Monday, June 1, 2009

Dog fight

If a day is going well, I have noticed, a karmic balance to the contrary is usually achieved by 4:00 pm. This Saturday, my own gentle temperament underwent a raging change due to a certain bovine who buttonholed me in a small park. Allow me to narrate the sequence of events that concluded with ample exercise of vocal chords, liberal finger waggling and general foot stomping.

As it turns out, I was looking after a friend’s son for the day this Saturday. When he and Chip got tired of riding bikes and kicking ball, I decided to walk them to the small park at the end of our little lane. It was a beautiful day. The sun was warm, but not too warm. Gentle breeze and all that. The only regret I had was that I had forgotten my book at home. When we entered the always-empty park, two children came up running to me warning me to beware of a certain dog. I squinted my eyes and through the sun I could see a girl of about 12 sitting on the kid’s play set, a snarly dog beside her.

There was no way to know if the dog was having a bad day or it was generally ill-tempered dog. I certainly wasn’t interested in finding out. The kids ran to the play set and the dog snapped at them. Then growled and snarled and leaped. The boys were scared, obviously. I asked the girl, nicely to take the dog away since it would not let the children play on the play set. She said “No.” I gently pointed her to the fact that play sets were for kids, not dogs. She was as surly as the dog and sullenly told me “No.” I asked her again, she said “I am not.” After 10 minutes of trying to reason with her, asking her to get her mother, I lost my patience and told her if the dog was not off the play set, I was calling the authorities. She climbed down and two minutes later returned with marching bovine of a mother and her surly husband.

“Lady, “the mother barked at me, “Do not judge my daughter.” Huh? I thought and said, “Huh?”. “She came home crying.” “She and the dog were on the play set. The dog was being very aggressive and would not let my kids play. It also frightened a couple of women who were taking a walk because it leaped at them and snapped and your daughter was unable to control it on its leash. I asked her to take the dog elsewhere.” “This is a public park. My dog is allowed everywhere.” Shouted the husband. Obviously, civic responsibility and logic, both, were both lacking in this couple. I repeated my statement. They repeated that their dog was gentle. I saw the woman who had been scared by this dog. I pointed it out to this cow. She shouted to her “Did my dog scare you?” The woman was scared by the dog’s owner now. “No Ingles” she said. “See?” said the dog-owner. “She said no.” At that point I did not know whether to laugh or get really, I mean really angry and settle this mano y mano. I, instead chose to point the very obvious fact that the woman had said “No English.” Which meant she did not understand the question. The dog-owner, was severely lacking in the general common-sense department as well because she said, “Whatever. She said no. OK? She said no.”

At that point, I lost it and said “Madam, all I asked of your daughter was to keep the dog off the play set. Your daughter was as misbehaved as your dog.” At that point, she spluttered. Not knowing if I intended an insult, they walked off shouting “My dog is welcome everywhere. This is a public park” and all the empty rubbish that made no sense at all, given the context.

Of course, in the course of the altercation, I kept repeating my point like the clich├ęd broken record and the choicest wit came to me 15 minutes too late. Not that it was needed here, given the fact that the combined intelligence of the couple was less than the shredded rubber mulch underfoot, but it would have provided much needed smirk-laden satisfaction to me. Because, sometimes, just making your point is not enough!


Shobana said...

Absolutely! Some people have no common sense at all...I think you should have just called the authorities Dottie. U never know, who might be armed these days...that too you had 2 little children with you. I know, I might be overreacting too...but then make sure u are safe too.

Anonymous said...

OMG..People are insane.
You are a bigger person. I would started saying some nasty stuff and then called the police or something..:)

Usha said...

Bad enough making a mistake; they compound it by justifying it.
To err is human to repeat it is a crime.
These human-bovines seem worse than the canine. How can you expect their dog to have any control?
Good you stood your ground and told them off.

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

What the...!!??!!
Well supervised dogs are allowed in public places...! not unruly, unmanned ones...!

So, what was the wit that came to your mind 15 minutes later?

rayshma said...

share the wit pls?
that's why blogs are so kewl! u can vent wit that comes to u too late for an argument!

coming to the point... ppl are REALLLY low on basic courtesy these days, no?! that, coupled with lack of common sense... is.. how do i say... really frustrating! and u can't expect their kids or pets to be any better... coz c'mon.. THEY are the role models. sheesh!

Munchkin said...

So I guess there are badly behaved people everywhere. Sigh!

Though I agree with Shobana.

DotThoughts said...

shobhana: armed?? whoa. never occured to me!

asaan: I did say something I would normally not say :(

Usha: you know.. I was thinking of your post when the incident occured :)

gnd: something about them not being worthy foes etc. :)

raysh:rotfl. vent yes.

munchkin: without a doubt, yes.

K3 said...

Hats off to you girl, I prolly would have just run away at the sight of a big unruly dog.

Anonymous said...

Glad you stood up to those bullies. Can't say I blame the dog or the kid, given the household they live in. I know many people are armed, but paranoia shouldn't come in the way of someone getting a good old telling off. You weren't abusive, you were being reasonable.
People like them are certainly used to far worse. I'm also delurking, having followed your blog for quite a while. :)

Sumedh said...

The part where she says that "No English" has a "No" in it was too funny!

DotThoughts said...

k3: lol. kids make us do brave things indeed!

myveryown: thanks, I thought so too and welcome!

Sumedh: can you believe it?? I mean how do you respond to that? :D

dipali said...

What utterly disgusting people. Poor girl, having such awful parents.
I'm glad you stood up to them.

Anonymous said...

Blogrolled ya. Geek women unite! :)

Vinita said...

Baapre.. tujhya angaat farach dhairya ahe. Me tar kutryanna pan ghabarte and aslya maansanna pan.

Ase prasanga konavarhee yeoo nayet

Subhashree said...

How crazy! Good you stood up.

But I liked your 'Your daughter is as misbehaved as your dog'. :)

DotThoughts said...

myveryown: :) own blogroll is very very dated. this reminds me to update it too.

vinita: malaa pun ashya kootranchi bhiti vaatey. :(

subha: sigh. I am not proud for saying that, you know.

Mystic Margarita said...

Ditto with K3. It amazes me how badly behaved some people can be!

DotThoughts said...

mystic: isn't it?

Subhashree said...

Dottie, you don't need to be ashamed of saying that. Her mother must be.