Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Small Stories...

I'm in the process of writing a much longer blog post that I hope to post eventually. I've been working on it for months. It is currently entitled, Why I'm Angry and it deals with human beings killing other human beings for not very good reasons, or no reason at all, how that affects ALL of us, and why it needs to stop.

But today, as I prepare for an evening fun things, and have just come back from spending time on a long, warm walk outside with the dog, I am putting aside the aforementioned anger and instead wish to relate three short(ish) anecdotes.

  • Yesterday, I biked to a friend's house for tea. On my way home I was enjoying the sunny day by biking along the river at a leisurely pace. Then a guy who looked to be in his mid thirties pulled up next to me on his mountain bike and said, "Nice day, huh?" (At least I think that's what he said, I couldn't quite make out the words, but his tone of voice was, "hey, baby...") And he then proceeded to, and I'm not making this up, pop a wheelie for the next fifty meters or so until the trail started to go up hill again. Then looked over his shoulder to wink at me, and biked away.

    What's funny is that my initial reaction was wanting to catch up with him and bike over some obstacles, not because I wanted to impress him in turn, but because I wanted to show him up. I suppose we're both twelve year old boys at heart...

  • Today on a walk through the woods near my house, Artemis and I came across a group of teenage boys sitting around an established fire circle by the river, hanging out and lighting a fire. It was a rather sad fire, but fire danger is high in our neck of the woods at the moment so I walked on by and resolved to check on the fire on my return trip. As Artemis and I came back in the other direction the boys were still there, but they were just packing up and... walking away from the fire without putting it out.

    I won't lie, I went into instant teacher mode. (Some habits are hard to break.) And I called down to them (not angry, just with my enforcer voice). "Guys, you can't leave the fire like that, you have to pour water on it until it stops smoking. The fire danger is too high right now to leave it that way."

    My teacher voice must still work because they didn't argue; they just started looking through their belongings for anything that would carry water. Of course, they had nothing. So I walked back down to where they were and loaned them the plastic bag I was carrying for dog crap collection. In their defense they used it (twice) and picked up and old tin can and filled that up once too. Then they walked away. With the fire still smoking...

    Not feeling up for the time and energy it would take to herd them into doing it properly, I grabbed my plastic bag (which they had left lying on a log, *sigh*) and made multiple trips to the river with a slightly holey bag in order to put the damned thing out properly.

The tools I had on hand.

The end result

Today's fire hazard. You'll be happy to know we're right in the middle of all the concentrated red and orange bits. :-/

  • And finally, also on my walk with the dog today, Artemis and I passed two guys fishing on the other side of the smallest river that runs near us, just as they caught a fish. The two guys who caught the fish had clearly never done anything similar in their lives. They were freaking out (and fair enough: the fish was about two feet long and they were fishing in a very small river) and while one guy held the rod but left the fish in the water the other guy was trying to grab the fish (around its middle, by its fins) and then jumping back and crying out in pain and frustration. (If you've never fished before - or caught anything- you may not know that fish are actually a. quite strong, and b. quite sharp and pointy.) Finally, their friend who was fishing further up river comes down to join them, and it's clearly not his first rodeo. He helps the guy with the rod pull the fish onto land, and then steps down and grabs the fish through the gills to bring it up to level ground. Success! I stopped to watch the whole thing because it was funny, and also kind of lovely--in a strange way, to watch three grown men hoot and holler like five year old boys because they had outsmarted another animal. Then I turned and walked on my way.

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