Deb: A few weeks ago I witnessed something so shocking that I didn’t even know if I could blog about it.
I was driving my car very slowly on a residential street, slowly because there were three boys on bikes just ahead of me. They were around ten years old, I would say. I noticed a dead squirrel up ahead, and in the next second saw one of the young boys ride up beside the dead squirrel––and spit on it. Spit right on the body of this dead little creature.
Well, I don’t mind telling you, I snapped. It was so shocking to me, this ugly act, that my head was spinning. When I see a dead animal I always give a nod and a “God bless you”, so you can im-frikkin’-agine how I was desperately searching for reasons that this young boy might commit such an ugly soulless act. Not that it would have made it less ugly, but at least I could see a reason from his age and viewpoint if he had spit in clear view of his buddies. This at least would have made some kind of sense in the show-off-appear-tough kid world.
But this was a solitary act. No one saw him. He was not doing it to impress. But he did it. And my blood ran cold.
I watched the other boys pull up on their bikes one by one to chat. I didn’t notice any of them looking back at the squirrel, so I knew he wasn’t even talking about what he had done. He was just laughing. Suddenly, I was running full speed up to him, the red flash of my parking lights setting the mood for the scene that was about to unfold. I am not proud of what happened next, but I just snapped. Went squirrelly!!!
I said to him, “What the hell” ... wait, I should be more specific ... I SCREAMED at him, “What the hell did you just spit on that dead squirrel for you, little monster?”.
His friends stared at him. “Fuck off, lady,” said evil boy. I could have laid odds on that answer.
“Listen, you evil little bastard, that squirrel is one of GOD’S CREATURES, you soulless little tool!”
The boys all stared at the crazy lady. Evil boy stuck out his chin in defiance. The other two boys were scared shitless however and were waiting in hope for men in white coats to emerge from the ATM vestibule and carry me away.
“Mind your own business, lady!” said Evil.
I swear to God I was two seconds away from quoting Jacob Marley in Scrooge: ”MANKIND IS MY BUS-I-NESS!” But instead, just to solidify my newfound status as the Madwoman of Leaside, I screeched, “Laugh it up now, kid, because, you see, I know where you are going to end up. Oh yes! You, kid, are going to end up in jail because you are an evil little bastard.”
And as they hopped on their bikes and peddled away like competitors in the Tour De France, all you could hear aside from the gentle falling of leaves, was the screech of, “Oh yes, don’t think I don’t know!!! You mark my words, you giant knob, you shell of a human being, that’s where you’ll end up if you don’t do some soul-searching! Jail, do you hear meeeeeeeeeeeeeee? JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I stood there, my sweaty body reflected in the shadow of his raised middle finger, and let my heart-rate come down. Then I walked back to my car, passing my tiny stiff little friend. You have been avenged, I thought.
Then, I felt insane.
I keep checking the mail for a lawsuit. Nope. Just Christmas catalogues.
Barbara: Deb, I’m here to confirm––between horrified outrage (at boy) and weak laughter (at you)––that this whole thing was indeed kind of insane. Idiot-child’s senseless action and screaming mama slash Dirty Harry slash morally decent protestor’s response. I feel I can say this to you only because a) you know how much I love and respect you, and (most importantly) b) I have experienced this kind of insensible insanity myself. It is a delirious, almost sexy kind of rage. Because it’s so friggin’ righteous.
Of course there’s the car-jacking incident, but, oh, there are sooooo many other times I can hear the echo of my own maniacal, hoarse, outraged voice screaming at some (very deserving) hooligan or other. I can feel the unfamiliar hot blood coursing through my usually calm warm veins.
I wonder if your outburst ever visits evil boy in his nightmares. I wonder if you’ve changed his unfeeling ways. I wonder if this would be called “fool for thought”.
I also wonder if there isn’t some little squirrel angel looking down upon you now as you pass through his old ‘hood, giving you a little furry nod and bow of acknowledgement and squeaky gratitude for defending his honour.