Yesterday, I had another interesting encounter during my morning walk at Fort McHenry. It occurred on my second lap around the seawall trail, when I spotted an older guy I’ll call “Willie” up ahead. He is strolling with a young man whom I also recognize. As I pass them this brief exchange—reported more or less verbatim—takes place.
Willie: Good morning, Jim.
Me (Turning, walking backwards as I reply): Good morning, Willie.
Willie: Jim, this is my friend, Hud (Name changed).
Me (Still walking backwards.): Yeah, I’ve met Hud. (To Hud.) Mr. Hud KENT, right?
Hud: You can call me Mr. Superman. (We all laugh.)
Willie: They used to call me Superman, too, until I lost my power.
Me: And what might that have been?
Willie: The power to get an erection. (Laughs all around.)
Me: I don’t believe that for a second.
At this point, Willie turns off the trail and heads for the visitor’s center. I turn around and walk on ahead, several yards in front of Hud. When I reach the end of the seawall trail I reverse direction as I’m watching two swallows “courting” on the wing. They dart to and fro together, fast and low, skimming the grass.
Me (To Hud as we pass face-to-face.): Swallows are flat out CRAZY—they mate in midair!
Hud (Surprised.): They DO?!
Me (Laughing.): As far as I can tell.