Crazy people — and apparently snakes — rule the world

Kevin Hall is not answering his phone because he is screening his calls.
He is screening his calls because you people are crazy.

I’m not joking.

“I have snakes in my yard,” said a woman who asked not to be named in the paper. Actually, she kind of threatened me over her name.

“You better not use my name, or I’ll pinch you when I see you.”

I do not know this woman, although she swears I do.

“You came to my house two years ago and took pictures,” she said. “Do you remember?”

Um, no.

“Yes you do!” she yelled. “Yes you do!”

She went on to tell me about her snakes and the pictures and how the city is “putting in a $100,000 swimming pool and we don’t even have sidewalks out here.”

Probably because the workers are so afraid of the snakes.

“You understand what I’m saying?” she asked me.

“Well, to be honest, not really,” I answered.

I should point out a couple of things here. This woman called me three different times, talking a total of 25 minutes on snakes and (I think) race relations. I had a difficult time following her because I suspect she might have been, and how can I put this delicately, drunk off her a-double-s.

She denied it, even though I didn’t question her about it. “I am sober,” she said. “I’ve not had a drink.”

I don’t doubt she hadn’t had “a drink.” I’m wagering it was more like 20. I base this on the fact that her words came out “I am shober.” She also talked about “shnakes” at her “houshe.”

Shlurring your wordsh is a ushually a good shign you’re not shober.

But back to the shnakes — er, snakes.

“You can’t walk out your door without two snakes standing there looking at you,” she told me.

If any number of snakes are actually standing at your door, I think soberness is the least of your worries. I’d be moving far, far away from these man-snakes.

At least the woman had a reason of sorts for her peculiar behavior. My dear mom, on the other hand, had all kinds of phone problems, none of which could be reasonably blamed on booze or reptiles.

My mom has a cell phone because … well, I’m not sure there’s a good explanation other than all of her friends have them and she wasn’t about to be the one lemming who refused to leap off the cliff.

She is 50-something and nearing retirement as a public school teacher. She spends her spare time making trips to either see her grandchildren or shop at Sam’s Club.

“Kevin, I’m on my way to Sam’s. Do you need anything?” she asks me, driving up the Mountain Parkway in my dad’s Nissan 300ZX (Paging Mr. Hall. Your mid-life crisis is ready for pick up).

“Well, I have had my eye on that 1,000-count pack of toilet paper just in case this is the year the Bengals finally ask to use my restroom.”

And that’s pretty much the extent of her cell phone conversations. Oh, she also sometimes likes to call and leave messages saying, “Kevin, I’m on my cell phone. Please call me back on my cell phone.”

I think she’s proud of her cell phone.

Last week, though, she reached a new level with her phone, and she somehow managed to drag me down with her. On Tuesday, she left a voice mail message telling me that she had called. That’s it. Nothing important. Just trying to reach me.

As if I wouldn’t have figured that one out on my own.

So I explained to her that when I make a call on my cell phone to check my messages, I must pay for the minutes used. She promised that she wouldn’t leave another message unless it was important.

That pledge lasted less than 12 hours.

The following day, she left another message saying she was, of course, just trying to reach me. To her credit, she remembered how she had been requested not to leave trivial comments, so she called my office to tell me not to check my cell phone messages.

I had stepped out, but not to worry — she left a message.

My phone woes weren’t over, though, as back came the Crazy/Drunk Snake Lady.
At one point, in between bouts of accusing me of taping her (I wasn’t, but I did take copious notes), she began to bellow “Who is the truth?”

I had no answer for that one.

To be honest, at this point I didn’t care what she was trying to say. I was along for the ride no matter where she took me.

Eventually, she got to some sort of point — which is more than I can say for my mom — and began complaining about how the Boston area of Georgetown is ignored by the city’s leaders.

“Isn’t somebody supposed to come around here and say ‘Hey’ once in a while?” she asked.

Good point. People rarely make face-to-face visits out of the blue anymore. We rely on the latest technology to keep us in close communication, but at the same time, we drift further and further apart. We don’t take the time to stop in to see old friends, or even family.

Maybe we could play cards. Maybe we could sip iced tea on the front porch. Maybe we could just say “Hey.”

But what am I thinking? The woman was clearly crazy.

Crazy like a fox.

Or a snake.


3 thoughts on “Crazy people — and apparently snakes — rule the world

  1. That’s funny and odd about the woman with the snakes. What’s funny about it is her reaction to the snakes and her insisting that she not be named. Also, it’s wierd that she remembered you over all of these years. Truthfully, I think she may be Voldemort.

  2. I think this could be a manefestidiotation of our youthful days on Hatton Creek. Perhaps there was a mass migration due to overhunting, and the common Powell Co. queen snake strode the silver capped waters of the Raybould farm all of the way to the North Elkhorn in G’town. I saw it in ‘Nam. I am proud of your dad, and mom. It seems that they have both embraced technology in their own ways. My mom still claims that the cell phone company refuses to give her “email” (voicemail) on her phone and therefore she cannot leave me messages. Rather, she insists on calling me repeatedly until I answer or call the cops. Dad seems to think that cell phones cannot hear him so he insists on yelling. As for our society growing apart, I disagree. We are running, screaming, and fleeing apart. The human experience in one of absolute loneliness. Despite our best and most delusional efforts, we never actually “know” someone. We never know their inner dialogue, their true opinions of us, or their little pecadillos that we all hide so well. Pre-tech we were able to hide our loneliness by fabricating experience through proximity, but as technology has permitted humans to provide distance in interaction, we have become glaringly aware of our singular experiences and perceptions of our own realities. Oh shit, google is putting me on the crazy list….gotta go.

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