“I guess it had to happen sometime. Wait, no it didn’t. I can’t believe it happened at all. Can not,” he said, over-emphasizing the tuh in not. The car slowly pulled away.
“Was she pissed?” G- asked.
“Huh?” he responded, waking from contemplation.
“The old lady you just talked to,” G- clarified.
“Oh, no. Well, not about her car wash. That’s the weird thing. But she called me a pussy,” he said, still working his way back to reality.”
“What?” G- asked.
“Not just me, actually,” he said.
“So what happened?”
“Let me see. I guess the best place to begin is with the fact that it is supposed to snow tomorrow. If we start there, the next step is to divide the residents of this city into two groups, for the purpose of this story. Group one: residents who, today, think, ‘Gee, it’s a great day for a car wash.’ Group two: residents who do not. Now, G-, you and I are clearly in group two, right?” he asked.
“Right,” G- answered.
“That old lady, on the other hand, is in group one, right?” he asked.
“Yep, she sure is,” G- responded, enjoying the banter.
“Good. It’s important that we agree,” he began again. “Anyhow, I’m sure you heard that she had a dog with a pretty ferocious bark. When I saw the guys signal that her car was ready, I trotted towards it, meeting her along the way. I was hoping–as usual–to use engaging small talk and piercing eye-contact to distract her from inspecting their work. So intent on my mission was I, that I forgot my surroundings; forgot them, that is, right up until the dog that was now standing directly at my side let out another very loud bark, unexpectedly. This startled me, as I think you can imagine. I mean, quite literally, I jumped at the sound of it. Then I began laughing at myself and recounting the moment to the old lady. I told her, ‘Man that scared me.’ All I got back was a look that I couldn’t place. I ushered her towards her front door, and that’s when she stopped and said dryly, ‘I think you all are kinda pussies for being scared of my vicious dog.'”
“She actually said ‘pussies’?”
“What’d you say?”
“Before speaking, I looked at her hard, because, remember,” he paused for effect, “she’s in group one. Then I decided her imbalance wouldn’t likely result in violence, and frankly said, ‘Ma’am, I don’t think I deserve to be called names today.'”
“What did she say back?”
“I could tell that she felt my meaning with her heart, but she didn’t back down much at first. Then she went on to explore, in a dry, lamenting manner, how it surprised her that her dog could cause such fear in so many people. I explained that I didn’t mean that I was scared of her dog, but startled nonetheless. It seemed that maybe I wasn’t the first person to comment on the animal today, and she remained in a state of silent query after my explanation,” he continued. After a breath, he resumed, “I then tried to clarify that, perhaps, unlike the other people she dealt with earlier, I just don’t like dogs anyhow, nothing against hers. Admittedly, I couldn’t help myself and added, ‘I don’t understand you people anyhow. Toting your dogs around in your cars and all that.’ I mean, seriously, G-. Did I tell you I saw a lady with a litter-box, as in a functioning, full of kitty litter litter-box on the floor beneath the passenger seat in the front of her car earlier today? Dubble-yoo tee eff?”
“How’d she take that?”
“Judging by her expression, I’d say she was genuinely shocked to discover that there exists a human being whose conclusions differed from her own.”
Laughing, G- responded, “Sounds like a pretty big moment for her.”
“We can only hope that the depth of the experience compensates for the brevity.”