My neighbors have gone insane over coyotes. When that woman was giving me her coyote song and dance it wasn’t news to me. I heard a similar hysteria just the night before on my walk from a different, yet equally bizarre, set of neighbors.
On Wednesday I procrastinated taking my walk. I waited until the last possible minute and in the middle of my walk decided to walk just a little more, which meant I would be walking in the dead of night. This is something I never, ever do but I timed it well and knew it would only be that dark for the last 1/2 block. That’s exactly what happened.
I was playing with my music on my phone (Grease soundtrack, if you’re curious) when I noticed car headlights in my periphery coming at me. I didn’t pay them much attention because I was walking on a stretch of sidewalk, but that changed quickly when, like a scene from Miami Vice, the car pulled up right next to me–three people in the car–with windows rolling down before coming to a complete stop.
My first thought was that I should fashion a holster for my hammer and start carrying it on my walks.
Then the woman in the front seat told me to immediately stop walking and turn around.
“You need to stop walking and turn around. Like, right now.” She said this on a gasp, like she was pushing the words out on little puffs of air.
Maybe I’m too cynical or stupid or naive or have seen too many episodes of Dateline and Fight Back! with David Horowitz, but I had to ask why.
“There’s a huge coyote right down the street. It’s too dangerous. He is, like, right there and so dangerous. I wouldn’t walk anymore if I was you.”
And this exchange happened between the front and back seat.
“Well, I don’t know if he’s huge.”
“He’s pretty big!”
“But he’s not like a wolf. If he was like a wolf he would be huge.”
“Okay,” the original woman says turning back to me. “Maybe he’s not huge. He’s medium. Medium-large.”
My second thought was that I come across some really odd people.
“So, where is this coyote, again?” I wasn’t downplaying what they were telling me, and I appreciated they stopped and warned me, but I was less than one block from my street. I thought maybe I could walk it, because otherwise I wasn’t sure how I was going to backtrack to avoid this hugely medium-large sized beast.
“No way. You can’t keep walking. He is right there.”
“I guess I should call my husband to pick me up…” and by this point this is what I decided I was going to do because like a good little pot-stirrer, she got me all worked up and convinced that all those robberies we’ve had were actually committed by werecoyotes.
They all said that was a great idea (there was a man driving the car) and told me to stay safe. I was wondering where I was going to wait for the Mister when they pulled away from the curb and drove off. Now, I wasn’t about to get in a car with strangers, but an offer would have been nice considering they felt my life was at risk. Better yet, they could have waited with me until the Mister showed up. But no, they took off and left me there with the hugely medium-large sized beast looking for it’s next meal. You’ve seen me in compression pants. One look at me and any hungry carnivore would think Christmas came in July.
I stood there, wondering where to go and watched as the car drove away…and parked in the driveway three houses down.
Then the girls ran out of the car and the guy made growling noises and they freaked out, started screaming, and ran inside and slammed the door shut. While I watched standing in the dark.
I called the Mister with some trepidation. You have to understand that my husband, bless his heart, thinks I can handle anything. Nothing worries him. Nothing makes him jealous. I think in his head I am untouchable, immortal, and omnipotent. This sounds great, and most of the time it is, but when you are home alone and convinced a marauding pack of werecoyote robbers is about to burst through your door, “You’ll be fine” is not what you want to hear.
This is why I made sure I sounded stressed and anxious when I called. I copied my friend with the poor size references and pushed out my words on puffy breaths of desperation. “You have to come get me right now! Please, hurry! I’m on Hancock. I’ll come out when I see you.”
So I waited what seemed like forever in the pitch black of night but probably was only a few minutes. When he rolled up he looked, of course, as unruffled as he would if he were picking me up from a DMV appointment.
I’ll give him credit for laughing in the right places. I let his comment about coyotes being afraid of humans slide because I’ve heard that before. Where he began to slowly circle the drain is when we walked into the house and he said, “That is not what I thought you were calling me about.”
“Oh, did you think I saw someone suspicious?”
“No, I thought you really had to go to the bathroom.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“I thought your stomach was upset and you had to go to the bathroom.”
“Why in the…please explain…what?”
“Well, you sounded all desperate. Like you really needed me to get there fast.”
“Because I was trying to communicate that my life was in danger! Why would you even think that? How do you hear scared and desperate and think I have to go to the bathroom?!”
“There was that one time…”
“THAT WAS 13 YEARS AGO! Are you ever going to forget that ONE DAY 13 years ago?!”
“I don’t think so.”
Internet, we are so getting a cat.