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7:42 PM Tue, Oct. 23rd

Older Than Dirt: It's a Jungle Out There

I have to admit that I am a people watcher. Maybe it is because I walk around a lot and I am never focused on the road ahead as a driver would be. I am never distracted with texting or my cell phone. Over the years I have observed some interesting things. I believe that what goes on outside the house can sometimes be much more entertaining.

Just today as I was walking home with my granny-cart after some shopping at Walmart, I came across a scene that I thought was unusual. A man was driving out of the gas station on the corner and I happened to notice that the gas nozzle and hose was hanging out from his gas tank. As he pulled out onto the street a truck that was behind him was honking his horn and waving at the driver. The driver finally pulled over and asked the gentleman "Is there a problem?"

The driver side door was on the opposite side as the gas tank, so he had no idea what was wrong. I had to watch this to the end, as I wanted to see the reaction of the driver. When the man pointed to the other side of the car, the driver walked around and saw the gas hose hanging out of his car.

"Well I'll be darn" was his reaction. He quickly returned to the gas station. I was a block down by now, but had to wonder what he said to the gas station attendant.

In the old days, of course, the gasoline would have been spewing all over the place from where he had disconnected it. My guess is that a safety feature was added at some time.

A week or so ago, I was walking back from Walgreens and noticed a young man prowling around a car in a lot that was otherwise empty. It was a Sunday, so the place was closed and only had the one car. As I got closer, I could not help but notice that he had socks on, but no shoes.

He started towards me, and politely asked it I had a cell phone that he could use? I of course told him that I did not have one. He seemed a bit out of sorts, so I asked him if he needed help of some kind.

Then he began to explain that he had escaped from a lockdown mental facility across the street, and was trying to call his girlfriend to pick him up! The story he told was that he had attempted suicide while he was intoxicated and they sent him to the temporary facility in order to avoid going to jail.

I asked him why he did not put his shoes on before the escape. His anser: "I had to climb over that wall, and I couldn't do it with shoes on."

That made perfect sense to me. I looked across the street and the wall did look as though it would be difficult to scale.

As I started on my walk home again, I looked back and saw him heading to the facility that he escaped from. There was a young woman in the courtyard smoking a cigarette. I could hear her say to him, "What are you doing out there? How did you get out?"

He explained that he never consented to be locked up and just wanted her to give him his stuff so he could get his cell phone and call his girlfriend.

The rest of my walk home that day was non-eventful, but I did wonder if she ever got him back inside - or if he got his shoes.

There happens to be a four way stop near where I live. I never step off the curb until I feel certain that it is safe for me to walk across the street. I watch the drivers as they try to figure out who's turn is it to go. For some, this appears to be a very difficult decision.

I used to live on a one-way street many years ago. It was odd that this street was a one-way. A quiet residential street, but only one direction to drive. I am sure that a lot of the drivers just did NOT expect a one-way in that area. When the weather was nice, I would often sit on my porch and watch how many drivers went the wrong way! Thankfully, I never had to see an accident.

On another walk, I observed a young man holding a cardboard sign, with a sweet little dog sitting down beside him. The sign he was holding read, "TOO UGLY TO PROSTITUE AND TO HONEST TO STEAL"

Oddly enough, he was kinda dancing around with the sign. It was a lot like someone holding an ad for some kind of business. I remembered I had a few bucks in my pocket and promptly crossed the street and gave it to him. He said, "Thank you very much. What got you? Was it the sign, or the dog?" I had to laugh, and said, "A little bit of both."

There seems to always be something going on around me. Maybe it is because I am just paying more attention to things than some people. Or, maybe it is because I find so many things to be interesting.

Not all the things I see are of a pleasant nature. I have actually walked passed heated arguments going on between people, and found it very disturbing. I have seen people arguing and yelling at each other while they drive down the street. I can't help but wonder how the arguments end. I see dogs running loose that look so lost, and I can't do anything for them. We do have a web site on Facebook that allows you to post pictures of dogs you may see wandering around, in case someone is looking for them. You can start with Kingman Pet Connection.

What are the odds of seeing two yellow Corvettes in Kingman? As it happens, there are indeed two yellow Corvettes. I know I am NOT seeing the same one, as there is a personalized license plate on one, but not the other. I lived in a fairly small town in Washington state and do not recall seeing even one yellow Corvette!

Some years ago, when I was still working, I recall an interesting situation. I was waiting for the bus when a young man came up to me in a panicky way. He was carrying a large plastic milk carton. He said that his car had run out of gas, his wife was in labor, and they just needed a couple of bucks for gas. I told him that I did not carry any cash on me and only had my bus pass. He continued on his way.

About two weeks later while I was again waiting at the bus stop, I was approached by the same man. He was carrying the plastic jug, and again gave me the same story. I smiled and stared at him for a moment, then said, "Gee, I am sorry to hear that, but you gave me that story two weeks ago. You need some new material."

He just chuckled and went on his way. After he walked away, I thought perhaps I should have said, " I am a nurse. Where is your car parked?"

I do not eavesdrop on conversations going on around me - but sometimes those cell phone calls can be pretty loud! I will often hear mothers yelling at the kids: "Well, it better damn well get down before I get home." Or the classic, "I told you. No boys in the house when I am not there!"

I sometimes have to wonder if I am just often in the right place at the right time. Or am I just the only one paying attention?