I used to have a secretary who believed I lived under a sky-blue-pink cloud of oddness and absurdity. She swore that there was no one else on earth who could end up in the weird and strange situations I perpetually encountered.
For instance, one Monday morning she asked me about my weekend. I told her about my Sunday morning. I was taking my dog out for her early morning walk. Since I had just rolled out of bed, I was shuffling along in a bit of haze. I was not wearing my glasses. As my dog snuffled around, I happened to look up and noticed a man running towards me. The first thing that went through my brain was not, oddly enough, that he was stark naked… which he was. Without my glasses, what I first noticed was that he appeared to sporting long, grey dreadlocks. As he came closer, I realized he had a grey sweatshirt on his head and the “dreadlocks” were actually sleeves flopping over his shoulders.
It was only then that I realized that the sweatshirt on his head was the only article of clothing the man was wearing. There was something besides the sweatshirt sleeves flopping around. Again oddly enough, it didn’t register with me that naked running guy was heading directly towards me and that he could be dangerous. Instead, my inexplicable initial reaction was to think, “isn’t it cold for him to be running around naked?”
When I told my tale, my secretary looked at me with way less amazement than I believed my story warranted. Her response? “Naked running guy? Terri, it had to be you. It could only happen to you.”
My secretary was not amazed because odd things have always tended to happen to me. When I went on my “if-it’s-Tuesday-it-must-be-Belgium” package tour of Europe, the tour company paired me with a roommate who brought chocolate bars to distribute to the children of Rome and refused to come out of the hotel room the entire time we were in Paris because she knew French people hated Americans. I lived with my parents and two basset hounds in a twenty-seven-foot travel trailer for a year. When I reported the theft of my car’s license plate, the DMV told me it was my own fault because TINKRBL was just too cute to put on a personalized license plate. The vet once selected my dog as “pet of the month” when he removed a bladder stone the size of a softball and the dog lived. There is just no way around it. In my world “normal” equates to “weird” in most people’s dictionaries.
Something happened recently that reminded me that I am still a weird magnet. Our satellite television feed became possessed.
Now, I do realize that there are many reasons satellite television signals can wobble. Rain, falling branches, and even sun spots can all cause signal loss. In fact, I have always listened smugly when sellers of other delivery methods warn about the unreliability of satellite. Despite living through three Florida summers, with accompanying wackadoodle weather, we’ve experienced very little interruption. The satellite dish even survived the ravages of Hurricane Irma. It seemed to me that satellite tv technology had progressed enough to mitigate the problems caused by weather.
Nobody ever mentioned the turkey vultures, however.
Some weeks ago, we began to notice signal interruption and problems connecting to high definition. Since we were experiencing thunderwowers just about every day, I didn’t think too much about it except to think I might have been wrong in my assessment of satellite tv’s progress on the reliability front.
However, we soon realized that the television problems were not limited to stormy weather. Our signals seemed really weak, corruptible, and just fouled up pretty much all the time, even on the exceedingly rare occasions when the sun was shining. In thinking about when the issue started, Max reminded me of the flock of turkey vultures on our roof a few weeks ago. We were in the car, getting ready to leave the house when we noticed about eight of them congregating up there. They were obviously gorging themselves on some sort of revolting dead animal meal. The whole idea was just too disgusting to contemplate, so we backed the car out of the driveway and hoped they would be gone when we returned.
Indeed, upon our return, we observed that the turkey vultures had vacated the property. We sighed with relief, pulled the car into the garage, and continued our uneventful, carrion-free existence.
Now, I’m pretty sure those turkey vultures were practicing karate kicks on the satellite dish while they dined on their roof service.
When I called the satellite company, the nice man tried all the normal things that customer service tries in order to restore service. I was pretty sure those things were going to fail. They did. During our conversation, the nice man discovered that our satellite dish was badly mis-dithered, meaning that it wasn’t aligned properly to receive signals from key satellite feeds from satellite space.
Suddenly spontaneously mis-dithered, after years of properly receiving signals? Color me skeptical. I blame the turkey vultures. The nice man set up an appointment for a technician to come lay hands on our satellite dish and heal our reception.
I told the nice man about the turkey vultures. At least he had the good grace to be amazed.
Now it’s your turn! Convince me that I am not the only person on earth who attracts weirdness. What is your best “weird and strange” experience? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a bizarre day, in the best possible way!