Sometimes I see people that I just don't like. Maybe they have a mean face, maybe they smell funny, or maybe I suspect they are fans of reality TV. But for whatever reason and try though I might not to do it, I often pre-judge people.
I say you can always tell a crappy book by the coffee cup rings on the cover.
(I have to admit, no one will get that line but me...and yet I dare to leave it there.)
Such is the case with a man in my town that we'll call Middle-Aged Crazy Guy. I don't like him. He is the single creepiest man I've even seen, and that includes the guy I dated once that sat on my lap to kiss me good night.
Middle-Aged Crazy Guy scares me. Every time I see him out and about, I do my best to avoid him. I try not to even look in his direction, which is hard because he exhibits some odd behaviors. He's jumpy, always moving around in one way or another. And he wears giant mirrored fly-eyes sunglasses that he is forever pulling down to his chin or pushing up on his head.
And speaking of his head, it is way too big for his body. He has this giant cartoon noggin and an itsy little body that should not logically be able to hold his enormous cranium upright. It defies explanation...and gravity.
So yesterday I'm in the bathroom putting on my spackle and wood putty to make myself look less like a troll, blasting Lisa Marie Presley on the stereo, which I am only allowed to do when I'm home alone, and the door bell rings.
Without thinking, I fling open the front door and there he stands. Middle-Aged Crazy Guy himself is standing on my front porch not more than four feet from me, mirrored sunglasses resting on his chin.
"Sweet Lord!" I screamed and jumped back. I try to never answer the door that way, but sometimes it's the only appropriate greeting.
"Hey there, Lady," he said. "What's the story on the refrigerator in your front yard?"
Now before you start thinking REDNECK, let me say that the old refrigerator was sitting outside waiting on the city to come dispose of it for us. I almost never leave large appliances on my front lawn. It distracts from the painted white tractor tires with flowers in them.
"Well," I said trying to compose myself, "it's trash. End of story."
"I've got me an old boy that's a looking fer one," he says. "Does it work?"
I am still so freaked out I can hardly speak. Despite my best efforts over the years to avoid him, here I am having an actual conversation with Middle-Aged Crazy Guy. I'm sure God is laughing hysterically at me.
"I suppose it works. It's been in the garage a long time, but you're welcome to it if you want it."
Not only am I being forced to talk to him, now I am giving him stuff. Surely I will be rewarded in Heaven for this wonderful act of humanity.
"Well now I've got to go hunt a dolly!" he yells at me. "I wasn't planning on picking up a refrigerator today!"
He acted like I had run out in the street, stopped his truck and ordered him at gun point to take the refrigerator off my front lawn. I was just about to tell him what he could do with the dolly and the refrigerator, when he interrupted me.
"Believe me, I could lift that refrigerator without a dolly if I wanted to," he said pushing his glasses from his chin to his eyes. "Just the other day I lifted an entire deck right up over my head."
To make sure I got the full impact of his super human strength, he proceeded to lift a pretend deck over his head. What with all his grunting and distorted facial expressions, I started to think maybe there really was a deck over his head and I just couldn't see it.
On and on he went, struggling with the weight of the imaginary deck. He gritted his teeth and put one foot way out in front of the other to steady himself. Actual beads of sweat were forming on his crazy forehead from the intense weight of this thing.
I was about ready to ask him if he needed a little help with it when he decided to put it down and tell me the rest of the deck story.
"Oh, I had two fellers that wuz with me that wuz supposed to help me lift that damn deck, but they wuz worthless. They just kept standing around doing this..." Middle-Aged Crazy Guy started gesturing wildly with his hands like he was helping to land a plane in a blizzard.
"I finally jest told 'em to get the hell out of there and let me do it myself," he said, pushing his fly eyes back down to his chin.
And then, just when I was looking around for the camera that I was sure I'd find hidden in a plant, he looks right at me, grins and gives me the double eye brow raise. You know what I mean. Bugs Bunny used to do it when he'd see a girl rabbit chewing on a nice carrot.
Middle-Aged Crazy Guy was totally hitting on me!
"Just go get your dolly and take the refrigerator. It's all good. I'll see you later." I knew if I didn't get the door shut and get away from him I'd have to marry him and I simply cannot have wild-eyed little-bodied babies running all around the house.
Well, actually they probably wouldn't run very much because their gigantic heads would keep throwing off their balance. They'd have to wear helmets and teeny-tiny little shoes.
I did however learn a valuable lesson from my encounter with crazy up close and personal and I am happy to share it with you.
It's almost never a good idea to put a refrigerator in your front yard no matter how pretty it looks.
Copyright © 2004-2005, Sherri Bailey
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