Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Take That, Mailman

When I used to walk Max along the crowded streets in Brooklyn, the reactions of most people would piss me off. They'd nearly break a leg or almost get ran over veering clear out in the street to try to get around my apparently menacing killing machine. To avoid feeling like neighborhood pariahs we took to walking down empty side streets lined with graffiti-covered warehouses and old factories, and even then, someone a yard or so in front of us would give Max the stink eye before crossing the street to avoid us.

While I understand that some folks are scared of dogs and were likely raised in environments where they had a bad confrontation with a poorly trained dog I still took it personally. People in Utah don't generally do that. We're dog lovin' folk 'round these parts and more often than not someone will stop us to comment on how beautiful Max is, is he purebred, how old is he and so forth. Also, Max would lick you to death before he'd bite you, would offer burglars his dog treats with the tea he just whipped up for them and then escort them and their bag of loot to the door before he'd even think about barking.

Yesterday, we were meandering down the sidewalk, Max was doing his damnedest to piss on every power pole, tree and fire hydrant, just generally minding his own sweet, dog business when a mailman stepped from the porch of a home at which he had just made a delivery. Max looked over at him because it was movement,and you know, dogs look when things move. I nearly smiled and said hello but the mailman interrupted me with "YOU STOP RIGHT THERE BUDDY!!"

Startled, I stopped before I realized he was pointing at Max, not me. Curious, Max took a step toward the mailman who was obviously speaking to him. The mailman (I SWEAR TO GOD) went into some kind of karate type stance. When I realized he wasn't having a laugh, that he honest-to-God was pulling a Ralph Macchio in the last scene of The Karate Kid I said "Dude, he's totally friendly."
Finally acknowledging my existence at the other end of my dog's leash he said - with much attitude - "Riiiight. I've been bitten by three friendly dogs."

And can I just tell you that, for the first time in my life of avoiding confrontations and trying to please strangers to a dysfunctional degree and never saying what I want to say until I'm home thinking up the coolest responses ever - for the first time I said the best thing right there, right then.

"Yeah? Well he was bitten by a crazy mailman once." And off we went, my dog and I.

I ask you, how can you not LOVE that face?