Daily Archives: July 22, 2010

Murdered By a Stranger

Before you read this story, you should know up front that I am a little nuts and exercise very poor judgement sometimes (although you probably already knew that if you’ve read any of my Craigslist Adventures stories). All I can say is that I honestly, at the time, just thought I was having fun with an interesting person. Only in hindsight did I realize that “pretend-murder” might actually get me murdered one day and that I should probably be more careful

While I was visiting New Mexico, I drove past this house a million times and wondered every time what the deal was with those stuffed animals.

So, of course, I pulled over and took a bunch of pictures of me hanging out with the inanimate objects.

Just as I was about to pull away, this man came outside. Apparently, he’d witnessed the whole photo shoot and was curious why I was doing such a thing. I wasn’t really sure myself, other than the fact it cracked me up. I told him I liked his stuffed animals and asked why he had them displayed like that. “Why it’s a ceremonial circle, of course!” He also said its kept people from making u-turns in his driveway. What a hilarious guy!

He invited me to come join him in the ceremonial circle. I accepted of course. He also offered to take pictures for me since he’d noticed that propping my camera up on the hood of my truck wasn’t really working too well.

I pet his dog Montague while he took pics. “Monte” had lost use of all his senses, except for touch. According to the man, who I’ll call John, Monte had it “even worse than that Hellen Keller!”

He was right. Poor Monte was terrified of everything and just ran around, bumping into this plant over and over, until John put him back on the leash.

John let me hold Monte and offered to take a pic. I didn’t see this picture until after our little photo shoot.

(I’m still kind of hoping John wasn’t intentionally taking pictures of my crotch – that maybe he just sucked at photography)

A few minutes later, he brought out his tripod so we could do a photo shoot together.

Now, this sounds a little crazy I know, but one of my favorite things to do is take pictures with people I meet. Mostly of us pretending to be narcoleptic

or pretending to be murdered

The camera was set on a timer. These two photos were not intentionally part of the photo shoot.

But when I realized we now had pictures of him staring at me, I decided to star back.

During our binoculars photos, I realized John is quite the actor!

Just look at that face!

I also like to do high-five pictures

Apparently John does too! Again, just look at that face!

We chatted for awhile and I ended up telling him about Summer Tour and Dora. So of course, he wanted a picture with her in the ceremonial circle.

I showed him one of my silly cards about this blog

and he insisted on an autorgraph, saying he thought I’d be famous one day. Silly John.

He also gave me his address so I could write to him and send him pictures as soon as possible. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I blurted out that I’m a New Yorker now, which means I don’t really have time for writing letters, but maybe. (This is the dumbest excuse I’ve ever come up with, but I was afraid this poor old guy would get upset if I said okay and then never sent them. Have I mentioned that my primary goal in life is to not make people mad at me? That’s how emotionally mature I am).

Before I left, I got one last photo with him

And then he insisted on one more


So this seems like a good ending to this little “adventure” of mine, doesn’t it? I thought John and I were kind of like kindred spirits and felt lucky to have met him. But I take everything, especially good things, too far, so this couldn’t be the end.

The next day I drove by his house and noticed that the ceremonial circle had changed.

Apparently, John was having a yard sale.

John was incredibly happy to see that I’d returned. He was more playful than usual (as if I really know his “usual”), and was actually sort of flirting with me. I, of course, didn’t realize this at the time because I just assume men forty years older than me know I’m not interested and am only looking for a buddy. Silly me!

John didn’t say why, but he’d decided to get rid of everything he owned, including the ceremonial circle.

After hearing my stories about living in the outdoors for years, he insisted I take his gift: a star machine!

As I checked out my cool new star machine, a potential customer showed up. John was ecstatic!

While she looked around

he leaned on her car (in his waiter’s apron), ate peaches, and told me long-winded stories about his own travels.

When the lady finally decided to buy something, she haggled over the price with John. I figured it was a good time to try to use the bathroom

I didn’t actually have to go. I just really wanted to see Monte. He reminded me of my deceased toy poodle, Fifi, who was also blind and deaf (just like Hellen Keller!).

When I came back outside, John said he wanted to take photos of me with my new star machine. Even though I was a little weirded out by some of John’s sexual comments, I went along with it because the lady was there and she’d be the one taking the photos. What could possibly go wrong with that lady around, right?

“Now it’s my turn to murder you,” he said.
“You mean pretend murder,” I corrected.
“You know something? Some people get off on that asphyxiation stuff.”
“Ha ha. That’s funny…. but you don’t actually choke me. This is just pretend murder,” I reminded him.

As you can see by this photo, he didn’t pretend very well. He actually grabbed my neck, which completely goes against all the rules of pretend murder!

He didn’t really understand why I was pissed since pretend murder had been my idea to begin with and tried making it up to me by giving me his tripod. I, having already forgotten he was starting to creep me out, thought this was super nice of him. I accepted his gift but insisted on paying for it, especially since he’d already given me a star machine. Here’s the catch: I’d have to come back for the tripod because he wanted to use it to display the camera he was also trying to sell. I left and said I’d try to stop by another day, knowing in the back of my mind this probably would be a bad idea.

Now you would think this would be a good ending to the story, wouldn’t it? Nope. I went back AGAIN!

Later that night, I drove by this house (he lives on the main highway in case you’re wondering, so I couldn’t not drive by his house.) I saw him just sitting in his chair with all of his crap still outside. Part of me thought “what would a woman who’s not nuts do in this situation?” Well, probably not hang out with a man who’d grabbed my neck hours before at his house late at night. But my concern for his well being (and curiosity) overruled logic.

I soon realized why he was just sitting there – he was completely waisted. Right away he started saying inappropriate things like “I can go all night baby. Can you?” I engaged in this banter for a short while because I am an idiot. When I actually heard myself say the line “you’re a lot more fun when you’re not drunk” I realized that I was the crazy one for staying. So I left. Oh, but wait. What about the tripod?

I tried giving him money for the tripod, but he insisted I go to the liquor store down the road and pay him in beer instead. Would you believe I almost did this? When I said I didn’t want to buy him any more beer, he got pissed. I gave him his cash and never returned. I swear I didn’t!

I’ve questioned whether I should post this story for quite some time, mostly because I’m a little embarrassed by how stupid I can be sometimes. And also, because I’d had a lot of fun with John, before he’d turned into a drunk creepy old man that is. I shouldn’t have gone back the second or third time, but as you can see, I don’t always listen to reason when I find someone willing to be goofy with me.

The upside to all this? I scored a tripod and sweet star machine.