It’s 7 a.m. I’m walking my basset hounds who, having the second best noses in dogdom, have to stop every six feet to smell what last night’s rain brought to the surface. Me? I’m still trying to wake up having had only one cup of java before the pair of dogs finally convinced me it was time to go. Nothing new there.
I can see someone walking toward me one block ahead in front of the Methodist Church. There is frequently one, maybe two others, taking a morning walk on the town’s main street when the kids and I embark on our morning routine, but this morning as I round the corner at Campbell Funeral Home, the other pedestrian crosses the street to address me. Oh great! I have on no makeup and didn’t even run a comb through my hair, let alone brush my teeth.
It’s only Lewis (name changed here to protect me from a lawsuit). I refer to him as “Looney Lewie” since he came in my office, liquor on his breath, a few years ago to place an ad and proceeded to tell me the guys in the car outside with him were FBI and so was he. Yeah, right! This morning he stops me to show me some legal document he purports he received in the mail, and indeed it does name him as a party in what looks to be a civil suit. He then tells me he wants me to know that he is contacting the television networks about the injustice he has been served. That’s great Lewie! You go for it! He tells me that the parties involved–that being the city police chief, the city, and the plaintiff in the case–don’t know who they are messing with, an ex-FBI and ex-CIA official such as himself. He stops his tirade once to say, “You are the newspaper lady, right?”, as if he is making sure he hasn’t just made a fool of himself in front of a normal human being. Maybe my no makeup and disheveled hair made him think it wasn’t me?! But who else in town walks two basset hounds down main street at 7 o’clock in the morning?
I interrupt my male basset from his now long-term exploration of the Foster’s front yard to continue on to the safety of the Methodist Church’s covered walk. As we retreat, Lewie is still hollering something about how he just wanted to let me know so I wouldn’t be surprised when I saw it on CNN. I give him the thumbs up and walk on.
Heading north now making our way back home, a guy with a long, gray pony tail in an older white pickup pulls over in the parking space in front of Duckwall’s next to me and the dogs. Now what?! Fortunately he’s only looking for a gas station. Obviously he’s not from here. No problem. I can handle his question, and I give him directions to Allsups.
Back in front of the Methodist Church again, I see none other than the plaintiff in “Crazy Lewie’s” case walking across Burlington over to the grocery store. She sees me and I try to look away in case she saw Lewie talking to me earlier. But she just gives me a shy wave and keeps walking. Thank goodness. I already know way more than I wanted to know about that situation. What is going on?! Most of the time I think the characters I just saw and/or conversed with would normally be sleeping off what they did on Saturday night.
The dogs and I are safe inside now. And, as I pour myself a much-needed second cup of coffee, I wonder does anyone else bring out these predicaments, or is it only local newspaper editors who are a magnet for such early-morning encounters?