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Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Case of Mistaken Identity in the Valley…

The Face of Milk

Today Gladys and I were wobbling along the Lower Loop Road preparing to lean into that hazardous “S” curve south of Andy’s house when a flashy red sedan pulled alongside. Two occupants, a driver and his passenger, had slowed for some reason. At first I thought they might have been clocking my speed to make sport of our slow-poking. It wouldn’t have been the first time Gladys and I had been taunted in the Valley. The passenger window slid down and the driver, a man in his late thirties, spoke across an attractive brunette. “Are you Jim?” he asked. Now there are times I forget where I’m going, times I’m not quite sure what I’m doing, times I’m not sure I’m coming or going, but thus far in my experience I have yet to forget my name. No, I had no problem answering that question.

And besides, do I look like a “Jim?” There’s only one Jim I know of in the Valley and he wears barn boots and a dairyman’s hat. Would a “Jim” be riding a girl’s three-speed bike in second gear around the Valley? Jim wouldn’t be out in the public’s eye wearing a tattered baseball cap, a t-shirt full of holes and short pants that yearned for a good laundering. If my mother had wanted my name to be Jim, she would have named me Jim instead of naming me after a comic strip character.“No,” I answered. “I’m not Jim.” (Thinking the while that I could easily be a “Jim” if it so pleased the lady). The driver smiled and said, “Sorry.” I smiled back and nodded. I could tell he was slightly embarrassed. Off the two sped. I saw them turn right onto Frohning Road. Maybe they would find Jim down there somewhere. I wonder what they wanted with Jim anyway? And what on earth possessed them to think I might be Jim?

This brief little encounter reminded me of a “Little Moron” joke, a species of humor popular a few decades ago: perhaps the prototype of “blonde” jokes. (Many Little Moron jokes are in poor taste, and Jim, being politically correct, wouldn’t tell one, I’m sure. But we’ve established I’m not Jim, so if there are any little morons reading this post, my apologies.)

Did you hear about the little moron baseball fan? He attended a ballgame, had a seat in the very first row. He no sooner sat down than somewhere behind him he heard someone shout: “Hey, George!” The little moron stood up, looked around, scanning the stands above. Nothing registered, so the little moron took his seat. He settled in but soon heard: “Hey, George!”somewhere above his row. Once again he stood up, looked around. Nothing. He sat down again. And again, emphatically this time, he heard: “HEY, GEORGE!!!). The little moron rose to his feet once more, turned and shouted in the direction of the voice: “MY NAME’S NOT GEORGE!!!”

And my name’s not “Jim,” either.

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