“Tranquilizer Darts in Aisle Seven”
I LIVED IN CLEVELAND, OHIO FOR THIRTEEN YEARS, Most of the time I liked it. How could you not like a city that could have a dozen live theaters going on any weekend? Or a city that had a store called “Lottie’s Delicatessen and Bridal Shop?” Or a city that provided the setting for the classic film “Howard the Duck?” Well, one out of three ain’t very good, but it’s better than Newark.
From 1965 until 1978 I was a resident of The Forest City. In Summer it was hot, but bearable. In Winter it was cold, snowy, and unbearable. It was the winter of 1977-78 that had me packing my bags and heading to California.
I’ve only been back once since then. I had trouble finding my way around. There were a lot of changes, very few of them for the good.
This morning when I checked to see what mischief the world had been up to overnight I was greeted with two stories:
A) Vladimir Putin was “re-elected” as President of Russia – a real shocker that one.
B) Some idiot in Cleveland, stoned on Meth, went naked into a Walmart and bit 28 people.
Back in the day when I was living there nobody would do anything like that. It’s still too cold there to go anywhere naked. During my tenure there the goofiest thing a drugged fool would do was to try to ride a horse to Canada across the frozen Lake Erie. Every Winter the Coast Guard would have to rescue any number of fools who thought they had a good idea. But none of them did it naked.
The Naked Biter may have been as far out of line as is possible, but he had his reasons. He had been smoking Meth all night when he decided to go to the Walmart for a bite (sorry about that) and he figured that naked was the way to go so he could “…get rid of the spying equipment the Vatican had planted” on him. He really thought out that part of it, but how did he plan on paying for his food purchases? Did he remember to bring his wallet? I doubt it.
According to the news item this all took place at about 9:30 in the morning. 9:30? A lot of people haven’t even had their coffee by that time and to then have to confront a naked guy biting his way down Aisle Seven is just not fair at that hour. If I had been there at 9:30 in the morning and had a naked meth-head try to bite me I would have made every effort to immediately move to California.
Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt. The biting was just a test to make sure none of the people in the Walmart were “Terminators” sent by the Vatican. How foolish of our Naked Biter. The Vatican hardly ever does that anymore.
Yes, Cleveland has changed since I lived there. Back then there were no Walmarts and no Naked Biters. The city was just filled with freezing people in Winter and sweating people in Summer. There were drugs around, but beer was the preferred vehicle for getting wasted. That worked just as well and rarely involved getting naked or serial biting. Well, maybe a little on weekends or holidays.
I left Cleveland in 1978 and I haven’t had a beer since then. This Naked Biter seems to have taken my place as a Clevelander.
Nature abhors a vacuum.