Just because I haven't mentioned them lately does not mean the weirdos have forsaken Val.
Like today, when I was minding my own business at the open freezer in the middle of Walmart, and a little guy in a jean jacket (and pants, too, which was a plus, considering my weirdo history) pushed his cart up next to me. Let the record show that I was peering into that freezer bin full of TGI Friday's Buffalo Style Boneless Chicken Bites.
"Have you ever tried these?"
"No. I don't like them."
"How many's in a box?"
"I don't know. I was just looking. My husband wanted some for during the Super Bowl."
"Huh. That's too expensive. Almost nine dollars."
"I found these on the first aisle, the freezer section with the doors." I held up a bag of Great Value brand. "I think they're five dollars and something."
The little guy thanked me and wandered off. But not in the direction of the Great Value Boneless Wyngz Buffalo Chicken. Maybe he was trying to pick me up, seeing as how I don't like jewelry and don't wear my wedding ring. Maybe I'm lucky he didn't shove his cart and hit mine like Fonzie taught Richie how to meet women on Happy Days. It's not like I was wearing a blue vest, or standing behind a kiosk with portions of Buffalo chicken in plastic cups.
But that's not the extent of my recent weirdo encounters.
Yesterday I went to the post office and the bank. On the way, I had to sweave over the center line because a dude was walking in my direction, on the edge of the road. It was about 45 degrees. Sunny. He had a sock cap and jeans and a jean jacket, with a backpack on his back. I went about my errands, and came back the same route. Dude was about a mile farther along. I went on past. Parked at the convenience store that finally opened after over a year of construction. I went in for a 44 oz Diet Coke, and cashed in a $10 scratch-off winner for more tickets.
When I came out, there was Dude, sitting on the rack of firewood for sale out front. Instead of staying on the sidewalk, I stepped out into the empty parking spaces to make a beeline for T-Hoe. I kept my eyes averted, making sure there were no potholes or loose pavement on that new blacktop parking lot. Kept my eyes averted. Don't Engage. That's my motto. Well. That, and People Piss Me Off. And still, my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel's mom once referred to me as a Mother Teresa.
"Excuse me, Ma'am...?"
I don't know how I can have such a sour attitude towards humanity, and STILL people find me approachable.
"Can you tell me how to get to Backroads?"
"Yes. Keep going on this road. Then you can turn left when you get to Casey's. That road will take you there. Past a lake."
"How far is it?"
"Oh...I don't know...maybe five miles..."
"Is that the shortest way?"
"Well...there's another way. I think they're both about the same distance. You can keep going on this road until you come to the four-way stoplight. Then turn left."
"Are those highway miles?"
"You CAN go along the highway...but there's an outer road."
"I need to get to the Super 8 in Backroads."
"Well, both of those ways will take you there."
"Okay. Thank you, Ma'am."
Let the record show that Dude had a couple days beard scruff on his face. He was polite. He didn't ask for money. I felt kind of bad, standing there with a 44 oz Diet Coke and two lottery tickets. I could have offered him a couple of bucks. But he didn't ask. He might have been insulted. I could have offered him a ride. I was going right past where he was headed. Could have had him there in 10 minutes.
Or I could have never been heard from again.