The following took place between the hours of six and seven this evening, while walking my dog (cue the show 24’s beeping):
Neighbor 1: There’s the kid that lives down the street, just got back from the Peace Corps.
Neighbor 2: I heard he was in Mongolia or Tibet, somewhere mountainous.
1: Yes, it was Tibet. I wonder if he wears shoes inside.
2: Probably picked up the habit in China, does it backwards. Where does he think he is?
1: Maybe he’ll put some sandals on in the winter.
2: I bet he doesn’t wear shoes even if it snows.
1: Of course he has to put shoes on when it snows.
2: I don’t know, you never know. You know he sics that dog on children.
1: That dog is ferocious.
I was too embarrassed at first to talk to these chatty ladies. Then I got really annoyed and wanted to go back and correct them. However, by this point I was a couple meters from my house and just kept shuffling on.
I would like to clarify a few things, and can be as snarky as I want here without worrying about causing a situation for my parents.
- I live next door to you, not down the street.
- I did live in Mongolia, but the country is about as mountainous as your 40 year old daughter’s flat, WASPy, butt.
- I run down the street in my Adidas running SHOES every other day, and my daily shoes are a little run-down, but I still make a habit of wearing them whenever I leave the house.
- I do not “do it backwards,” nor do Asians in general. Sometimes they take off shoes inside, though
- Again, I lived in Mongolia. I did visit China, but I doubt anyone told you that part. I think you may believe that there is no difference between China, Tibet, and Mongolia.
- I will in fact wear boots in the winter, especially if there is snow.
- I have never encouraged my dog to attack children. Cara did, however, sic him on some field hockey girls, but they were in high school.
- The dog is a 25-30 lbs. dachshund/black lab mix. He is decidedly not ferocious.
What happened is that I took the puppy out for a walk rather late in the evening. Halfway through my sandal broke and I had to walk home on a street (without a sidewalk) that had recently been torn up for water pipe work. My left-foot sandal was missing, however I did still have one on my right foot.
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you, my neighbor, that if you want to be an actor, please pursue it. Your stage whisper carries with absolutely no acoustical aid. And please, don’t worry, the pebbles and acorns were both character and callous building …