Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This Sort of Thing Happens to Me ALL THE TIME

So I go for a run yesterday, right?  And I go at the godawful time of 4:00 in the afternoon, when it's 150 degrees out with 4000% humidity.  But if I wait too late, I'll miss the coverage of Harry Potter's record-shattering weekend box office on the news.  And if I go after the news, it'll be a tight crunch to get back in time for The J.K. Rowling Story, which is premiering on Lifetime at 7:00...

So it's a stupid time to go run but if I'm going to do it, now is the time.

When I get to Audubon Park, there's a Fox 13 news van in the parking lot, reporter and cameraman safely inside, and a lone vagrant (Audubon Park swells with them) wandering nearby.  I park, smile at the vagrant who is now walking toward me, and next thing I know, I'm trapped.

Man:  "Do you know what's going on here?"

Becky:  "No.  Do you?"

Man:  "No, but a man was beat up here this morning..."

FIVE FULL MINUTES LATER the man finally stops talking about the guy who, somewhere in the vague, indistinct region of "in this area," was beaten up "real bad," and this is probably why the news van is here.

Man:  "But let me ask you something, 'cause I was going to come over here and ask you before but then I got to talking about this van.  See, I ran out of gas in my car..."

Of course he did.  And would I take him to the gas station?  No.  I would not.  But fuck...alright, fine, I'll take his tiny gas can and the two wadded-up one-dollar bills he reluctantly pries from his pocket and go get him some gas.  In fact, not only will I get him gas, I'll feel so bad for the guy that I'll give him $4 worth instead of $2 worth and not even dwell on the fact that my 4:00 run is quickly morphing into a 4:30 run and thus putting Brian Williams at risk.

So I get back to the parking lot, give the man his gas, and after showering me with thanks, he dumps the gas can in his trunk and...

Man:  "That can wait!  That can WAIT!  I'm gonna tell you what's up with that news van!"

He walks me the quarter mile or so to the track where I run and in that time, I learn his entire life story.  Where he used to work, where he works now, about his previous relationships, his children, where his house is, and how often he, himself, comes to Audubon Park.  Often, apparently, and the news van is here reporting not on the man who was beaten up ("He was beat up real bad.  Like real bad.") but on how the park is cleaner than it was a week ago (I somewhat doubt his story on that being the reason the van is here but I let it go).

Man:  "I see you up here all the time!  I'm up here every day.  Every single day.  I'm here all the time.  I work out, you see?  I work out every day.  And I saw you drive up and I thought, 'I'm gonna go talk to that girl!'  'Cause I see you all the time, and I always thought you looked like a pretty, fun girl.  You are fun, girl!  You are so fun!!"

As he talks, I utter not a single word, but merely nod at appropriate moments and offer the occasional "uh huh" when it seems appropriate.

Man:  "I knew you were fun!  I can tell just by looking at you!  We're going to be friends now.  I'll see you all the time now.  We know each other now, so I can talk to you.  Damn, you are fun, girl!"

He shook my hand three times and then he let me run.  And now I obviously can never, ever go to Audubon Park at 4:00 in the afternoon ever again.  The end.


  1. LMAO you're like a man magnet these days darling! It is true that these things could only ever happen to you!

    NRM :)

  2. What IS it with me??! :D As I told some friends (all male, btw) at a bar a few weeks back, I have many men in my life, but none of them are of any use to me. ;D

  3. Do you want a black boyfriend?

    I soooooooo wish I had been there! Hope you ended up having a good run anyway :)

    - Meg

  4. HA! Maybe for my next book, I should just gather all of these stories of random men in Memphis trying to pick me up in the weirdest ways possible. :D

    I wish you'd been there too, Meg! It was pretty funny...and also if I'd had you as company, I probably wouldn't have cut my run short trying to leave as quickly as possible. :) Maybe we'll get a chance to hit up Audubon when you're here over Labor Day! For old time's sake and all... :)

  5. Wow, im not even sure what to say! Lol you sure do attract them!