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Stranger than fiction

I'm a weirdo magnet. As far back as I can remember I've had dealings with the strangest cast of characters -- stranger than any paperback writer could think of.

Take this evening for example. We were visited by a gentleman I'll refer to as Mr. Skeevy -- the serial killer I've been looking out for ever since the boy next door told me 30 years ago that the Green River Killer was living in our neighbor's tool shed. 

I was rather alarmed when Mr. Skeevy -- a guy who hates us so much he yells obscenities at us through his car window -- rang my doorbell. He got a lot off his chest tonight ranting to my husband on various topics including his recent acquisition of an AR15 with a grenade launcher. He's also interested in putting a shipping container in his back yard so he has a place to manufacture bullets -- yay our own William Foster.

That's just my latest encounter. I think it all started with Old Ms. Emery -- an odd little woman with a mess of white hair pinned haphazardly with enormous silk flowers.

Ms. Emery often brought her dog Snowball to my dad's veterinary clinic, but she refused to get out of her boat of a car. She would pull alongside me in the parking lot -- where I spent most days on my Radio Flyer tricycle.

"I have Snowball here for his check up with Dr. Bacharach," she'd tell me. "Fetch him for me will you, honey?"

Snowball was eventually put down, and Ms. Emery asked my dad to store him for her until she decided what to do with his remains.

Several months went by -- Ms. Emery called occasionally to see how Snowball was doing. She asked my dad at one point to stuff the dog.

"I'm sorry, Ms. Emery," my dad said. "I don't do that."

There's more

Believe it or not Ms. Emery isn't the strangest pet owner I've crossed paths with. There was a real psycho who lived down the street from me. She caught me stealing apples out of her tree one afternoon and proceeded to discuss with me how she'd disposed of her disobedient lhasa apso.

"I killed him with a shovel and buried him right there where you're standing," she shouted. "Please keep out of my apple tree."

And then ...

There was the crazy married couple -- Mr. and Ms. Hand -- who lived on the hill overlooking my childhood home. The husband called me one night when my parents were out -- I was 13 -- and demanded I move my mother's car out of the driveway.

"It's upsetting my sick wife," he grumbled. "Either you move it right now, or I'll come down to your house and make you move it, young MAN."

And then ... And then ... And THEN

There was the masturbator in high school who exposed himself to me and a group of friends at Burger King. 

There was the dominatrix who sat next to me on the bus last year and carried on a very loud, disturbing phone conversation at 6 a.m. with her client who obviously required severe punishment -- OMG.

The beat goes on

Here I find myself -- AGAIN -- in the middle of some lunatic's break from reality. What to do when an unbalanced person rings your doorbell to talk about his fantastic grenade launcher?  


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