Sunday, December 19, 2004

Dog Day Afternoon

Well, well. Another noise from the train. And so soon!

I suppose the first thing I should remark on is the dog. Oh, there are two of them. Both fat, little terriers. They came in with a lady who, well, I can’t see her well enough to start shredding her. But I can say that I’ll be glad when people quit treating dogs like babies and babies like animals.

I love dogs. I love animals. I talk to animals. I pet them. I feed them. But I don’t take them around with me on the train. And I think people who do, unless they’re blind, are dopes. But they might be cool after you get to know them.

This subject does remind me of the other great line from the movie “Wall Street:” “If you want a friend, buy a dog.” True enough, on Wall Street, anyway. And even off. My best friend in my teen years was Beano, a handsome dog that appeared to have a bit Shepherd, Chow, Wolf, and Harrison Ford in him all at once. I once composed a poem about The Bean. It was about how he was a “ladies dog.” Beano was the “test” of a person to me. If you “understood” The Bean, you could understand me.

I also wrote a skit about Beano’s owner harnessing him to the front of his camper one hot Florida day to tow it home after it had overheated on the interstate. Beano would have thought it was hilarious. But the Heroic Bean would probably have done the job with flair and panache, had it not just been an idle fantasy I cooked up. I lost these early, raw literary gems. We buried Beano in my backyard, and that is a story in itself. I still dream about Beano.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the two lines from that movie that are most memorable to me are both about animals – rather, both use animals to communicate something about humans. The other line is, “that’s the thing about WASPS. They love animals, but they hate people.” Both of these lines were uttered by the “villain,” Gecko (Oliver, could you have come up with a more sophomoric name for your villain?) Is the villain allowed to utter subtle truths? Oliver’s father was a stockbroker. Oliver obviously has “issues” with Wall Street. But he has bigger issues with film production.

Notwithstanding those flaws, there were some good observations that came from the flick, especially the two heretofore mentioned. Other than that, it’s very “‘80s –Art—Deco.” In other words, a curiousity from a quaint time.

The last time I was on this train it was late summer. Now, of course, it is a week before Christmas. Needless to say, things look (and feel) a bit different. It’s charming, it really is, to cruised down the railroad tracks on a cloudy winter day, when snow is in the forecast. I really like it. Sometimes winter can be dreary. But really, it’s restful.


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