Friday, August 24, 2018

You're Taking This Walking Stuff Way Too Far

That's what Toby told me yesterday. He sat on the boardwalk at the park and refused to move. I tried everything. I tried to reason with him. I tried to bribe him with treats. Eventually he let me bribe him with a treat, but he wasn't happy about it.

"You know how many times you make me walk the canal?" he asked.

"I know. Sometimes four times a day."

"That's right. Do you have any idea how far that is for me? Look at the size of my legs. They're tiny compared to yours."

"Yeah, well, maybe I have longer legs than you, but you have four of them. I only have two."

"Look," he said. "No one's forcing you to walk all funny like that. If you want to use all four of your legs I won't stop you."

"Listen Toby," I told him. "These two are ARMS, not legs. And I need my hands free so I can give you treats sometimes. And I'm mad at you too. I let you run around in the park with your friend April this morning and you both ran almost to the street to meet some Shih Tzu. I'm not gonna do that anymore"

"The Shih Tzu is our friend. We've seen her walking before. She's cute."

"I don't care. You could get hurt."

"Okay," he said. "But what's with the crappy music they always play on the canal?"

"It's not so bad," I said.

"Are you kidding me? That guy singing Rolling Stones tunes was more out of tune than those two cats who were fighting outside our window this morning."

I defended him. "He's doing Mick Jagger. No one can match that crudity."

"Give me a break," he said. "That guy had gray hair. He had no business singing rock and roll"

"Listen," I said. "First of all, you're only two, and you have gray hair, so you shouldn't be one to talk. Second, that guy had to be twenty years younger than Mick."

"Maybe," he said. "But at least Mick dyes his hair. And I may have gray hair, but I'm super cute. Everyone says so. What happened to that human at Tropix who was always fussing over me?"

"I don't know. Maybe she got fired for paying attention to you instead of the customers."

"Well, anyway, there was even more crappy music. How about that woman singing Dreaming by Blondie? I love Debbie Harry but she was no Debby Harry. So out of tune."

"Everybody loves Debby Harry. But you just complain about everyone, Toby."

"Not true. I liked that guy at Otto's singing Springsteeen songs."

"Are you kidding me? He was strumming a guitar and playing to some karaoke thing. Do you know how many musicians he's putting out of work?"

"I don't care," he said. "At least he was in tune."

I don't know if I want to have these conversations any more, It seems to me, especially during these waning summer days, that I ought not to have to do so much negotiating.
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