It's Recess-time Somewhere

Proud Member of the Reality-Based Sandbox

April 12, 2005

Grumpy Old Men

So I was walking my dog this evening down my street, and he paused to take a whiz on a neighbor's mailbox out by the street about five houses down.

We began to wander on, when the grumpy old man in the house opened his front door started screaming at me. There was a plane going over, and I couldn't hear him. So I put my middle finger up to my ear and asked 'What? I can't hear you.'

Grumpy Old Man: Your dog's peeing on my flowers.
Me: Uh, are those flowers? (small clump of something vaguely green with no bulbs encircled by a few cement stones)
Grumpy Old Man: This is my street!
Me: It's my street too.
Grumpy Old Man: I've lived here for 27 years
Me: I've lived here about a year and a half and it's very nice to meet you, Sir.

Generally, when something like that happens, I just say I'm sorry and walk away and steam for several hours. But this evening I was feeling a little feisty so I talked back to the old man. It was really quite liberating.

What is it exactly that makes people so grumpy? I would never freak out if a dog was peeing in my yard. And if you have a mailbox out by the street, wouldn't you just assume that dogs are going to pee on it?


  • At April 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You should train your dog to bite. On command.

    You'd be surprised how fast that cheers people up.


  • At April 13, 2005, Anonymous Jerry said…

    Go back. Demand to see his deed. Tell him you would have to see a surveyor's report to be sure your dog was peeing on "his" street and not on public property. Cheerfully explain that a yellow base is a lovely accent to any mailbox post. Apologize profusely, explaining that your hand got caught in a stray dog's leash.

    Wait...don't do any of that...he is probably armed, and has been waiting his whole life for the chance to shoot somebody.

    Some local yahoo here got tired of kids riding their bikes on the (dirt) street in front of his house, so he shallowly buried a stick with a couple dozen nails driven through it in front of his house. When the kids noticed it and took it home, a parent called the sheriff. When the sheriff went to his house with the caltrop-like object, the guy came out, said, "That's mine!" and demanded the kid who took it be arrested for theft.

    My point is that some of these folk just aren't wired right. Though it does sound like time for the carefully anonymous late night "flaming bag'o'dogshit" approach.

  • At April 13, 2005, Anonymous mary said…

    Mailboxes are message centers for people and dogs, only dogs don't write letters. They leave pee messages...Bart was here. As for the old man - he's not there, really.

  • At April 14, 2005, Anonymous Ellen said…

    My neighbor use to blame my dog for ruining her flowers at the mailbox. She also would back into cars parked out front of my house and blame the owners for parking there. I guess she was right. She was older and wiser you know. I use to just look at her when she'd say anything. If you remember Bewitched, she was the Mrs. Cravitts of the neighborhood. She's bothering, I mean, keeping an eye on her new neighbors in Minnesota now.


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