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The Return of the Unidentified Man

Oct 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Features, Lead Article

While foraging in the woods for food, two Elizabethtown reporters had a chance encounter with a rather peculiar man.  That encounter was documented in the EJ article, “Unidentified Elizabethtown Man Bicycles 15,000 Kilometers in 2011.”  That was three years ago. Unfortunately, these two journalists are no longer full-time staff reporters at EJ. The paper’s budget was not adequate to cover their salaries while also paying for the editor’s recreational drug expenses.  Fortunately the two reporters still make submissions to EJ as stringers, or as we refer to them at EJ, “adjunct reporters.”  Adjunct reporters receive $9.50 a submission, a compensation level that easily permits EJ to exploit their labor while simultaneously supporting the editor’s journey to an alternative reality.

These two reporters claimed that their 2011 EJ salary was not adequate to support their nutritional requirements and that their expedition into the forest was prompted by their insufficient food budgets.  As adjunct reporters their situation has not changed significantly and they are still Stalking the Wild Asparagus.

Earlier this month while in the woods near the Conewago Trail, they had a second encounter with the man we have come to know as “the unidentified man.”  The EJ reporters have maintained their insatiable appetite for vapid stories, and as a consequence, they engaged in a second conversation with the unidentified man.  The resulting interview is presented below.

EJ:  It has been three years since we last spoke, are you still bicycling excessively?

UM:  Yes, I still bike.

EJ:  How many miles will you bicycle this year?

UM:  The year hasn’t ended yet, but I am on a pace to cycle about 13,500 kilometers.

EJ:  We don’t speak kilometers, how many miles is that?

UM:  (We had forgotten that in our previous encounter the man had pulled out an odd looking contraption from his pocket.  He did so again. It was composed of a wooden frame encasing several rows of beads mounted on metal rods. He began flicking the beads with his fingers very rapidly and within a few seconds he continued speaking.) That’s about 8,400 miles.

EJ:  What is that contraption?

UM:  It’s an adding machine.  We all had them when we went to school.  Don’t they pass them out in school these days?

EJ:  Well, we don’t know.  We were home-schooled.  You must spend a lot of time on the bike; do you always bike by yourself?

UM:  I used to, but now I belong to a bike club.  Everyone is at least 65 and most members are in their 70’s or 80’s.  It’s all men.

EJ:  Why only men?

UM:  We tried to have the women-folk join us, but we had a hard time finding girl’s bikes for them and it just wouldn’t be right for them to wear pants or shorts instead of dresses or skirts.  They would rather stay home and have a meal ready for us when we return from our rides anyway.

EJ:  What are your rides like?

UM:  We have a good time.  We ride pretty slow and just talk.  I used to ride about 25 kilometers an hour, but with the club, it’s more like 10 kilometers an hour (that’s about 6 mph), so I probably won’t be riding quite so far anymore.  That’s OK, because I have another calling.

EJ:  What do you talk about on your rides?

UM:  We talk about a lot of things.  Sometimes we talk about how Obama is trying to make America follow Sharia law and convert everyone to Islam like him.  We also talk about how Obamacare is ruining the economy, changing our way of life, causing traffic jams, and causing our retirement benefits to shrink.  There are two things that we always talk about on every ride.  The first is what I like to call the citrus fruit game.  For those of us who still have our prostates, we pick a citrus fruit and use it to describe how big our prostate is.  So people will say things like, “My prostate is as big as a lemon.” Most people choose a lemon, but a few choose an orange or a grapefruit. One guy even chose a cumquat.  I’m not sure what that is. The citrus fruit game is usually followed by everyone exchanging how many times they had to get up and go to the bathroom the night before.  Almost every ride we also talk about how ungrateful our kids are and how they have moved so far away that we can’t see our grand kids.  We also talk about……

EJ:  We get the picture.  You said it’s OK that you won’t be riding so much because you have a calling.  What’s that all about?

UM:  Well, I joined a church.  It’s called the Elizabethtown First Ecumenical Church of Excessive Proselytization. The bike club is part of the church.  The church wants to become friends with others in the community and not be so isolated.  So they do community outreach. The bike club is part of the church’s community outreach.  That’s how I met the fellows in the bike club and became a member of the church. I was persuaded to become a member of the bike club and they made me treasurer right away. When they found out that I used to be Jewish, they said that I would make a good treasurer since they said that “you people are good at those sorts of things.”  I asked, “How do you know that?”   They told me that they heard it from the old Secretary of Health and Human Services.  So I’m now a devoted member of the church and the bike club and my calling is to do community outreach.

EJ:  So what is “community outreach” all about?

UM:  Well we stop people on the trail and tell them how they are living their lives in sin and how they will burn in hell for eternity if they don’t come to Christ.

EJ:  Don’t people get upset and annoyed when you stop them?

UM:  Sometimes, but it’s for their own good.  If they tell us to go away, we keep trying until they bike away or threaten us with physical violence.  If that happens, we just stop them and try again the next time we see them.

EJ:  When you keep persisting, do they ever call the police or attack you?

UM:  They have called the police many times, but they attacked us only once.  I think they won’t attack us because we are a bunch of frail old men.

EJ:  What happened when they attacked you?

UM:  They threw pine cones at us and they got arrested.  The judge sentenced them to 30 days and made them attend our church.  He told them that they should think about how leading a Godless life is not good for them and not good for anyone else.

EJ:  What happened the times that people called the police on you?

UM: The times when the people called the police on us, we had to go to court.  Every time that happened, the judge told the people that they should seriously think about what we told them and suggested that they go to church and try it out.  The judges in Lancaster County are genuinely good people.

EJ:  When we talked to you before, you said that you liked to watch TV and that you almost exclusively watch Fox News.  Do you still do that?

UM:  Yes, I do.  Especially now, since Fox News is the only channel covering the war on Christianity and the war on Christmas.  They also show us how the democrats and the liberal establishment are part of all that’s wrong with America and a threat to Christians all over the world.

EJ:  So, what does the future hold for you?

UM:  I will continue doing community outreach, fix souls, play the citrus fruit game, and complain about Obama and my kids.

EJ:  Well, it was nice seeing you again and thank you.

UM:  God bless you and God bless America.

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