Those were the last words that I received from Corb before I left work to fend my way through the Friday night traffic on the road home to Eldredge. Oh, I tried to get more out of him, but my resources were limited: we don't have a land line, his cell phone wasn't working, so all I had was email, and my response (one simple word: "WHY?") had not met with a reply before I had to log off.
Forty minutes later, as I made my way into the apartment, I could barely wait to open the door and play quiz the Corbster. In desperation, I begged Josie to pick up the kids at school, just so I could get five minutes alone with him, just to find out what he meant. Don't leave a writer left hanging for too long, with just his imagination to keep him company, faithful friends. You don't want to know what he'll dream up.
Nothing close to what really happened, let me tell you.
Corb was in the kitchen when I entered, putting the finishing touches on some crescent rolls that he had been preparing for dinner that night. I hardly looked at his buns, but instantly turned him around, hugged him, and said, with an edge in my voice, "WELL?"
Corb grinned. "Well," he said, "You know that weird guy making noise outside our window this morning?"
I nodded my head. How could I forget Thor? We had both been woken out of a sound sleep at the crack of dawn, by the screams of what I had assumed was a neighbor on the first floor, crying out for Thor to bring forth the sun. "You mean, the drunk guy?" I asked.
"That's just it," said Corb. "He wasn't drunk at all."
"How do you know?"
Corb gave me his slyest grin and moved into our living room, grabbing a sleeping Thumbkin from the couch. "Well," he said, and then paused, to heighten the tension. "I woke up this morning and poured myself some cereal, and then turned on the TV, and started watching that show...oh, what is it?" He tapped his finger against his lip, while I stewed inside like a crock pot on ten. "Oh, you know, it's a comedy from the eighties...about these four Southern ladies...man, I can't remember the name..."
"DESIGNING WOMEN!" I screamed. "So then what?"
"Well, I was sitting there, and all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I look over to the balcony, and I realize that there's a police car outside. And then, I look to see what's going on, and I realize that there's a naked fat man standing in the pond. And I'm like, how could I have missed that?"
"He was in the water, about waist deep. And all of the neighbors were just standing around, watching him. And I thought to myself, 'This is way better than Designing Women,' so I turned off the TV and sat back to watch the show and finish up my cereal."
"So he was standing in the water...doing what?"
Corb laughed, and stroked Thummy, who squinted his eyes in appreciation and looked up at him. "He was just standing there. The water was up to his waist, and he just kept lifting his arms up in the air, like he was talking to the sky."
I lowered my voice, "Did you happen to see--"
"Yes!" Corb nodded his head. "He was an extremely fat man with an extremely tiny weenie."
"So what did the police do?"
Corb shook his head and placed Thumbkin back on the couch. "It was pathetic," he laughed. "They took an hour to get him out. They tried to throw a rope out in the water, to lasso him in, and they kept missing. He got mad at them. He told them he had returned from the dead and was going to place a curse on them. Finally, the police got sick of trying to rope him like a steer, and they went into the water and dragged him out."
"Wow," I said. "Those little old ladies on the second floor must've gotten a thrill. Was he the guy on the first floor?"
"He was one of our neighbors," nodded Corb. "I checked with the office. Seems he forgot to take his medication, or something. We have the best apartment building, Ted. First we had that guy who had all the windows to his car bashed in with a can of beans, and now this. I don't think I'll ever want to move out!"
"Unbelievable," I whistled. "I'm jealous. I wish I had been here."
"It gets better," he replied, and his smile became pure evil. "I took pictures."
NEXT EPISODE: PICTURES!