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Attack of the mouth-breather

On my block of Telegraph, there were only five vendors, all clumped together with Jasper in the middle. My choice was, join the five and be near Jasper all day, or set up alone on the other side of the street. I went across the street. I'd rather work alone than be near that putz all day, and he always finds ways to remind me why. 

In the early afternoon, some idiot brought his dog to the Ave, tied the dog up outside the bookstore, and went inside, where he spent half an hour, leaving the dog on the street.

This was not a cute puppy, though. It was as big and mean as Bela Lugosi — growling and sometimes snapping at people passing by, especially the skateboarders and rollerbladers. The growling was close enough to my table that it was scaring customers away, and I was considering a short walk to whomp the mutt's nose with my newspaper (the chain holding the dog seemed sturdy). 

Then a middle-aged black lady walked by, and the dog, restrained only by its leash, leaped out at her. The chain held, and snapped the dog back, but the woman was startled and slipped and landed on her ass. She started cussing the cur, and that's when Jasper began yelling from across the street, "Hey, quit agitating that dog! Just let the dog be!"

Absolute Jasper: Finding the wrong thing to say, and saying it loudly.

The woman stopped yelling at the dog, and started yelling at Jasper instead, and they screamed at each other for long enough it quickly progressed from amusing to annoying.

Ya know, I wouldn't even object to Jasper always yelling about something. Heck, lots of people could use a good screaming at. But he hollers just to hear himself holler, and often hollers truly stupid things, like what he yelled at that lady.

So I joined in and yelled at Jasper to shut up, the lady was the dog's victim, etc. He yelled at me, louder than I yelled at him, and I ended up giving him the middle fingers on both hands.

When the toppled lady had left, the dog was still growling at people, and I finally took my Chronicle and smacked his head twice but good.

So of course Jasper started yelling at me again from across the street, "Cruelty to animals, I thought you were better than that, Doug!"

I bellowed back, but only briefly, because it's pointless. There's no getting through to Jasper, and anyway, he likes yelling. Doesn't matter what you yell at him, if you're yelling he's happy, and he's won.

One day, though, maybe one day soon, I'll have had enough of Jasper.

♦ ♦ ♦  

A young, prim couple stopped to look at the fish, and before I'd even said hello the woman scowled at me. "Do you know the symbolism of the fish?"

"Well, hell, of course I know. That's what makes the fish funny."

"666," she said, pointing at one of our better-selling fish. "That's not funny."

"It's funny to people who have a sense of humor," I said, cheerfully, flashing my best bad-teeth smile.

"Some things are too serious to joke about," she said.

"You're probably right about that," I said. "No holocaust jokes for me, no rape jokes, uhh…" my voice trailed off, as I couldn't think of anything else that's impossible to laugh at.

"Darwin," the man said, looking a Darwin fish, but he was talking to his wife, not to me. "Whenever I see a Darwin fish, I break off its legs."

"Vandalism," I said, still playing cheerful. "That's mighty Christian of you."

"Yes indeed," he said righteously, almost harrumphing.

"Yes indeed," I repeated back at him. "It's in First Corinthians — 'Go thou and destroy other people's things'."

He said nothing to that, just stared at me. He looked kinda dumb, to be honest — a mouth-breather, frowning.

The woman said, "I really hate the hypocrisy," and started leading him away.

"No hypocrisy here," I said, raising my voice a little as they walked off. "I straight-up hate Jesus."

Which might've been too much?

The man turned and walked toward me, 'striding' actually, and I was, well, terrified for just a moment. He jabbed his hand toward me, but he was smiling big and wasn't holding a gun or even a fist; he was in handshake position, like Pleased to meet you.

But I wasn't. My right hand was in my pocket, holding the mace, and I wasn't about to let go. I managed a smile, and we stood there smiling at each other.

"I'm sorry you don't know Him," he said, and I let loose a snort of derision. After they'd walked away, I noticed I'd also let loose a few ounces of pee.

From Pathetic Life #24
Friday, May 3, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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