Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

I have a very nice couple camping with me in a small towable trailer. They asked for information on churches in town to attend when they checked in. I’d say they are older than I am and I get social security, just to set the scene.

Saturday morning I mowed and weed whipped the edges of the road for about 6 hours. I quit at 2:30 when it had reached 85 degrees. I had a bug net over my baseball cap and long sleeves, long pants and gloves. I was covered and I had bug spray all over me which meant that the stuff kicked back by the weed whip was sticking to my clothes. I didn’t want to track the debris all over my camper so I stood in the entry way door and started to strip. First I threw out the baseball cap and netting, then my long sleeve shirt, then my shoes and socks. Next came the jeans.

Then came a very sweet voice saying, “Do you think you could put some other clothes on and answer a question for us?”

I still had a T-shirt on so I grabbed some sweat pants, put them on and stepped out. “How can I help you?” I said to the nice older couple. I noticed that both of them were beet red and probably embarrassed. “Did you have a question?”

They were rooted in place and not speaking so I explained the dirty clothes, the relatively clean camper and that my next move was to get in the shower. Finally the wife spoke and said, “Well Fred takes his clothes off outside too but we live on a farm out in the country. We figured out what you were doing just not how to get you to stop. Fred once went around the corner of the house and completely forgot he was naked. Shocked our neighbor, I tell you.”

After we laughed together, they got down to business. They had noticed all the bumper stickers on my car and wanted to know how to get an Obama bumper sticker. I rummaged through the back of my car and found one for them and also the “I’m In” cards which they signed. We visited a bit about Obama and how much he has accomplished in spite of the mess he inherited and the roadblocks the Republicans keep throwing up to block him. I told them about what we call Fred Whispering as a way to listen and find common ground and how cool it was that I was talking with a real Fred.

Anna said that her Fred was more of a plainspoken, loud talking man but they wanted the bumper sticker to let their neighbors know just what side they were on. Fred said that Anna was a better listener but that he intended to tell the story about how they got their bumper sticker from a camp host who was throwing her clothes out the door. He thought it would break the ice.

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