I call it the hairless cat paradox. Some things are just so ugly they are cute- like hairless cats. No matter how disturbed you are looking at the rat-like tail held high in the air, you just can’t seem to stop yourself from scratching it on its bald little head and saying in a baby voice, “Oh. You are sooooo cute. I love those little wrinkles!”
My encounters with Mrs. Knorr are another version of the hairless cat paradox- they were so sad, in the end, you can’t help but chuckle.
The first time I made Mrs. Knorr’s acquaintance, I was driving through a state parks on my way home after a long day of working. I lived just a few miles from the park, so I had the good fortune of driving through this scenic little place almost every day. It was a great way to unwind from the stresses of the day. But my reverie came to a screeching halt, when the driver of the tan Pontiac I was following on this particular day hoisted a bag of garbage out of the window and into the woods, without even slowing down.
I continued following the Pontiac up the hill and out of the park. Just outside the park, the road emerges from the woods and begins a series of S-turns, making it difficult to find a safe place to make a traffic stop. Following behind the car through the S-turns I was able to catch a glimpse of the the driver. The driver appeared to be a woman, with shoulder length blonde hair. Her head just cleared the steering wheel, giving the impression that she was possibly seven years old, but the cigarette she was sucking on put her age more at thirty.
As we came out of the S-curves and the blacktop stretched out straight ahead, I made my move. I flipped on my emergency lights and waited for the Pontiac to pull over. It didn’t. I tried my siren, but to no avail. Smokey Lungs Lady was completely oblivious.
I could see my turn for home coming up ahead. For a brief moment I thought about forgetting about it, and heading for home. But, I couldn’t do it. I hate litterbugs. Just as I was coming up to my road, the Pontiac turned onto it. Apparently Smokey Lung Litter Lady was a neighbor of mine. I lived at the end of a rather long dead end road, so it would be my luck that I’d have to cite my neighbor for littering and then proceed to drive past her house several times a day on the way to and from mine. I doubted she would give me any good-morning waves. It would also be my luck that she would be the person to whom my elderly mail carrier would deliver my mail. My mail was being delivered to the wrong address so often that it would have made more sense to stop at each house on my way home, and pick up my mail as I went. Maybe the poor guy was developing cataracts and couldn’t read the addresses, though since he drives one of those little mail jeeps at mach ten down my road, the mail should be the least of my concerns. It was entirely possible that if I cited this woman for littering that one day she would be struck dead by the blind mailman as she scattered nails around the entrance to my driveway.
The Pontiac whipped into the driveway of the third house on my road. She quickly pulled into the garage, closing the garage door in my face as I pulled into the driveway behind her.
I radioed in my location, and stepped out of my truck and walked up to the front door of the house. My chances of someone actually answering the door were about as good as my coon eating dog brushing her own teeth.
Just as I was about to give up after the third doorbell ring, a middle aged man answered the door.
“Can I help you?” he asked, squinting at me from behind the screen door.
“Well, I need to speak to the woman that just pulled into your garage,” I said.
“Pam? Well, she is…uh…” he began, but then Pam herself staggered into the room. She was holding a Budweiser can in one hand, and a smoldering cigarette in the other. Her blond hair glistened from grease and hung limp at her shoulders. She looked me in the eye and took a giant slug of beer. An ash from her smoke dropped onto the carpet, and she stepped on it to extinguish the spark.
“Whatd’ ya wan?” she said, slurring her words into one.
TO BE CONTINUED...