Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Undercover as an English Teacher

Did I ever tell ya'll that people in the Wild West, in the town where I lived, thought I worked for the FBI? Go ahead and laugh. It's too hilarious. Yup, me- an overweight, pink wearing, friend to Lady Clairol, shoe loving me working for the Feds. You people read my blog- ME and FBI agent???!? (And if you are new to my blog and reading this post as your very first one- welcome and it's about time you got here...Read some of the past stuff and you will totally see what I mean when I say I'm NOT an Federal agent!) I was flattered. Or impressed. Or scared. Or ready to use it to my advantage and have some laughs, as long as I don't get killed in the process since these folks do believe in the old adage of the "3 S's": shoot, shovel and shut up.

Some years ago near where I lived in the Wild West there was a dust up between some local extremists and the Feds. It ended peacefully after an 81 day standoff with the FBI, but people around there were wary of outsiders. This was also a ranching/ farming town and people there are really of the old Wild West mentality (I am dead damn serious here folks!) and they hated the government to begin with. Add their little encounter with Feds/ CIA/ ATF and other government employees a few years ago, and their trust of strangers was limited to none. And I was about as an outsider as could be.

Now think about it: I moved there with the only reason being I wanted to teach high school English and had always wanted to see the Wild West. That school, in that community, offered me a job so there I was. I had no family there. I was single (still am) and went there alone. I'm college educated and from what they considered a big city and for no good reason I came to smalltownsville, Wild West? Add this to the fact that I kept pretty much to myself and got lots of packages in the mail. (This has been observed as being unusual by the locals). I had no 'visitors' from home. At that time, I had no formal education in teaching, just 5 years in the college arena. And no one had any proof of any of this. They had my word on where I came from and my background. Anyone can put anything on a resume. Did I mention I was pretty closed mouthed about personal stuff when I visited the bars, almost amounting to being cryptic? I was also pretty politically aware and not afraid to voice that opinion. Oh yeah- and I'd been to big cities like DC, NYC and Boston and can talk with more knowledge of one who just went on a holiday but like someone who might have *audible gasp* lived there! These people decided I worked for the Feds. Most people still even thought it when I left, because when I left, I LEFT. No looking back.

It didn't help much that when I went to shoot a gun I had dead on aim. I mean I hit 11 out of 12 beer cans at 200 yards and 6 out of 6 Gatorade bottles at 350 yards. And it was the first time I ever shot a gun in my life. These folks didn't believe it after watching that display of marksmanship and the word got out. So, they all decided I committed some big 'wrong' while working in DC or at the NYC field office and was banished here. I swear to Goddess I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

It doesn't matter that I didn't look like a Fed- I'm not built like a Fed. I had great aim, I'm from a big city and I knew stuff. It was too funny. And because strangers came to town every so often and then leave suddenly without an explanation or a trace... Well, they thought I was a Fed, like these others were. (I have no idea if these others were Feds or not, but hey, who knows?) And see, I didn't circulate much with the locals- or get close to them. I had some teacher friends but that is to be expected- right? But when it comes to town folks, I had very few friends. And the people outside of school I kept company with (ie: read "men" here) was a guy who worked for the environmental branch of the government (what the hell is the ENVIRONMENTAL branch???) and a local law enforcement officer; they thought the only reasons I dated him was professional because I might need some help from the local cop shop- also according to the local rumor mill. The other guy I was associated with came from out of town and was supposedly working on a construction crew building a government owned building...You see the connection here? This is the stuff people talked about in the bars, at the grocery store and at the post office. I was become part of the local lore around there.

Why the FBI? That's simple: Since the skirmish that involved the Feds happened ended peacefully, some of those towns people involved were still around so therefore the FBI had agents in town undercover to keep an eye on these people so it didn't happen again. The FBI had the disaster in Waco, the Unabomber, and then Ruby Ridge so they wanted to make sure to never have an incident like that again so the Feds lived among the natives in order to prevent another siege. That is the thinking and the mind set. True or BS, who knows, but it's what the people there believed!

So there I was ready to protect and serve the country by keeping peace and teaching poetry to the masses in the Wild West. When I was home for Christmas that first year, I remember sharing this story with a friend, who, after his hysterical laughter ceased, decided I should screw with these folks. He said he was going to start sending me mail with simply Washington, DC and a long number typed as the return address. He swore he was going to give me a navy jacket with the bright yellow FBI. He said I should walk around and wear mirrored sunglasses and talk into my wrist. I thought I should have lots of handsome, sexy men visit me because then they could gossip that I was getting laid WITH a fellow agent! (I didn't know any men that fit the description but it would've be hysterical if I had).

I always wondered if there was a real agent around town. I would've loved to meet this person for giggles and grins. I certainly took a lot of heat off of him or her. I should've gotten metal or a check from the government for doing my civic duty!

And that what people in the Wild West talked about in the bars for a long time: their high school English teacher was really an FBI agent.



Bragger said...

I knew I could count on you to have my back! You go, FBI Girl.

Curley said...

And why couldn't you be an FBI agent? The reason they call it undercover is because you fit in so no one would expect you to be one. Which means you would have missed more shots and you would have talked to everyone and made friends with most of them. Very funny though. Imagine, an FBI agent that would carry a pink gun. I know they have them.

Maggie said...

Bragger- I totally have you covered, girlfriend!

Curly- a pink gun?!? I must have one of those!

Jimmie Earl said...

Curley: I'm warning you: the next time your guys go to Cabella's or Bass Pro Shop, DO NOT let Maggie go along...especially if they sell pink guns! Disaster waiting to happen! LOL!

Maggie said...

JE & Curly- while I hate to admit it, JE is probably right. I would either shoot him, Mac or my own toe.

JE- I wonder if I had a pink gun if a Life Saver would be stuck to the barrel? ;)