By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
You were the tough-looking Mexican guy with long hair who confronted me last weekend while I was riding my bicycle up and down the alley. "What are you doing?" you asked. You didn't seem particularly friendly, and I half-considered telling you to mind your own business. I'd had a pretty crappy weekend already: Someone broke into my car Friday night, and on Saturday, my pet African tortoise had escaped from our back yard—twice. The first time, a kid down the street found the tortoise in the alley and gave it back to us. My wife told me to fix the hole in the fence where he got out, but I got distracted, and by the time I went to fix the hole, the damned beast had escaped again. So when I ran into you, I had already spent the half an hour scouring every inch of that alley, looking for signs of life, knowing I couldn't go home and face the wife unless I found him.
"I'm looking for my turtle," I answered.
"Follow me," you said, explaining that you were the proud owner of an iguana and could understand my anxiety. You led me to your bathroom, where my tortoise was happily munching on lettuce. My faith in mankind—and my neighborhood—was restored. "You better fix that fence," you said. "And have a good day."
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