I left our little town of Lambertville, aka Dogburg, last Tuesday to go and party with Annamaria Alfieri at the Mysterious Bookshop in the big city, aka Gotham, in celebration of the release of Strange Gods, her latest book and the first in a new series. This time I took the bus, since driving home from Hamilton in the middle of the night seemed more than I was willing to deal with. The bus goes to the Port Authority Terminal straight from Lambertville. No worries.
I've started calling it Dogburg because so many dogs live in town these days. We have more dogs than children. I find that sort of sad. But, be that as it may, the close proximity of all these canines enables me to observe their social interactions. Have you ever noticed the way a small dog on a leash or behind a window will bark hysterically at passing big dogs? "Arf! Arf! I'll kill you! I'll kill you! If only my human would let me off this leash I would tear your throat out!"
I was minded to think of this as I stood on a street corner in New York City waiting for a light to change. A young man was crossing in the crosswalk, strolling along, intent on the music playing through his earbuds. The weather being warm, he wore a wife-beater shirt that showed off his extraordinarily well-developed body—somewhere between that of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime and Hulk Hogan on extra steroids—and his tasteful, monochromatic tattoos. He may have been humming to himself. I couldn't say. You know how noisy it is in the city. You can hardly hear anything.
Suddenly a small red car came tearing around the corner intending to drive where the muscular man was walking. This was not possible, due to some basic law of physics. The driver, a weasely little fellow, became enraged at the sight of the big muscular man and began to curse at him loudly, hanging out the window and shaking his fist. It was a startling exhibition, the sort of thing I've not seen in Lambertville, at least not from a human.
The muscular man ignored him and strolled on. If he'd wanted to he could have picked up the little red car, driver and all, and flung it someplace out of earshot. But the big dogs don't have to do things like that.
You'll be happy to know that I got to the launch party safely, enjoyed myself, and went home again with a signed copy of Strange Gods. Now I'm going to settle down and read it. Looks like a winner.