I’m fine! The rest of you need therapy.
LA is a city where weirdness is a sport. We undertake weirdness in a sort of maniacal way, as if to say, “I’m weird, therefore I exist,” and as we all know, our existential angst goes far deeper than that bottle (or two) of wine at dinner last night.
Here, paleo vegans with addictions to soy chai hold-the-milk lattes compete with ambitiously yoga-ing, warrior-posing, new mamas in Lululemon armor. People can’t drive for shit, but those Ferraris and Lambos are not going to drive themselves so away we go into the seven-lane-wide freeway traffic. And, here too, massive donkey-sized dogs go to therapy because someone decided that massive, donkey-sized dogs need therapy. They’re animals just like us.
And so in this wonderfully weird city, we were riding along the beach last weekend when we stopped for a breather, a screamer really. Our daughter wasn’t happy with lounging in a bike trailer with gourmet snacks in one hand and child-appropriate libations in the other, as her father lugged the bike trailer along for 15 miles.
As we, somewhat weirdly, tried to pacify her with promises of kale at dinner, we noticed a dog barking hysterically across a small street from us. Now, a dog barking is no big deal. Except, this Burmese Mountain Dog looked like it could take down a sumo wrestler.
There’s really no word to describe the dog’s distress, except maybe: suicidal. At first we didn’t pay attention, but once our daughter stopped auditioning for The Voice, we realized that all this barking was directed at us, specifically at my husband (let’s call him D.). Stupefied into submission, we stared at the straining leash, wondering how that skinny pink rope can hold off the beast.
The dog’s owner, a tiny, gray-haired woman, proudly waived her weirdness freak-flag. By way of apologizing for all this barking, she ventured to explain to us that Tiny (for that was the dog’s name) was kidnapped not long ago by a man bearing a strong resemblance to my husband and his black baseball cap. Therefore, Tiny wasn’t fond of light-haired men with black baseball caps, and — given the opportunity — may or may not want to rip them to pieces.
But, she hastened to add, there is no need to worry. Tiny was just back from her therapy session that dealt, amongst other things, her “feelings” around the kidnapping, and the barking was her way of relieving stress.
We didn’t stick around to find out whether barking helped Tiny reach a zen-like state. We quietly awarded Tiny and her owner five stars for weirdness in LA and moved on to new, and weirder, adventures.