Yesterday I passed the following little group as I walked through a pleasant residential neighborhood:
—A middle-aged woman, quite butch, whose roots needed to be touched up, whose spikes needed to be regelled, and who needed about 40 hours of sleep, pronto.
—The small dog she was walking, sort of a Chihuahua-plus-frilly-tail, if you know what I mean.
—An older woman in a shabby rain coat, whose Upper West Side accent was thick enough to stand a spoon in.
As I approached, the older woman, who was walking about 10 feet behind the other two, barked, "She's not done yet! You don't have to pull her like that, she'll let you know when she's done!"
Ah, a doggy-drive by, I thought. Yeah, people around here might be that pushy. The dog found another tree to investigate, and the older woman erupted, "See, now let her be! Take your time!"
I passed all three, noting that the older woman was staying a fixed distance behind the other two. Soon after I heard in the distance, "Look at how she's all itchy now! She's stepped on, I don't know, a splinter or something!... See how she's biting at it? You have to stop and pull it out!"
Was this a poor mother-daughter relationship in its late stages? An interview for a job which, if offered and accepted, will provide a great deal of the most unhealthy kind of stress? Or some sort of "humiliation" precursor to activities I really don't want to imagine?