My husband and I began a recent night out with a run on a woodsy trail frequented by horseback riders, mountain bikers, other runners – and, apparently, Jeff’s boss.
I wouldn’t have minded unexpectedly bumping into my husband’s head of school, if Jeff hadn’t been wearing his knee-high, black, calf sleeves, overlaid with his favorite “Darn Tough Cool Max Micro Crew Cushion” socks. In addition, Jeff was rocking bright red shorts and a matching red visor, from the top of which his unshorn grey hair swirled like frosting.
As we pranced away, I wondered what Jeff’s boss made of my husband’s weekend wear. I hoped my husband would still have a job, come Monday.
Jeff seemed less perturbed. After our run, he pulled his jeans over his sweaty shorts and declared himself ready to eat, while I executed a similar, hasty toilet, hunched over in our Honda Pilot. We made a ripe pair. Thus we chose to dine alfresco at a nearby restaurant where, aside from a college cheating lecture from our server – he’d written a thesis on it – we had an enjoyable, if slightly too rapid, zucchini and mushroom pizza.
Glancing at our plastic Timex watches, Jeff and I saw that it was too early to head home. The kids would still be up. So we repaired to our local Starbucks where we witnessed the most bizarre scene of the weekend.
Our first clue that something was afoot was a bald man standing in the middle of Montgomery Avenue, extending his iPhone like a pistol and shooting pictures of an escaping Toyota. “You jerk!” he hollered. “You just hit a car!”
We halted. This was going to be way better than the subtitled French film, “Chicken With Plums,” we’d decided to skip.
The Toyota peeled into the shopping center, careened around the back of the buildings, and screeched to a stop alongside us. A pinched-looking woman leapt out, her red-varnished nails extended.
“What are you?” she screamed. “The police?”
The bald man looked startled, still standing in the middle of flowing traffic, cars steering around him. “No, I'm not the police,” he shouted back. “But you just hit that car! I think you might want to do something about it!”
“For your information,” the woman yelled, “I thought I hit a wall!”
At this point, our gaping was growing obvious. So Jeff and I reluctantly retreated into Starbucks where we kept calling to each other, over pumpkin spice lattes, “What are you, the police?”
On our way out, I noticed a leather-seated BMW with a scarred bumper and a slip of paper jutting from the windshield wipers. “I hit your car,” read a jagged scrawl, followed by a telephone number. I wondered if it was the right one.
Tempted to extend the entertainment, I considered dialing the digits. Then I thought about those red nails. I put away my phone, and we went home to kiss our sleeping kids.