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Mary's Back, Part Five

Monday, November 15, 2010

If you're new to this series you really should catch up on the story of Mary. You won't regret it!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I thought I’d seen it all in Mary’s house, but when Jeff brought out that pickle jar filled with chunky, gray ash I thought I was going to die. I felt guilty about laughing so much at Mary’s situation but we had to find humor in what we encountered or we wouldn’t be able to finish the job.

“Jeff, you’ve got to put Chuck back before you drop him! We’ll never be able to get all of him out of the carpet!”

“But Teri, you’ve got to look at this.” He held the jar out for me to see like it was a prized trophy.

“Get him the hell away from me and put him back in the closet!”

After having his fun for the day, and after my continual pleading, he put the jar back in it’s resting place.

That morning we made arrangements with Mary to visit her in the nursing home when we were finished for the day. We had a few things to discuss with her, and Chuck was on the list.

As we drove the few short miles to the nursing home, we tried to come up with ways to sneak in a few questions without being too obvious.

Mary’s nurse met us at the front desk and led us through the wheelchair filled hallways to a common area where patients could escape the confines of their rooms. Mary was waiting for us. She had showered and was wearing clean blue pajamas and a blue and white striped hospital robe. Her ‘scooter the dog” slippers had been replaced with new terrycloth slippers provided by the nursing home.

Jeff and I sat in plastic yellow chairs across from Mary. After asking how she was, and talking about her recovery, we told her of the progress we were making on the house. I needed to know about flooring choices and paint colors for the new kitchen and what she wanted to do with the carpeting.

In the middle of telling me to choose what I thought would work best, she leaned over on one hip and whatever had been building up in her digestive system that week came roaring out. I’m sure Jeff and I had looks of shock on ours faces, Mary never missed a word.

She settled back into the couch and continued her conversation. A few minutes later she hiked her hip up again and, once more, roared forth. Why was I surprised? This was the woman that threw some of her garbage out of the front door. This was the woman that had stuffed dirty underwear in the walls. This was the woman that kept her husband above the toilet.

Trying to maintain his composure, Jeff went a different direction and began asking questions.

“Mary, we found some guns in your bed.”

“Oh, you found those? Better be careful, they’re loaded.”

“Why in the world do you have a .45 under your pillow?”

She looked at him oddly, lifted her leg and let another one rip before answering. The deadly combination of gases were beginning to envelope us. I was fighting back hyena like laughter. I wasn’t sure I could keep my composure. If she did it again I was going to lose it. I put my hand in front of my nose in a lame attempt to guard my nostrils from the noxious fumes. I waited for her answer.

“For protection,” she said flatly.

That made sense, I guess. In theory, some crazed meth addicts could possibly be roaming through the woods of Skyline, see a decrepit old house and decide to take up residence. But first they would be slipping and sliding through an obstacle course of slimy, crap filled kitty litter on the way in. I’m sure that would be enough to deter even the most dedicated of drug addicts.

“Mary,” Jeff went on, “why do you have a loaded pellet gun in your bed?”

“I use that to shoot the rats that run through the room at night.”

Oh Holy Mother of God! My mind flashed back to the dead rat the kids found in the bedroom. If there was one dead rat there had to be more. There was one surprise after another with this woman. Each one more astounding than the last.

I changed the subject and told her I found her baby book, her college annuals, and other things of importance and had packed them away in a box marked “special.” That must have sparked her memory.

“Teri, have you found a plastic bag in the desk drawer?”

I thought back and couldn’t remember a plastic bag in the desk. In fact, I hadn’t been through the desk yet. I didn't even know there was a desk.

“Well when you find it make sure you put it in that box.”

“What does it have in it?”

“There’s some string, rubber bands and twine in it. I’ve had it for years. The vet removed it from Heidi’s intestines and I want to make sure it doesn’t get misplaced.” Heidi was “scooter the dog.”

Who in the hell keeps shit their dog ate in a baggie in a desk drawer?

I could feel Jeff looking at me as I stared blankly at Mary. I was trying to comprehend what she was telling me. He stepped in, deciding it was time to steer us away from the doggy treats and ask the question we both wanted the answer to.

“Mary, while I was cleaning your bathroom I found a jar of ashes above the toilet. Are they Chuck’s?”

Mary was shocked. Her blue eyes sparkled with amusement. She then laughed as she said, “Oh heavens no. Those ashes are from Mt. St. Helens. I put Chuck in sandwich bags.”


