Thursday, March 23, 2006

One of Those Days

I'm having one of those days. Not the really bad kind, but the kind when very strange things are happening.

On my walk from the office to the train this morning, a stranger stopped me and asked if I had a cell phone. As it happens he wanted me to call the police to report a duck that was dying on the sidewalk after being hit by a car.

I dug out the cell phone and called 411 for the non-emergency number for the police station while silently wishing I'd paid more attention while pheasant hunting to how our guide quickly dispatched the birds with a twirl. The operator told me there were several results for non-emergency police numbers for the loop, so I asked for animal control trying to zero in on who I really wanted to speak with.

As I was standing amidst a steady stream of commuters trying to get a number, the stranger disappeared...thanks dude, thanks very much.

The operator finally connected me with animal control, but the message told me that if I was calling about spaying or neutering a pet I should call.... Marvelous, not exactly what I had in mind.

Fortunately, a street sweeper was roaring along the road about the same time I met with this result, and I waved for his attention and pointed at the duck. He waved back and nodded his head, which I decided to take to mean he would take responsibility for the situation and I was officially off the hook. More likely he thought I was just pointing it out to make sure he didn't "miss a spot".

Throughout all of this the duck hadn't twitched. I contemplated picking the poor thing up quickly by its head and attempting to recreate the twist I'd seen our guides perform so many years ago. Then I contemplated the absurdity of standing in the middle of a city street and swinging a duck by its head. I pictured myself attempting this act of mercy, and then I imagined the horrified looks of passersby who didn't have the full story. Ultimately, I decided to let nature take its course (if it hadn't already). R.I.P. little duck.

This was not the only strange event of the day. When I arrived at the office, a section of it was dark despite the lights being turned on. It would seem a fuse had blown.

It's just one of those days.

Thanks for reading.


dcpeg said...

Sounds about right for a Thursday. Glad you decided not to dispatch the duck. Conscience can be so cruel sometimes, even when one thinks one is doing the humane thing. Reminded me of a time I came across a woman choking on a hot dog she'd bought from a street vendor. She looked to be homeless and had dried mucus caked under her nose. When I couldn't get her mouth open in preparation for the Heimlich maneuver, I was relieved to hear the ambulance approaching. Years later I still feel bad about my reaction to this poor woman. At least I got the man with her to stop slapping her. . .sigh

Kaya said...