Much of the time I try to make myself be a nice person. I try to curb my misanthropic tendencies, not be grouchy and be positive and encouraging to other people. It's hard for me, because I'm really just a big grump. But every once in a while something happens that makes me wish I were capable of being bitchier.
Like last week at the agility trial. I was "gate steward" in the masters ring (gate steward tells people when it's their turn to go in the ring and generally tries to avoid delays and work out conflicts for people cometing with multiple dogs or in multiple rings). One woman (whose last name sort of rhymes with "Bitchler" ... guess what I'm going to call her from now on?) came up right before her turn complaining bitterly that she hadn't had a chance to walk the course because blah blah blah--and she was saying all this in a bitchy, vaguely accusatory tone, as if I were responsible for her not having walked the course, or as if I were forcing her to go ahead and attempt a course she hadn't walked. Anyway, she blew her run with an off-course and, since it was Snooker, she got whistled off. She complained to the judge, who had no sympathy for her, so then she came out of the ring and started complaining to me. I, trying to be a nice, positive person, said "You did a fantastic opening sequence, though." That only pissed her off even more, and she started ranting "It was a waste of my time, a waste of my energy, a waste of my dog and a waste of my money!!" before storming off. I was too stunned to say anything, but another competitor made a remark about how she should have done us all a favor and just gone home.
I immediately wished I hadn't tried to be nice to the woman in the first place ... I never even liked her, anyway, and I usually avoid all conversation with her whenever possible because she's always a bitch. Why wasn't I just a bitch right back? In fact a short while later, l'esprit de l'escalier brought me what I should have said to her (with a big smile) after her little rant: "Yes, but you just won first place in the Biggest Bitch contest!" Why can't I just think of and say things like that when they are clearly called for?
Then again today I think a little bitchiness was called for, and I couldn't muster it. I was walking Lucy through the lovely, tree-lined streets of my hood, when a little schnauzer pushed open the screen door of a house and came after us. This is then second time this very same dog has come out after us. The first time the owner had come running out yelling at the dog ("Walter! Walter!") who seemed more interested in escaping from the crazy lady (Sigh ... if only people would properly teach their dogs to come ...) than in going back to her. Anyway, when Walter came out after us, I just kept going because Lucy gets snarky with strange dogs and I expected crazy lady to come running out at any momemnt. But there was no crazy lady following, and we had almost reached busy Gregson Street, where Walter could have become roadkill. So I turned around and went back toward Walter's house. He followed right along, and I went up the walk to the house and yelled "Excuse me! Excuse Me!" Really loudly through the now wide-open screen door. Crazy lady came to the door, and I asked her if she intended for her dog to be running free. "Walter!" she screamed angrily at the little dog, who cringed and backed away from her. "Get in here!" (Lesson #1: the last voice to use when enticing a dog to come to you is an angry voice. Duh!) Then she said to me "I wasn't letting him run free, you know. He escaped." Duh, stupid lady, I thought, I saw him push open your unlatched screen door. All I said was "You might want to latch your screen door" and left.
Now why couldn't I say what probably needed to be said: "Does it make a difference why your dog was running free when he's flat as a pancake on Gregson Street? How many times does your dog have to open the screen door before you put a latch on it? Are you an idiot or a crackhead? You don't look like a crackhead to me." Honestly, next time maybe I'll let Walter follow me home and then I'll call the lady and tell her to come get her dog from seven streets away. Maybe that would scare her into latching her screen door.
Maybe I'll go toss a flier for dog training classes in through her open screen door next time ... at least then she could learn how to get her dog to come when called.