28 April 2016

To walk at a park or not to walk at a park

[This cartoon was cut from a religious tract and reappropriated as the cover of a punk rock album.]

Dear blog,

It was cold and windy today, so we decided against riding our bikes. Instead, we got in the car and drove to a place nearby, which had been recommended to us by some friendly pedestrians. These pedestrians, who probably would rather be called hikers (because they wore hiking gear), stopped us at our old favorite park and asked directions to a certain road; and neither I nor my sweetheart knew of the road that they had mentioned, so we apologized for not being able to help; then the couple, to be polite, remarked how nice this present park is, and we agreed, and I added that it’s the nicest park that I know of in the area; but the man corrected me and said that there’s an even nicer park in the vicinity called NAME REDACTED. So we visited NAME REDACTED this afternoon, instead of our beloved regular park; and our reason for doing so is as follows…

Yesterday, while walking at our favorite place, we were frightened two separate times by charging dogs who looked vicious and were growling and unleashed – one of the dogs had no owner in sight; while the second dog’s owner was a number of meters away, totally indifferent to the misdeeds of her militant beast. After these episodes, we vowed to boycott that park (which, by the way, has a generous section specially dedicated to dogs, so it makes no sense why members of that species were out terrorizing our human side of paradise).

Therefore today we drove to NAME REDACTED. When we arrived, however, the way was barred by a vast bronze obstruction that had a warning written across it: “Trail closed due to effects of inclement weather.” Also there were two geese staring at us. In order to leave, we had to reverse the car’s direction; this required making a three-point turn, which, since my sweetheart was driving, ended up being a seven-point turn (bless her heart). Then we headed homeward. But still we wanted to get a little exercise, so my sweetheart pulled over at the first available backstreet and said: “Why don’t we just get out and walk from here?”

The area happened to be a trailer park. So we went up and down, and to and fro in the “knoll” (as it was named)—both lengthwise and widthwise. It was quite a sight. There was junk littered throughout its patchy weed-scape: crushed empty plastic water bottles, kids’ toys, fast food wrappers, advertisements, and scraps of closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam. (I copied that last clause straight from an encyclopedia, to avoid having to name the trademarked brand.) Midway upon our journey, I saw a mobile home whose windows were boarded up; this lured me to imagine that evil deeds were occurring within. And, at the very end of the road, a giant crow was pecking at what looked like a smashed communion wafer. This bird refused to acknowledge us when we passed close by it. In contrast, the aforementioned geese, who were flanking the metal obstruction at NAME REDACTED, both turned and opened their beaks and hissed at us fiercely.

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