nobody parties like a ling grad

friday night in small town oregon. i'm walking around outside, talking to c on my cell phone. there's this great spot, just a little way up the road past the cherry trees, a gravel road cuts off to the left and i walk a little way down it and sit there and look up at the stars. i've seen two meteors, and it's just great to sit there and look at the sky and talk to her.

usually i don't see any signs of life when i'm out there at night, but tonight there were some cars driving by and finally one slowed and pulled over near where i was. i thought it was some pesky do-gooder and i stood up, all ready to say "i'm fine, nothing to see here" but it was the police. they told me, i swear to god, that they got a call that "someone was running around here in their underwear."

i look down at myself. "um...well...i'm wearing my clothes, so i don't think it was me." he pulls out a little notebook and gets my info. all of my driver's license info! just for sitting by the road at night! stupid oregon. did i see anyone that matches that description? "no...i saw a few cars, but i haven't seen any people, clothed or unclothed."

so they pull away and i decide i'd better wander towards the house, so a few minutes later i'm standing near the top of the driveway and t pulls in in his big pickup. then the police come back! they forgot to get my address, so they get that from me and then drive away again.

then things get really weird. t (husband of one of the people who lives here) walks up the driveway to see what's going on. i explain that i was just talking on the phone and the police were checking out a report of someone running around in their underwear. "well...i have a double barrel twenty in the shed if you need it."


did t just offer me a gun? c in my ear saying um...did he just offer you a gun? he's continuing "and i have a three-fifty-seven, and a double ought six..." [note: okay, if any of you know anything about guns i'm sure you can tell by now that i am pretty much making these numbers up]. he tells me he has SEVENTEEN! guns! in the house! and he's getting three more tomorrow!

"i like guns. i like to kill deer. you know...critters. we get 'possum around here sometimes." okay, t. thanks...i think i'm okay. i'll just go inside now. c in my ear saying do you want to go talk to him? no! no no no! i go inside and finish my conversation in relative peace, unable to say any of the naughty things i would like to say because i have no privacy inside.

ah, the wild friday nights of a linguist on a fieldwork trip.

i want to go home.
to berkeley.
where things are normal.