(Not Quite) Instant Replay
Last night, I got a late start to the park to top off my walking for the day … and keep my Fitbit off my case. Twilight was well underway as I handed the ranger my Regional Park pass. I needed about 5000 steps to make my daily goal and may have been driving a teensy bit fast on the way to my usual parking place. Heck, there was nobody around, or so I thought … but someone shouted, Slow Down!!!! in a four exclamation point tone of voice. My Inner Curmudgeon, IC, always on the lookout for a confrontation, whispered, Did you hear that? I pretended I didn’t. I parked my car and was minding my own business, putting in my ear buds, when a gangly fellow in an orange tee skated up on roller blades. Check that. Actually, his dog, a medium-sized retriever mix, was pulling him along.
Hey, dude, he said, you drive too fast. No hello or anything.
IC begged, Let me have this guy but I simply wanted to walk, so I responded. Are you speed enforcement around here?
C’mon, he said, I know you have a speedometer in there. Don’t be a jerk.
As his dog pulled him off into the fading light, I muttered, You’re being the jerk , and let him go. Now my Inner Curmudgeon was pissed. How pathetic was that? he asked. Then he spent my entire walk telling me what we should have said, what we would have said if I’d let him handle it. So, in the interest of shutting him up, here’s the (Not Quite) Instant Replay.
Orange-Shirted Park Guy (OSPG): Hey, dude, you drive too fast.
Older Eyes’ IC: Did you call me Dude? How old are you? Twelve?
OSPG: You were going way too fast.
Older Eyes’ IC: Is the park recruiting canine drawn roller bladers to enforce the speed limit now? Go figure.
OSPG: I know you have a speedometer in there.
Older Eyes’ IC: Absolutely brilliant. How the hell did you figure that out?
OSPG: Don’t be a jerk.
Older Eyes’ IC: Hold it. You’re making your poor dog drag you around the park, pretending it’s exercise, and yelling at old men … and I’m the jerk?
At that point, his dog spots a squirrel on the trunk of a nearby tree and bolts after it, pulling OSPG along after him, scrambling to keep up. IC shouts, Slow down !!!! in sardonic tone of voice as OSPG’s roller blades hit the grass, sending him ass over tea kettle onto the ground. Yeah, IC. I have to admit, it would have been a lot more fun that way, particularly if the squirrel had cooperated. Of course, the perfect ending would be OSPG Googling his way to Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog to hear what I should have said. But even if he doesn’t, I’ve got a curmudgeonly post and a happy Inner Curmudgeon. Do you think happy curmudgeon is an oxymoron?