Human Dogs: Is it the Recession, or is it just Us?
You've seen a dog, when he is around other dogs, grab a bone and take it over to the side, put his head down and growl if another dog even looks at that bone.
I saw that this morning, in a human being.
I was at a flea market and stumbled upon two young people, who were selling dvd's for only one dollar. And they had some good ones, including, "To Kill A Mockingbird," the collector's edition.
I bought ten of them and later returned thinking I would look at what they had left, maybe I had missed something. But they had sold the rest of the box for forty dollars.
But, the girl told me, her brother had just left to go to their house not far away, to get another box of them. I told her I'd just wait around for a few minutes. I had nothing better to do.
Another guy was already there, and he was apparently waiting as well. When the brother pulled up and opened the trunk, this guy immediately grabbed the two boxes, combined them into one, then took the now one box over away from the owners, and me, and another guy who showed up wanting to see them.
He bent down and started going through them with his back to us, and although he didn't growl, by God we all knew that was his box now and we better not mess with it.
Physically, he was lean and looked mean.
He finally said, "there's 35 in here."
Without hesitation, the other guy told the woman, "I'll give you 35 for the whole box."
The dog man ignored him. The woman didn't know what to do.
She just looked at me, stunned, it seemed, as I was. The first guy had just taken over, right from when her brother pulled up. To hell with anybody else in the world, including the rightful owners.
The guy hunched over the box, picked up the box without saying anything - he was a man of very few words - and took the box over to the woman. He set it down between his legs, then pulled out all the money he had, which after the first counting turned out to be 20 dollars, and after several more countings, turned out to be 30 dollars - ten of which I had given him when I bought some movies from him, earlier.
He told the woman, "My wife will be back in a few minutes, I'll get the rest from her when she gets here and pay you."
He didn't ask her, he told her. Then he gave her what he had, and carted off the box to over in the shade where his other stuff was waiting to be sold, unattended.
The woman looked at me in amazement, and I just kind of shrugged at her.
Halfway through this incident, I had no longer cared about the movies at all, I was just amazed to see this charachter, and how it all would play out.
After it was over, I smilled, and told the lady I would see her another time, and went on to Waffle House, wondering about the whole thing.
She herself, was like, "What just happened?"
Her and her brother were like big, civilized, teddy bears, but the man had been like a desperate man trying to get medicine for his dying child, in his intensity to not let anyone else near "his" movies.
Is the recession so bad, that people are starting to act like human dogs, ready to fight over a bone? Or a few bargains? Or a possibility of 35 dollars profit?
This guy was selling his movies at two dollars each, so that's what he stood to make, 35 dollars, if he sold them all, at his own "shop."
I sat down in Waffle House at the counter and as I waited to order, I noticed a woman standing to my right, not at the counter, but slightly away from it.
My favorite thing is to watch people from the corner of my eye, and I watched her, as she seemed to be acting a little strangely.
She looked around and thinking not I or anyone else was looking, she then struck like a cobra and reached out to the counter and stole a dollar bill tip that lay on the counter. Then she left. It took one second tops.
I looked around and she got into a shiny PT Cruiser, and took off.
I told the waitress whose section it had been, "that woman just stole your tip."
She said, "I don't worry about things like that."
I gave her a dollar for the one that had been stolen, ate my lunch and went on home. At the door of my house, the cat had brought a snake up, I guess in payment for all the cat food we buy.
The snake was injured, but still alive, about three feet long.
Not knowing what kind it was, and if I might live to regret it if I let it live, I took a brick and smashed it's head in, and went inside to write this,
Wondering all the time, is it the economy that makes people do all the things they do - like bully their way through a yard sale sale, or steal one dollar from a low paid, hard working waitress... or smash a snake's head in...
Or is it just human nature... all the time, regardless of how bad an economy is?
Am I, are we, really any different from hungry dogs?
By God, we have to get ours. To hell with everyone else.
Me, me, me, me, me, me, ME!
July 11, 2009.