Wednesday, July 1, 2009

LaCootina, The Human Crazy Magnet

A fairly typical experience ...

A midafternoon knock at my door shows a young woman, seemingly distressed, asking to borrow my phone. "Just a minute," I say, unable to come up with a reason to say no. I bring my cordless phone out onto the porch, and decide that I will just sit there with her while she makes her call. For reasons I couldn't explain, my radar is already detecting Full Boat Crazy. (I'm secretly proud that I have thought to bring the phone out, instead of bringing Crazy in to my home.)

She dials a number and has a lengthy conversation about how she has to cancel her appointment, she couldn't call sooner because you-know-who has changed her cell phone contract and she can only receive text messages, she can't send them or make phone calls. She finally hangs up. She doesn't have a purse, but has a pile of purse-contents: keys, a cell phone, a zip-loc bag with lots of cards, and several other items. While she's talking, she peels off her shirt (thankfully, she has a tank top underneath) and takes off her shoes and socks. "Boy, it's hot in here! Do you mind if I open a window?" They are all open already, just 3-4". Without waiting for an answer, she lifts two windows wide open. It makes no difference: there is no breeze today.

She's yammering the whole time about... I don't know, I've tuned her out. She starts pawing through that zip-loc bag of treasures. "Here!" she says excitedly. "You can have this!" It's a $2 discount card to a cheesy amusement park about 100 miles away. "Oh, and this, too!" It is a "concert series VIP upgrade." At a venue I've never heard of, I'm now entitled to off-menu dining, aglass of house wine, and a souvenir program and button. She looks at me like I'm supposed to drop to my knees at this incredible act of generosity but I'm clearly too stupid to realize it.

"This is my business!" she says, and hands me another card. Okay, I think, maybe this will tell me something. Maybe it's her parole officer's business card, or the address of her halfway house. But no, it's a complicated hand-drawn diagram with lots of illegible scribbling all over it. Goddess help me, she starts explaining: "This is me, Kay, and this is my true love, B. He's the King and I'm his Queen. And we're B-K, you know, like Burger King! Except I haven't met him yet! And these are the three Esses, because three is my magic number. I have three kids, did I tell you that? And this represents the beauty of the natural world, and this is..." On and on it goes for five solid minutes, then we have to flip to the back side, where more incoherent scribbling supposedly explains that it's an international non-for-profit (I swear that's what she said), because she will accept donations from anywhere in the world. I'm way past my limit, so I finally make excuses, wish her luck, and get myself and my phone back in the house. "Okay!" she says. "I'm just going to change into my shorts and I'll be on my way!" Ooookay.

My library friend is coming by, so I happen to have left on the porch two movies I am returning, and a bag of books I am donating to the library. I can see Lunatella through the shade, and after changing into her shorts, sure enough, she starts pawing through the bag. I race back out because I don't want her to take the movies; I'll have to pay for them if they go missing. I tell her she can have anything in the bag and she begins to launch into a monologue about her reading preferences. I interrupt: "Okay, I've got to go now," and bring the movies back inside with me. She takes about half the books, gathers up her discarded clothes, ziploc bags, cell phone, keys, etc. and finally leaves. When I think it's safe, I put the movies back on the porch.

That was my 30 minute sojourn to crazytown. I have no idea who she is, why she chose my house, when or if she'll be back. But if it's not her, it will certainly be someone else. Even when I'm not looking, Crazy comes knocking at my door.


Unknown said...

Whoa! I just got back from vacation and am catching up on my La Coot reading. This, my friend, is a doozy! You can't even make up better stuff than reality. Thanks for sharing, and be careful!

La Cootina said...

I'm not good at thinking fast on my feet - especially with chemo-brain. But my friend Kerry provided me with a good line for the next crazy: "I'll be happy to call 911 for you if it's an emergency. If not, there's a phone at the drugstore around the corner."

Now, will I remember it next time...?

Michelle said...

You may want to post that script next to the door or tape it to your phone....that is a FINE dose of crazy!!!