Down East 2013 ©
So, I’m working checkout at the A&P, right? When I hear this conversation out of the corner of my ear: two women, voices lowered, talking fast in a urgent sort way. I mean, who wouldn’t listen in?
“He wakes me up every morning at 5:00.”
“Like clockwork. I don’t mind it so much on week days. I have to be up for work, anyways. But, it’s the weekends, too.”
“You think he’d let you sleep in at least one morning.”
“Nope. He just won’t give it a rest. At first I thought it was kind of cute, you know? But frankly, it’s wearing me down!”
“I don’t blame you. Not every morning.”
Well, my interest was peaked, let me tell you! I couldn’t make out who was talking, so (I’m not proud of this, but curiosity got the better of me), I shut off my register light and moseyed on over toward the voices. I round the corner into aisle three, and suddenly the chatter stops. But I could tell by their faces I’d found the culprits.
It’s Nancy Walker, the Congo minister’s wife. They moved to town about ten years ago, and I don’t know her that well. See her mostly when we go to the bean suppers down to the Church. Standing next to her is a woman from away. Not sure of her name. Kelly? Karen? She’s new in town, maybe been here six months or so.
“Good morning, ladies,” I says, acting casual. Just then, I see some shelves further down the aisle that were in desperate need of straightening. Really! They were a mess. When I get a safe distance away, I set to work, and Nancy and Kelly/Karen start up again.
“Well,” says Nancy, “in my book, that’s harassment which I believe is against the law.”
“That’s what I wanted to find out. So I called the police.”
“I did. And they said there was nothing they could do about it. ‘Call the animal control officer.’ they told me.”
“Yup. That’s her name.”
What the hell? I’m thinking. I don’t think this kind of thing is part of Wendy’s jurisdiction.
As long as they’ve had the post of Animal Control Officer here in Mahoosuc Mills, Wendy Flynn’s held it. Now, you’d think with a name like “Wendy Flynn,” she’d be this petite little thing. Not so. Wendy’s what we call “firmly planted” in this neck of the woods, a chinos and man’s work shirt kind of gal (when she’s not in uniform). Wendy may be missing some of the finer social graces, but she has a heart of gold and just loves her animals, that’s for sure. As Charlie says, “When I die, I want to come back as one of Wendy’s dogs.”
Anyways, even though the shelves at the end of aisle three were looking pretty spiffy by now, in true Mata Hari fashion, I pretend to be busy, blending in, you know?
Nancy continues, “Did you call her?”
“Yes, I did,” Kelly/Karen replies. “I explained the situation to Wendy, and you know what she said to me?”
“She says, ‘We’re in Maine. Rooster’s crow.”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here .)