The Crazy Things I See

Unlike the rest of the world I have not been locked down in quarantine. I’m out every day. I go to work Monday-Friday and I am usually out running at least once on the weekend. There are definitely some weird things out there.

For instance, when I first made the move downtown we were told to park in the Century Center parking lot about 2 blocks away. The Century Center is where I had my prom both years. It has an art museum, my mom volunteers down there every Christmas serving cookies to the kids who go see Santa, and it serves as a convention center. In high school we did some city wide plays there; it hosts the wedding expo and RamenCon.

I tell you all of this so you know that it’s a fairly busy building. Except for the fact that they’re closed right now. I think that’s part of the reason why they were willing to let us park there for free.

The first Monday that I pulled into the parking lot there was a man sitting in the parking booth. I had to verify that I was with the bank.

Why?  The Century Center is closed. Who cares if I’m with the bank or not? There are literally hundreds of parking spots left, so it’s not like if I was there “illegally” all the legal parkers would be out a spot.

There was someone there on Tuesday as well. By Wednesday I decided that I was going to tell him I was there for the performance of The Lion King. I wanted to make sure I got there early so I didn’t miss the show. Originally I was going to go with Cats, but that hasn’t been around forever. The Lion King was coming to the Morris Civic Theater and they had actually just canceled their performances because of the coronavirus.

I thought that was fairly witty but alas, there was no one there. I guess they finally got tired of paying someone to sit in a booth all day for no reason.

Another strange thing I see on my drive to work is a crossing guard for adults. There are two large medical facilities on my way to work and there is a man who helps grown adults cross the street.

I thought at first he was there for the kids because a block or two away is a Catholic school but he seems to be there to help the medical personnel.

I don’t know why they need help crossing the street. You would think that’s something most people would have learned by the time they started working full time, but apparently it’s needed.

I might have to stop and ask questions one day. I’m very curious why this is necessary. I understand why we need them for children. They’re young. They can be impulsive. They don’t always look both ways. We want to protect them. But if an adult is unable to cross the road by himself or herself, how does having another adult there help? Like, do you need to be specially trained to learn to cross the road? Only professionals can do it so now they’re assisting others? So. Many. Questions.

Speaking of downtown, I’m constantly being approached by people who are asking for money. Or coffee. One of my first days downtown I came out of the Chocolate Cafe and there was a guy dressed in a pirate hat. He asked me if I could buy him a cup of coffee. That same day I had someone knock on my window while I was sitting in my car, asking for change. And just the other day as I was leaving a restaurant with our take out food a man pulled up alongside me and told me how his car had broken down on the toll road and he needed money for gas.

Finally, as I said in the beginning, I typically run through a neighborhood at least once on the weekends, and another 2 times or so during the week.

One day I was out running and I heard a dog barking. That’s not unusual. It’s a residential neighborhood. People have dogs. I didn’t see a dog, though. I did see an older woman pushing a stroller.

The barking got louder. Still no dog. The stroller got closer. I finally realized the woman was pushing her dog in a baby stroller. It may be an actual dog stroller but it looks like a baby stroller.

I’ve seen her out twice now. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of taking your dog for a walk? Granted, it is a small dog. Probably don’t need to walk it very far or for very long. I just can’t imagine it though.

If I tried to put Milo in a stroller and take a walk with him in it he would jump right out of that thing. It would be like those days long gone by when I would put the kids in the bike trailer and I would go riding. Rock Star, demon child that she was in her early years, loved riding back there and would sit happily for 45 minutes to an hour. Picasso, on the other hand, was literally crawling out of the trailer as I rode the bike! That would be Milo. He would be looking at me like, “Why are you taking me outside and then not letting me walk freely?”

Update: I saw the woman with the dog stroller again. She was pushing the stroller but her dog was walking on a leash. Maybe the dog walks until it’s tired and then she puts it in the stroller.

I can sympathize with that. We used to have a dog that would decide she had had enough of this walking business and she would stop. Refused to walk another step. Fortunately she was a small dog so you could pick her up.

There you have it. Some of the craziest things I have seen since quarantine.

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