In Which the Author Takes the Dog Zippy For A Peaceful Stroll But Has A Panic Attack Instead
Town Lake isnâ€™t a lake. Itâ€™s a sort of dammed-up river that runs through the center of Austin. Itâ€™s damned good-looking, and Austinites enjoy damned good-looking stuff as much as the next guy, so there is a nature trail around it.
But how anybody can take a peaceful stroll on that hell-hole of a trail is beyond me. Iâ€™ve been to prison riots that were less stressful. Danger lurks around every turn. This is because, at Town Lake, at any given moment, there are an estimated 342,000 people, all with dogs and bikes, all gyrating wildly as though stricken with palsy, all dressed (rashly in some cases, if you ask me) in minimal clothing, all hurling themselves down that trail as though it were the final furlong at Belmont.
And of the teeming throng that repairs thither of a spring afternoon, I estimate that only 30% know how to behave themselves while wearing shorts in public. The rest of this multitude are either rolling strollerfuls of toddlers over your Adidas, or mowing you down with their $2000 titanium death-bikes, or failing to control the large, hysterical dogs they obviously keep cooped up all week while they work 16 hour days, in order to maximize their frightful behavior on weekends.
Iâ€™ve said it before and Iâ€™ll say it again. People are morons about dogs.
Last Sunday, however, as my well-behaved dog and I slinked warily amid the many-elbowed, keeping our heads down, you know, hoping to escape with our lives, I witnessed a heartwarming tableau. One of these large hysterical dogs I was telling you about lunged at us as though we were the last slab of bacon in Texas. As it lunged, its leash stretched out across the trail, creating a sort of trip-wire booby-trap. Comedy was in the air! The situation came speedily to a satisfying conclusion when the booby-trap unseated an oncoming cyclist, without ceremony.
Zippy and I toddled away unscathed, leaving the two injured parties to their remonstrances. We were happy as a couple of clams to have seen that bike asshole bust ass. Like so many of the cyclists infesting the trail, his bike had razors and spikes jutting out all over it, and he had left a trail of torn and bleeding joggers in his wake.
A dog trainer looking to drum up business could clean up if she just toddled down to Town Lake some weekend to hand out business cards.