I freely admit that I'm a contrarian. I find conflict interesting, telling, sometimes helpful. That said, I did little to start (okay, and little to defuse) the altercation yesterday with the 2 bearded bald guys and their snarly shepherd mix.
Starbucks on 1st Ave S, mid-morning, out front in the sun. Notice The Stranger's Farrah/Michael cover and head past some patio tables to grab one. Out of nowhere springs this pretty big dog, barking savagely. My dog--16 lbs and fierce only in the pursuit of squirrels--falls back, yelping and scared. What the hell, I say aloud, backing away, confused.
The dog's people, two middle-aged paunchy bald men, resplendent in scraggly beards and blue blocker sunglasses, start berating me. How dare I startle their dog why didn't I just go away they had been out there for an hour reading their paper with no problems at all with their wonderful doggums.
I point out that said doggums was still barking so hard that saliva was flying out of its mouth. My dog calmly looks at the trio. We go stand in the shade. Look at her she's standing right there you can't stand there go away you're ruining everything. Inside the Starbucks, people watch, unable to hear but clearly enjoying the visuals.
I also admit that--now that it was clear that the duo was completely unhinged--I fanned the flames. We're leaving, they declared huffily, and I said Good for you. But we need our paper, they added. It had blown over near where I was standing. Then you better come get it, I said with a smirk. The classy couple stamped off, still winging epithets. They puttered away in an old white Volvo wagon, dog still barking insanely. In unison, the pair flipped me the middle finger and drove away into the hot morning.