Earlier this week, the local police visited me for the fourth time. Only a handful of locals have visited me more frequently than that. So, on my list of people in the neighborhood who know me the best, I figure that the local cops are now in 8th place, just behind, Crazy Debbie, Joe Becker (the second-hand furniture salesman, not the boy Hilary and Geralyn Becker adopted), my landlord, Janessa the barmaid, Brook the barmaid, Sarah the barmaid, and the Seth Roegen lookalike-soundalike who works, I kid you not, at the local Puff and Stuff. I don’t know his name, and he doesn’t know my name, so maybe the local cops are really in 7th place. It’s close.
It wasn’t anything personal. The cops were only checking to see if I was alive. Routine check. It seems that dropping my 516 cell phone number and dropping my 717 landline phone, led several of my out-of-town friends to think I might be dead (or dying). Note to self. Make sure all my friends know my 717 area-code cell number, or else the cops will be back for a 5th visit.
The local cops look like they are all recruited straight out of Gold’s Gym, and they don’t look like small town cops at all. Lancaster may have a rural background, but it certainly is not Mayberry. There are quite a few mounted policemen, though, that add a certain charm to the place.
One time the cops (a mini swat team, actually) came looking for my upstairs neighbors, who had moved out a week previously, but usually when they knock on the door, they’re here for me, and they’re checking to see if I’m alive.
“Do you know anyone named Ellie in Texas?
“She thought you might be dead.”
“The rumor of my death has been greatly exaggerated.”
“Is that your name? I’m looking for a guy named Paulson.”
“That’s me. Harold Earl Paulson.”
“You should call Ellie.”
“Do you have her number?” I asked.
“Yes. Do you have a pen?”
“One minute.” I stepped back and tripped over an ashtray filled with roaches. (not the bug kind.) I hustled back to the door, before the cop could step in. “Uh, could you just write it down for me?”
He did and left.
I called Ellie, who was my landlady in New Hyde Park. Her son, Mark answered. I explained the telephone SNAFU, and we bullshitted for a while. The bell rang. The cop was back.
“You don’t exist in our system. Do you have ID?”
I showed my New York non-driver license to him, and it all made sense, why I wasn’t in the Pennsylvania system.
“I AM registered to vote in Pennsylvania,” I offered, hoping to mollify him.
He wasn’t one bit interested. I, immediately, wondered who he was voting for. This probably was not the time to discuss politics.
Today is April 15, Tax Day, the day I usually set aside to do my taxes. I’m a procrastinator, and I always wait until the last minute. This year I vowed to break that bad habit and I succeeded by one day. I sent in the tax forms yesterday.
Yesterday was a strange day. I woke up a little before 9 a.m. (very strange), had breakfast (not so strange), and went to church (It doesn’t get stranger). Yes, I went to church, but not for any religious reasons. They were offering free tax preparation. Usually, I use one of the online services and the Federal form is free but the state form is $25-30 dollars. I figured that free was better than $25-30, so I went to Church, The First Methodist Church. Within an hour I was all done. So, afterwards, I went to the library to check my e-mail.
I noticed that the Barnstormers were playing a spring training game against the York Revolution at 1 p.m., so I left the library and headed for the ballpark. The Barnstormers scored first, but the Revolution came back to win the game 5-4. Nobody cared. It was just a chance to get all the new guys in the game so manager Butch Hobson could get an idea of how they could help the team.
Today, there is another Spring Training game at 1 p.m. The Barnstormers are playing the Lancaster Bible College team. That should be a hoot. As an Agnostic, I’m always amused when sports figures give God credit for their victories, like God was just spending the day watching a boxing match and hoping for his favorite guy to beat the crap out of the other guy. I don’t think that any of the Barnstormers can go into this game feeling that God is on their side, but I think they can still be fairly confident of a victory. I’m thinking about bringing a sign that says, “Smote Them.”