A Gus and Pickles Christmas
Gus Davlos and Pickles Moran are owners of an automobile salvage yard in a small town and also sell Christmas trees during the Christmas season. But mostly, they give away free Christmas trees to poor people—that is, until tragedy hits like a sledgehammer.
The phone rang.
Gus Davlos gradually opened his eyes and looked at his alarm clock. Almost seven o’clock. The phone rang again. He rubbed his eyes and picked it up. “Menlo Salvage,” he grunted.
The cheerful female voice on the other end said, “Hello Bright Eyes. I wanted to find out what time you and Pickles plan to leave to cut trees—and when can you bring a few over to the Children’s Hospital.”
Gus took a couple of deep breaths, looked out the window at the dawn creeping over the distant mountains, and groaned, “Kate, Do you know what time it is? Do you know the sun is not even up yet.”
“I sure do know what time it is, it’s just before seven. You need to get up and at ‘em. It’s Saturday morning and you’re going to have a lot of people out rambling around your sales lot looking at Christmas trees while you and Pickles are out cutting more Christmas trees.
“I just didn’t want you to lose any business. Someone has to look out for your place, so I’m coming over. Later, some of the other Sisters will also be over to watch the Christmas tree lot while you’re gone.”
Gus chuckled and said, “Thanks a lot for calling us so early. Do you realize Pickles and I were setting up trees on the lot to well after midnight?
“As for the trees for the hospital—we still plan to bring a few nice trees over for the kids around three this afternoon. Why don’t you come on over here around eight this morning. I know you don’t know much about the auto salvage business, but I hope you know how to collect cash for the Christmas trees.”
Kate said, “Of course I do. I also suppose you and Pickles expect me to cook you some breakfast when I come over.”
Gus mumbled, “Just come on,” and hung up the phone.
After he hung up, a gruff voice from the next room growled, “Who in the blue blazes was that at this hour of the night?”
Gus rolled his large frame out of bed, stretched, and scratched himself. “That was Sister Kate, she wanted to make sure we were awake, and what time we can deliver a few trees over to the Children’s Hospital.”
Pickles Moran shook his head and rubbed his eyes. He looked out the window and saw the first dim light of dawn. “Women—now I remember why I never got married.”
Kevin “Pickles” Moran kicked his long legs over the side of the bed, sat up, ran his big hands through his unruly black hair, and yawned. “Hey Gus, could you use a waffle this morning. We haven’t had waffles for some time now.”
“She’s going to cook something when she comes over at eight. Who knows what. In the meantime, see if you can find a couple of hundred feet or so of rope to tie down the Christmas trees on each truck. Toss them in the tool boxes with the tire chains, and I’ll gas up the chainsaws.”