Thursday, March 27, 2008
The lady with the potty mouth
I love walking our dog. It connects me with the neighborhood in ways that just wouldn't happen otherwise. Sometimes, however, I think I could do without some of these new connections.
Case in point: the lady with the two collies. Last month, I took the dog out for his nighttime walk as pea soup fog started to roll in (see this entry for a view of the next morning.) After a couple of warm, wet days, the rapidly cooling temps had turned the sidewalk into an ice rink. I half-walked, half-skated as I tried to rein in our exuberant puppy and keep myself from face planting.
A block away from the house, I saw a lone figure approach with two dogs. I stood well off to the side to allow her to walk past. Our dog is, um, very animated when he sees other dogs. He barks incessantly as he tries to meet his new furry friends. He's all noise and no fight - he just wants to say hi - but I'd rather not let him get near other dogs because you just never know how strange animals will respond.
Upon seeing me holding the dog close, the woman - an elderly lady who's clearly in love with her bottle of Miss Clairol - proceeds to stop and talk to her dogs. Then she talks to me. About the weather. I'm really hoping she just goes away because I want want my dog to stop yapping. But this woman wants to chat. And she's blocking my way.
Then she drops the f-bomb.
I think I'm hearing her wrong. A lady old enough to be my mother certainly wouldn't swear in front of a complete stranger, would she? As I mull this question over, she swears again. No doubt about it this time. She's really p----d off about the f----n weather and the f----n city that can't clean the f----n sidewalk properly. I politely nod agreement, then nod a few more times - with a few uh-huhs thrown in in feigned interest - before I finally motion that my dog really needs to finish his walk. She lets me pass and that's that.
Until this week. This time, she surprises us out of the dark (a senior citizen stalker. Great.) Frasier starts to bark. Her dogs growl. First word out of her mouth? "S--t." And loud, too.
This woman's a serious potty mouth. I look her straight in the eye, and in my most serious voice, say, "Well, it's lovely to see you tonight, too." I then turn, call the dog, and he obeys me perfectly as we walk into the darkness, away from this lonely, filthy-mouthed retiree.
I guess I've made my first dog walking connection. Ew.