WEDNESDAY: Little Things

BY JOSEPH H. STRYKER

Copyright is held by the author.

MY LIFE isn’t too exciting. Busy, but not exciting. I work three jobs. Dog walker, baby sitter, and smoothie maker. That’s what a philosophy degree will get you these days.

It wouldn’t be too bad if not for the debt. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy college and that it didn’t make me a better person. Still, I wish being a better person was profitable.

The worst thing is people who have it set. It’s not bad enough I’m an over-educated 24 year-old who would’ve been better off climbing the ladder of my local McDonalds. No, I’ve got to listen to the 30 to 60 year-olds telling me it’s my fault I’m where I am.

“Ellie, why didn’t you just do what I did?” they say. I want to say it’s because I live in a different world than the one they grew up in, but I bite my tongue.

It’s the small things that make life worth living now.

About three months back on a Monday morning I was walking Chuck, Elmo, and Avocado. Good dogs all three of them. Thing is their owners live in a suburb, a real suburb. Rows of houses, block after block. Not a park or nature trail anywhere close.

So that means poop bags. The last thing you want is someone flipping out about dog waste on their yard.

There I was walking down the street holding onto two German Shephards and a Pug, the bags in pocket, when this guy comes up shouting.

He was fat and wearing a Dodgers cap. Little bits of grey hair poking out from the ears and nose. “You, the one who keeps leaving drops around my house!”

“No —” I tried to explain about the bags in my pocket, but he cut me off.

“I know those dogs. Chuck and Elmo. Yeah I’m on the homeowners association with the Prestons. You better find yourself a new job young lady, maybe get an education. Cuz’ you ain’t walking dogs in this neighborhood again.” He wasn’t joking. The day after I got an email from Mr. Preston saying they no longer needed my services. Then Avocado’s owners after that.

Now losing two families’ dogs may not seem like much, but I’ve got rent and student loans to pay.

So I stewed on it for awhile. One thing was for sure, I didn’t believe in karma.

Two months later I was back on that street. I’d spent every free moment tailing the guy, yeah I felt silly. But what I found, was priceless. He had a convertible with leather seats. He also left the top down while parked.

With the help of my other clients’ dogs, and a particularity damp bin, I set my plan into motion.

There I was in the dark of night, not counting the street lamps, carrying a trash bag nearly the size of my torso. As I moved up his driveway, the security lights flashed on. I got dead still. When I realized the lights did basically nothing, I continued towards his car.

As I untied the bag and held it over the seats, my conscience made me think. Did the guy really deserve this?

I smiled, then poured.

As I ran back to my car, barely containing my laughter, not a thing got in the way. I drove out of that suburb without a care in the world.

So whenever I’m feeling down I just think of that jerk waking up in the morning to go for a drive and seeing, smelling, what happened.

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3 comments

  1. Connie Suite

    Perfect! I love it. Best wishes on a good story from an over-educated 72 year old retired ……

  2. Michael Joll

    Resentment? Check. Revenge? Check. Remorse for committing a crime? In this case the only reason for remorse would be getting caught. Good for you!

    An enjoyable story, Joseph H. Keep sending them.

  3. GW Neill

    Odd dilemma. Wrongful dismissal is a violation of the Labour Code. So, the frustrated anger of an over-educated philosophy major leading to an act of vandalism seems out of place. There are other options — lucrative options. Unless there is something in the choice for revenge being related to a certain kind of philosophy. But as the philosophical point is never made, why mention it?

    This could be a very funny story or both funny and philosophically interesting if you would develop those themes. There is some difficult wording and too many colloquialisms for a character who is ‘over-educated’.

    I would keep working on it. It has potential. Something people can relate to on more than one level, not just anger. All the best.

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