Friday, September 26, 2014

Val Sees Things as They Are, and Asks "WTF?"

Last week The Pony and I were a little late coming home from work, due to his Scholar Bowl practice. We stopped for the mail as usual, then turned onto our gravel road. Just a few hundred feet into our wooded enclave, we came upon a red car following a white truck. I know the red car belongs out here, and that our neighbor has a white truck. But it’s not like him to drive so slowly.

We putted along behind the car behind the truck. First turn-off, nobody turned. Second turn-off, ours, everybody turned. Past the barn that’s almost in the road. Past the horse-and-pony field, past our land, past our BARn. “Huh. At least we’re going to be rid of them soon,” I told The Pony. And then it happened. That slow white truck turned down OUR driveway.

“What in the world! That guy is going down OUR driveway!”

The slow white truck pulled into the offshoot of the driveway beside the garage, where The Pony’s little Ford Ranger sits, and where Hick parks the Gator when he’s using it during the day. Then that slow white truck backed up, and sat facing us, half on the concrete slab behind the garage, half on the driveway. Which completely blocked my access to the garage.

The guy saw us coming, and pulled up the driveway a little bit, barely off the concrete, so I still couldn’t make my wide turn to get in. I stopped beside him.

“I’m just here to read your meter.”

Well, I’ll be ding dang donged! That was the guy I saw walking across my front porch when I was home on a weekday. He still had that reddish ponytail, but he looked like he’d lost about 50 pounds. He was has either been eating Atkins, or riding the meth pony.

Ponytail pulled his truck forward, partly on the grass, to let me get by to the garage. I reunited with my sweet, sweet Juno, gave her some cat kibble, and went into the house. I thought nothing more about Ponytail until I saw him go up the driveway in his white truck with the little orange light thing unlit on the top of the cab. I was so lost in my new thought that I forgot to notice which way he went when he left our house.

What kind of company reads meters at 5:15 p.m.? Isn’t the work day over by then? Last time he intruded upon the porch was at 10:30 in the morning. Hick saw him one day, too, in the morning hours. Ponytail did not stop at any other house on the way to ours. Did he continue up the gravel road, or go back the way he had come? I’m really starting to get suspicious of this ponytailed guy who drops in and says he is reading our meter. I looked on Ameren Missouri’s site, and could not find any information on vendors who might read meters for them. What in tarnation is going on here? Seems like a grand conspiracy. What kind of thieves dress up like meter readers and make multiple trips at various times to scope out a future robbery site?

I prefer my meter readers to be more high-profile, in trucks with discernible insignia that match the company I write my check to, and sporting picture ID badges while meeting a strict dress and grooming code.

Some people say I ask for too much. I say I ask for too little.


  1. I think--seriously--you need to check out this guy. Call Ameren. Ask some questions. Do some digging.

    That guy might have his eye on some of Hick's Coca-Cola stuff...Or, he could have his eye on your sweet, sweet Juno.

  2. It pays to be alert and careful. No markings on his vehicle? Sounds suspicious.

  3. Sioux,

    I'm taking a picture the next time I see that guy and his truck.

    The truck is plain white, with a little orange light on top. There is some kind of company name on the door or the side, very small. Not at all like Ameren's logo, which covers the whole side of the trucks that trim the trees and fix the downed lines.

    I'd say you're in good company. I think I'll call my brother-in-law the ex-mayor, and find out what's up with this (alleged) meter-reader. The ex-mayor works for Ameren. It pays better than mayoring.