It’s been a few months since I’ve updated you on the nutjobs in the Denver area. Let me assure you, that’s entirely due to laziness on my part rather than a dearth of outspoken lunatics. This will be the first in a three part series to get you caught up on the WTFs of my daily life.
We recycle at our house. It keeps Al Gore from sending me nasty emails in between snowed-out global warming conferences. We keep the bins conveniently close to our back door but they’re picked up in the alley, which means they have to be moved back and forth every couple of weeks. So one Monday night I sallied out to retrieve the bins. I headed down the sidewalk and turned into the alley just before two upstanding gentlemen who were heading the other way, towards the house. The gentlemen just happened to be carrying paper bags containing… Steel Reserve? King Cobra? Anyone’s guess really, there are so many malt liquors to choose from.
Perhaps not coincidentally they were moving with truly geological speed, slow enough that Cheech himself would probably have yelled “Hey man, move it!” Moving at my usual pace, practically hummingbird speed compared to them, I managed to make two roundtrips from the alley to my back door before they finished covering the thirty yards to my front door. As I locked my side gate they finally reached position to strike up a “conversation” with the unforgettable icebreaker:
“Hey man, that’s a nice house. You mind if I lay on it?”
Lay on… my house?
I was at first struck by a mental image of this stranger laid out on my roof like a drunken Snoopy on an enormous doghouse, Olde English bottle trailing from his hand. I almost said “But, it’s really tall… how would you get up there?” Before that thought escaped my throat I moved on to the more likely possibility that he was homeless and wanted to crash out on my lawn. But that made only a little more sense. The homeless don’t ask permission to crash anywhere, and besides the shrubs across the street are much more popular. After all this consideration, I finally managed the witty rejoinder, “Um… no. No you can’t lay on my house.”
There followed the usual amount of half-intelligible utterances, halfhearted attempts to move along, muttering, and finally the obligatory inquiry as to whether I had any coins in my possession which I might see fit to share. Then, just when I thought we were back on the standard script, they dove headlong back into WTF territory:
“Yeah man, this is a really nice place. Hey, if you want we could, you know, keep an eye on it for you. Make sure nothing happens to it.”
… Did he just offer me “protection?” Like Mafia style, Corleone family "protection?” Really? Because the drunk guy that makes my grandmother look like an Olympic sprinter just isn’t going to intimidate me into paying tribute.
Or was he honestly offering his services? As if it would greatly increase my peace of mind to have such a fine example of humanity guarding my doghouse.
Regardless of his intentions it was just too much for one evening. So I headed in to my dinner, leaving them to meander down the sidewalk towards whatever destination they had. I don’t know what their destination was, but at the rate they were going they’re probably still trying to get there.