Tag Archives: Tub of Sauce

The Kindness of Strangers

I get greetings in the street all the time and this, I’ve long accepted, is not an outcome of anything specific to my being as a person, nor does it have much to do with my being as a person as it pertains to being a person walking in the street as the greetings happen overwhelmingly whenever I’m out walking with Lou.

To be completely honest about it, the greetings are overwhelmingly for Lou with – at most – a few offhand hellos and hi theres for me. I am oddly appreciative of this, since it at least relieves me of that great social burden of Small Talk with Strangers. I get to be less polite; I get away with a not insignificant rebuff of my own.

Nothing or nothing much for me?  Moving right on along!

Tit for tat.

Lou was with me the day at the Farmer’s Market with the encounter with The Man.

The St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market is a well-kept affair, refuge to bleary-eyed suburbanites, their dogs and children alike.  It’s a fine place to take the in-laws, if they’ve never been there before or haven’t been there for a Good Long Time.

It is a quaint but not without a certain flair; quaint, but not unassuming.

A double negative kind of place, with a petting zoo and buggy rides in the summer and year-round kettle corn.

You can get kale there, and baby chickens.


Meat and cheese.  Sorry.  Meats and cheeses.

You know it.

TUBS OF SAUCE? You know, you can get those too.

The Man was seated just outside the food court doors on a decorative, undoubtedly handcrafted bench.  He was clutching a bag of dog treats (you can get those at the Market too!) and scanning the passersby with his big, watery eyes. He saw Lou as we walked by and said hello to Lou, and as he said his hello to Lou, he reached deep into the bag, extracted one brown toasted treat and offered it to Lou, stopping just shy of Lou’s inquisitive doggy nose. It was a fluid, graceful motion, a well-practised almost instinct.


Lou backed away from the Man’s outstretched arm and open hand and retreated to his fallback position behind my legs. We backed away from him, intentions clear.

But the Man was not deterred.

Head up, big, watery eyes set to motion again, scanning, scanning, Lou and Lou’s rejection apparently totally forgotten, it didn’t take The Man long to find them: other dogs, other owners, many of whom were at first rather pleased by the attention and then rather perplexed by the situation.

For the Man, he had dog biscuits, LOTS of dog biscuits (possibly even expensive ones), but no dog.  Neither doggy hide nor doggy hair.




And no words spared for human ears; none so much as wasted.  He addressed the dogs and the dogs alone with man-sized, childish glee – “Hello little boy! Hello big girl! You a good doggy, hmmm?” – big watery eyes lighting up, for instance, when a little brown and white shih tzu pulled violently away from its wary owner and accepted a biscuit with manners that even by dog standards seemed voracious and sloppy.

The dog was happy, the man was happy, the owner, who knows? I was happy Lou refused the biscuit.

Which leads me to wonder.

How many inevitable rejections occurred that day? And for whom?

But for whom?

Looking at it from all sides, I cannot not conclude that that depends on who was really in control after all.

Dogs and all.

It knowingly nose.

The nose knows.


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Filed under Dogs, People, Places


There is a reality that hangs in the space between Base Need and Raw Emotion.

It is called hanger.

It is being HANGRY: finding yourself at that exact point where hunger and anger collide, swell and mutate, creating a force no longer one or the other but with a terrible power of its very, very own.

It is being so hungry you’re angry/being so angry about being so hungry.

We’ve all been there.

It happens first thing in the morning following an early dinner and a late bedtime, when you emerge from slumber ready to take on the world with your fists and teeth.

It happens in the mid afternoon when your head throbs in tune with your stomach and you come to the abrupt and brutal realization that you really should have went to law school all those many years ago, which was actually quite a while ago now that you really think about it.

It happens close to closing hours when you’re incensed at the Institution but can only take it out on the person, and the person knows exactly what you are doing and is furious at you for being livid.

Because it’s your fault for not taking them for what they are, and NO ONE has had anything but toast today and you are all of you famished, starving, RAVENOUS .

Is there, like, a White Castle in here or something?

Here's an idea. How about you think me up a damn sandwich? HUH??

There are lots of words for “angry” in the dictionary.

There are many words for “hungry”.

But there is nothing that quite covers it when you’re hangry.

The way I am living these days, my days are filled with long periods of boredom and busy work interspersed with sudden, intense moments of pure, unadulterated hanger.

The cure for what ails me is not a Simple Thing.

You may want to talk about SCIENCE – blood sugar or whatever.

But I am talking about a State of Mind, A Reality of Being, which is more immediate than SCIENCE.  It is more than something that happens to you.  It is something you go through.  You live it.

You may want to suggest a snack to quell the hanger.

Like having a Snickers.

Well.  See.

Having a Snickers doesn’t help when you’re hangry.  To a hangry person, a Snickers is a fucking insult.

It is not enough!

It is deficient, like trying to put out an inferno with the air from whoopee cushions.


You may want to suggest eating less meat and more veggies.

Once again, you’re late to the point, trying to put the pin back into the HANGRY HANGER grenade.

When you’re hangry, the only cure is to get the fuck to the nearest FOOD you can and hope that some poor unsuspecting fuck of a someone does not get the fuck in your way.

The world is safe again. But...for how long?


Because when you’re hangry, the one cure once removed from food, GLORIOUS FOOD, is to punch a bitch.

Who’s a bitch?


That is the Thing about hanger.  It does not discriminate.

It is, in its way, a Beautiful Thing in the way that beautiful is honest, and in the way that honest is brutal and just doesn’t give a shit about you today, OK?

Maybe tomorrow.

Probably not.


Filed under Food