These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

"i like your tie"

we were watching an episode of "homicide: life on the street" this afternoon when there was a line in the show that reminded me of something someone told me a few years ago.

two guys on the show were investigating the murder of a man who was severely beaten and left near a dumpster. the cops talked to the owner of a nearby restaurant.

as the cops were leaving, the owner tells one of the cops "i like your tie."

immediately that took me back about four years when a something similar was said to me back in texas while reporting down there.

i was working on some inane story about bail bondsmen and tried to find some through the phone book. i encountered one. he said i could go over to his house. a time was set and my friend laura gave me a ride over there. she stuck around (which was great in the end).

she parked the truck, we wound our way until we found the door. he opened the door. this short, squat man greeted us. he took us inside. the house was dark, but we went in anyway. we ended up in a room that had me wondering if it was such a good idea. he closed the door and noticed there were bolts on it, bolts that could be slid in place, leaving us locked inside. he had handcuffs lying around. the windows were barred or had something that would have prevented exiting through them if we'd tried. the room was dim, so light from the windows was minimal.

laura and i looked at each other nervously, but i went on with my interview. after it was done, we made our way out of the room, thankfully. i was afraid he was not going to let us out, i don't know why. still, it was both of us there, so it made me feel better. if she'd left and then came back to pick me up, i would have been a nervous wreck.

i don't know if this guy was a little off, but he scared the crap out of me for reasons mentioned above. he was a creepy guy, gay or not.

we walk out into the garage area, laura in front and heading toward the driver's side. i was walking slightly behind her and heading to the passenger side, when words esccaped the man's lips. he was behind me. they were words that later, and to this day, still make me and those i tell laugh.

he says in a creepy voice, "i like your shoes." there was a slight lift in his voice in the word "like." i paused in midstep but didn't turn around. i just lamely said thanks and kept walking until i made it in the truck.

now, how could he just simply notice my shoes? i was walking away from him. he could only see the backs of them. granted, they were nice shoes. that's why i bought them. but they were only tennis shoes. the only part of them he could see is the area below the cuff of my jeans, maybe three inches. it was such an odd thing to say.

so i get back to the office and the story is related to others. soon the jokes begin. every once in awhile i still get them. in fact, dawn said that when she heard the guy in the show say it, it reminded her of the incident, too.

to this day i wonder many things about that. was he looking at my ass as i walked away and made a lame comment about my tennis shoes? or did he really like the backs of my tennis shoes? i guess i'll never know. i guess i have good taste in shoes, though.

hope this one cheers you up birdman.