While Harry and I were in the Harrisburg area recently we stopped at the Pro Bass store.
Boy, the things we see when we're out and about.
Ladies, if your guys suggest going there, don't fuss too much. It's a pretty cool place. I know this is almost sacrilegious, but I like it better than Cabela's. Now I didn't say Harry did. But I thought the ladies' clothing was so much nicer, prettier and had a lot more selection in my size. You know, Good and Plenty.
Another thing that made it cool, it's connected to the Harrisburg Mall. So when your guys are still not ready to leave after you've exhausted trying on everything at Pro Bass, you can explore lots of other shops.
Which is what I thought I'd do.
It was a Sunday morning. While Pro Bass opened at 10 a.m., the rest of the mall didn't open until 12 p.m.
But I walked around a while for the exercise and scenery. I spotted a nice cozy spot with a couch, love seat and club chair. Another couple was seated on the love seat so I settled in the comfy club chair. A few minutes passed and along came a guy who plopped down on the couch. He immediately took off his sandals and stretched out as if he planned on taking a nap.
The couple and I exchanged raised eyebrows. They got up and left. I stayed and did a little people watching.
I glanced over at the reclining figure and thought I recognized him as the guy I saw opening up the soft pretzel and smoothie stand at the inside entrance to Pro Bass. I figured he had done as much as he could, had time to kill before the mall opened and he was catching up on his beauty rest.
I closed my eyes for a few moments. They flew open in surprise when I heard, "Hey Buddy, rise and shine."
Two mall cops were standing in front of the couch, addressing Mr. Sleeping Beauty.
"Come on, now. Get up. This is a public place," said one.
The other said, "And put your shoes on. You can't be barefoot in here."
Mr. Sleeping Beauty never moved an inch. He just stared at them. They stared back. It appeared the posse had reached an impasse.
The taller one again told him to sit up. Again, Mr. Sleeping Beauty ignored him.
One of them stepped closer and said, with hand motions, "Come on buddy. Sit up. Put your shoes on."
Finally, Mr. Sleeping Beauty sat up. But he did not put his shoes on.
The mall cops walked away.
A few things bothered me about this little drama.
First, I don't think Mr. Sleeping Beauty understood the language and that's why he ignored the mall cops and didn't respond to them.
Second, if he did speak and understand English, it had to be one of the most blatant shows of disrespect of authority I've seen in a long time.
Third, I was somewhat taken aback that after issuing an order to sit up AND put on his shoes, the mall cops shrugged their shoulders and walked away, without Mr. Sleeping Beauty complying to the shoe order.
A minute after the mall cops walked away, Mr. Sleeping Beauty laid back down on the couch.
This is where it really got good.
He lifted his left leg up toward his waist and proceeded to pick at his toes. And pick. And pick. And pick. Especially his big toe with a really narly looking toenail that appeared to have something nasty growing on it.
Of course I didn't have to stare. I could have got up and left. But by now I was determined to outlast him in our little campsite retreat. For some perverse reason, I wanted to be able to confirm he was the same guy from the pretzel stand.
A few moments later he sat up and slipped into his sandals. Guess where he walked to?
Yup, the little pretzel stand.
Harry found me shortly after and I told him all about the little drama that had played out with the toe-picking guy.
As we walked back toward the Pro Bass entrance, there was Mr. Sleeping Beauty cutting out dough and shaping them into soft pretzels. With the very same hands that had just been picking at his bare feet.
I couldn't help it. The words just came tumbling out.
"Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat."
Harry and I looked at each other and we both said, "Ewwwwww!"
OK. He probably washed his hands before he touched the dough. Don't you think? Yeah, yeah, I'm sure he did. But, maybe he didn't?
Harry said, "I don't think I'll ever be able to eat a soft pretzel again."
Well, maybe not never, but every time I'll see a soft pretzel I know what I'll be thinking ..."Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat."