The other night after work, Rory and I went out for a walk to play in the snow. We visited the playground and the mailbox first, and then wound our way into the adjoining neighborhood behind us. We went down the short street, hooked a left into an adjacent cul-de-sac, and began climbing on the plowed pile of snow in residence.
There is a Chinese man (a Buddha in the yard and everything) who lives next to this cul-de-sac. He has two lovely lilac trees on his property line, and last Spring, he hacked off a branch for me to take home (note: lilacs don't live well off the tree). On this night, he appeared in the driveway with several other people, and was obviously bidding them a fond farewell. Then he came over to say hi (to the only other two humans outside - it was 34 degrees out).
He greeted Rory, asked me if she was cold ("Children don't feel the cold," I replied), and then flounced away again. I figured he was bored with our stimulating conversation - or cold because he lacked a coat - but no. He returned, and though I didn't notice it at the time, he was hiding something for Rory behind his back. He suddenly pseudo-pounced on her, and whipped out a bag of cookies, which he handed to her, yelling, "Cookies!" She was thrilled, naturally, so I thanked him, opened them up, gave her one, and asked her to say thank you (which she did).
It was getting to be time for us to mosey on home, anyway, so we took our leave of him, thanking him again for his generosity. Rory then slipped on some sidewalk ice, and he ran off again, muttering something about "getting something to take care of the ice." I'm imagining salt, cat litter, that kind of thing.
Instead he comes tearing out of his garage wielding a giant pick axe - a huge, "I've been working on the railroad" sized pick axe. And I think, "This is how it is all going to end. He is going to kill me (and possibly the child) with a pick axe in his driveway. Nice." He races past me and begins pounding on the offending ice, and we continue on our way.
But it's not over yet! Then he comes back (Rory is starting in on her second cookie by this point), and starts babbling about how he does photography, how he has a studio in his basement (naturally, always with the basement), and how he should take her picture. Seriously now, am I being punked?? Is someone filming this?
I mutter something about how she needs a bath and is far too dirty to photograph, and off we go, Rory happily munching her cookie and oblivious to the obvious weirdness of the ENTIRE situation. Cookies, pick axes, and photography.
Incidentally, Crazy Chinese Guy (heretofore known as CCG) lives next to Crazy Redneck Guy (CRG), who feeds neighborhood wildlife via a bowl of cat chow on his driveway - and refers to it as his "varmint bowl." Yes, he uses the word varmint.
Can't wait to move!