by Donna Rhodes
On my way to the Cray Cray Café for a caffeine fix, I spotted a police car parked down the road, blue lights flashing. An officer stood by the car-door, eyes directed down a side street.
I, being the Center of the Universe, assumed this was all about me. I slowed down, tightened my seatbelt, checked my teeth for spinach, and applied lipstick (like that would help).
I tried to look as innocent as my dewy-eyed cat when she meowspeaks, “Whatever you found, The Dog did it.”
That trick always works on me, and I don’t even own a dog.
As I passed the police car, no siren screamed at me. No car chase. Still, I didn’t want to call attention to myself, so I went into invisibility mode, tires tip-toeing past the patrolman.
Then I saw it… another police car parked at the next corner. I should have known. The first officer radioed ahead, and now I was trapped in a pincher operation.
Was I speeding? Swerving? Dragging a screaming pedestrian accidentally wedged under my tailpipe?
In case the answer to any of those were “Yes,” I began rehearsing my defense.
In the words of Groucho Marx, “Officer. ‘I have principles. If you don’t like those, I have others.’”
As I rolled past the second squad car with impunity, I realized I wasn’t the target of this sting operation, because, at the next corner, guess what? Yep. Another police car and so forth all the way down to my turn-off. What was going on?
I made a left onto Cray Cray Highway. More blue lights . . . one at every corner as far as I could see. Whillikers! I’m in the middle of something big. Maybe a murder-in-the-making. Whoa.
I pulled into the café parking lot and went inside. Several seated customers watched a police officer order a customized Bang-Bang Frappe. The waitress handed him his coffee and asked, “What the heck’s going on out there?”
The room went silent, everyone tuned into his answer. He took a sip of Bang-Bang and sighed, “Well, there’s a naked guy running through the neighborhoods.”
The cafe erupted into spit-takes, followed by a wave of giggles as people conjured mental images of floppy body parts boinging down the highway, 25 police cars in hot pursuit, blue lights flashing the flasher.
That’s the most excitement Gainesville’s had in weeks.
Did they get their man? I dunno. But ain’t living in a small town great?