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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pinky's Walk of Shame

                                     Circuit A

My house is beside a river annexed by a wonderful six kilometre walking path winding all the way around it, with a bridge at either end. 

As walking is my main (read only) form of exercise I have accrued many thousands of hours pounding the pavement over the last ten years. 

There are two options on my walk; Circuit A and Circuit B. Circuit A takes me on a path through my leafy suburb past quaint houses, neat lawns and is the most frequented by my fellow walkers. 

Sadly this aspect has its shortcomings. Over the last ten years I seem to have acquired a few elderly gentlemen admirers. These guys are in their mid to late eighties (which indicates they were in their spritely seventies when we first met) and I am always bound to run into at least one of them on my walk. 

There’s “The Mayor” named because he wears a funny hat and knows everything about everything, “Mr Smee” because he looks like the Peter Pan character and “Mr Doggy-lover” for obvious reasons.

When I bump into one of these three, I know that I will have to stop and talk for at least half an hour. Charming as my senior Lotharios are, these interludes cut into my power walking and defeats the purpose of exercise so sometimes I opt for the evil Circuit B.

In contrast to Circuit A, this path requires navigating some rather harrowing obstacles. 

At the outset it entails passing an off leash dog park where a ferocious pit bull terrier will inevitably pitch into the fence, frothing at the mouth, snarling menacingly and scaring the sh#t out of me. 

The path then leads under a bridge where vagrants have left their empty wine casks and are sometimes still attendant; watching me quietly as I try to appear indifferent to their presence.

When I hear footsteps behind me I never know whether to nervously check behind me and look paranoid, or risk being smacked in the head from behind with a rock.

One day there was a really huge, peculiar (perhaps even psycho) looking fellow heading towards me on the deserted and isolated path.

Will I say hello? I thought. I wanted to appear friendly and conciliatory.
Anxiously I smiled and in uneasy confusion I blurted out, 

“Mor-eye!” which was a combination of ‘Morning’ and ‘Hi’.

He looked at me as if I was a complete moron.

There is also a plague of March flies (or horse flies as they’re known in some places) who can’t read a calendar on Circuit B. They are present all year round and leave a welt the size of a saucer.

This morning I decided to take Celine my miniature fox terrier for a walk on nice, safe Circuit A. The gentlemen admirers were nowhere in sight and the walk was going well until Celine stopped dead and assumed the pose she adopts when pooping. 

 Celine in all her four years of life, has never pooped on a walk (she’s far too ladylike). Consequently, I hadn’t brought a plastic bag with me. 

There was a couple walking their dog behind me so, hoping they wouldn't notice, I dragged Celine on to the grass. I waited until her ablution was complete and set off walking again.

“Excuse me!” came the stern voice behind me. “I hope you’re going to pick that up!”

“I haven’t got a bag sorry, I used the bag I brought with me already.” I lied to the outraged woman berating me.

“Here,” she snatched a bag from her husband and thrust it at me.

I timidly took the bag and started sifting through the buffalo grass. Honestly, the poop had been the size of a rat pellet and I couldn’t find it, so I pretended to pick something up.

“Bring more bags with you next time.” she chided.

“Yeah I’ll do that you frickin b#%ch.” I muttered under my breath... and I wasn’t talking about Celine.

In truth I think I’d rather put up with the vagrants and March flies.