The old woman in the corner

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Janette showed up at her friend Betty's house, and rang the doorbell. "Welcome!" said Betty, "Step right in! You're right on time! Dinner's ready!"

Janette and Betty wandered into the kitchen. Janette looked around the kitchen. It was lovely. There was a lovely painting of a shoe on one of the walls. The appliances were all very shiny. But then Janette noticed something rather odd standing in the corner, covered in moss and cobwebs. It was a short, fat old woman, staring into the room with a sullen gaze, blinking periodically but not moving other than that.

"What the heck?" said Janette out loud.

"What? What's the matter?" said Betty, "Do you not like the napkins?"

"Oh no, the napkins are fine. It's just...who's that old woman?"

"Uh...what old woman?"

"The one in the corner?"

"Oh, that one. I have no idea. She was here when we bought the house. She never moves, other than blinking. We try to engage her in conversation but she doesn't notice. We've tried all sorts of things to get her to move. We've thrown things at her, the dog peed on her, my husband peed on her a few times...but nothing worked. She just stands there in the corner and stares. You get used to her after a while."

"She's ugly. She ruins the entire decorative continuity of the room."

"I know! I honestly can't tell you how many parties I've had spoiled because one of the guests noticed the old woman."

"You should ask her to move to another room."

"I've tried! But she doesn't listen! I even hired some of those exterminator people."

"Cockroach exterminators?"

"Yeah! They sprayed her with some green stuff, but it only made things worse. Now my kitchen has an ugly old woman AND carcinogenic insect-killer."

They both sat in silence and stared at the old woman, who stared back.

"What are you doing there?" asked Janette to the old woman. The old woman did absolutely nothing.

"I suppose I should just shoot her," said Betty. She pulled a revolver out of a cupboard under the sink. "I always store at least one revolver in every room of the house," she said as she loaded an explosive bullet into the cartridge, "I store this one right next to the flour. That way if any mice are eating the flour, I can demolish them quickly and efficiently."

She pointed the revolver at the old woman's head.

"Wait," said Janette, "This is kind of uncivilized, isn't it? I mean, you'll stain your nice wallpaper!"

"Yeah, we should cover it first," said Betty.

"I'll help," said the old woman.

"SHUT UP!" said Betty. The old woman grimaced.

Together, Betty and Janette put plastic on the wallpaper. Then, they sat down to finish dinner.

"I never kill anybody on an empty stomach," said Betty, "It really spoils your appetite, and can lead to indigestion. Last year I disemboweled a mailman who insulted my dress, and boy, I had a hell of a time finishing my sloppy joe that evening."

"Tell me about it," said Janette, "I remember a few years ago I murdered the entire population of a small Louisiana village, and I could barely eat more than a cracker for weeks. It's bad for your cholesterol too."


"Yep. Of course, my doctor only bothered to tell me AFTER I'd killed half the people in my neighborhood."

"Wow. That's a shame. So your cholesterol must be pretty bad now?"

"Terrible. I've actually had several heart failures since this conversation began."

They finished dinner, then smashed the plates against their foreheads.

"Alright," said Betty, "LET'S KILL!!!!"

They committed an act of violence. The old woman in the corner was now the old dead woman in the corner.

"What do we do with her?" said Janette.

"Let's sell her," said Betty. They carried the body out into the yard and stuck a price tag on it.

"Dead old woman for sale!" they said in unison to passing neighborhood children, "Dead old woman for sale! Discount price! Minimal damage!"

Then, a policeman walked up. "What's all this?" he asked.

"We're selling the woman we murdered," said Betty conversationally.

"Murder?" said the policeman nervously. "Good lord. I'm...uh...fairly new at this police business. I only got my job last week. I'm not sure what to do."

"Arrest us?" suggested Janette helpfully.

"I knew it was something like that!" said the policeman, slapping his forehead, "I figured I either had to arrest you or pay you. do I arrest you?"

"Put handcuffs on us, first of all."

"Oh, okay." he pulled out some handcuffs, and tried to put them on the old ladies. He ended up strangling himself with them by mistake.

"Great," said Janette, "Now we've got TWO dead bodies to deal with."

"And right here in my front lawn, too," said Betty, "This can't be good for my tulips which I just planted."

"THAT'S IT!" said Janette, "We'll BURY the bodies!"

"YES!" said Betty, "BRILLIANT! Only one problem. I don't have a shovel."

"That's okay! We can dig a hole with our hands."

"Good idea! We dig a hole with our hands, then stick the dead people in it, right?"

"Hell no! What a stupid idea! I was thinking we would dig a hole with our hands, plant a maple seed in that hole, wait 40 years for a tree to grow, cut down the tree, carve a shovel out of it, and use that shovel to bury the dead policeman and the old woman."

"You're a genius, Betty!"

"Uh...I'm Janette. YOU'RE Betty."



"Oh. My mistake."

"I understand completely."

They paused, then started digging. An hour later, they realized that they were in the middle of the road. It's impossible to dig a hole in concrete. So they moved into the lawn.

"Actually," said Janette, "This is gonna take a really long time. I was hoping to get home in time to watch Lawrence Welk."

"Okay," said Betty, "Why don't we just drop the bodies in the sewer?"

"But there is no sewer in this neighborhood. We all have wells."

"Oh, yeah. Well, we could just PRETEND that we dumped them in a sewer! We'll paint a blue puddle around them, and put up a sign that says, 'this is a sewer. please ignore the dead bodies.'"

"You're a genius!"

"I am indeed."

So they got some blue paint, smeared it on the bodies, wrote a sign in crayon that said "THIS IS A SEWER! IGNORE THE DEAD BODIES!" and left the bodies to rot in the yard.

"I'm certainly glad that we got rid of that old lady in my kitchen," said Betty, "Now I can put something nicer there, like an armchair or a bazooka case."

But when they walked into the house, a horrible site met their eyes.

Every single corner of every single room of the house had an old person in it.

Some of them were old men. Some of them were old women. All of them were grayish in color.

They were different sizes and shapes, but they had one thing in common: they were all grinning at Betty and Janette.

What are you scrolling down for? The story's over.

Told ya.