Sunday, October 08, 2006


True story: Yesterday was "Harvest Day" in my little New England Town. It's essentially a street fair where a bunch of local merchants haul some of their shit into the street and people from all over come to wander aimlessly up and down Main Street while eating candy apples and popcorn.

While we were among the wandering crowd, I noticed that one of the merchants, an art shop, had an inflatable Silent Scream; you know, like the Bopp It toy clowns from the 70s? - lashed to the pole of the tent. The thing was swaying back and forth in the light breeze, beckoning fair-goers to see what wonders were in the offering under the tent.

Anyway, also among the crowd were a startling number of dogs on leashes. Dogs of all sizes, to be accurate - we saw everything from tiny little bits smaller than my cats to a gorgeous all-black Great Dane that was, literally, taller than my youngest child.

One of these dogs, a little mop-head of a thing, had taken an interest in the Scream Bopp It and was jumping up and down, spinning on her leash and yapping as ferociously as she could manage. What had captivated her interest so completely, I do not know; perhaps she knew it was a singularly odd thing and wanted to be rid of it, maybe she saw it as a threatening presence, perhaps she has a Bopp It at home and thought that the art store had merely provided for her own personal entertainment. Regardless of the reason for her obsession with the toy, it was no easy thing for her human to haul her away from it.

Finally giving up on pulling the leash - and nearly choking her dog - the woman bent over and scooped the still-growling beastie away. Following closely behind was the woman's husband, muttering haughtily that he'd told her to just leave the damned thing at home.


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