Small-town folk help each other


While walking home once, I passed one of my neighbors, who was in front of his house with his two dogs. I’d never met this guy before; when I say he’s my neighbor, I mean it in a broad, two-streets-over sense.

Nevertheless, as I approached him and his loitering dogs, he smiled, nodded, and said hello. I returned the gesture. It was quaint, friendly, small-town behaviour, very nice. Heartwarming, even.

As I passed, he coaxed, “Come on, Amy,” to the smaller dog, who was too busy nosing around one of the garbage cans to go back inside the house, which seemed to be the general plan.

I started snickering at his point, and was still grinning a few feet later when I ran into a pretty girl, who gave me a big wide smile in return.

Just then, I had a flash-forward moment: I meet the girl, we start dating, I meet the parents, we get engaged, then get married. Eventually, sometime shortly after the wedding, she asks out of the blue exactly why I was laughing when we first met.

It is then that I have to explain that I was thinking how funny it would have been just then to surprise and “help” my friendly neighbor by suddenly bending down toward his dog and shouting, in my best Gunnery Sgt. Hartman style, “GET-IN-THE-GODDAMN-HOUSE-NOW! DO-YOU-HEAR-ME, AMY, YOU-PISSANT-PIECE-OF-FUR-LINED-SHIT?!”

And the marriage is all downhill from there.

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