Geez. Why is everyone in such a sour mood?
I will admit that maybe I am not the most likeable guy…no, it’s true. But you would think I could muster a little friendly hello here and there. Maybe my legs are too pale. I have no idea. Or is it my shoes?
Anyway, I took a mid-afternoon stroll through the Roberts Bird Sanctuary after the rain. A beautiful time for the walk. Most people still had not ventured out. In fact for most of the trail there were no foot prints. Frogs were calling to each other and the birds quickly got to business doing whatever it is birds do. (I understand they do it with bees? I don’t know. I never felt the need to ask.)
I didn’t encounter any other urban hikers until halfway down the trail. Two nervous men with heavy accents and a lot of gear. Perhaps they are walking America, that’s what I like to think. They said hello, but they’re foreigners and foreigners are friendly. My fellow Minneapolites…well, that’s another story.
The next person I met was about 15 yards down the trail from the owl nest that is all the rage recently. He was looking in another direction and so after confirming that an owl was still in the tree I thought I would be neighborly and let him know about it in case he wasn’t aware of it. Just to cover my bases and be helpful.
The old guy curtly cut me off saying, “Yeah, I know. They left.”
I told him, No, there is one up there now, and he turned his back on me and stared into the trees.
So I left. No need to ruin a grumpy guy’s nice day. The sun was coming out and the fresh young leaves, still dripping rainwater, glowed in the woods. Down the path a pair of women were coming my way and they seemed friendly enough. “Hello, turned out to be a beautiful day!” They said nothing. Stone faced walked right past me.
(This happens a lot. Read the rest of my blog and you’ll see this story told in the past. Oh, and tell your friends to read this blog, too. Hurry. The Rapture is near…the End is nigh.)
Even a cranky old mallard duck got in my face. He was funny at least. The duck appeared unhappy with me interrupting his nap. He lifted his sleepy head out from under his wing and quacked straight on in my face — “Quack! Quack! Quack!” he said, more or less — before then pacing the log impatiently.
I stood still for a moment and let the duck resume his nap. When I twitched, however, he got upset again and quacked once more, this time glaring wildly at me with that muderous if-you-ever-do-that-again kind of intensity. (Yes, ducks can glare.) So I took his picture, for which, of course, he did not cooperate.
Soon another couple. Father and daughter, perhaps. “Hello,” I said. I heard a grunt in reply.
Finally, as I was about to leave the sanctuary, a couple of women very nicely and politely said hello to me in reply. All was not lost.
Hell, when I was a kid we were raised to greet people. We’d even go out of our way to say hello to old people and nuns! (Didn’t you?) Now you would think you were trying to climb into bed with someone just because you want to be civil, to be human.
Maybe The Rapture has everyone down. I mean if you only have a few hours to go you don’t have much time to think about what to do next and I guess I ca understand how that might be depressing. It is like the last hour before closing at Disney World. Do you wait for major attraction or maybe go down good old Main Street USA?
I don’t know.