We’ve all heard the saying: The more people I meet, the more I like my dog. But how about: the more dogs I meet, the more I need to carry that anti-bacterial hand lotion stuff. So often, when you met a dog, it will lick or nuzzle your hand. Or, you will stroke its fur which can sometimes be in an unwashed state. You will stroke its seemingly clean fur, and your hand will come away smelling like its been stuck up the wrong end of a skunk. Then you have to walk with your hand extended away from the trunk of your body, like you have just performed a pre-surgery scrub.
I suppose that the drift of the original saying is that people are so annoyingly unpredictable and fickle, that your own dog seems an oasis of sanity and stability. This is false, because I have met some dogs whom I wouldn’t give the time of day to. Nor would they understand, if I did, what with that 7-year old child mentality.
I say, let the saying be amended to: The more people that I meet, the more I feel about the same about my dog. It really smacks of general laziness to adhere to such a negative attitude as that the original saying conveys. People can be a handful, but have you ever extended a hand to a seemingly friendly dog? Next thing you know, you are putting globs of Polysporin over gaping wounds.
How about: The more people I meet, the more that I know. It leaves dogs completely out of the equation. Not exactly what I’d want to put on my bumper sticker, true. If it’s cleverness you want, how about: The more people that I meet, the greater the proportion of people that I know, compared with dogs. See? I have repurposed that saying nicely, and reintroduced dogs into it, in a most suitable fashion. Perhaps you have some sayings of your own that you, too, would like to, well, refurbish. Keep me posted.
This funny thing happened to me! It was so out of the ordinary, that it cried out to be transcribed to the amusement and entertainment of all! It was the kind of thing that puts everything into perspective. Believe me, it was just so funny, and it really left me thinking.
But I forgot what happened.
Sorry about that. You would have really enjoyed it!
Haha, author Mark Haddon intimated that the book you read in public sets the tone for what people’s perception of you will be. He likened the reading of ‘Pet Sematary’ to going out in your underwear. Here is a quick general guide on what to expect from people based on their public reading material:
Pet Sematary/Stephen King – elementary school drop out, blows leaves at the park for a living. Only recently found out what the term ‘pro-rated’ means. And mixes up ‘cahoots’ and ‘cohorts’ to humorous effect.
Man’s Search for Meaning/Viktor Frankl – studying criminology, hoping for insight into downward spiral of life. Grows a wispy beard and stands on public transit looking depressed. Sits at Starbucks at the tables with chessboards on them, hoping for a game. Reads Pet Sematary at home.
Back of Bran Flakes cereal box – busy go-getter type, has not read a novel since late 80s. Often seen reading over people’s shoulders on buses, carpools. Sleeps with pants on to save time, has three alarm clocks. Has Pet Sematary spoken word version on CD.
Instruction manual for DVD recorder – consumes each portion of his food until completion, then moves on to next. Alphabetical order. IOW carrots, peas, pork, then potatoes. Will watch Pet Sematary after downloading and setting up DVD player.
The piece of paper that indicates what each chocolate is in a box of Black Magic – avoid this person at all costs, as they are likely clinically insane. Each page of Pet Sematary is taped onto the wall of his apartment, the letter ‘h’ is cut out, placed in an envelope, and mailed to his grade four teacher, with a note reading: See? I’m over my ‘h’ phobia!
My wife and I had a drink at a pub. We sat at a table near a couple in their late 20s who were standing at the bar. The pub had started emptying out for a football game, the patrons fueling themselves up, to avoid the high price of suds in the stadium. Or maybe just to get a head start, so that the obscenities they yelled within could be more colourful than their more sober counterparts.
Anyhoo, the pub was almost empty, except for my wife and I, and the couple standing at the bar. They were oblivious to us, and it was clear that much consumption of alcohol had already taken place, judging by the volume of their voices and their angles in relation to the bar. We ordered, and proceeded to have a quiet conversation, which had to gradually increase in volume to compete with the couple.
They were not really a couple, we gathered, but friends or co-workers. He was doing a hilarious (to him) impression of the woman’s boss. It was a fully immersive impression: not only the voice, but the body and extremities all contributed. It seemed that her boss was a loud-mouthed, surly drunkard. It was like he was actually in the room with us. The man still remained oblivious to our presence, as did the woman, mesmerized as she was by this performance.
In fact, as they spoke, were almost 6 inches apart, the correct distance for manager-to-umpire communications. It would have made sense to move to another place, but it might break the spell, so we remained. We could just about make out what we were saying, in any case. I think at one point my wife said that we should call 911 and then make sock puppets. But I might have misheard. I made a mental line in the sand: if they started removing articles of clothing that covered those regions that we normally point and laugh at, or start chanting, we would exit immediately. We soon grew used to the sporadic quality of the outbursts and, like a complicated dance, we wove our speech around it. “YOU WILL OBEY WITHOUT QUESTION,” was one such outburst. “THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE,” was another.
Then a bout of low muttering would ensue, as they both leaned in towards each other conspiratorially. We paid attention to their antics peripherally, alert to any movement that signified danger, such as open flames, or the wielding of a mace. At one point, the male left to use the washroom. When he returned, a suspiciously short time later, he voiced his difficulties in locating the washroom. But did find it, apparently. I imagine he stumbled into the kitchen and, finding it brightly lit and mostly white inside, took care of business. I might have done the same. I think that the annoying aspect of their activities lessened, as we slowly became intoxicated ourselves. In fact, I felt myself moving in sympathy, the stiff-legged gait he adopted whenever he was her ‘boss’, or the high, wheedling voice he made when he aped a co-worker was echoed in my own speech. We stood up to go, the couple were so engrossed in their alcohol-fueled exhibition, that they did not notice us. The arm flailing continued without pause.
I am sure that if a mannequin was put in place of that woman, he would continue his drunken charade, pausing only to dump the chaser down. It was quite remarkable that he was still upright, but the angle of his body in relation to the bar had increased alarmingly. The last thing we saw him do was hike his pants up high, stamp his foot, and point his finger like Hitler doing a Powerpoint demo. We had left just in time.