The Odd Old Couple next door take regular walks through their middle class, nearly suburban neighborhood. They’ve always taken walks, jogs, runs, and bicycle rides regardless of the area in which they lived. Some examples: years ago, when central San Francisco was the place they called home, up steep hills and down; once lost in Paris (which the Odd Old Man called “exploring,” not being disoriented) in a distinctly nonresidential district by the docks; then a shabby, low-income, blue collar community; finally urban, historic Denver.
In only one place were they ever stopped by the police. Their current middle-class area. “I don’t know whether to be thrilled the police are so vigilant,” says the Odd Old Woman, “or offended because the officer must have thought we were homeless bums, dressed as we were in our scruffiest exercise outfits.”
She gasps this as the OOCND are bent over in hysterics after the incident. The policeman, driving a car, halted to inquire, “Is he (the OOMND) chasing you?” She’d preceded her husband on the sidewalk on the jog,. Doubtful that she’d heard him correctly, she asked him to repeat himself, which he did. The OOCND exchanged disbelieving glances, clarified the situation, assured him the woman was fine, and held back laughter until the officer drove away.
Whereupon they thought of better replies they could have made:
* Yes, he’s trying to catch me, but he’s not succeeding. Can you help him?
* No, he’s not trying to catch me, and that’s the problem. I want him to catch me.
* Are you nuts? Do we look like either one of us is capable of being a threat to anyone?
Thankful they hadn’t been asked for i.d., because they had none with them, they now treasure the incident as an amusing, enlightening example of modern life in America.