Furry Bottoms November 15, 2010 at 3:04 PM  

Diva, be very very glad I was not there with you. I would NOT have been able to hold back laughter at all. I wouldn't be able to, I swear.

Monkey Man November 15, 2010 at 3:31 PM  

This story just gets better and better. Chuck in zip locks. Mt. St. Helens' ash safely in a jar. Go figure.

Christy November 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM  

LOL! Sandwich bags? You are a better woman than I am. I would have been rolling on the floor! So do you remember where the sandwich bags were put? Possibly in the trash?

Babes Mami November 15, 2010 at 4:17 PM  

Of course she did! Men go in sandwich bags and ashes go in pickle jars. Geez Diva! ;]

Dazee Dreamer November 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

omg. that is hilarous she put him in a sandwich bag. hahahahaha. But why would she put ashes from Mt. St. Helens above the toilet. God, this gets better and better.

Blossom November 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

Farting...sandwich in shock.

Rob-bear November 15, 2010 at 4:47 PM  

How sad; how hilarious! I laughed 'til I cried. I would have had trouble keeping together, too!

Still waiting to hear if Mary gets home.

Skepticat November 15, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

Just when I think this story can't get more horrific or fascinating, you prove me wrong. I find myself afraid to read more but not really wanting the series to end.

Unknown November 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

I seriously can't decide whether to laugh or cry. Both, perhaps?? I wonder if it even does any good to clean a house like this? I bet she'll just do it all over again - there's gotta some mental disorder that makes someone think it's an acceptable way to live.

Anonymous,  November 15, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

Hahaha, but of course!

Daisygirl November 15, 2010 at 5:48 PM  

oh my crap I would have been laughing so freakin hard! My jaw hit the floor with the last comment, oh of course volcano ashes get the good jar, human ashes just need a baggy!
Crazy lady!

Pat November 15, 2010 at 5:53 PM  

You just can't be making this shit up - it is too far fetched! I would have laughed my ass off when she farted. Okay, maybe the first time I could have ignored it, but after that? It was free game!

The Bipolar Diva November 15, 2010 at 6:36 PM  

I'm so glad you all are enjoying this. It makes living through it worth it!

Sarahf November 15, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

I wouldn't have been able to hold in the laughter with the farting, but the sandwich bags would have finished me. I love Mary.

pengboo November 15, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

Hmmm...maybe you should ask which brand of sandwich bags. Could be a new commercial opportunity. Don't be sad, use GLAD!! :)

Gypsea Nurse November 15, 2010 at 8:04 PM  

Dear God... This is unreal.. If I didn't work in a psych lockdown facility I would never believe it!

The Green-Eyed Brat November 15, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

What i want to know is if she looked at you like you were nuts for suggesting she had placed Chuck in a pickle jar...then I'd like to know your first thought when you were notified that he was in baggies of all things....

The Bipolar Diva November 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM  

She did look at me funny, after all it was "volcanic ash." She looked a little offended that we thought she kept him over the toilet. But who in the heck knew with her? I don't think I had a thought when she said that about the baggies. I just stared at her trying to soak in the reality.

Cheeseboy November 15, 2010 at 9:02 PM  

Holy crap! This is majorly funny. I would have been rolling.

Erica November 16, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

AHAHAHA!! I am loving this story! You guys are really great people helping this lady out like that. It seems like you have "adopted" her too. The world needs more people like you! I just really really really hope that Mary won't go back to her old ways and mess the house up again after all your hard work.

If you are interested in another bipolar blog, you can find me at

Claudya Martinez November 16, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

Well, of course she put him in sandwich bags, that makes total sense- NOT!

Many HUGS. ~Pop Pop~ November 16, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

OK-you thought Chuck was in the pickle jar, and then a day or so ago, you participated in some sort of pickle lick thing or another. Kinda makes a man wonder.......... I can't wait till you finish the entire story, and have it published! I'd buy a dozen copies of this book!

Dutchess November 17, 2010 at 3:49 PM  

I'm trying to catch up on blog reading. I hope you feel better soon, Diva.

I am loving this story. If we lived closer, we would so hang out.

msblondie9900 November 27, 2010 at 6:14 AM  

Love this story !!!! I know how you feel have a grandmother that is a hoarder we had to clean her house . We found the craziest things including tape worms in a jar ( oh that makes me gag just thinking about it) that she had gotten out of a dog she kept it. Ugh anyway know how you feel. Keep up the hard work.

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