By Erika Kar

There’s this guy that I used to see walking on the road every now and then.

He wore a leather kilt and black beret with a feather stuck in it, carried a rucksack and walking stick, and he looked like he probably lived in the woods.

I would wave to him when I saw him, and he waved back. I haven’t seen him for almost 10 years, but I recently thought about him while talking to Kevin Van Bueren about the crime and strange happenings in Mazama lately.

The kilt-wearing fellow wasn’t dangerous. Just a little Mazama eccentric. He fit in, yet he was also out of place. But couldn’t that be said about everyone? Here’s a little story about him.

On a perfect fall day, I stop at the Mazama Store. I negotiate the spandex-clad cyclists in the gravel parking lot and pull my car in between two Subarus. When I get out, I see that the front door is crowded with tourists making plans, so I head to the side door. It is there that I see my kilt-wearing friend. He is sitting at the table drinking coffee and reading a magazine.

He looks up at me, and I say hello.

All I expected was a greeting in return. Instead he shoves his magazine at me and tells me that our military helicopters are lacking but that our government keeps pouring money into manufacturing outdated models.

His magazine was some military mag, and not exactly light reading material. I politely look at the picture in the magazine, but in my head I am not thinking about helicopters. No, I am thinking that he smells like a mixture of campfire, B.O., and hair. Not particularly pleasant, but if he lives in the woods, what else would he smell like? Certainly not Drakkar Noir.

Then his rant continues…

Our Humvees are made of fiberglass.

GM owns the helicopter manufacturer, which is why the military keeps spending money on them.

He broke up a child prostitution ring.

He has everything archived in his wallet (!).

During one of Bush’s visits to Canada, 50 Russian helicopters descended on Vancouver.

He blew the whistle on contaminated something — but no one cares.

Girls are being kidnapped from small counties and are being sent to the Arabs.

He should have been dead by now because of all his knowledge.

He has been exposed to high levels of radiation and developed bleeding sores and gums.

Neo-Nazis are riding their choppers into our small community and demanding pay-off (they are also kidnapping children).

And there is a pack of wild dogs roaming around with a deadly strain of distemper.

Eventually he ran out of things to tell me, and there was a brief pause. Here was my chance to get away! I kindly told him to be careful and take care. Then before he could tell me about the chip that was implanted in the back of his head, I skedaddled into the store.

Once I finished choosing my items, I waited in line among the Seattle-ites making their coffee choices. I paid for my items and quickly went out the front door, scanning the area for my pal. The coast was clear and I got into my car, first making sure that he wasn’t hiding in the back.

I drove away, keeping my eyes peeled for helicopters in the sky and wild dogs hiding in the woods.

After this encounter, I never saw this gentleman again. He was harmless. And while he may not have been drug-free, he wasn’t stumbling around the woods of Lost River looking for his home, staying up all night with flood lights lighting up the sky, or breaking car windshields, all of which have happened in Mazama within the last week.