Where in the hell am I?

October 22, 2010

The Naked Flag Lady Story, part 1

I realized today, after my post yesterday complaining about not having interesting stories, that I have never told perhaps the craziest field story I’ve got! This happened almost nine months ago, and at the time I said I wanted to tell it in person a few times before writing it down. Well, I have, so here we go. It’s long so I’m breaking it into two parts…

We were surveying for a pipeline in deep East Texas, including working on weekends. This particular Saturday was a little chilly, but a nice sunny day otherwise. The plan was to walk in from the county road along a fence line, then start our survey, crossing Amaladeros Creek and continuing on to a vehicle parked on the other side. Simple enough. Note also that this fence line is staked, and is the proposed centerline for our project. Also note that we were being very careful to stay within our APE (edit: Area of Potential Effects, basically the proposed right-of-way) to avoid trespassing.

We walk out, and hear some dogs barking, which is nothing unusual. We start our survey in a wooded area and get to the creek, and it’s impassable. We have no choice but to head back the way we came in and drive around to the other side to do the rest.

We start walking back, and as we get near to the large yard along the fence line we can hear the dogs again, sounding a little more agitated. They were off in the distance, by a house on top of a small hill (the yard was for this house). As we enter the yard, I look up and see a woman by the house. I figured maybe she wanted to see what the dogs were barking out, or maybe to calm them down.

She starts yelling, and I look again and she’s holding her arms in a way that looked like she might be cradling a rifle or shotgun. She starts walking down the hill towards us, still yelling, so me and the other crew chief tell everyone to hurry a little. Soon, she was close enough that the yells were audible, alternating “Get off my property!” with “Stop!”. We were still in the staked right-of-way, and we had been told that morning that we had right of entry to the property. Still, I told everyone to keep hurrying, since she was yelling at us to get off her property. I assumed that the “stop” command was for the dogs, who were still barking and running a little ahead of her.

We keep going, and as we get to the fence by the road, she yells, “Stop, I’m talking to you!” She’s also close enough now that I could see that she was not holding a gun.

In fact, she was NAKED AND (BARELY) WRAPPED IN AN AMERICAN FLAG, WHICH SHE WAS HOLDING UP!

Needless to say, we were a little scared and a lot confused. We told the crew to keep going, while the other crew chief Suzanne and I stayed behind to talk to her. This pissed her off more, and she started yelling for everyone to come back; we told them not to. I yelled across the road to our field director to come and help us out.

At this point, the Naked Flag Lady was maybe 15 feet away, and I was trying very hard not to look at her. She yelled at us, “Who told you you could be on this property?!” I honestly didn’t know who the land agent was, so I told her as calmly as I could, “I don’t know, but I’ll try and find out.” She yelled the question several more times, and I either repeated my first answer or “My boss is on the way to talk to you, and he knows.”

So she told the dogs to “Sic ’em”! The doberman pinscher made a half-hearted move towards Suzanne, who fended it off partly with her clipboard and partly to telling it to “stay.” She repeated the “sic” command two or three times, while we pleaded with her to stop, and that we were trying to answer her!

Finally, I said in an exasperated and slightly agitated tone (remember she is siccing her dogs on us!), “I told you that I don’t know but I’m trying to find out!”

This set her off even more, and she growled, “Don’t take that tone with me, motherfucker. I’m the landowner and you’re on my property.” I immediately apologized.

Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of the Naked Flag Lady story, including why she was naked wrapped in an American flag!

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1 Comment »

  1. Yeah, I can’t believe you forgot you had like the best story ever to tell!

    Comment by Joolie — October 23, 2010 @ 8:37 am


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