I drive about 5 minutes south on 99 when it dawns on me. I have an available job near Tulare and with Sam safely in Nevada; this is the perfect opportunity. I swing the car around and travel north. Calling ahead I book a room in the Visalia Marriott. Some jobs need to be handled right away, others need to be handled, but whenever convenient. This job is the latter. The low priority jobs don’t pay very well, sometimes not at all.
Fred Klemanuski has been a problem for residents of Visalia for over 20 years. Fred operates an illegal piggery on the outskirts of town. To deal with the swine scat, Fred’s been using a process that sprays pig poo over open fields, this is called in the business: overapplication. The farm had odour and toxic waste problems for many years. Whenever the wind shifts, as it does nearly every day, it brings a fresh waft of pig poop pong into town. As anyone who’s served time on a hog lot will tell you, swine shite stinks.
Fred’s claim was that his land is a sovereign Indian nation, part of the Tule River Tribe and as such did not need to obey any local or federal laws, pay taxes, or even just be a good neighbour. He defended his sovereign nation utilising whatever means at his disposal. His tactics included landmines, deadfalls, and other human traps. His most insidious weapon was a homebuilt Trebuchet with which he would launch rotting pig carcasses. This gives me an idea.
The contract’s a few years old, put together by the townsfolk and presented by the mayor. Not being the socialite, Fred’s whereabouts were difficult to pin down. I finally got directions to the farm from a local barber, who asked me to collect eight dollars from Fred for a haircut he received but skipped out on the payment. A cursory look in the local newspaper’s classified section yields what I need to get past the mantraps.
Seventy three dollars purchases the best minesweeper ever made in Detroit. I push the non-running Dodge pickup with my rental car down the potholed driveway; discover one Claymore mine and when the truck rolls into it, the pitfall mantrap. My path now blazed, I head for the house, no flying pigs yet. I charge the SnakeShooter and line up a shot through a side window. Just before I pull the trigger a grisly sight stops me in my tracks.
Two hogs gnawing on what can only be a human spine. I see other human bones about and a “Who Farted?” hat. Dang, another wasted trip; there’s no way, in good conscience, I could accept payment from the town on this one. I poke around inside the house. On the kitchen table there is a pile of gold American Eagle dollar coins. I take a couple to cover my expenses and eight for the barber. Too much bacon will kill you.