When I got home from town Saturday around 1:00, my heydar went off.
Uh huh. You heard me. Heydar. Some folks have gaydar. Val Thevictorian has heydar. It's a Spidey sense that tells her something is not what it seems. That she (or somebody braver than her) needs to holler, "HEY! What do you think you're doing?"
Yes, heydar is an awareness most likely attributed to Mrs. Thevictorian's career in the trenches with teenagers. Forewarned is forearmed. Like that time I saw a look on a kid's face as he walked in and calmly put down his book, and followed him back into the hall, motioning to my cross-hall compatriot, and caught up to him just in time to put the kibosh on a beat-down. I can't say HOW I perceive imminent shenanigans. It's just an inkling.
So there I was, coasting down the final hill to Mailbox Row, with my right turn signal blinking that I was about to stop in the road beside EmBee. That's how we do around here. No place to pull off, so you put on your signal and stop in the road. Nobody wants to get OFF the road and walk a few extra yards. That's barbaric. Stop tut-tutting our laziness, you civilization-dwellers who need only to open your door and reach your arm around the jamb to pick up your mail.
A maroon pickup truck was coming toward me from the other side of the low water bridge. I waited for it to pass before throwing open my door. But it did not pass! It turned onto the gravel road that leads into the compound where the homestead is located, and parked. Let the record show that Val was none too eager to jump out at Mailbox Row with a truck freshly stopped. You can't be too careful around these parts, after that portable meth lab was abandoned on our gravel road a few years ago, and more recently, that headless body put in a septic tank. So I waited. To see what that truck was up to. It was loaded with a pile of cedar limbs. Kind of like dismembered Christmas trees.
Let the record further show that people dump their trash on our gravel road. Sometimes personal garbage in trash bags. Sometimes old refrigerators. The aforementioned meth paraphernalia and body. And sometimes in the form of yard trash. Like a dump truck full of branches that a tree trimmer left blocking the entrance to the gravel road.
Two men got out and walked over by the creek bank. They were consciously avoiding looking in my direction. I got out and extracted my mail from EmBee's gullet. I jumped back inside T-Hoe and looked again. Still, the men were moseying around. Not looking my direction. I picked up my cell phone and put on the camera. Darn those men! They had parked just far enough up the gravel road that I could not get their license plate.
The driver turned and started toward the bridge. Toward me. I held my phone up like I was taking pictures of the bridge and creek. You know. Just so he could see that I had my phone to record evidence if needed, but that at this moment, I was only a nature lover. I had a feeling they had planned to drop that load of cedars on our road.
The Dismemberers didn't stay long. Maybe two minutes, tops. Just to look at the creek, you know, which has about an inch of water in it right now. They got back in their truck and started up our gravel road. Of course I followed. I live there, you know. I have a right to be there. Nobody who lives up in there is going to bring a load of cedar limbs from some other piece of land and put it on their own property. That's crazy. They would trim their own cedars to dump in a pond for fish habitat. And I don't known anybody out here with a pond.
Val's private eye skills are not on par with her readin' and writin' skills. I tried to get a picture while hot on the tail of The Dismemberers. Let's face it. Val's phone photos are nothing to write home about when she is stationary and using TWO hands.
My goal was to get a picture of the license plate. I was gaining on them! But funny thing about jouncing along a gravel road. You're jouncing. And even though I hit my picture-snapping button at just the perfect instant...my phone has a little delay before it takes the photo.
As you can see, The Dismemberers had cleverly draped their dismembered limbs so that they hung over the license plate. They continued up around the bend, and over the small low water bridge on the way past our other 10 acres up on the hill. The gravel road comes out on another blacktop county road in about 2 miles. I turned to go to the homestead.
Val needs a refresher course in private-eyeing before she can take a bite out of crime.