weird things are afoot

I've grown almost afraid to leave the relative safety of my office at lunchtime and walk around downtown. For weird things seem to happen almost every time lately. The other day, I was just walkin' along with my sunglasses on, you know, sorta minding my own business when this lady passes by me going the opposite direction. She's fairly well dressed, but she has a weird apparatus on her arm. It looked kind of like one of those bowling braces that only the really serious bowlers wear. You know the ones. And she said, somewhat quietly, 'Do you have a dollar?' I didn't really answer because I wasn't sure that's what she said. It took me a couple of seconds. So as soon as I figured it out, I turned around and watched her, and as far as I could tell from the expressions on people's faces, she didn't ask anyone else she passed by.

Then today, I went into the convenience store that's about a block away from work to get a soda and the guy behind the register is placing bets on football games. With a bookie. Who's standing right there. Isn't that illegal? Aren't you supposed to surreptitiously do that kind of business on dirty pay phones in dirty alleys in whispered tones? Or in sticky booths in dark, smokey bars?

And then there were two guys in the convenience store's parking lot chopping up what looked like a downed telephone pole. With an axe. Where did they get the axe? And, probably more importantly, where did they get the telephone pole? They were wearing matching blue polos, so I'm thinking that was some kind of uniform. Either that, or they did it just to give the impression that they were some sort of officials. Officials at what I can only guess.

Either I'm going crazy or people are getting weirder. Or both.

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