormons don’t drink spirits,” I said hoping it would bring a few Puzey Points in my favor and spare me a 30 minute recitation of House Rules.
“Talk is you don’t drink coffee or tea either. What harm can be had over a cup of coffee or tea? Peculiar. Very peculiar.”

“There will be no sharing of company if you know what I mean. Muffin will not stand for it. This is a Christian home.”
“Ms. Puzey, let me assure you there will be no company whatsoever. I believe the same things you do. Sharing company outside of marriage can....”
“Open the door to old Scratch and its hell bound for sure.” she jumped in and finished my sentence for me.
“Talk is you Mormons share the company of many wives. Muffin doesn’t understand why anyone would want more than one wife.”

“Ms Puzey, Mormons gave up polygamy a very long time ago. You’ve nothing to fear.”
“Oh, Its not me. It’s Muffin. She’s very particular who she shares the house with.”

“There will be no smoking. The smoke disturbs Muffin causing her to scratch at the furniture.”
“Mormons don’t smoke.” I once again added in a useless attempt to get on Muffin’s good side. I could tell it wasn’t working. Muffin paid me no attention. She seemed more interested in catching a few minutes of sleep at the end of the Front Desk’s counter. “Ms Puzey, may I go to bed. I’m exhausted and if I don’t go to my room right now you and Muffin will be obliged to carry me. Don’t forget to tuck me in.”

She waved me toward the stairs and followed as I slowly climbed.
“No cooking in the room.” she said.
“I won’t cook in the room. I’ll take my meals at the Kicking Donkey.”
“That’s a pub.”
“I know its a pub. I won’t drink.........I’ll just have a meal.”
“If you come back two sheets to the wind Muffin will not be happy.”
“Heaven forbid I upset Muffin.” I said as I reached the door.

I inserted the key and opened the door as she tried to remember the rules she had forgotten.
“Goodnight,” I said shutting the door. She mumbled something then the hallway went quiet. She was gone. I had a strange feeling Muffin was still sitting outside my door waiting patiently for company to arrive or the sound of a cigarette lighter. I walked to the bed and collapsed - too exhausted to change. It promised to be the longest two days of my life.

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