Photo: overgraeme, Flickr Creative Commons"Goddammit!"
There's garbage strewn around the yard at the side of our carport again. We live well beyond the reach of garbage trucks and we store our trash in large bins outside until we have enough to justify loading it into the hand-me-down pickup and driving to the drop-off point several miles away. Something raided the bins late last week and, because of a trip out of town, we didn't actually get around to cleaning it up until Sunday afternoon. Here it is Monday, and it's torn up and spread out again. Only this time the vandals are still here. Two stray dogs are drifting off to the back of the house, never seeming to take their eyes off of us. I chase them off into the woods where I lose sight of them and then surprise myself by spooking a rather large owl into flight. I also discover that the bastards apparently took two of our ducks with them, including the white crested, the duck with the afro I liked so much.
Jump forward to Tuesday. The trash is trashed again. I'd really like to shoot the dogs, but one, I can't find them, and two, I wouldn't shoot them if I could find them. I unfortunately inherited the soft heart that runs along the male line in my family and I'm unable to be a heartless jerk in real life. It doesn't change the fact that I'm thinking about taking them out with a well placed shot or maybe an aluminum baseball bat as I scream out "AFRO DUCK!" at the top of my lungs. It could be cathartic, but that's not me. I don't do catharsis. I do slow internal metabolism.
I don't have time to clean up the trash Tuesday so we put it off until after work on Wednesday. We get home and as we're unloading the car, my son, still excited because he's soggy from playing in the water hose a few minutes earlier, starts jumping, hits his head on the windshield and sends cracks spidering out from the impact point on the passenger side. He's not hurt. He's not even close to hurt. He actually laughs (he didn't notice the cracks) until he hears me yelling in a what-the-fuck kind of voice. I'm not yelling at him. There's no way he could have known this would happen. I didn't know this would happen, but I find out later that windshields actually crack pretty easily when struck from the inside. It's a safety feature.
At this point I'm far to pissed off to do anything. I go in the house, change my clothes and lock myself in the office to cool down. My wife, who tends to stress out more easily than I do, for some reason doesn't seem to mind the things that send me over the edge. While I decompress, she takes Little Gandhi outside and they clean up the garbage together. After a while I'm able to come out and deal with life again in an intelligent manner. I chase Little Gandhi around the house and he starts to cry about the broken window while my wife and I calmly discuss whether we can afford to replace the windshield. I'll deal with it later. I'm glad he feels guilty, but I'm not mad at him in the least. It wasn't his fault, but it's good to know that he's developing a conscience.
The dogs are gone now as far as I can tell. The trash was intact this morning and they hadn't messed with the mess the night before. Honestly I feel a little sorry for them. One of them seemed to walk with a limp. They're rail thin and I think one of them may have had an injured eye. Dogs who have had good lives don't shy away from people who haven't shown aggression and these started taking off as soon as they saw the car coming. They didn't look fearful, but they didn't look like pets anymore either. I guess I can't really blame them any more than I can blame Little Gandhi. They were hungry and my ducks and American-style garbage were far to tasty to pass up.