Steve and I meet at 5:30am to run at a local greenway. This greenway isn't known for safe trails or well-lit paths. In fact, over the past few years, there have been attempted rapes on the greenway early in the mornings. Needless to say, I would NEVER run there alone at that time (it's still pretty dark when we start). But, with Steve, I feel like we have safety in numbers.
Now, because of aforementioned assaults, there are VERY few other people at the park in the mornings. And we usually see the same people. (Like the same 2 other people).
This morning, as I was driving into the park, there was a car in front of me. Not normal, but not something to spark alarm. They parked further down the parking lot than I did and sat there with their lights still on. I was mostly annoyed because I REALLY needed to pee and because someone else was around, I couldn't just jump out and pee in front of my car like I do most mornings before Steve gets there.
Steve pulled up and parked next to me and I started to get out of the car. As I did that, I noticed that the other car at the opposite end of the parking lot had started to drive over towards us. Maybe this makes me a horrible person, but my immediate reaction was... "Oh, they must be going to more secluded area of the park to have sex or do drugs in their car. That's nice." But then the car pulled up right behind our cars (blocking both of our cars) and the driver's side window rolled down.
What follows is EXACTLY what you shouldn't say (but what the guy said) and my responses (in italics) and what was actually going through my head (in red).
"You guys runners?"
"Ummm... that's a weird opener."
"You guys going to run trails?"
"Ummmm... why because you want to follow us out and murder us and throw us in the river?"
"So, you're just going to run on the greenway?"
"Fuuuuuuuck. Why did I just tell him where we were going to be? Ugh."
"Ok, I'm from murfreesboro. How many miles does the trail go out?"
"It's an 8 mile out and back."
"Why? So you can gauge how much time you have to break into our cars and steal our shit?"
"Sorry to just roll up on you guys in the dark, like this. heehee."
"Yeah, maybe you should have opened with that line."
At this point, Steve and I started to act like we were going to start running and the guy started to back his car up.
We spent most of the 6 miles discussing this guy and his randomness and all the likely scenarios of what was happening back in that parking lot:
Scenario 1: He broke into our cars.
Scenario 2: He took a dead body out of the trunk of his car and is burying it in the woods.
Scenario 2.1: He took that dead body and put it in the back of Steve's Truck.
Scenario 3: He got his parks mixed up and thought THIS was the park to have anonymous sex in (with a name like Shelby Bottoms Greenway, I can see the confusion), and was still sitting in the parking lot waiting for someone to pull up and get into his car. That's Edwin Warner, people. Shelby Bottoms is where you go for your drug deals and rape attempts.
Scenario 4: He really was just a nice guy from Murfreesboro, who had no idea that this park isn't known for it's safety and was hoping he'd run into two really friendly people who would offer to run with him. (Dude, it's 5:30 in the morning, I'm not running into the dark park with ANYONE I don't know, even if I'm with someone else).
By the time we got back to the car, we saw his car parked next to mine and from what we could tell, nothing nefarious had happened. I did feel a twinge of guilt, because, I am sure he thought we were both total assholes and in reality, he was probably just a legitimately a nice/innocent guy. But, hell, I watch a LOT of Dateline. And while I've told The KoB that if I am killed in a mysterious way, to make sure that Keith Morrison covers my Dateline story and not Dennis Murphy, I am glad that this morning's run didn't end with that.