Sunday, July 15, 2012

Only Hope Floats Definitely

My neighborhood is just like yours in most respects except my neighbors have to put up with me and yours don't. Something else they have to put up with, and so do I, is a rather yappy little dog around the corner on the next block. I don't have too much to do with him because of the size and space of the neighborhood but he is a constant in the universe. Our daughter Michelle tells us it is a Jack Russell Terrier or a Jack Terrier Russell or some permutation of all three. I have an entirely different name for the dog that would leave both Jack and Russell speechless. Probably the dog not so much.

I've come to believe that little yappy dogs are visually challenged-they don't realize they're small, otherwise they'd shut up. They see themselves as normal size and the rest of us as aberrations of one kind or another. I'm thinking if we just put a few full-length mirrors in their dog houses they'd figure out they are actually rather small, very annoying and more often than not ugly. Perhaps, then they'd stay in their houses and, more on point, shut the heqq up.

Despite the heat and humidity we've been having in this part of the country, I went out for a walk the other night after dinner, as I try to do every night no matter the weather. And heat and humidity are such a white person's problems, aren't they? Take a look at most of the third world and what's the first conclusion I  draw? 'Ooh, it looks awfully hot there!' Never 'the people look terribly hungry,' or 'Goodness their drinking water looks filthy,' or 'Pshaw, the housing looks so rickety' but how hot it is. I'm not sure about the Pshaw in there.

I had my headphones on and as I passed the flagstone house with the yappy dog he was nearly beside himself with whatever emotion these imbeciles have that encompasses anger, annoyance, defense of their masters, whatever. He was barking a lot and so loud, I could hear him over the music in my phones (technically they're 'ear buds' say the manufacturer. Technically the manufacturer can go f-- themselves, never mind. Stupid nuances in language.).

The dog was on one of those leash lines, which is a pretty crappy deal for a dog in my opinion. Either let the animal run free or restrict it-don't do this fake-out stuff where it can almost go anywhere it wants except when it can't. And it was in its own backyard with its owner. It would be like making you or I wear a tux in our own backyard. The animal lives there for crying out loud, why can't it be free at its own house?

The owner was holding her end of the leash making those I'm-oh-so-embarrassed-by-my-dog faces as the dog furiously barked and leaped about in front of her trying to rush and clear the stone wall so he could leap at my throat and perhaps land at my knee. Considering the surgical history of my knees, that would be a piece of extremely large misfortune for the dog.

I took the headphones off as I walked past them on the sidewalk in front of their house, hoping to find something reassuring to tell the woman, perhaps along the lines of 'I'm sure from space you don't look nearly as large as you do from here though probably just as ugly' not that I would ever deliberately say such a thing. Except sometimes my evil twin Skippy blurts stuff out and the next thing you know we have to move.

Almost, but not quite this time, too. As the dog continued to yip and strain against the leash and generally make himself a nuisance, she semi-grimaced as she told me, 'my husband says if he doesn't start to calm down, he'll drown him.' I doubt very much the husband means that and imagine he said it more in exasperation than with bad intent. That's my disclaimer because I looked at her evenly and offered brightly, 'please tell your husband, I have a boat he can use.' She doesn't, I believe, yet, know my name, but you can call me Ol' Roy.
-bill kenny

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