legends...

Some of the following suburban sagas are true, and some are nothing but bullshit. Only you can decide which are which...


legend archive...

Jeff S. -- The Stay at Home Dad

Monkey -- The Man Who Hated Disneyland

My Dad's a Rocket Scientist

The Move

Attempted Murder

The Wedding Stinker


dances with shovels...

this one is a true story. the names have not been changed to protect anyone, although the facts have been embellished for dramatic effect...

11:30 PM; Friday, March 31, 2000 -- Seattle, Washington, USA

Ralph worked quietly on his laptop in the dimly lit den of his modest Seattle condominium. It had been a busy week, so he was winding down with a soothing cup of herbal tea and soft music turned up just loud enough to mask the din of the heavy late night traffic emanating from the nearby freeway.

Ralph was also busy trying to synchronize his laptop with his Palm Pilot, but was having a little trouble. He had been at it for a while and was desperately trying to get the Microsoft disk de-fragmentation program to stop running in a continuous loop when he heard a very pronounced *BANG* come from somewhere just outside his den window. The noise, he thought, came from his porch, but with the blinds drawn he couldn' t see outside -- so Ralph stopped his loud cursing for a moment and listened. Had it been his imagination, or did something really just drop into his patio? He dismissed this preposterous notion almost as soon as it entered his head and resumed his attempts to stop the de-frag program from driving him nuts. "After all," he thought," my patio -- although accessible -- is protected by razor wire in the front, and by two very tall tenement buildings on the north and east sides. The only real good access to my patio would be from the patio of the adjacent unit, and even that was unlikely -- wasn' t it?"

About the time Ralph had nearly forgotten the whole thing , he thought his eye detected some movement on the sheer blinds of the French doors leading to his patio. He stopped and watched in horror as a large, odd-shaped shadow moved swiftly across the blinds and disappeared.

"A cat." Ralph rationalized. "Yes, it must be a cat."

He sat still and waited for the motion detector light to come on and scare the wandering feline away, but the light never came on. An enormous lump rose to his throat and almost choked him. His heart pounded with terror as his mind conjured up images of a mad killer slashing him to threads with a very large butcher knife.

"Calm down!" he thought to himself. "Calm down! Don' t let your imagination get the best of you!"

Ralph decided to wait and see if the shadow came by again before doing anything rash, like calling the police. He decided that he'd rather risk dying at the hands of a maniac than risk the embarrassment of having to explain to the police why they were called out to evict a rogue pussycat. He tip-toed into the next room and dimmed the lights further, then he sat next to the door with his cordless phone in hand and waited.

Minutes passed like hours with nothing -- no movement, no sound. Then, just as he was about to exhale, the shadow reappeared, this time mysteriously swaying back and forth across the sheer window covering! Still the light did not come on! The lump returned to his throat so swiftly that it nearly leapt from his gaping mouth. His heart pounded so hard he could feel his shirt skipping off his chest. He swallowed hard and gripped the phone so tight his knuckles turned a ghostly white.

"What is it!" he screamed inwardly.

As the terror reached its pinnacle he decided to pull back the blinds -- just a bit. Maybe if he saw the killer before they saw him he' d have a chance. He raised a quivering hand to the corner of the blind and slowly peeled it back just enough for one eye to peek out.

It took a moment for his eyes to adjust, but when they did he was astonished at what he saw. There, just outside the door, was a huge pile of clothing. He shut the blind quickly.

"It' s definitely a burglar!" he thought. " They' re swiping all my neighbors clothes while he's gone, then they' ll move to my house and kill me."

He looked up to see that the shadow was growing larger and larger.

"Oh my God! They're getting closer!" He decided to take one more peek before he died.

Once again he slowly peeled back the blinds. At first all he saw was the same pile of clothes, but as his eyes adjusted a figure took shape near the middle of his patio. Seconds seemed like days now as he cursed his eyes for not adapting to the darkness more quickly!

"If he sees me looking at him, he' ll kill me!" Was his only thought.

Finally, his eyes made the adjustment and he was able to make out the form of a man -- a naked man with long hair.

"It' s Jesus!" He thought. "Why is he on MY porch? What is he doing? Why can't I see any wounds on his hands? Is he in pain? Why is he moving around like that? WAIT! Wait a minute ... It looks like he's -- like he' s ... dancing!"

Suddenly the naked man spun around. Ralph was not prepared for what he saw next. "Yes! He IS dancing!" he thought, "And he' s dancing with ... my garden shovel!"

After watching for a moment he realized that the man dancing with his garden tools was NOT Jesus, but just some whacked out, naked hippy that had somehow stumbled onto his patio. The relief he felt was nearly life changing, but now he had a new problem. How could he call the police and tell them that he had a naked hippy on his patio, dancing with his garden shovel? He decided that he couldn't and started to make his way to the patio to tell this person to scram. When he got to the door he decided he'd better take another look before stepping outside. Maybe the man had left on his own, he thought. Wrong! What he saw now made him very glad that he'd stopped to look out before confronting the man, for this time the naked man was dancing with his pruning sheers! It was then that Ralph decided that his original plan to call the police was the right one, no matter how silly the whole thing sounded to them. He immediately dialed 911.

After the 911 operator stopped laughing, they told Ralph that the police were on their way and that he should stay inside -- unless of course he wanted to 'cut in' . Fortunately Ralph was able to laugh at himself at this point and told the 911 operator that he had no such plans.

After what seemed like hours of waiting there was a tap at the patio door. Ralph opened the blinds full this time and switched on the light manually when he saw that it was a policeman's flashlight doing the tapping. He opened the door and was face to face with one of Seattle's finest. Off to the policeman's left was the magnificent beatnik oracle 'Dances With Shovels' in handcuffs. To his right was another policeman, holding a filthy pile of clothes.

The cop shined the light in the face of this unclad, street dwelling Fred Astaire and asked Ralph, "This him?"

Ralph said, "Of course it is. You don' t see any other naked hippies dancing with garden tools do you?"

The policemen shared a laugh with Ralph, then they went on their way -- 'Dances With Shovels' in tow. Ralph thanked the brave men as they walked away. Then he shut his blinds, breathed a huge sigh of relief and returned to the den where he continued cursing the Microsoft disk de-fragmentation program late into the night, all the while listening carefully to every sound inside and outside his modest downtown Seattle condominium.

by brad


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