The theme of Grumpy Bastards continued when I took Ted out for a run down our lane this afternoon. I got bellowed at by a neighbour I've never met before when T stopped for a poo on the verge just down from his driveway.
"You're not going to pick that up then?!" he yelled from his car.
We were some distance away so I didn't hear him properly. I broke the rhythm of my run (how annoying) cupped a hand behind my ear and turned back, calling out: "sorry- I didn't hear what you said?"
"You're not going to pick it up?" he shouted again.
"I don't have a bag with me, but I only live up the road so-" was as far as I got before he threw his arm in the air, made a rude gesture at me and roared off up his drive.
I ran home feeling Extremely Aggrieved. If you're going to have the bad manners to shout at someone instead of speaking to them civilly, is it too much to ask that you actually bother to listen to their answer? Why is it that people increasingly seem to automatically think the worst of one another? It's the Shoot First And Ask Questions Later mentality.
It took me all of three minutes to reach home, deposit Teddy, pick up a poo bag and run back to pick up the poo. I was hoping all the way to see him again and explain that not picking up dog poo from outside people's houses is Not Something That I Do, but I was also Feeling Quite Cross so it was probably a Good Thing I Didn't See Him or I suppose I might have Flung The Poo Bag In His Face, which would not have been good. In fact, I've been fighting the urge to tip a whole week's worth of doggy doo outside his driveway, and the only reason I haven't is that that would be childish and immature and worse it would prove his point (although it would also probably be Quite Funny).
More evidence of how quick to judge, down-right rude, selfish and miserable humanity seems to be becoming was to come later this afternoon.
J is learning to drive. It is taking her quite a while. Today M took her out in the car and she drove to Salisbury, which is all higgeldy-piggeldy narrow medieval streets and mystifying one-way-systems, and as such sends me into a bit of a spin so for a seventeen-year-old new to being behind the wheel it was a real challenge. She did very well with the sole exception of nearly running over a pedestrian (but in fairness he was dressed like a zebra crossing so what did he expect? We've all done that when we were learning, right? It's how you learn not to in future. When I was learning to drive I came very close to taking out an Old Granny who played chicken with me on a zebra crossing. A strange choice on her behalf, given that the car I was in was a driving instructor's and not shy of advertising itself as such. This was the day before my driving test and I did have forewarning- an old clairvoyant friend of ma's told her I would need to be careful of an old lady jumping out at me on Test Day. She was a day early, but at least it meant I got it out of the way).
The only time J had a real problem today was when she got too close to some bollards because her dad had given her Bad Directions and she couldn't reverse out because all the "this is where the gears go" signs have rubbed off from our gear stick. M said there was a car behind them which flustered J even more and she had a small and tearful panic and went a teeny weeny bit to pieces, so M got out and moved the car for her, waving an apology to the car waiting behind as he did so. He was met with a Glacial Stare from an Extremely Grumpy Git Woman who was behind the wheel. Our car is plastered with giant red L plates so the woman must have realised what was going on, especially when J and M swapped places.
I want to know (if any of you can shed light on this for me please do so), why increasing number of people seem to be so completely and utterly hopeless when it comes to empathising? Do they conveniently forget that they were once learners who made mistakes and doubtless held up other cars too?
The best way to overcome the irritation and sense of deep unfairness that Miserable People like these inevitably shove onto others (I have found) is to laugh at them, and then hope that one day they learn to be Kinder People (and that they burn their fingers getting their supper out of the oven tonight). My laughter over The Three Miserable Gits Of Today comes from 1) The fact they have no idea I have shared their failings with all of you on a public platform, and 2) Remembering a woman who used to work at the kids' primary school whom they universally (and with no input from us so it was pure childhood understanding of people) nicknamed Cat's Bum because her mouth was twisted into a tight picture of sourness all the time. As a nickname it was both accurate and very funny so we did nothing to discourage it. She was a rat-bag and the moniker was well deserved. I rather suspect all three of today's Miserable Gits thoroughly deserve to be known by it too.
On to happier things.
Yesterday, whilst it was chucking it down, I happened to glance out of the window and see our pige having a lovely time in the bird bath. He stayed in there for ages, all fluffed up and gently floating around. There was something about his expression and the way his neck disappeared into his fluffed up body that I found so comical I had to get some pictures of it.
The Girls were also in the garden and I noticed that Ruby, who is L's chicken and should really be called Mrs Independent for the way she always does her own thing regardless of Flock Decisions - such as hopping over the gate from the garden and coming into the breakfast room to find me and clucking to tell me it's time for them to go back into their run- had stretched herself Very Tall And Thin, in an effort to make herself appear both Larger and also More Fierce (as she is only a small hen this takes Quite Some Doing).
I wondered what the problem was, then, glancing further up the garden, saw a Large Rabbit on the path. Now the garden was rabbit-proofed by accident when it was Ted-proofed four years ago, so it was a surprise to see the bunny. As he wasn't eating my flowers and he can't eat M's veggies (by way of the fox-proof wire that surrounds them- not that he's paranoid about Vegetable Protection in any way), I found the bunny Rather Endearing and have forbidden M from letting Teddy out to Chase Him Away.
Here they are...
"Well, OK. I will go back to pecking grubs, but only if you PROMISE you are not about to try and Steal My Honour."
(This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. I had a rabbit when I was a child who thought he was a cockerel and a drake (go figure that one). He usually had these thoughts right about the time my mother was entertaining Little Old Ladies From the Village with cups of tea and slices of cake on doilies on the farm patio....Incidentally, the bunny is by the orange bucket).
The Universe did serve me up some hilarity in the form of Other People Today (to make up for the Horrible Gits) by bringing me into contact with an old man who, while I was waiting with M for his relay-running-team-mate to turn up and pass on the baton to him, cheerfully informed me he had taken to wearing lycra running shorts recently to prevent "chaffing." He rolled up his over-shorts to show me the lycra just in case I had reason not to believe him. I was rather hoping that that would be the end of it, but he went on to detail the nature of the chaffing while I (rather unsuccessfully as it turns out) fought the urge to laugh.
I feel I am Nearing The Moment Of Getting The Crochet Blanket Out. To be perfectly honest I'm not really sure about photos. But on the other hand, a big part of the purpose of this blog is to afford all you who are sweet enough to read it Some Hilarity, and if I posted pictures of my blanket you would certainly all fall about laughing, so maybe I shall.
I wish you all enjoyment of your Saturday Night and Sunday, and a week's absence of Miserable Gits.