The Neighborhood

Thankful it’s not colder than it is this morning.  Houses in the Deep South don’t take kindly to temperatures below the twenties.  There are no basements.  Water pipes run through attics and crawl spaces.

The Retired Old Farts Neighborhood Dog Walker’s Club, of which I am a member, is normally a peaceful group.  Trouble, when it happens, is usually caused by non-dog owners.

There weren’t any other dog walkers out this morning.  Of course, my spouse chimed in with, “There wasn’t anybody else crazy enough to walk in this cold weather.”  Before I retired, I worked outside in weather much colder than this.

Jack, real name not used, is a notorious, mercurial, neighborhood non-dog owner.  Rocky, however, is a real cocker spaniel.  It was a pleasant January day, when Jack, accompanied by his son, rolled up on his golf cart.

Without so much as a friendly hello–Jack went straight for the jugular.  “Why don’t you people walk your dogs through your own neighborhood?” Jack shouted.  “We’re tired of all the dog crap.”

Sam, blindsided–looked up from bagging Rocky’s droppings.  Rocky, his black cocker spaniel, was gentle, wouldn’t hurt a fly.  “This is a public street,” Sam answered–waited to see where the conversation led.

It was an unfair attack, from the same man that previously attempted to run down an unleashed nuisance dog, from a nearby trailer park, with his car.

Gizmo, the dog in question, was no longer around.  Problems arose when “free-range” owners let their dogs run loose.  Presently, there is a white pit bull, that roams freely after numerous complaints to the sheriff’s office.

Jack attempted to goad Sam into an argument.  Sam, wisely didn’t fall for it.  Jack’s flare-up blew away, just like the previous ones.


Spilled Coffee…Other Blunders

Spilled coffee on my favorite shirt to start the day.  Correction–it’s one of my favorite shirts.  It’s gaudy and crass–a blue, Hawaiian souvenir shirt from four years ago.  The “just to knock around in shirts” are beginning to clutter my closet.  With application of “Stain Wonder Pre-Treat” it will be almost good as new.  Sure, it’s a little threadbare, that doesn’t mean I like it any less.

Wardrobe changed and off to the races.  “Off to the races” is a euphemism for an entirely different thing.  In this case it meant resumption of regular morning routines.

There were euphemisms aplenty when I grew up in the fifties.  Bodily functions were talked about indirectly.  Pregnancy meant someone was “in the family way.”  Little boys sometimes talked about their “winkies.”  “Seeing a man about a dog,” meant someone needed to go to the bathroom.

No, I don’t want to play (to the dog).  You want to go outside?  OK, I can do that. 

There were worse blunders.  Owning up to mistakes, when mature; knowing there could be consequences, were the worst.  Several years ago, when helping my father on the farm during winter break, I caused an expensive equipment repair due to my forgetfulness.

All right–I hear you.  Don’t tear the door off.  I’ll be right there.  I can only go so fast.  The dogs demanded to be let back in.

“Just getting over getting over you.”  Wouldn’t that make a great country song?  Like most flashes of sudden brilliance, it has probably been done already.

Pretend They’re Not There

Ben Franklins, Lincolns

U. S. Grants–if you were lucky

They were never there when needed

Green, wrinkled paper–free

Plentiful if you imagined their presence

Greed, envy, pride, lust

The rest of the deadly sins

Imaginary fortunes didn’t care

If you pretended they were there



Bill Bailey Never Did Come Home

Slashed pockets

Shriek of bottle rockets

Threadbare, didn’t care

Everybody was scared

We’re you out–we’re you in?

Nobody gave a damn–hung on by

Ropes that were already thin

Control illusions, caused confusion

Mouths puckered in pretty little pouts

Shameless pride, sins found out

Sugarplum fairies no longer danced

Rocking horses didn’t prance

In the prevailing gloom

Nobody shouted clean up your room

Bill Bailey never did come home

St. Patrick’s Day Thoughts

My last post was about a dark subject.  I’m not against having fun.  It’s unfortunate there are some that push things too far with tragic consequences.

NOTE TO SELF: Why fight it; why get your Irish up on this day of celebrating all things Irish?

Personally, I avoid consuming beverages, food, that is not naturally green.  If that’s your thing, go for it!

This old leprechaun can stand to learn a new trick or two.  I’m not wearing green, so I may get pinched today by someone.  Suffice it to say I’m green with envy of those celebrating.