Monday, May 7, 2018

If You See Something, Blog Something

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is doing her bit for homeland security. Or maybe she's just letting her paranoia flag fly. There's something strange in the neighborhood, and that something ain't gonna abscond with Mrs. HM and get away with it!

There I was, tooling along in my T-Hoe, after mailing my OnStar bill for A-Cad, and an order for Farmer H's special Case Collector Knife, at the main post office. Somewhere between there and Waterside Mart, I came upon a slow driver. It's not like he pulled out in front of me. You know how you're rolling at the speed limit or one mph under, and you have to brake? It was like that. Some gray crew cab Dodge Ram pickup. I don't notice the make and model of vehicles like Farmer H, but it had the Dodge Ram ram head on the tailgate.

Okay, no big deal. Except I kept having to brake T-Hoe. He's not used to driving 20 mph. The speed limit along there is 30 mph. Sometimes people drive too slow for my tastes. But what ya gonna do? Nothing. Except slow down to their speed, and allow one car length for every 10 mph that they're driving. So I kept T-Hoe at least 2 car-lengths back. For safety, you know. Sometimes a little more, because this truck ran off the side of the road a couple times. Almost sideswiped a Jeep mail truck parked in front of a house. Almost flattened some orange cones that were marking a work zone.

Sometimes when drivers look at stuff, their car steers that direction. But there were several OTHER times this truck ran off with nothing to look at. Then it would veer back onto the road. Huh. I swear that driver was looking in his rearview mirror at ME. That's what caused the veer! It was 11:30 in the A.M. I don't think he was drunk. Yet. It looked like an old man in a cap. I kept my distance. Of two car lengths. It's not like he was tapping the brakes like you do for a tailgater. Because I wasn't tailgating. He was deliberately (I guess) driving 10 mph under the speed limit. In fact, when we crossed into a new speed zone, of 35 mph, the truck increased speed to 25 mph.

At the 4-way stop by Waterside Mart, a little gray sedan had gotten between me and Ram. It was definitely tailgating, which didn't cause Ram's speed to increase one iota. Then that sedan made a right turn, and I was again behind my pace car/truck. I'm used to this stuff. It's not like Hillmomba's drivers are going to win any awards

When I got to the center turn lane just past the frozen custard stand, and in front of the auto parts store, I put on my left blinker and made my left turn. I could see Ram continuing. But not! He signaled a right turn, and went into the little plaza where we got Genius's first cell phone. There are 7 or 8 businesses there that come and go. At one time there was a donut shop, and a uniform store. I don't really know what's in there now. I just figured Ram had an errand there.

As I made my next right turn to head towards The Devil's Playground, on a parallel street, I could see that Ram had merely gone in one entrance of that plaza, and was coming out the other. Continuing in the same direction. WHO DOES THAT? Who pulls off and then gets right back on the road going the same way? That is when my paranoia kicked in I got a little suspicious of Ram's motives. What if he was looking in his mirror, saw me turn, and was planning to follow me?

An elderly woman out and about cannot be too careful these days. It pays to be aware of your surroundings and weirdos. You never know when somebody might call you over to ask directions, then try to snatch the purse that you don't carry, and drive off. So I sat for a moment behind the wheel of T-Hoe, after parking in one of my favorite spots on the grocery side of The Devil's Playground. It's about halfway up the row, next to a cart return. Nobody can park too close to me and prevent the driver's door from opening all the way.

I'll be ding-dang-donged! Here came Ram onto the Devil's parking lot! Why in the Not-Heaven hadn't he used the same entrance as me, if he was planning all along to go here? The one he came in is all congested, with pharmacy traffic and the Pizza Hut on the corner, and a gas station. Yet there he was, driving down the aisle at the pharmacy door end of The Devil's Playground. Really slow. And he DIDN'T PARK! He passed several decent parking spots. It was almost as if he was looking for something. Or someone...

OH CRAP! He was heading for my end of the store. That's it! I'm not gonna take it! I'm getting a picture of him, just in case it's the last thing on my phone! So my survivors can track my killer!

Ram came up the aisle in front of me. And then down the aisle where I was parked! My heart was pounding like garbage cans in STOMP! Let the record show that he bypassed SEVERAL parking spots closer to the store than mine! There are three of them right there in the picture. The store door is by that dark blue paint. I got a picture of him going the other way down my aisle, showing his license plate number, but since I survived, I'm not posting that!

Ram went up the next aisle over behind me. Again, bypassing several good spots. Then he parked. Almost equal to the space I was in, maybe one or two closer down his aisle. I had to turn around to see him. He sat there a moment. Longer than necessary. I swear I saw him look at me, but that might just be my vivid imagination. Then he took off his sunglasses. Put them over the visor. Took of his hat. Put it back on. Got out, and walked inside.

Aha! That's what I was waiting for! I wanted to see what this dude looked like. An older man. Maybe late 60s. In a blue plaid shirt and dark brown Dickies work pants. Who wears dark brown Dickies? At least I was forearmed, in case I encountered him inside. I hoped to remain anonymous, but I'm sure he could tell me from my red-and-white stripped shirt. Why, oh why, hadn't I worn a solid-color shirt today?

Anyhoo...I did my shopping and paid without incident. When I came out, I thought I saw that the Ram had moved closer. Even though there was a dude just sitting behind the wheel...I saw that the license plate was different.

Come to think of it, Ram might have been sitting in the Subway restaurant just inside the store, and watching me as I walked by the entrance to The Devil's Playground...


River said...

This is scary. I've had days when I've seen the same person or car several times in one morning and I get the idea they may be following me, so I deliberately don't head home in case they are following, which means I get home by a roundabout series of buses through suburbs I never usually see.
It's a creepy feeling isn't it?

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yeah, especially since that Donut Dude flipped out when I was being NICE and asking if he was in line...I'm leery of random weirdos who seem a little off. Nobody just going to The Devil's Playground would skip that first turn, pull off needlessly at a plaza, then continue back on the road to show up where I had gone. AND drive up and down four aisles before parking farther away than so many available parking spaces.

I definitely felt the rush of adrenaline fear when that truck started up my aisle. I popped T-Hoe's door locks closed!

fishducky said...

I'm wary of old men wearing newsboy caps (because of the way they drive) but this one was downright scary!!

Hillbilly Mom said...

This old man had the bad-driving part down, even in a trucker hat instead of a newsboy cap. I usually tell myself I'm just being paranoid, but this incident actually had my heart pounding. I guess I'd have needed to put up a fight, since I'm not too fast at flight.