Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Standoff

I love fall, the cool mornings and evenings and that crisp smell in the air. Today was one of those cool, crisp mornings when I felt the need to be outside doing something. Or at least I did until I actually stepped outside. I had already decided that today was the day to start walking and cycling again, so I shrugged off the chill, snapped on my pedometer, and started out. That's when I remembered that I had stopped walking here because of roving dogs from the next street.

So I thought, no big deal, I'll just skip walking and ride my bike longer to make up for it. After I aired up the tires, I hopped on and started down the street. Something was terribly wrong with the bike. I think Hubby must have tightened the chain or something. I could hardly push the pedals in 3rd gear. Surely it couldn't be that my flabby legs just couldn't move the pedals. No, I'll blame it on the Hubster. I geared down to 1st, and the pedals turned, but I could have walked faster. I got around the corner and here came the dogs. I bumped it up to 2nd gear but the dogs were still faster. I pulled out my pepper spray, checked the wind direction - no wind, and stopped to face them.

I think that confused them because they stopped too; they probably aren't used to their prey stopping for a confrontation. So I stood there, holding my arm out and straddling my bike, realizing I was going down if they jumped on me. I yelled all the key words I had ever heard for dogs, "Down", "Off", "Back", "Home", and some I made up on the spot. Obviously, these dogs had never been trained, at least not in English. German, maybe. I don't know any German. I tried to remember any episodes of Hogan's Heroes and all I could think of is "I know nothing!"

Now the standoff was getting a little strained. They were too far for my spray to reach them, and the wind was beginning to blow - in my direction. Do I back up, bike and all, or do I try to go forward and intimidate them? Since the pedals were behind my feet, keeping me from taking a step backward, forward it was. Little tiny tiptoe steps since that is all I could manage while straddling the bike. Blasted bike. My desire to be out in the crisp, fall weather had definitely waned. I started to hate fall. I was cold now that the wind was cutting through my knit shirt. I realized I hate exercise and would rather be fat and unhealthy. The dogs don't care. They were warm and furry, and now curious to see why I was inching toward them.

Finally, I was within spray distance and the wind had momentarily died down. I aimed. I fired. Nothing. Nada. I was three feet from the beasts and my sprayer was dead. They were walking toward me then. My last attempt was to wave my arms in the air and yell menacingly. They backed off and I felt victorious, until I looked around and saw a car behind me.

Great. Now I'm the neighborhood lunatic.

Until next time, may you have blessings and working pepper spray,

My ordinary life, Exercise

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