My former barber is a friendly woman who greets every customer as they enter her shop. Her cheery mood brightens many a dreary day.
Except for one customer. When she would greet him with a “How are you doing today?” he’d respond curtly.
If she tried to engage him in conversation with questions such as, “Any plans for the weekend?” his response would be something along the lines of, “No.”
He’d been coming to her shop for about six months when one dark, winter evening he was the last customer in the place and she was the last barber. It was bad enough that this man always made her feel creepy. But she happened to be reading a book about Jeffrey Dahmer, the Milwaukee serial killer and cannibal.
Like many people she responds to nervousness by talking. In this case what did she talk about? The book on Jeffrey Dahmer, of course.
Her taciturn customer kept up his side of the conversation with grunts or silence. When she finished he paid and left without incident. She was relieved to just see him go on that dreary night.
Not too long after that her instincts about the creepy customer were justified. He was arrested because he was Gary Ridgeway, better known as the Green River Killer. Ridgeway confessed to 91 murders and under a plea bargain agreement is serving 48 life sentences without parole. On Dec 21 of last year the body of yet another victim of the creepy customer was found in a ravine in on the outskirts of my hometown.
Meanwhile, the barber continues to brighten the day of her many loyal customers. But if she ever thinks of another customer as creepy, I hope the police check him out right away.