This morning as Freckle and I walked past the IGA/liquor store up the street from us, we heard someone running behind us saying “Excuse me… excuse me.” We turned around to see a very tall man with kinky blondish hair pulled back into a tiny pony tail. He was panting by the time he reached us. Freckle sat down and we both looked at him expectantly.
Then he began to shout. “Can I use your cell phone to call 911??!!!” Freckle and I were both quite interested now. Kinky continued… “Those hoodlums over there…” He pointed to a group of 5 or 6 of the guys who live on the street in our neighbourhood. They were the regulars and we know them all because of being out and about with the dogs a lot. “They’re drinking alcohol in open view!” Kinky shouted. He paused as if he expected a response and then repeated himself. “They’re drinking alcohol in open view!”
Freckle and I had both turned to look in the direction of the group on the corner. It was true; the guys were all drinking cans of beer. Not a common sight actually. Usually they’re hustling around collecting cans and I rarely see them drinking “in open view.” I inhaled and was about to say, “I wonder if not having a living room of their own to drink in has anything to do with it?” But then I looked down at Freckle and she was gazing in the direction of the street guys, nodding her head. All she said was “Hmmmmm….”
Before I could say anything, Kinky, who was gesticulating wildly now, said “And I have a vintage car right there that they’re just obsessed with!” Freckle and I both turned toward the clump of fellows to see the vintage car. I was about to say, “Do you mean the one parked behind the Lexis?” [The photo above looks rather similar—just imagine it with primer instead of a paint job!]
I was thinking “You’ve got to be kidding!” In my mind, the car that I saw was the kind of thing that used to end up in the rocky corners of the hayfield until one of the neighbouring farm’s teenaged boy decided to tinker with it. However, I suppose that would make it vintage if you consider how many years ago that was. All of this was swirling through my mind as Kinky continued to rant about the impending vandalism to his car. I opened my mouth to say that I didn’t think that the guys were much of a threat. In fact they were completely oblivious to the vintage car AND the Lexis. As I considered how to say “Don’t be an idiot!” diplomatically, I glanced down at Freckle again. She was gently shaking her head and saying “Hmmmmm… “ soothingly while looking at Kinky with her soulful brown eyes. She seemed to know instinctively how to interact with this guy without becoming enraged by the wackiness of the world … or taking a trip down memory lane to weigh the true vintage-ness of his car.
By now Kinky seemed to have given up trying to get my cell phone and had lost some of his bluster. He pointed at the liquor store and said “Well, this is the place that sells ‘em the stuff, so I’ll go use a phone there!” And off he stomped. Freckle and I carried on and I pondered the usefulness of judgment … and the value of letting go of judgment. Another lesson from Freckle: When someone’s vintage car is in danger, it’s probably better to just nod and say “Hmmmmm…” because stating the obvious would probably be lost on them anyway.