Friday I took the kids to an upscale food market to buy some of the natural and organic foods we have been serving. It was in the eighties and sunny, about two thirty in the afternoon.
When we were walking into the store, the kids noticed a little dog. In a car. A black car. In the sun. With the windows rolled up tight. Another lady stopped, aghast at the sight. I wrote down the license number, and then I called the police. The other lady went into the store to have the owners paged.
After about ten minutes, the owners came out, and immediately the one guy started in on me. He was flamboyantly effeminate, which just added to how ludicrous the situation became. "Oh, my god. You have got to be kidding me. The dog is fine, his breed was bred in the desert, and he can handle the heat while we are in the store." (Actually, that breed originated in the mountains, bonehead.) "We'll be in there no more than a half an hour, and he will be just fine." He got more and more aggressive, screaming that "you people" (which, incidentally, is one of my trigger expressions) needed to get a life, that we were up his a**, and so on. The kids were frightened and went to the car. Nita, who wants to be a judge, said, "I took my shoe off, so if he went after you, I could have hit him."
Mr. Dog Owner went on to tell me in a nearly hysterical tone of voice that the poor dog (who was at this point not anywhere in sight in the car) needed attention, and that is why they took him to the store.
During his diatribe, I just stared at him with a blank expression on my face, as wasn't about to argue with him, nor was I going to back down, as that is apparently what he wanted. Then he said to me, "Are you going to say anything, or are you going to stand there like some kind of retard?" At this point, his friend tittered.
"Come along, children," I said. We started down through the parking lot, where I was met by a man who said, "Are you okay?" I told him the guys (who at this point were standing in front of the store staring to make sure I didn't bust out his car window, I guess--don't think it didn't occur to me) did not intimdate me. "Well," the other guy said, "I didn't like the way he was treating you."
I said, "It takes a big man to assault a woman with kids, you know?" What I didn't realize was that my hero had also called the police and used his cell phone to videotape the whole incident while standing by in case I needed help. I got in the car after thanking the man and drove to the other end of the parking lot, where I called the police again and told them the owner had been called to the car and refused to do anything about the dog and in fact had been confrontational. About a minute later, an officer showed up, and I directed him to the car. By the time he arrived, the dog had been shut in the car for at least twenty-five minutes.
I called EG and described the situation to him. He laughed hysterically, imagining the Seinfeld episode with the armoire, so he was no help.
On the way home, the kids and I shut the windows and turned off the air at a traffic light. One minute after we started, they were uncomfortable; three minutes, and they were complaining. Nita, my pragmatist, was the most annoyed, but suggested a practical solution. "Since the dog needed attention," she said, "maybe one of the guys should have stayed in the car with him with the windows all rolled up."
Kiki replied, "But it would be too hot."
"Exactly," Nita said in a satisfied manner. Maybe she should become a judge.