Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Heat in the Bedroom

February 2, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Chatterbox and I have been married a long time, and like most couples in lengthy relationships we’ve given each other many gifts. I’ve given Mrs. Chatterbox some curious items, like the time I gave her a hooded orange suede cape (saw one recently on a televised fashion show) but she’s always been masterful at selecting items for me I didn’t know I wanted until I tore off the wrapping paper. One Christmas several years back she surprised me with a new Ducane barbeque grill, a vast improvement over the dented Weber I’d been using for years. I like to BBQ, but having briquettes and starter fluid on hand is often a hassle; propane is much more convenient.

           

This new Ducane grill, with a chili red enamel base, was a thing of beauty. I couldn’t wait to fire it up and grill steaks and chicken and pork chops, or grilled corn on the cob and pineapple slices like they do at Brazilian restaurants. Mrs. Chatterbox enjoys grilled zucchini and mushrooms and I planned on roasting skewers of them for her. Few things in life are better than being outside on a warm evening with a cold drink in your hand while food is sizzling on a grill.

           

The only problem was the weather, which is wet and dreary in Oregon until mid April. I didn’t want to put my new grill outside in the rain and snow. I could have purchased a cover for it but I wasn’t ready to banish my chili-colored beauty to the outdoors, not yet.

           

We had a slider in our bedroom leading to the backyard patio so I rolled the grill into our bedroom and placed it near the slider, where I intended to keep it until the weather improved. Several weeks later the grill was a familiar fixture in our bedroom and I stopped thinking about it.

           

When the ceiling fan in our bedroom went out, I purchased another from Home Depot, but I don’t do electrical work; chubby people don’t belong on ladders. I hired an electrician to install the fan. He came into our bedroom, looked around and went to work. When he’d finished installing the fan and I’d paid the bill, he pointed at the Ducane grill in our bedroom and said, “Wow! I’ve never seen one of those in a bedroom before. You folks must really like to barbeque.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

26 Comments
Funny! Hope you finally got it out of the bedroom and were able to enjoy it. I bet that guy had fun telling his co-workers about the couple with a grill in their bedroom.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 2, 2015
I've still got the kickboards for my kitchen in my bedroom waiting for a new floor to be laid (it's only been 6 years ...) - bring on the barbeque weather I say, it's cold, wet and trying to snow here in England. I was once presented with a flower press from and Ex, I'd almost rather have had an orange hooded cape (but it's a close call).
By: Sarah Mac on February 2, 2015
Too funny. The last apartment I had in Montreal before moving to Ontario had brand new carpeting and was freshly painted throughout. It was necessary because the previous tenants decided that since there was a rule against barbecuing on the balcony, they would just barbecue indoors instead.
By: Hilary on February 2, 2015
You can take an ordinary event and turn it into a hysterically funny story....doesn't everyone store their brand new BBQ in the bedroom? And by the way I think you are right about the "pony"....cheers!
By: Kathe W. on February 2, 2015
too funny!!!
By: TexWisGirl on February 2, 2015
Ha! I wonder what he told his work mates when he got back to the shop...
By: Shelly on February 2, 2015
Hilarious! Wonder what on earth he was thinking. I would have gone to not so nice thoughts, I am afraid.
By: Tabor on February 2, 2015
Your story reminds me of when I was at a barbecue and the person behind the grill handed a plate full of grilled vegetables to a young Indian man who stared at them lovingly. I asked him, "Are you a vegetarian?" He replied, "Yes I am." And I just nodded. And then he realized I was implying that he was going to eat all the vegetables on the plate (which I legitimately thought was what he intended to do). After all, vegetables don't have many calories and I know that vegetarians probably have to eat quite a few to get the energy that us fat people get with one cheeseburger.
By: Michael Offutt on February 2, 2015
I was gonna call foul with your misleading title but okay. Great story as always......I especially like the statement "'chubby people don't belong on ladders", Sweet Man says the same thing.
By: Oma Linda on February 2, 2015
That is funny. I'm surprised Mrs. C didn't make you hide it in the closet. Warm night, cold drink and anything on the grill..you've got that right!
By: Cranky on February 2, 2015
If that fellow is a blogger,. you know you are the subject of a fun post.
By: Akansas Patti on February 2, 2015
Heeheehee! It's like the guy who wants to marry a woman who has a bass boat, and wants a picture of the boat!
By: mimi on February 2, 2015
I like your double entendre!
By: red on February 2, 2015
Now that is a first!! If we did that I'm sure it would be covered in clothes within a day...and not by me. No names mentioned.
By: Bouncin Barb on February 2, 2015
So I know you're not supposed to use a gas grill indoors (I dunno, did you try it?) But do yo u know why not? How is it different from a gas fireplace that uses propane? Last time we had a power outage I was tempted, but I chickened out..
By: Tom Sightings on February 2, 2015
It IS a sure fire (no pun intended) way to heat things up in the bedroom.
By: Robyn Engel on February 2, 2015
There may be snow on the patio, but there's gas in the bedroom...
By: Val on February 2, 2015
I'm wondering how many people came across your blog post after googling "heat in the bedroom" and had to leave in disappointment...
By: Pixel Peeper on February 2, 2015
Good story, Stephen. Hot times in the old bedroom, eh?
By: Catalyst on February 2, 2015
A great tale and now we know what sizzles in the bedroom.....................
By: John on February 3, 2015
Oh... the images that conjures!
By: Mitchell is Moving on February 3, 2015
So funny. I just love your posts.
By: Madeleine McLaughlin on February 3, 2015
cute story. my daughter and son-in-law have a vertical air compressor in their living room. don't ask.
By: Ellen Abbott on February 3, 2015
That is a classic line! Hilarious post.
By: Tom Cochrun on February 3, 2015
this christmas my other half bought me a CD recored by some bloke with a similar name to me - i think she thought it was amusing. My friend borrowed it and thought she'd lost it so now i have two copies of the thing - i believe on the strength of current sales he's planning a tour of our area of the world
By: don\'t feed the pixies on February 4, 2015
Talk about a serious case of the munchies! Embrace the outdoors and get grillin, mon ami.
By: Daniel LaFrance on February 5, 2015

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