Yesterday morning, like most Saturday mornings, I walked to our neighborhood bakery. This is sort of a Saturday tradition. Bella and I get a walk, she gets a sausage kolache, and I get to check out what we fondly refer to as “our village.”
The village analogy is a pretty good one. We know almost everyone in our ‘hood, we shop at the same places every week, and we burn the occasional witch.
The analogy isn’t perfect, however. Despite the number of truly epic beards here, actual lumberjacks are thin on the ground. In the ’04 you can’t throw a rock without hitting a home-brewer, but just try to find someone to take that Douglas fir out of your back yard. Not gonna happen.
On the other hand, while our village has a dearth of lumberjacks, we have no shortage of idiots. Almost daily I see people riding their bikes on South Lamar. In the dark. While texting. Wearing earbuds. I also see people standing in line for hours at Snooze, just to eat breakfast (spoiler alert: it’s pancakes, bitches).
Like the rest of Austin, there are lots of dogs in our village. And like most other aspects of the ATX, the dogs I encounter in my village have changed. When we first moved here nearly 30 years ago, the average dog was a big, slobbery mutt wearing sunglasses, a bandana and a vaguely embarrassed expression. But those dogs have pretty much gone the way of the $10 lid.
Today’s ’04 dog is likely to be small, funny-looking and vaguely fey. For instance, on the way home from the bakery I saw a guy walking a French bulldog. By my lights, there are only three legitimate reasons for a grown man to walk a Frenchie.
- He’s dog-sitting for his 12-year-old niece.
- It’s his girlfriend’s dog, and she’s smokin’ hot.
- It’s his boyfriend’s dog, and he’s smokin’ hot.
In any event, I hope he’s getting laid (unless it’s reason no. 1, because ewww).
And speaking of dogs and idiots, lots of people in my village are woefully unfamiliar with the “pick up after your dog” thing. Some just leave the poop where it lands, and that’s annoying. But what’s annoying and mystifying is the people who scoop the poop into a little pastel-colored bag, tie it off like a shit party balloon, and just leave the gift-wrapped turd lying in the gutter. Do they think the bags pick themselves up? I guess if you’re dumb enough to stand in line all morning for pancakes, you’re dumb enough to believe in the Feces Fairy.
Another thing that sets my ‘hood apart is the garbage. Bulk trash pickup day is right around the corner, so lots of people have stuff set at the curb to be hauled off. In many ‘hoods you see junk like old barbecue grills, busted lawn furniture and a few seriously questionable mattresses. On my way home from the bakery, however, I counted no fewer than a dozen Jill Stein for President yard signs, a box of feng shui supplies, and one bong.
Score! I hope that you saved the bong and a Jill Stein sign.