Friday, August 19, 2011


There is a slight possibility that I am nosier than the average bear.  I can't help but listen when people are not talking to me.  I have mostly learned to pretend I am not listening, although every once in a while I forget and jump into a conversation between two strangers.  This is always embarrassing.  When I keep quiet, I hear lots of funny things.  I have noticed that lots of little eaves drops can make fabulous story starters.

Recently overheard at the library:

A ten year old boy called out to a friend, "Hey, you gotta doller?"
The second boy shook his head and shuffled off quickly, "Naah."
A third friend shook his head.  He punched the first boy in the shoulder and said, "Man, don't ask him, he wouldn't give a dollar to his own Mama!"  The words came out of the side of his mouth and looked very out of place somehow under his 4th grader flattop.

Don't you wonder about a ten-year-old who "...wouldn't give a dollar to his mama?" 
Is he the Alex P. Keaton of the 21st century? 
Or does he have a Pokemon habit that must be supported with all his loose change and lawn-mower money?
Does he run a ring of suburban pick-pockets, and store the money he pilfers in a secret shoebox vault buried in the backyard? 
I am curious.

I also wonder about his Mama, and what she would think of this comment.  I picture, based on absolutely nothing, a well-put-together black lady who would roll her eyes and laugh at the comment.  She might say, "If my boy has a dollar, he's gonna put it where I tell him to put it, Honey!"  She would shake her head with a good-natured kids-these-days look, her right hip stuck out, while she checked out a big stack of books for her first grade classroom.  I picture her little boy coming up with a couple movies to check out, and she shakes a head and a finger at him and sends him back to get books, Transformer movies set aside. 

Of course, this picture really contradicts the originally overheard comment.  This child clearly would give anything he had to to his Mama, with little or no lip about it. (School-teacher induced fantasies probably have more to do with this character than the overheard comment does.  Oh how we love those reasonable, strict parents!) 

It could be that he just put on a tough face at school.  That's why his friends chortled and shoved at each other when he trudged back to the book section without a peep after his movies were confiscated.  Maybe at school he is the tough guy who can't nobody tell what to do...just up to the point of actually causing trouble, because he would be shuddering to think what would happen if his mama was called into the office.

Do you have any ideas about this little snippet?  Fell free to post your own story-let about the dollar hoarder that wasn't...or was.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Great Dane that Wasn't

Cool Iguanadon prints at Dinosaur ridge.
So there I stood on the side of Dinosaur Ridge, waiting for some more hikers to come along so I could show them the new and exciting Iguanadon tracks just past the ancient Mangrove Swamp sight.  The sun was beating down on my awesome paleontologist style hat.  I was thinking maybe it was time to start down the trail towards the museum, where I would be painting tracks with some kids for the next hour or so.  Just as I decided to start down, I saw a couple hiking up the road with a harlequin Great Dane gamboling along side.  That dog was huge.  I had better wait to show them the tracks, I eman their dog was probably quite interested in the Cretacious era.

I waited for a few seconds.  That does seem odd, I thought, shading my eyes, he seems to be all over the place and isn't really walking with his people...wait are they running from him?  I squinted down the hill.  Did that dog just head butt his owner?  Wait a second. Is that dog a goat? 

Deffinately not canine.

The hikers saw him jump the fence from the Rooney Ranch and they didn't know what to do.  So they were just sort of run-walking from him all the way up.  They were laughing nervously and edging away from his head butts.  The goat baaaaaaed helpfully as we clarified the situation, and I offered to take him home.  Afterall you can't just let a goat run away people, what was your plan exactly?! 

He had a nice heavy leather collar, so there I was trying to drag a gigantic goat, he came up past my hips, down the road while he tried to drag me up along with the giggling goat-a-phobic hikers.  It was kind of slow going. 

The tour bus stopped, families gaping out the windows at my strange companion.   The driver, Amber,  asked me what is going on so I update her on the goat situation, and then steal her belt to use as a leash.  Note to self, put a leash in your camel back, very handy.  Now that we were walking down in a much more civilized fashion, a group of tourists coming up actually stopped to take a picture of the strange girl out for a jaunt with her friendly pet goat.  I told them he wasn't mine, but ask if they would like to pet him?  He seems very friendly. 

Baaaaaah the goat adds, with a twinkle in his eye.

An entire herd of human kids gathered around to pet my new pal.  He baaahs again, nuzzles a little, smiles a big goaty smile, and then lets loose with a niagra falls of pee that splashes on every child in sight..

Ohhhh, sorry, I didn't know that was a goat thing.

Luckily it was a very good-natured tourist family.  Probably they were Morman.  They just laughed and revised their recent plans to get a pet goat, and my charge and I continued down the trail.  He was laughing silently, I saw his goaty shoulder shaking.

When I finally got him into the ranch driveway, he realized he had missed home all along,and trotted up to Mr. Rooney with a nuzzle and a baaaaahing grin.  Turns out his name is Mocha. 

A goat kind of like Mocha, but much, much smaller.
I keep hoping he will escape again, but so far no dice.