Thursday, August 07, 2008

Critical Errors

Well, well, well....I thought for sure, after I printed it, not before, that the last post was gonna get 10 responses from Dads and mom's concerning their children's odd behavior. Didn't happen. Now you know why I ain't famous or rich....can't judge the public response ahead of time.
That said, I committed two critical errors in the last three days, errors that could land a person in jail, get them framed, whatever. I'm embarrassed. But in the interest of open-handedness, here you go.
Three days ago a man pulled into the driveway. He approached the house and said he was with Chesapeake Gas, one of the two major players here in the Barnett Shale, the largest natural gas play in the US. My dog Boots went after him ferociously--and Boots is a pretty good judge of character--and I called him off and the man finally made it to the two step stoop.
It was hot. It was 105 at the time, and more like 110 or 115 on pavement. He told me he wanted to ask a couple of questions and I invited him into the house. He stood in the living room--my office and the front room of the house--and said he was with Chesapeake Gas and wanted to know if he could lay some sound lines across my little place. I told him Devon owned the rights to the neighborhood and had in fact drilled several wells across the street, and so what was Chesapeake looking to lay lines for? He said Chesapeake was looking to buy all of the Devon land and wanted to get a read on how much natural gas was really down there.
I told him no, he couldn't do anything to my land. Instantly he said he understood and went for the door. And in that instant I realized he probably wasn't with Chesapeake, but was maybe a cop or DEA or someone like that looking to get just 30 seconds in my house to see if there was anything to see or smell that might later be used against me.
I might be wrong of course. He might have been with the gas company. But nonetheless, letting a perfect stranger into your house, despite 105 degree heat, is a critical error. I have nothing to hide, I know that. But at the same time I've been critical of some DEA agents and a lot of Johnson County police/narcs in the press for several years. I should have known better. I did. I just let my guard down. And now, whether it was an innocent visit or not, I have to live with wondering what was up. Not as in paranoia, but heck, could have even been a Private Investigator working for Chepa getting a glimpse of my house and how I live and who knows what a judge might rule if someone told them about all the Amazon artifacts in my living room? They all look scary: there are skulls and stuffed fish and rocks and bowls and potions and feathers and bugs and jaguar teeth and blowguns and blowgun darts and what not. So that was critical error number one. Letting a stranger into the house.
Critical error number two occurred last night and I still don't know what will become of it. It was about 11:15 and I was sleeping on the couch when Italo woke me to tell me the Sheriff was outside and wanted to talk with me. I jumped up, half sleep-walking, put on shorts and a shirt and stepped out onto the porch. The sheriff's deputy, a portly man, was there on the porch and a fire truck was in the driveway. He said my dog Boots had bitten someone half-an-hour earlier and that I'd have to take Boots to a rabies quarantine for 10 days to see if he had rabies. I said okay and asked what happened. He didn't go into it but did give me a paper to sign which would acknowledge that I'd been told my dog had bitten someone. (IT turned out my dog, the great Boots the Guard Dog, had only bitten one of three teens when, after barking them off from in front of the house, they lingered and cursed at him until he charged, nicking one in the ankle. Both Italo, who was coming home, and Chepa, who was leaving with the two babies, saw the incident, as did my neighbor, who was closing up his video shop.) And completely idiotically, I signed this otherwise blank sheet of paper. Now the front of it did say: "Incident Log", but after I signed, half sleeping, I wanted desperately to grab it and tear it up. What if he chooses to write that I'm confessing to 709 murders in Texas, rather than that I've been advised that my dog is suspected of biting a taunter? I don't control what he'll write. And I've already signed the thing!!!!! What a jerk! Kids in my "Personal Protection-101" class would know better than to sign a paper for a cop that's not filled in, formality or not. Particularly if you've written ill about the cops with the paper as I've done several times in the last couple of years. They may not give a hoot about me but then they might be looking for a way to get back at me for putting their fannies to the fire and me signing a blank sheet--not blank, but not filled out--is the stupidest thing I have probably ever done. My only excuse is that I was really sort of sleep walking, nodding or shaking my head, and didn't wake up until I signed it when my sensors went off and said: "Gorman! What the heck did you just do? What are you thinking???"
In this case I don't think anything will come of either error, but you never know. For all I realize, I might be faced with confessing to the killing of JFK tomorrow and there will be my signature at the bottom of the page. And I had nothing, I swear, to do with JFK's demise.
But there you have it: Two extremely critical errors in two days. Today, the third day, I've been on my toes. But jeez Louise! Who'd have thunk I could be so dumb?
So take it as a warning to know your rights and exercise them--politely--rather than going along with the next stranger who says "It's hot out here. Mind if we step inside?"
Best answer: Wait out here. I'll bring you some lemonade and we'll talk on the porch.
Cause if that guy gets in and drops some dope here when I turn my back, I'm facing time on a set up. And there are lots of people who'd love to see that. So heat or not, sleeping or not, I'm gonna stay on my toes and try not to make any more mistakes like those.

2 comments:

Arbol said...

Hope all is safe with you Peter. You have the rights to go to the Sheriff and see exactly what is on that paper you signed.
For some strange reason August is always a weird month with strange vibes and weird magick happening.

Jorge Luis Villacorta Santamato said...

Oh Mr. Gorman!

That reaction is just a little paranoid!

You are gentleman who has written amusing and entertaining articles. I bet that nobody cares about what you said! All the world loves you!

[Please, pay attention to what you do!!!]