deus ex macchiato

Fabian Bazant-Hegemark's blog

´╗┐Gullibility vs. Optimism

A Dog protectionist encounter at the grocery store made me reevaluate absolutely nothing.

Yesterday, I was heading home from buying some candles for this fragrance light that covers the various unwanted smells in my flat, I saw Akira (for the uninitiated, she is S’ dog, that I am particularly fond of) in front of the grocery store. As always, she wagged her tail in ecstasy since it had been more than an hour since we had last met. Obediently waiting for S, her leash attached to the handrail, I closed in for a short petting digression.

Alas, a woman in her well kept 60’s or really fucked up 40’s approached me. I figured she’d been waiting for the bus. “Are you the owner of that dog?”, she asked.
“Nope, but she belongs to a friend of mine.”
“So I still have to tell you this, maybe you can relay the information. How can you leave a dog unattended outside of a grocery store! There are so many psychopaths in the world, what if someone had stolen your dog while you were inside?”
“Well, but nothing happened, right?”
“You can’t seriously turn such a blind eye! If you own a dog, you should make the time to bring it home and then go for groceries afterwards. I worked for the animal shelter for 25 years and I had several dogs, and I would never have left a dog unattended outside!”
“That’s great!”
“What if someone would have stolen your dog? There are so many psychopaths on the streets!”
“I simply believe that there are more nice people like you who will take the five minutes to watch a dog than psychopaths stealing one. And I don’t wanna act like I live in a world that was otherwise”
“How can you say something that stupid! You can’t generalize this one encounter! If you don’t have the time to bring your dog home before going shopping, you shouldn’t own one in the first place.”
“I think you’re really exaggerating now. Nothing happened, and you were kind enough to watch over this particular dog.”

She simply wouldn’t stop, and me remaining calm made her more and more agitated. So, naturally, I asked her why she was so angry about this.

“Because I can’t believe how stupid you act!”

That instant, S came out of the store.
“So this is your dog?”
“You can’t just leave a dog unattended outside”
“Ma'am, that’s none of your business, and I really don’t wanna hear your bullshit.” With that, S, Akira and I walked away.

The woman shouted after us “Incredible! Such stupid people!”

Mostly I was impressed how much more effective S’s method of dealing with the matter had been. But a thought struck me. How sad must the world be in which this woman lived? I am not one who’d consider himself an optimist, in fact, I believe to be a very polemic and negative person. I simply find all of that really fun. It excites me how fucked up the world is. Not because I agree, but because what else can you do? You can’t just do the North Korea and act like everything was shit all the time, especially in the winter, when things are dark and depressive anyway. When I’m in a caf├ę and need to go to the bathroom, I usually don’t hide my backpack or laptop, I rely on other people around me noticing if someone would try and steal my belongings. I lock my bike, but I keep it outside of the house instead of in the cellar provided by the house’s caretaker, mostly because of convenience, and also because it’s a pain to carry it up and down and up again. Sure it might get stolen, but I can’t live my life in permanent fear of bad things that maybe won’t even happen anyway.

[one of the pictures taken in Buenos Aires with my disposable. Not bringing my DSLR had the benefit of insta-hipsterizing any photograph automagically]

I think this is something I learned when traveling. When I was in Argentina, I hadn’t really prepared anything for my trip, but what I did was that I bought a watch so that I wouldn’t need to have my cell with me all the time, and a disposable camera so that I wouldn’t need to carry my DSLR with the heavy lens. Of course I took precautions of some sort, but when I had those things, I didn’t act like they might be stolen at any given moment. Because hell, you can’t change that. Things get stolen. People get robbed. I don’t wanna pull out statistics, because I don’t really care, but I think it’s like this shark/car thing. More people are supposedly afraid of shark attacks, while astronomically more die of car accidents. People still drive to work, but they check their all-inclusive reserve for shark news. Well, please do, but leave me alone with that crap.

I’ll gladly give you a laugh at my expense if you let me live without worries until then.