Scene: St. Neots, England. Yesterday afternoon. The park around the corner from my house. Me, the Veli dog out for a poop run. On the path in front, a big white dog that Veli clearly wants to play with and is straining at the collar to go and see. Behind us, a woman, my age?, walking her Labrador off the leash
. This is important, hence the italics.
In my mind: Oh Veli, you pain in the butt dog, settle down! Why in the world did we never train you to behave on a leash? How do you train a dog to behave on a leash? Oh, look! There's a lady walking a Lab. No leash. You just want a little run, don't you, girl?
Outta my mouth: Hi there. Does your dog like to play?
The Woman: No.
Outta my mouth: No?
In my mind: What? Look, you have a big dog too, who's off the leash
and running around, I might add. Who are you to speak to me like I'm, I'm, inferior! The indignity. Such haughty pretension. Just look at her. Yet. Veli does look a little keyed-up. Can't be too aggressive in my response. Maybe she's frightened of the dog? Nope. Doesn't look frightened.
The Woman: No, you go on ahead. Continue. You seem to have enough to go on with.
In my mind: Outrage. I am not four and will not be spoken to like a naughty little girl! Yet, what is the best response? I'll try Stu's "killing with kindness" routine. Maybe, that will shame the arrogance out of her.
Outta my mouth: Well, actually, we're just out for a poop break. We're coming back your way now. [Turns around on path, heads back in the direction of the Woman.] You know, she's not so scary. She's a puppy and just a little rambunctious. She just loves to play. [I smile and try to establish eye contact. Woman walks past without acknowledgment. I walk a little further and allow Veli to run around me.]
In my mind: Damn. I'm no good with this killing with kindness. It has to be cloyingly sweet with a hint of sarcasm, just for good measure. I'm much more a volcano, an unstable rage-a-holic, that will blow without thinking. My modus operandi is yell first, think later. But it doesn't work with these Brits with pretensions to poshness. It just confirms your uncouth status. Must get a handle on the killing with kindness routine. Must get lessons from Stu. Damn, she's coming back. Battle stations.
Outta my mouth: Hi there! What kind of dog is that?
The Woman: [Confused] Ah, a Labrador.
Outta my mouth: Oh, isn't he sweet. Just a cutie! Well, have a nice day now!
The Woman: [Confused still] Yes, ah, have a nice day. [Walks over the bridge that separates the town from the park]
Outta my mouth: [Sees Veli wanting to follow Woman and Woman's dog] Oh no, Veli, wait here for the lady to cross the bridge. Let's be patient now. [Says this loud enough for Woman to hear]
In my mind: Great. Great! She thinks I'm simple. Or a lunatic. Or both. Did this work at all? Stupid Stu and his stupid kindness killing routine. Next time I see her, I'm just going to smile and say, "You might want to put your dog on the leash because Cujo's out now."
Seriously people, or fellow Americans who have lived or are living in the UK, how do you deal with such arrogance?! Enquiring minds want to know, file the response safely away in the old brainbox, and unleash it on the next assflap.