Outside of the courtroom, I don’t usually pay attention to the impression I leave on others. I should though, especially when costumed and in public, since some disguises don’t mesh with certain situations. For instance, it’s never a good idea to visit the airport masquerading as a suicide bomber. Nor should one approach a bank teller while disguised as a cat burglar, ski mask and all. Equally, when dressed as a blind man, a guy probably should avoid any number of activities, in a variety of contexts, lest the wrong conclusions be reached … like yesterday.
Sophia and I attended a costume party last night. Our friends Jimmy and Melinda hosted the affair, which they dubbed the “It’s Never too Late for Halloween Bash.” I went as one of the visually impaired, with our Yorkie/Shih Tzu mix as my guide dog. If I do say so myself, Prometheus’ diminutive stature combined with his casted, broken rear leg created a truly hilarious service dog. The pooch, complete with guide-dog harness, drew rave reviews at the bash.
I received a number of compliments as well, all due to my custom contact lenses. I’d purchased the theatrical “deadeye” lenses months ago and saved them for the perfect occasion. With their milky, glazed surfaces, murky irises and ruined pupils, the contacts created a disturbingly realistic look of total blindness. Everyone I came across shuddered when they spotted them.
It wasn’t the gala itself where I raised the most eyebrows, however. A few hours before the party began, Sophia asked me to do a favor for her father. He’d purchased a small tree at Home Depot and needed to retrieve it; however, his bum knee had been acting up and its sorry condition prevented him from accomplishing the task. The Mrs. told me to take his station wagon, because I wouldn’t be able to fit the tree in my sedan.
Standing alone, none of my subsequent actions merited undue attention. Certainly, driving a car into the packed Home Depot parking lot didn’t seem unusual. Since my father-in-law’s vehicle now bears a handicapped plate, my decision to park in a handicapped spot for a few minutes also shouldn’t have drawn excessive inquiry. Nor should toting a hobbled, harnessed mini-pooch under one arm have elicited more than a smile. And even the jarring sight of my deadeye lenses should’ve been explainable before anyone jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Of course, my actions did not stand alone but in concert, prompting astonished gapes from onlookers. I think one guy spoke for them all when he commented to me: “It’s not every day you see a car pull into a handicapped spot and watch a blind man get out – on the driver’s side – carrying his seeing eye dog, no less!” A funny observation, yes; although I would’ve found it more amusing coming from someone other than a deputy sheriff!