The saga of the Dutch couple

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 13, 2013

A few years back, I caught wind of an opportunistic couple imposing on the good people of Salisbury’s historic district. Here’s the opening of the story, which was a lot of fun to write:

In August the Dutch couple will have lived in Salisbury’s historic district for two years.
They’ve managed to worm their way into people’s good graces, but some folks weren’t so sure initially about whether they were going to fit in.
There was the matter of those matching outfits in that lurid shade of purple. And the balloon pants on the guy — weren’t those a little dated, a little M.C. Hammer-ish for The District?
Their choice of accessories at times seemed questionable, like the leprechaun hats they were sporting in early March.
Then there was their unnaturally yellow hair and the tatty looking tulips they carried.
And the way they were continually simpering and pursing their lips, as if waiting for someone to kiss them — it seemed a little desperate, a little weird.
Not to mention all the social climbing.
They’d take up with one family, and after wearing out their welcome, they’d move along to another — or become forcibly ejected; who knew for sure? Then they’d show up again, like a bad penny, or maybe Kato Kaelin.
Blame David Garling.
He’s the one who first brought the couple to Salisbury several years ago.
He found them outside of town, not far from Faith, hanging out with some other misfits down on their luck, and gave them a ride into Salisbury.
That’s where his charity ended, though. He dumped them off at the home of his neighbor, Robert Jones.
When Jones got back from a beach vacation, the Dutch pair was waiting on his doorstep.
Jones let them hang out at his house for a while and then they showed up at his friend Lee Piper’s house on Ellis Street.
Eventually, the odd couple was making its way around West Square district.
As people got to know them, their eccentricities began to seem charming rather than simply weird.