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Mack Williams column: A little dog pulling a car

I recently exercise-walked in a park where a senior center is located, my “senior-ness” making me look at home there.

The sky was overcast, but its gray didn’t precipitate into liquid crystal the way carbon compresses to diamond, which I saw Superman (George Reeves) achieve with his bare hands in the late 1950s with a lump of coal (as per the TV script).

Speaking of geology, those clouds had been swirled without achieving chef-stirred homogeneity. The shades of gray (several less than 7) retained their individuality in a “finger painting” effect. Just like finger painting, there was a sense of depth (and in this case, height).

The “heavenly mixer” made clouds resemble marbled bread, marbled pound cake, and that from which the adjective “marbled” originates, “marble.”

Evening’s refracted sunlight would later color these clouds red, orange and yellow; but being mid-day, all were gray and white. (If alive now, Ansel Adams might  consider this subject to naturally be “Ansel-Adamsed.”)

I thought about my Salisbury friend Bob Whitaker’s exceptionally beautiful sunset photography (also flowers, insects, birds, etc.). I hoped those clouds would reach him and remain hanging together at sunset for his discerning eye and shutter.

After having my sight consumed by twisted-and-turned clouds, my sense of hearing became preoccupied by the diesel horn of an approaching, but still distant, train. Its sound waves were similarly twisted and turned by intervening trees, buildings and hills.

Then my sense of touch stepped up to the bat when I ran into “something.” It was a single length of spider web; and I immediately backed up, remembering what would likely come scurrying towards me in response to the web vibrations generated by my collision.

In my immediate reversal from the web, I hadn’t broken it; and the distance of its fastening on the trees to either side of me, about 20 feet, registered it as a feat of engineering to my mind. I thought of wartime wire booby traps strung across a road to trip up (or do worse) to a soldier on motorcycle or in low-riding car.

On the “homeward” trail to my walk’s starting point, I saw something in the distance on one of the park’s roads which looked so incredible as to question sanity: a little dog pulling a car up a gentle incline by a tether (at least that’s what it looked like to me).

My first tip-off (besides logic) that the dog was not pulling the car was that upon getting closer, I saw its mouth was not clamped around the tether, as would have been the case if it were pulling something with it. Instead, the tether was attached to the dog’s neck, with the dog’s mouth agape in that “faux smile” similarly displayed by other creatures with mouths open wide: alligators, hippopotamuses, T-Rex, and some of the Mexican “Mummies of Guanajuato” (the last two examples forever “open-mouthed”).

The little canine’s tongue looked to be joyfully lolling about (a different kind of “lol” than that of modern “text-speak”).

Approaching the slowly “pulled” car, I saw an elderly, little white-haired lady driving slowly while “walking” her little white terrier. The leash was in her left hand and extended from the driver’s window, with the car being steered by her right hand. She pleasantly told me of her recent hip operation, saying she would soon be able to actually “walk” her dog again.

The little dog’s excitement at being walked put it way out in front of the slow-moving car, its leash pulled to tautness. If the dog had not been so excited, the leash would probably have had a looser, more (dare I say it) “flaccid” look.

A “little dog pulling a car” stunt would have fit in nicely with the “clown car” and clowns I remember in the Faith Fourth parades. There was nothing to fear from those clowns, for they followed the genuine “clown aura” to completion with “big floppy shoes” (so far, in the recently reported “clown sightings,” I’ve yet to hear mention of “big, floppy clown shoes”).

I was glad to have exercise-walked that day, for if I hadn’t, I would have missed seeing “marbled, finger-paint” clouds, hearing the sound of an “aurally dappled” diesel train horn in the distance, experiencing the energy rush from a close call with a wire trap set by the “Arachnid-Cong,” and been placed precariously upon the threshold of sensory bankruptcy by not witnessing that most “must-see” sight, a little dog pulling a car.

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