A MAN ON THE SIDEWALK ON CLYDE
"Excuse me. Could I ask you a question? I'm Becky Holzinger,
investigative reporter for LIP News."
"I'm in the street. Wait until I get to the sidewalk please."
"I'd prefer not to. I'm doing a 'man in the street' interview."
"I thought it was a 'man on the street' interview," he said.
"In or on, it's all the same thing," I said. "I think you need to be
in the street. Do you read the Lancaster Sunday News?"
"Where did you say you were from?"
"I've never heard of it."
"Don't worry, sir. You are not alone. Could you tell me your name?"
"My name's Harvey. Now that car was awfully close. I think I'm going
to be hit. I need to move out of the street."
"Oh, fine. I'll call it my 'man on the sidewalk' interview. It doesn't
have quite the same ring to it, though."
"Do you have any identification? Do you have press credentials?"
"Are you kidding?"
"Do you have a copy of your paper?"
"I see you have a Starbucks cup. What kind of coffee do you have
in there, if you don't mind my asking?"
"I'm in a bit of a hurry. I'm about to begin my jog. What was the
question you wanted to ask me?"
"That coffee smells good. That's quite a large cup. Were you
going to finish it?"
"Back off the coffee, Lady."
"Well, I can see you woke up on the wrong side of the bed this
morning. Do you read the Sunday News?"
"Yes," he said.
"Do you read the 'Coffee with Clyde' column?"
"I cut it out every week."
"You cut it out every week?" I asked. "To save it?"
"No, in case my son reads the paper. I can't have him reading
that. Doctor Fraud says it's fine for my son to have an imaginary friend
at his age. But I don't want him to think it's normal for an adult."
"I see. Do you read the column?"
"I take it to church and read it. Between that and the sermon
I'm usually asleep by the second or third sentence."
"You haven't taken a sip of that coffee recently," I said.
"I said, back off the coffee. Where can I read this interview?"
"You can't," I said. "What do you do with the clippings after church?
Throw them out?"
"No," he said. "I save them in a scrap book."
"Of course not. You aren't very bright, are you? That was a joke.
I make them into spitballs later in church. I always ask for a straw with
my coffee, if you know what I mean. It keeps me entertained and I
haven't been caught in ten years."
"I see. Where are you going jogging?"
"I'm going to meet a friend and go look at the new traffic lights
downtown," he said. "Then we have a race to his house."
"Who wins the race?" I asked.
"I always do, by a hair. I have to run."
"Nice to meet you. How old is your son, by the way?"
"Turns twenty-two tomorrow. Tootles."
"Tootles," I said.
WHO KNOWS WHAT'S NEXT!!!