October 20, 2003

The Mustard Story

Okay. When I was 22, I was a single female living alone in Columbia, MO working full time and going to grad school. I had a weird-looking neighbor who lived in the apartment above me. The guys, two brothers, who were in the apartment across from me had mentioned to me that the guy was weird.

Often, I’d hear things crashing in his apartment. One morning at about 6:00 a.m., I heard a loud BOOOM! CRASH! I wasn’t due to wake up yet, and I was pissy about this, so I yelled “what the hell!”

That night, after work, I was doing some laundry, and the laundry area for the apartment complex was very close to my apartment – just around the corner, really. I was carrying laundry back, and this man emerged from his apartment screaming “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID! I KNOW WHAT YOU DID! AND I CALLED THE POLICE!”

He has this long, gray hair, and his face is all scrunched up, and he’s just livid. I think I’m carrying my whites. I don’t remember what I said to him, but I went back into my apartment pretty shaken up, set down my laundry, and tried to figure out what to do.

The easy solution was to visit the two guys across the way who had once said, if you ever need anything… So I did. I knocked, they opened the door, and I related the story. One said, call the police.

I did. From there.

The police come. They go and talk to the man. They come back over to the guys’ apartment. They say, “He accuses you of putting mustard on his door this morning.”

Which, of course, I did not do. First, I despise mustard. I don't own any unless I'm planning a cookout or something where others who like the condiment may wish to partake of it. That wasn't the case in my small apartment. No mustard.

I was so shocked that I laughed, and then I related my story, and the officers said, "do you want to press charges." I was pretty taken aback by that - I mean, for what? So, no, I did not.

At the time, I worked for a bunch of attorneys. I told my boss, one of the attorneys, the story the next day. He said, "Do you want to send him a letter?" I said, "Hell yes." And he said, "You write it. I'll sign it."

And thus this came to pass. The letter basically said, "Leave my client alone."

This was probably a Wednesday. On Friday, I was out most of the day in Jefferson City at a workers' comp seminar. When I returned to the office, and the reception staff was quite abuzz. The main receptionist said that a man with long gray hair stormed into the office holding the letter, but all he did was shake it within a closed fist - he never spoke, but he appeared to be shouting. And then he left.

The next week, the man complained to the apartment manager about my noise levels (HA), who did not take it seriously but did come to "talk with me."

And that was really the end of it. I avoided him. He probably avoided me, too, but that was easier with me avoiding him.

Turns out, though, that the man was having a lot of stress in his life - had throat cancer at the time. The noise was that he was dropping weights on the floor (bad form, dude), so there was no violence occurring at 6 a.m. save his weight dropping. The throat cancer was why he couldn't speak when he was in the law office. And he was actually a minister. Strange strange strange.

The mustard? Who knows. Wasn't me.

Posted by hln at October 20, 2003 07:30 AM | Anecdote | TrackBack

You don't like mustard?

I'm so very disappointed.

Posted by: Victor at October 20, 2003 08:16 AM

Thanks for the tips on losing weight. I knew them aready, but constantly ignored them. I may actually give them a try once I get home.

Posted by: Mike at October 20, 2003 08:28 AM

Tips on losing weight?

Posted by: Stevie at October 20, 2003 11:59 AM

You may have given him a reason to live!
Good story --- like to hear more of those.

your greatful customer,

Posted by: Cindy Cicero at October 20, 2003 02:59 PM

I like me some biscuits and mustard. mmmmmmmmm huhmmm

Posted by: El Guapo at October 20, 2003 09:26 PM