I’m Rubber, You’re Glue

20 May

The other day I was walking the dogs, and after a few miles and a nice long break for Pepper under a shady tree, we started home. We ended up walking behind a group of four boys, I’m guessing 5th or 6th graders, on their way home from school.

As we were walking, one of the boys turned around and pointed to the dogs. I get that a lot. Most people think our dogs are big (even though to me they’re not), and kids usually like dogs, so I smiled and waved.

We were still pretty far behind them though, so I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Then the kid turned around again, hitched up his backpack and pointed again. This time they all looked. Weird, but whatever. Who knows what kids are doing? Who even cares?

But after about the fourth or fifth time that the entire group turned around to walk backwards and gawk at how absolutely fascinating we were, I started to get my back up. I started to wonder if I had something unfortunate hanging from my nose or if a third arm had suddenly sprouted from my forehead. Nope. They were just being mean. Suddenly I was back on the playground, being made fun of.

“Take a picture!  It’d last longer!”

No, I didn’t. But I wanted to. I wanted to shout at them and stick my tongue out. I wanted to make a face and dare them to do it again.

And then, of course, I laughed. Because the urge to behave like a 12-year-old (even for me) seemed absurd. I’m almost 40. Why would I care if a bunch of junior high boys wants to make fun of me? I get to go home and have ice cream for dinner if I want. I can have a beer, or better yet, a cosmo. I can drive.

Most of all I never have to spend my entire night bent over a math book trying to figure out how many gallons of gas Marge used on her 2.7 hour trip to Topeka, factoring in an average wind speed of 102 knots, the fact that the south bound train traveling in the opposite direction is moving at a constant speed of 15 mph, and at 7 of the 10 traffic lights Johnny got out and did the chicken dance across the intersection.

Where on the way to Topeka is there an average wind speed of 102 knots?  Can you drive through such a gale? Is Johnny even in the same car as Marge? Who the hell knows.  As if they ever told you.

So I burst out laughing. It was awesome; one of those sudden, uncontrollable, really loud belly rumblers that hits you out of nowhere and takes over for a few seconds.

This seemed to throw the little hooligans off the scent; I guess they didn’t expect the three-armed booger lady with her dogs to be quite so crazy. Their eyes got wide and they crossed the street.

Soon enough they forgot about us and were distracted by a little snake they had found in the grass. They threw their backpacks to the ground and crowded around it.

Fine. Awesome. We’d all gotten a good laugh, in one way or another.  No harm done.

But as the dogs and I walked by, they looked up again. They started whispering back and forth and shoving into each other. I’m a good sport, but seriously, wtf?

For a second I was tempted to stop. I knew I could count on at least one of the dogs to pee on their backpacks. Nah, too much. Then I thought about reminding them that rattlesnakes have their babies in the Spring. Too petty.  Besides, anyone could see it was just a little garter snake they had found.

Act right, I thought. You’re an adult. Well, sort-of.

I was almost around the corner when I couldn’t resist. I looked over my shoulder and smiled. I must’ve looked totally nuts; eyes glazed, mouth twitching with laughter.

“Lots of homework tonight, boys?” I asked, gesturing toward their packs. “I hear the wind speed near Topeka is brutal.  Good luck with that.”

Guess I showed them.

Yeah, that I’m nuttier than a fruitcake. Well, whatever. Like Cyndi Lauper says, “Let your freak flag fly.”

It wasn’t until I got all the way home that I noticed the big white pile of bird poo on my baseball cap. Not quite a third arm growing out of my forehead, but pretty close.

I wish I would’ve known. Reaching up and smearing it under my eyes as a war paint of the elderly might’ve been the move. They’d still be talking about it.   Ahh well, maybe next time.


5 Responses to “I’m Rubber, You’re Glue”

  1. thefoolschair May 20, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    It’s amazing how much of life with animals involves poo.

  2. Ryan Damaska May 20, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Never ceases to amaze me the ease at which you bring seemingly ordinary moments in life to full sarcastic glory. You always bring a smile to my face. Keep em comin.

  3. thefoolschair May 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Thanks, Ry. Love you.

  4. Mae May 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    once again I find myself laughing out loud in an empty house. Apparently crazy is genetic! I love these!

  5. Dad May 23, 2010 at 4:54 am #

    Thank you once again. I’m a little late but your mom is right,don’t stop. These little trips thru your life keeps us closer somehow. I like that. And who knew RDD could flow like an English prof. Cool!!!

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