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What the residents’ story is, I am not sure. They may be fighting an eminent domain case, or they may be holding out for more money, or they may be bitter-enders waiting for the cops to come and do their grim duty.
The folks that live in the lone house had never been hostile to me, nor friendly: They were there and, so, for a brief sliver of every day, was I. It was the best sort of neighborly arrangement, where you both agree to leave each other the hell alone.
But the bitter-enders have dogs and have recently taken to letting the mutts out. One of then is a sweetheart, but the other — black and white and muscular and I’d guess about 60 pounds — is a real piece of work. As I was nearing the house Friday evening, I finished fiddling with my cellphone and pocketed it in time to see the animal just as it was almost upon me.
It snarled at me for a second before launching itself at me, and this warning — thank God — triggered the “fight” part of my fight-or-flight response.
It jumped up on me and tried to use its paws to better position its jaws to take a bite out of me. I have scuffmarks on my pants and a scrape on my right knuckle to prove it. But it wasn’t able to do any serious damage in that first contact.
SO I PUSHED BACK, driving the dog back into the street. I traded my umbrella from my left to right hand, and pressed the “extend” button. The parasol became a two-foot-long rod that I could brandish at snout level, which gave the dog something to think about.
I swung the umbrella a few times and it backed off to just out of range. An exchange ensued:
“Get back!” I shouted.
It snarled some more and started to bark, so I turned up the volume:
“GET BACK! GO HOME! GO HOME! GO HOME YOU STUPID DOG!”
More barking as it crept forward and then jumped back out of the reach of my umbrella. I hoped that it wouldn’t take the fear that it smelled as an invitation to charge.
I stepped forward, swinging the umbrella in a wide arc, and the dog reluctantly backed up. It looked ready to rush me at any moment, and it kept trying to match my volume with its barking.
Finally, the owner of the animal emerged from the house and coaxed it away from me. He began to berate the dog as I rapidly continued on my way home. As per our previous relationship, not one word was exchanged. Complaint or consolation, though not unwarranted, would have seemed out of place — so we decided to let it go.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?