Maybe it's me, but I find myself frequently astonished by the stupidity of people around me. Take yesterday, for example. I was walking my dogs, Benny and Joon, along the rail trail through the woods at the end of my street. We walked for a mile, until we got to the next town, then turned around to come home.
Suddenly, my dogs started snarling and snapping as a woman and her Scotty-dog emerged from a side street. I scolded them and yanked roughly on their leashes to make them come. My dumb dogs then did what they always do when they get frustrated - they set on each other like piranha until I could yell loudly enough and pull hard enough to separate them.
The woman and her dog were placed in such a way that they could not possibly have missed this upsetting spectacle. Wouldn't you think this would be enough to make the dog-owner behave in such a way as to avoid an unpleasant encounter? Think again! To my amazement, instead of slowing her pace, this woman strode purposefully toward us. She was a tall woman and she used her long legs to advance upon us as rapidly as she could.
Apparently, her intellect was less tall than she was because every time I glanced back, she was still walking as fast as she could in our direction. I decided to jog with my own dogs to increase the distance between us. After a couple of minutes, I slowed to a rapid walk. The distance between us and our pursuers had grown, but less than I'd hoped and I noticed the long-legged female was continuing to take rapid strides in our direction. Joon noticed, too, and started straining against the leash behind me.
Then Ben also noticed, and joined his sister in pulling against me with all his force in the wrong direction. "NO!" I cried masterfully, as I gave their leads a mighty tug. Frustrated by their inability to separate the pursuing canine's body from his soul, they did what any two mentally challenged beings would do: they started in on each other again like two Tasmanian Devils.
I yelled, I yanked and I jogged again, slowing down when I got winded. This time the dogs did what they do best in all the world: Benny got embroiled in a bundle of dried sticks and leaves and Joon yelped because she'd gotten the leash wrapped uncomfortably around her front foot. Panting and sweating, I stopped to soothe and disentangle my dogs, which resulted in the idiot woman and her dog getting uncomfortably close so, tired as I was, I was forced to start jogging again.
The woman was relentless. She and her innocent-looking dog continued to bear down on us, looking straight at us as my own dogs strained to free themselves so they could make mincemeat of her animal. True, my dogs are a Yorki-mix, unlikely to make mincemeat of anything other than mincemeat, but I can't bear to tell them that.
I started to consider my options. What alternatives did I have? I could yell at this stranger and say, "Lady, could you help me out here? Can't you see we're running away from you?" Or, I could slow down for 2 or 3 minutes allowing them to catch up and pass us, straining my arms as my dogs snarled, snapped and pulled, and then wait another 2 or 3 minutes with Benny and Joon still snarling, snapping and pulling, to create a comfortable distance between this not-too-bright woman and ourselves.
Neither of those options seemed appealing so I continued to alternate between speed-walking and jogging, stopping frequently to pull the dogs out of mud-puddles, remove sticks from their hair, and disentangle them from their leads, before yanking them forward to run again, as the idiot female and her dumb dog continued to gain on us.
Perhaps the woman wasn't as stupid as she appeared. Perhaps she was blind. Yes, I thought - that must be it! She is courageously making her way down the treacherous bike-path, aided only by her seeing-eye Scotty!
Then again, perhaps not.
Maybe she was some kind of sadist, who relished an occasional canine blood-bath.
Ooh, I thought, perhaps she's actually a serial killer! That seemingly harmless animal is in reality a Zombie-Frankendog and we're their next victims!
This thought got me jogging again. Then I got a grip on myself because I'm really not much of a believer in zombies.
But is it reasonable, I thought, that someone could be so stupid? Certainly, there must be some explanation besides low intelligence, for this woman's refusal to allow us to escape to a safe distance.
And then the truth came out...
The long-legged female and her dog were actually witches!
Discounting stupidity, it's the only logical explanation, because when two, consecutive raindrops fell from the sky, the two of them disappeared instantly back from whence they came...