My Stalker

Two points define a line and three confirm it.

I may have stated that piece of mathematical brilliance here before. Even still, after the events of this morning in the lives of your favorite blogger and his beloved wife, I feel it necessary to elucidate that little nugget at least one more time.

For what it’s worth, I used that word correctly. I used the ‘Look up’ function within my Microsoft software to verify that, and its default, unchangeable piece of crap search engine confirmed that using the word ‘elucidate’ in the context in which I did was correct. Granted, my first crack at spelling it correctly the first time went horribly awry.

Stupid bing.

About a month ago, Wifey, Juniorette, and I packed up in the truck and went out for dinner. At one point on our way, we found ourselves in what is typically characterized as a traffic jam. If you want to get literal about it, a more accurate characterization is closer to that of a slow moving parking lot.

Anyway, we were in line at a red light and I took notice of the vehicle behind me. In the review mirror, I could see a plain white van. The dashboard was decorated if a vast collection of crotchet mishaps deemed dangerous enough to liberate a finger or two in the process of being assembled. In the absence of any fruit born of such a perilous looking hobby, there was a string of little pom-pom balls which appear on the ankle socks worn by women sometime during the 70’s.

Alas my dear reader, it didn’t end there.

The driver was wearing a Santa hat, mirrored sunglasses, and what looked like a long beard.

“Huh” I thought to myself. “That’s an interesting look.” Burly looking dudes like that are just catalyzing the stereotype for serial killers when they drive non-descript vans like that around in public.

Hat in PencilAfter making that observation to myself, I subsequently admonished myself for reading a book by its cover. After all, I was wearing my TharpSter hat and pair of shades as well. I kept that little note to myself and didn’t share it with Wifey or Juniorette.

We continued to wait for the light to turn green and continued to babble amongst ourselves there in the cab of my truck. I think at the point where we transitioned our conversation to a rather heated one about quantitative easing, I was looking towards Wifey in the passenger seat.

Like I let her drive.

A rapping noise on my drivers side window made me lose my train of thought about quantitative easing, and generally startled the crap out of me. I looked at what was causing the noise and saw its point of origin. It had a Satan… er Santa hat on with mirrored sun glasses. It had a beard that was long enough to be braided into multiple braids, complete with beads like the ones Bo Derek wore in ’10’. It had a sleeve of ink on its left arm. Holy crap, it was the serial killer…..um gentlemen from the van behind me.

Do I roll the window down? Is this how I die? Will my last words be in reference to a lost thought about quantitative easing?

I rolled the window down just an inch or two. If the guy were going to shoot me, he would have done it through the glass. My door was unlocked as well. He could have opened it and hauled my fat ass out of the truck if he really wanted to assault me.

“Hey man, your rear passenger tire is low.”

“Oh. Really?” I actually knew that. Wifey takes my truck to work and there are a lot of road hazards out there. “I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for the heads up.”

“No problem.”

Less than two weeks and a tire repair later (people, you gotta buy the road hazard warranty when you get new tires), Junior and I visited the local multiplex to take in a really expensive fountain drink and box of candy. While we were there, we decided to watch the latest installment of The Hobbit.

Once the damn dragon left the mountain and flew right into a cliff hanger, Junior and I exited the theater and did what anyone does after seeing a two and a half hour movie and consuming somewhere between 32 and 44 ounces of cool, refreshing soda pop. While Junior was working on getting his eyeballs to stop floating, I stood outside in the hallway.

A big, tattooed guy appeared. He was wearing a Santa hat, a beaded beard, and an artificial leg.

It was the same dude from a few weeks before. He had startled me so much, I didn’t even realize that he was equipped with bionics. I couldn’t resist. “Excuse me sir.” I called out to him.

“Yes?”

“Are you the person in the white van who told me about my low tire a few weeks ago?”

“Yes, that was me.”

“Oh, I thought so. Hey, it turns out there was a big ass nail in the tire. I had to get the tire repaired.”

“Did you have the road hazard warranty?”

“You betcha. None the less, thanks for pointing it out to me.”

“No problem. Sorry for scarring you that day. I didn’t mean to.”

“Oh, that’s alright,” I responded. “You didn’t scare me that much.” He did.

Flash forward to this morning. Today is Junior’s last full day home before returning to school for the spring semester. The plan was to get up early and go out as a family for breakfast.

Since the kids didn’t set alarms and refused to get up when I told them to, Wifey and I went by ourselves.

It’s nice to do things as a family.

So I’m told.

So there we were at the local Whataburger waiting for the arrival of victuals which will eventually generate some sort of myocardial infarction in yours truly. Netflix was on my mind.

Tangential update for those of you who read my rant about Blockbuster. I finally cancelled my membership with them nearly a year ago. Since then, the two stores closest to me have closed.

The reason Netflix was on my mind was because as of 7am this morning, I had 6 more episodes of Dexter to watch in order to complete my view of the entire series. Since this last fall, I’ve been able to watch all 8 seasons of Dexter (a series about a serial killer with an honor code) and all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad (high school chemistry teacher turned meth cook) on Netflix. The question in my mind was whether I could knock those six episodes out before the football games start today.

On a side note, I’m listening to a live version of Hotel California by The Eagles. That double lead is as cool today as the first time I ever heard it.

As we sat there, I pondered the methods the main characters in both of those series disposed of their victims’ bodies. Dexter would cut his up, bag them, and dump them in the Atlantic Ocean. Walter White of Breaking Bad would put his in a plastic 55 gallon barrel and bathe them in acid.

A non-descript, white van pulled up to the closest parking spot to the door. “Ironic.” I thought. I’m thinking about serial killers and other harbingers of mayhem, and what looks like a mobile killing room pulls up at the Whataburger.

The driver got out of the van and reached back in. This limited my view to his back side. A long pony tail which was banded every few inches draped his back. His left arm sported a sleeve of tattoos, and his artificial leg was painted up like the flame laden gas tank of a chopper, complete with ape hangers.

The dude has lost his Santa hat, but the beaded beard was still in place.

As he entered through the door right next to where we were sufficiently plopped, he cased the establishment and made eye contact with me. He nodded to me and I nodded back.

“Honey,” I said to Wifey in a hushed tone, “For years, I’ve told people that if I ever turn up dead with a pick axe in my chest, that they should look for you as the nefarious culprit.”

“Yes, I know.” Wifey put her finger up to her eye to halt its violent twitch.

“That dude that just walked in is the one that violently interrupted our discussion about quantitative easing last month over the nail in the tire. He’s the same guy I ran into at the movie shortly thereafter. Now he’s here. I think he’s following me and is going to get me before you do.”

The finger came down and the eye resumed its twitch. “Not if I have anything to do with it.”

For what it’s worth, I was able to finish off Dexter today. Between an Atlantic Ocean dump and an acid bath, I’m still undecided on how I would want to be disposed of in the end. Hopefully, it will be after I find out what that dragon does to the village down below the mountain.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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