Saturday, November 19, 2011

Being a Crazy Magnet Ain’t Easy

Just when I thought I had reached my limit in attracting crazies, the gods throw another one my way. And, I must admit this time it was my fault for initiating contact.

One of my neighbors has a gold Chevelle four-door hardtop. I had never seen the owner, and the other night while walking Esmeralda (do I ever not mention her?), he was outside, so I asked him what year was his car.

That was my first mistake.

After telling me it was his grandfather’s car and it was a 1971 (the square taillights are the clue), I made the mistake of telling him I was president of an antique car club.

When will I learn to keep my mouth shut? I really should carry a clothes pin with me.

He then ran inside and came out with a pile of papers and a pen, and for the first time, I noticed his “outfit.” It was forty degrees out that night, and he was wearing a T-shirt, a weight belt, parachute pants, and flip flops. For once, I was the fashionable one.

“I want to join your car club. Give me your number and the Website. Here, write it down,” he said handing me the pile of papers and the pen. I wrote down a wrong number and the Website with a few letters missing. Forgive me, but we have enough crazy people in the club.

I told myself to say a Hail Moses later.

I thought that would be the end of it, but then he said, “I’ll walk with you. I want to see your cars.”

“Oh, I have to go to work now, so I don’t have a lot of time.” It was 6:30 on a Wednesday night, and I had to lie to get out of this situation.

Now, I would have to say a Hail Miriam.

He followed me anyway and then proceeded to tell me his life story.

Sometimes, life writes itself, so here goes:

“My name is Tim. What’s yours again?”


“I’m on disability because I was a computer programmer during Y2K and lost my mind after that. That did me in. As a result, I have no short-term memory. I was then an agoraphobic and didn’t leave my house for ten years, but once I got over that became a hoarder. I just finished cleaning all the crap out of my house. I have no short term memory, so I have to write everything down. What is your name again?”


“I want to be your dog walker.”

“I have a dog walker, thank you.”

“What is your name again?”


“I’m on disability. I have no short-term memory. I was a computer programmer. Y2K did me in. The car belonged to my grandfather. See that house there? I was going to buy it, but it had no driveway. I should have bought it. My mother-in-law lives over there. I don’t talk to her. What is your name again?”


“I want to adopt a dog. What is your dog’s name? I want to be your dog walker.”

“Esmeralda. I have a dog walker.”

“Twenty years ago, I gave my wife one of my kidneys. Then they told me she died. Two years ago, I found her. She was alive. I’m on disability. I have no short-term memory. What is your name again?”


“I want to be your dog walker.”

“I have a dog walker.”

“I was going to buy that house there, but it had no driveway. My mother-in-law lives over there. I’m on disability because I have no short-term memory. What is your name again?”


We then arrived at my house. Maybe I should have walked up to another house and pretended it was mine, but he said he had no short-term memory, so I took my chances.

“Wow. Two AMCs.”

“Well, it was nice meeting you, but I have to go to work now.”

“What is your name again?”


“Where is my house?”

“Just keep walking in that direction, and you are the fourth house around the corner.”

“OK, that way?”


He may have no short-term memory, but he certainly has long-term memory.

Now, when I walk by his house, he says, “Hi, Milton. I want to be your dog walker.”

If he weren’t so weird, I would ask him more about the dead wife with his one kidney, who turned up eighteen years later. Now there’s a story worth publishing.

If I offended anyone with the disability of no short-term memory, I apologize. Oh hell, you won’t remember this.

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