The Strangeness of Kind-ers

September 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

People yelling things out of cars makes me nervous. Think about it: it’s a mode of communication reserved for fleeting moments of contact with a person you will in all likelihood never see again. No one ever rolls down their window to yell “PLEASANT DAY WE’RE HAVING!” or “LOOK OUT, YOUR SHOE’S UNTIED!” And don’t get me started on the guys who think that calling out “NICE TITS!”* is actually a compliment. 

Case in point: I was walking home from CVS with a bagful of sundry soaps and scrubs and a dog. Rounding the corner by a Chinese restaurant, the dog decided to poop, which made little sense because 1. he had already taken a huge deuce not once, but twice in our promenade and 2. his butt was actually against a tree. Animals, I tell you. They’re not people!

Now, I’m totally squicked out by the whole “curb your dog” thing, but I do do it** because it’s cleanly and neighborly and blah blah blah. But I’d foolishly only brought two bags along with me, because what kind of dog takes three craps on a 25-minute walk? Unable to scoop, I just…left it. I felt bad, honestly, but what else could I do?

Beeeeeep. Beep. I nearly jumped out of my earbuds. Some Chestnut-Hill, mom-looking woman with artfully messy hair was glaring at me from behind the wheel of her blue Subaru.

“Excuse me, but I really think you should clean up after your dog,” she shouted.

I explained to her my bag conundrum, and that I’m usually really diligent, but he pooped thrice, and on a tree, and so on, but this was clearly not good enough for her.

Well, that place would appreciate it,” she shot back.

“I know, but there’s nothing I can do,” I said.

She rolled her eyes, huffed an exaggerated sigh, and accelerated down the road.

“But I always bring bags!” I said to no one. “He pooped thrice. THRICE!”

This woman apparently expected me to go back and pick up dog shit barehanded and lob it into a nearby trashcan which did not exist. Who did she think she was, being impossibly self-righteous? I pictured her cruising the rest of Germantown Avenue, berating people for wearing white after Labor Day or drinking cocktails before five o’clock (“Well, I think your liver would appreciate it”). I hoped that stopping to shame me would cause her to miss the start of Bikram Booty Yoga so that she’d return home early to find her attorney husband screwing a paralegal in their reclaimed farm-wood bed, à la Sliding Doors. So there.

This kind of unwarranted scolding is probably why I jumped about a foot in the air when an ambulance honked at me the other day, to the extent that such a thing is possible while seated inside a car. I was going to a doctor’s appointment and cruisin’ in my beaten-but-unbeatable Volvo 240 sedan. Were they going to yell at me about seatbelt use? Was my headlight out again? With trepidation, I rolled down the window.

“Hey,” says one of the ambulance guys. “We were just wondering…how many miles on that thing?”

I checked. “118 thousand,” I said.

“That’s cool. We were just talkin’ about it when we saw you behind us. Great car.”

“Thanks,” I said, beaming with pride. “It’s my first. I love it.”

“You can get 300 thousand out of it, easy,” the other one said with a chuckle.

“I hope to,” I said.

And with that, we parted ways. I silently wished them well and hoped they weren’t en route to something dreadful like a preschool fire, or an orgy gone awry, or a lawyer whose wife found him cheating and stabbed him in the neck with a decorative piece of driftwood.

If there’s a moral to these stories, I think it’s don’t yell anything if you don’t have anything nice to yell. Also: bring lots of poop-bags. I dunno, make up your own, because I’ve made it to five o’clock and can finally have a cocktail without fear of public upbraiding.

*Not to me, duh.

**Hehe, doodoo.

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