Mountain People Can Be Strange

Now, I know I’m not exactly sitting on the high point of the normal curve, but some of the people in the mountains take weirdness to a whole new level. When my nephew was visiting a few weeks ago, we needed some hardware-store stuff. Since we also needed a fuel filter for the generator from the auto-parts store, we decided to make the longer drive to a different, larger town (that shall not be named to protect the weirdos), instead of zipping into Fairplay.

Somewhere between picking out a sledgehammer/maul combo (I love you, Smashy!)


and a 3/4″ spade drill bit, a store employee latched on to us. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Where are your drill bits?”
WD (Weird Dude): “This way. First, though, you need a circular saw.”
Me: “Uh…no. I really don’t. Drill bits?”
WD: “I’m paramilitary.”
Me: [Blinks] “…That’s nice.”
WD: “I can make explosives out of ordinary household materials.”
Me: [Bugs eyes out at nephew. Thankfully, he spots the drill bits and we run to them. WD follows.]
WD: “Anything else on your list?”
Me: “Just aluminum foil, but I can get that somewhere else.”
WD: “We have it right over here. What size?”
Me: “Thirty feet is fine. I don’t use much.”
WD: “Thirty feet? That wouldn’t last me a week, what with roasting everything I hunt. Venison, pheasant, elk…”
Me: “Uh-huh. Thanks. We’re going to leave now.” [Run toward check-out, followed by WD.]
WD: “Rabbit, snake, crow, ground squirrel, badger…”

After we finally escape, we head to the auto-parts store next, relieved that the employee helping us find a fuel filter seemed relatively normal…at least he did until I made a lame carpal tunnel joke.

“Well,” said auto-parts-store guy mournfully, “Guess I gotta die of something.”
“Um, I don’t think you actually can die of…” I started, but the nephew gave a warning shake of his head. He was right. It was best to keep our heads down and get out of there as soon as possible. That’ll teach me to stray from my own town, with its familiar, comfortable level of weirdness.