While walking across the parking lot on my way in to work, I noticed a man seated at the drivers seat of a woody station wagon, smoking a cigarette through its open door. The guy had backed his car into the parking space so that the rear of the woody was practically touching the embankment beyond the space itself. The guy was wearing some sort of uniform top, the kind with the name embroidered on the breast. I didn't see what company it was for. I figured he was probably just not a "liberry" kind of guy and was waiting for someone else, perhaps a wife, to finish browsing.
An hour later, while talking to Mrs. B, Mrs. J came up and pointed out the window.
"You see that man in that old beat up car out there?"
I looked out and was surprised to see that the rusted woody station wagon was still there, its driver still smoking behind the wheel. Mrs. J then said that she'd had an encounter with the man in the library that morning. He'd been sitting at one of our tables when Mrs. J happened to walk by him. The man stopped her and asked what her name was, so she told him. He told her that he remembered her. Then he grinned real big and added, "I just love how you talk. I just love to hear it."
In his defense, Mrs. J does have a distinctive, countryfied way of speech about her, but this didn't stop her from being creeped out by him. She quickly went back to her shelving. Later on, though, she noticed him staring at her and when he caught her eye he started grinning again in a manner she found most unsettling.
I found this to be pretty creepy too and my paranoid nature began to take up the threads of the story in my mind. The hood of the guy's car was pointed almost directly at the front doors of the "liberry," where he'd have the vantage point for watching people come and go. What if he was out there waiting for Mrs. J to leave for the day so he could follow her home? Sure, he would have had no idea she got off work at 2, but the fact that he was still there at all might mean he was willing to wait however long it took.
"Hey, if you need someone to walk you to your car, I'll do it," I told her. Mrs. J said she just might. Then I realized how awful I would feel if after I'd walked her to her car, Mr. Creepy Guy just started his engine and followed right behind her. How could I keep him from doing that? Fake a seizure and jump on his hood?
Mrs. B was thinking along the same lines, and told Mrs. J, "I could go out and start my car first, drive in front of his then pretend like I forgot something and just park it there while I searched, letting you get away."
"Yeah, that would work!" I said.
We then stood there, staring out the window at Mr. Creepy Guy, wondering what he was up to. I thought about going out there and writing down his license number. It would be hard to do this subtly, as he was parked with his license facing away. I'd have to climb the hill behind him in order to see the back end of his car at all and he's surely see me doing that. I didn't really care if he saw me, though, because it would at least send the message to him that we were keeping an eye on him.
Before attempting this, I thought it might be best to alert the boss. I went to Mrs. A's office and told her there was a creepy dude out in the parking lot.
"Yeah, that's MR. CREEPY GUY," she said, using his real name.
"You know him?"
"He's a con man and a creep and you should never take your eyes off him." The tale she then spun was of a patron who is essentially an old rogue from back in the early `80s, when Mrs. A was just a "liberry" ass. herself. At the time, Mr. Creepy Guy used to come in and try and sweet talk the female staff, thinking himself as charming as a James Garner type, or—dare he think it—a Burt Reynolds type, but failing miserably at it. In addition to being a prototypical-Red Alert, dude was also a full participant in any get-rich-quick or pyramid scheme of the day and would attempt to rope others in as well. And—extra-creepy bit here—at one point Mr. Creepy Guy was an official suspect in a local murder but managed to avoid being charged due to lack of evidence.
I told Mrs. A that he had been eyeing Mrs. J earlier and that we were trying to find a way to sneak her out to her car without him following her home.
"Oh, he's not waiting for MRS. J," she said. Mrs. A explained that Mr. Creepy Guy tends to prefer girls far younger than Mrs. J's sexagenarian status. He is also well known for sitting in his car in front of area establishments, smoking for hours at a time. She wasn't worried. Still, if Mr. Creepy Guy needed defeating, Mrs. A was glad to help out. She and Mrs. B devised a plan wherein the two of them would go outside together and walk out to Mrs. J's car. Meanwhile, Mrs. J herself would sneak downstairs and out the back door. Mrs. B would start Mrs. J's car and drive around back out of sight of Mr. Creepy Guy, where Mrs. J would then take the wheel and head home unseen.
It was brilliant and it worked like a charm.
Mrs. B snuck back in and when Mrs. A returned she reported that Mr. Creepy Guy had been eating lunch in his car.
"He probably lives in his car," she said.
Half an hour later, Mr. Creepy Guy entered the library. He was indeed wearing a uniform shirt with "Mr. Creepy Guy" embroidered on the front, only using the letters of his real name. He had the slicked back, thinning, dyed semi-pompadour of a Sha Na Na auditions reject. As I watched, he did a walk through from one end of the building to the other. I can't say for sure, of course, but I got the impression he was looking for Mrs. J. Not finding her, he used our restroom, left the building and drove away.
I sure hope it's another 20 years before we see any more of this asshole.