Thursday, July 8, 2021

I am fascinated by two new characters in my neighborhood

I have previously brought up the fact that, on my morning walks/runs, there is a relatively fixed list of people I encounter. From the stars of the past (Cologne Guy, Relentlessly Waddling Lady) to the current lineup of characters (Hound Dog Guy, Nightgown Woman), I feel like I know these folks intimately, even though we've never done more than nod politely to one another as we pass.

There are two recent additions to the list about whom I've been thinking a lot.

One is a lady I've dubbed Mushmouth. It has nothing to do with how she speaks  I've never actually talked to her  but rather derives from the fact that she always wears a large floppy hat pulled down very low, to the point that you can't see her face.

The name comes from this character on the old Fat Albert cartoon:

It may be 95 degrees outside, but Mushmouth can be seen walking up and down Rockefeller Road with that hat. And regardless of the weather conditions, she is always bundled up and appears to be leaving on some sort of Arctic expedition.

I am brimming with questions about her, but mainly I admire her toughness and ability to log so many miles while undoubtedly working up quite a sweat underneath all of those clothes.

Oh, and she also carries a purple umbrella (again in all weather conditions) which she occasionally uses as a parasol.

I'm stumped.

I'm also amazed at the abilities of Orange Sweatshirt Man. He's not really new to the list, but he has made so many appearances this year that I only just got around to officially adding him.

OSM is an older gentleman who rides his bike all over Wickliffe, Willoughby, and Willoughby Hills. I've seen him in many different places as I drive, but most sightings have occurred near my house, again on Rockefeller Road.

One time I saw he and Mushmouth pass each other. Neither one acknowledged the other, but you could feel that something special had just happened.

OSM is a beast on that bike, and I'm not kidding. He rides up the very steep Rockefeller Road hill and barely breaks a sweat doing it. And much like Mushmouth, he wears the same clothes (sweatshirt, hat, long pants) no matter the conditions. He has to be well into his 60s if not his 70s.

I get the impression he is tougher than you and me combined.

When the zombie apocalypse comes, I want both of these people on my side.


  1. Mom lives on ridge road and there is an older gentleman running almost everyday w a white t shirt and headband seems to remain a little overweight despite his consistent regime. Leans a bit forward. Seen him?

    1. I think I have! He may need to be inducted into the pantheon...