I was walking home alone through the National Mall last evening in my black patent leather shoes, neatly pressed red and white striped trousers, navy-blue tailcoat with the lapels trimmed in red and white stripes, and feeling well at ease under my matching Ten-Gallon bucket hat banded in white stars. I was minding my own business and whistling the Spangled Banner, when I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
It gets dark early this time of year, and the Mall was devoid of any tourists - nary even a jogger or dog-walker could be seen under the glow of the LED-lit faux gaslights lining the sidewalk. I've made this trip countless times without any problems. You don't get a beard as long and white as mine by not being wary when necessary, or strong when called for.
It was then I spotted the headlights of an approaching vehicle on the otherwise abandoned street. I stopped at the corner to light my pipe and surreptitiously monitor the suspicious vehicle from under my prodigious brow, hoping to ascertain whether the occupant's intent was that for malice.
I remember noticeable relaxing as the first thing I noticed were miniature versions of Old Glory sprouting from the hood corners just above the vehicle's front headlights. I raised my hand in a friendly gesture, as the huge, black Cadillac limousine slowly cruised past. I couldn't determine if my greeting was reciprocated, as tinting made the windows of the vehicle completely opaque.
The vehicle was so long from bow to stern, it seemed to take an eternity for it to completely pass. I remember thinking, "this ride is an absolute BEAST!," as I pressed my white-gloved hands against my ears in response to the offending noise emanating from the trunk, a kind of incessant pounding and thumping that caused the trunk lid to vibrate and rattle. The noise dissipated completely, as the vehicle disappeared around yonder corner.
For the next few minutes I continued my evening stroll in solitude, leaving a trail of dissipating smoke rings and a pleasant waft of pipe tobacco.
"Strange," thought I, as I observed the limo rounding the corner, seemingly circling for another pass. "Undoubtedly the occupant has had second thoughts regarding his prior un-neighborly behavior and will attempt to recompense by offering me transport to my destination," I naively considered.
The Beast slowly passed just as before, albeit silently and sans the preposterous thumping. Just when I thought the vehicle would egress as before, the brakes locked and the vehicle's momentum responded by rearing slightly forward before the Beast settled back on all four tires, radiating steam and gold rims continuing to spin.
The back passenger door opened, and a vaguely familiar silhouette emerged, wearing a long, black trench. I raised my hand in a sort of salute for the purpose of shielding my eyes from the glare of the headlights in order to get a better visual of the approaching gentleman on foot. It happened so fast.
Coming soon - Chapter Two: BiBi takes a stroll.