I think some of us here realize that I don’t work in an Outdoor Store.
“So where else does he get these true-sounding stories of not-quite-smart people?” I imagine I hear from off-stage.
In this particular case, I was (You may not be surprised to discover) standing next to a dog. My dog.
Roscoe (the name of my dog) is about a hundred and fifteen pounds of dog. During the summers, he occasionally wears a cute little backpack wherein he carries stuff that’ll help if he, like he did just before I bought the pack, discovers that he really needs a dish of water really, really fast to recover from too much sun. And when I say “cute little backpack”, I mean, of course, “Saddlebags.”
Now, the scene should be set. Me. Dog. Saddlebags. Oh, Dogpark. Yes, we’re in the park. With people. I forgot to mention that there were people. And there were.
So this guy is standing there, looking at Roscoe’s cool saddlebags, and… you know what? You can guess the rest.
He asks about the handle and then asks how the hell I’m gonna carry Roscoe around by that handle. And the world went deadly quiet. while we waited on the answer to occur to ol’ Skippy standing there.
I assume this guy is thinking maybe he needs a saddlebag dog backpack because he’s going to carry around his dog, which is much more of the fluppy-wuppy dust mop variety than any real dog, the sort of which has not become so far removed from a gray wolf by countless generations of what can only be called ritualized animal abuse that it’s not any sort of self-respecting dog any more. …There may need to be more of that sentence. It’s late, my tummy hurts, and subclauses… subclauses are hard.
Anyway, I did what you would have done in the situation. I stood straight up, looked the guy RIGHT in the eye and said…
“The handle is for when I carry the backpack instead of the dog carrying it.”
And he said, (I kid you not!)
On the other hand, I talked to this one guy who had a life jacket for his li’l Chihuahua. It had a handle on it too. They used to use the handle to lift the little dog out of the river and back into their canoe, or more entertainingly, lift him out of the canoe in order to chuck him into the river when he was ready to swim. They weren’t being mean to him (Don’t be mean to animals. D.B.A.D.) ’cause the dog thought it was great. And the idea of a little goggle-eyed curling stone is funny to me.