No Good Reason

Sometimes you can’t really think of a good reason why you did something until after the fact.

Last night, for example.

I was sitting on the couch, eating dinner and wondering why I hadn’t gone over to the Blogger Happy Hour. I had no good reason not to go. Dizzy Issie’s is six minutes away and is one of our usual go-to places. Not exactly outside of my comfort zone. But I stayed in and didn’t really know why.

Then the screaming started.

It was coming from the alley right behind our house and it wasn’t kids. It wasn’t a booze-infused lovers quarrel like you sometimes get. It was my next door neighbor and she was screaming in abject terror.

She had been taking her dog on its nightly walk, with her husband and 10 month old by her side. As they made their way up the alley, a pit bull jumped its backyard fence and attacked her dog. By the time I made it out to the back yard, the pit bull’s jaw was firmly locked on the neighbor-dog’s neck and, I’m sure now, It wasn’t going to let up until neighbor-dog was no more. Without thinking, I was halfway out the gate about to dive in to the fight when I realized that, even if I pulled the pit bull off, when it came free it was still going to be hot for blood and now it was either going to choose me, my neighbors, or their 10 month old. None of those were attractive options to me. So, I ran back to the house, dialed up my friends at 911, and went back outside. When I returned to the alley, the pit bull’s owner was out there and used some sort of Jedi mind trick to separate the dogs. The neighbors piled in to their car and took off to the Veterinary ER.

And the cops? The cops took 20 minutes to arrive. No wait, they took 20 minutes to arrive after our 2nd 911 call. Total wait time from the 1st call until a cop was on my stoop? About 45 minutes. Baltimore finest, indeed.

We talked to the cops and gave a statement on behalf of our neighbors who were still at the pet ER. They talked to the pitbull owner who didn’t want to get sued was very apologetic and admitted that his negligence momentary distraction was what caused his dog to be unsupervised in the back yard.

Through talking with other neighbors over the course of last night, it seems like the house is a pit bull breeding factory/fighting arena. “Animal Control is well aware of that house” one neighbor told me. Consensus on the block is that no humans actually live there, they just stop by to (very rarely) feed the dogs. Sometimes they fight the dogs in the basement, sometimes they take them elsewhere for a fight.

I’m sickened by this and don’t know what I can do other than keep my eyes open and the number for Animal Control close by. (And, God forbid, call 911 again if I need to).

Later, as we were finishing up last night’s Lost (thank you inventor of the DVR and it’s fine, fine, pause button) the neighbors returned. Their dog was ok. A puncture wound in the ear and a scraped and bruised neck, but otherwise no worse for the wear – well, physically speaking.

As we stood there and recapped and talked until we knew we were all ok, their normally-effervescent dog calmly padded around their backyard munching grass; its tail tucked between its legs.

Rules to Live By

Hello, Baltimore drivers!

As part of my ongoing responsibility to you, my fellow citizen, I feel the need to bring to your attention some poor and aggrivating choices some of you make whilst navigating the highways and boulevards of our fine metropolis. I do this in the interests of making our streets as safe as possible and our stress levels blissfully low.

Here are some things I humbly and respectfully request you do not do.

1. Back in to a parking space

Are you driving a delivery truck? Pulling up to an ER in an ambulance? Sitting in the pilot seat of out 747 while pushing back from the gate? No? Then do me a freaking favor and don’t back in to a parking space at the 7fucking11, ok?  It jams up the lot, impedes people who are in a hurry, and makes you look like the selfish asshole you most likely are. Oh, and also, you are not nearly as skilled in backing up as you think you are.This is why the back of your car is so close to your neighbor that your gas cap door doesn’t have room to swing open while the front of your car is so far away from anything else that an entire game of football could fit in the space. And not American football either. Giant-field European football.

2. Drive straight through the right-most left hand turn lane from Northbound MLK on to Franklin during the evening commute

I see this every damn day. If nothing else, this is the thing in my life which will lead to my eventual heart attack. The left turn lanes can vary. Sometimes only one lane turns left. Sometimes it’s two. There is a lighted sign that can change to tell drivers whether the lane is currently a go-straight lane or a turn only lane. During the evening commute, it is always, *always* a turn only lane. The sign is big, the sign is bright, the sign is unmotherfuckingmissable. And still every day as I pass through the intersection and signal so I can slide over to the leftmost Northbound MLK lane, I almost get smacked in the rear bumper by some jerkoff who has chosen to ignore the turn-only arrow and charge straight on through the intersection. Asshole.

3. Running redlights

Nothing more to say. We suck at this. Myself included. We need to get much, much better.

4. Not yeilding

Who the hell are you? Are you in so much of a hurry. You have the yield sign for a reason. And that reason is that it is the fucking law that you yield. And if two lanes are merging and we both have a yield then that’s called the zipper, chuckles. Lane one goes then lane two goes then lane one then lane two, then me, then you. Learn it. Live it.

That’s all – for now.

Let’s all learn to live together ok? Oh, and we should also all learn to stop pissing me off.

eatin’, drinkin’, laughin’, and smilin’

Last night I sat out in the back yard of a friend, ate a burger and a brat, drank a beer (and by “a” I mean “many”) and enjoyed some good conversation. It was awesome.

The mosquitos were biting, sure. And after we got home I fell asleep on the couch rather than doing some much-needed laundry.  And it’s quite possible that one of the food items may still not be totally in agreement with my stomach.

But last night is what summer nights are supposed to be about. Friends and laughter. Hot food and cold beer. Talking and listening. Smiles.

And you know what?

More of the same is on the way. More of the same leaves New York in about an hour and points its car south. Two great friends are coming in to town for the weekend. We can’t wait.

It’s one of those weekends where I don’t know exactly what we’ll do (drink. eat.) but I know it will be great.