A question for Ace Backwords



I’ve lived in Berkeley for so long, I’ve given up trying to figure out if the people that approach me are nuts, or peculiar, or just coming at me from some unusual angle. .

They had a catered event on the campus today with all these box lunches. So I’m quickly and discreetly going through all the discarded boxes sitting by the garbage cans, to pull out all the leftover meat and cheese from the uneaten sandwiches for my kitties (plenty of fresh turkey, roast beef and Swiss cheese for my kitties tonight!!) (when you got 7 mouths to feed you do what you can).

When this young, clean-cut and seemingly-normal guy approaches me with a big, friendly smile on his face. And says, really slowly:


So I look up and wait for the question. Which he says very slowly, drawing out each syllable, and with his mouth wide open and articulating each word with this exaggerated fish lips kind of mouth.

“Can … you … name .. me .. one … person … in … Berkeley .. who .. is .. of .. high .. and .. upstanding .. moral .. character??”

I thought about this rather peculiar question for a split-second, and then I said:

“No I really can’t off the top of my head.”

He sort of nodded at me wisely, and then he said:

“Peace .. be .. with .. you.”

He made that praying gesture with his hands in front of his chest. Bowed slightly. And then turned and walked away.

I have no idea what to make of that. And I guess I shouldn’t care.

Sometimes I think I’m a magnet for nuts. They see me and they immediately sense I’m a fellow traveler.