It’s A Thing, You Know!

2 Jun


So I’m out walking one of our two dogs, Toby, aka Mister Mellow, and he’s on a long leash, minding his own business, sniffing grass, sniffing dog poop, that sort of thing, and I note a woman approaching us.  She is on the same sidewalk, so I guide Toby over into the street.

A mental picture if you will: I’m in the street, Toby on leash, Toby moves slightly over towards the woman, to check her out, new sniffing to be done, and as we pass each other I estimate Toby is about three feet from the woman, wagging his tail, quite happy to make a new friend.

And I hear these words:  “Your dog really isn’t practicing social distancing. He’s supposed to be six feet from humans.  Social distancing is a thing, you know.”

I don’t have the time to relate to you all the things I thought about saying. I do remember thinking this woman is lucky I’m not forty years younger, because my younger self was not nearly as forgiving and calm.

What did I say to her?  “Courtesy and paranoia are things too, you know.  Have a great day!”

Toby, he was pretty much unaffected by it all.

I was amused.


There are seven-point five billion people on this planet.  I was thinking about this the other day.  Every single one of those seven-point-five billion is living life right now. They are facing problems. They are having successes. They are laughing and crying and pondering and fretting. They are living a life which, to them, is pretty damned important. They are tucked into their own little universe, trying to traverse a bigger universe.  They are products of their lineage. Their DNA is wired in such a way as to make them unique among their species and yet quite similar.

It’s amazing we all don’t go to war daily when you think about it.  It’s really amazing to me we get along with anyone.

That woman I met? She obviously had an agenda. She was worried.  She was worried to the point of being a bit “over the top,” a bit paranoid, if you will, and she allowed that paranoia to cloud her thinking.

I’ve been there and done that.

The seventy-one year old Bill sees things a bit differently than the thirty-one year old Bill, and thank the gods for that small favor. I have mellowed considerably over the years. I like to think I’ve grown a bit wiser during that same span. I now have a muffler I can use to prevent my “instant thoughts” from escaping my lips, and that’s a good thing for all around me.

So I felt a bit bad for even saying what I said to her.

But I also felt justified and pleased.

We humans are complicated, you know!

Writers of the world, poets of the world, this is what we do.  We observe. We ponder. We reflect.  And we try our best to capture this thing called life with our words.


I started following this young woman’s blog the other day. She is fifteen years old and she writes about philosophical questions and dilemmas.  At fifteen I could barely spell “philosophical,” let alone ponder any philosophy.  It gives me hope, reading her thoughts.  Her name is Saania Sparkle . . . you can find her on Facebook if you’re interested, and that should lead you to her blog.

Wishing you all a brilliant day of capturing life with your words.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

40 Responses to “It’s A Thing, You Know!”

  1. Manatita, The Lantern June 2, 2020 at 1:54 pm #

    I have two questions to make us laugh, Bro. What did you say to that woman? Chuckle.

    Can you give me some tips on philosophy? haha. Actually, I might seek out that girl. There’s a Christian face here that appears like that of a kid, speaking about prayer. He says he grew up with it and swears by it. I encourage him. I really love when we support the aspiring young. Peace, Bro.

    • Billybuc June 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm #

      It’s all good, Bro! She was having a bad day, and I wasn’t feeling very Christian. lol We both survived the encounter a little wiser.

  2. Susan Zutautas June 2, 2020 at 1:59 pm #

    I’m not sure how I would have replied to that woman but I like how you handled it.

    Funny thing I just started following Saania Sparkle myself this week. When I saw her age I was like … what! 🙂

    Have a happy Tuesday, Bill!

    • Billybuc June 2, 2020 at 3:21 pm #

      That’s funny, Susan, that you just started follow Saania. How weird is that? Great minds follow the same path, me thinks. 🙂

      • Susan Zutautas June 3, 2020 at 1:09 pm #

        Us Libra’s have to stcik together 🙂

      • Billybuc June 3, 2020 at 1:32 pm #

        Amen to that, Sister!

  3. Janine Huldie June 2, 2020 at 3:20 pm #

    I also am really not sure how I would have replied. But I can say these times they are definitely strange and nothing normal about any of it right. Thanks for sharing this recent situation though. And will have to check out that young girl’s blog when I can now, as well. Have a fine Tuesday now, my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc June 2, 2020 at 3:24 pm #

      I wasn’t in a particular “giving” mood, Janine. I could have bit my tongue and said nothing. Oh well, I ain’t perfect, and we always knew that. 🙂 Happy Tuesday dear friend.

  4. marlenebertrand June 2, 2020 at 4:19 pm #

    It’s getting really scary out there. I would have been so angry with that woman that I would have had to say nothing at all for fear that my lesser known character traits would have been on full display. Nobody wants to see that. Anyway, it’s Tuesday… another day in this crazy world.

    • Billybuc June 2, 2020 at 4:45 pm #

      Another crazy day for sure, Marlene. I was pretty mild, I must say. She is so lucky that wasn’t Bill of long ago. 🙂 I can be a bit sarcastic when I set my mind to it.

      Be well dear friend.

  5. divalounger June 2, 2020 at 5:00 pm #

    Thank the stars for wisdom. It is a gift not everyone has. Hope you are well and safe

    • Billybuc June 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm #

      I am, Audrey, thank you! People are frightened. They don’t always act normally under stressful situations. Happily I realized that fact before I spoke to this woman. My wisdom is not always a thing, you know. lol

  6. William Kovacic June 2, 2020 at 5:34 pm #

    I think, Bill, I still have a bit of that 31-year-old in me. I’m glad you handled it the way you did. If I may say so, this whole COVID thing is blown out of proportion. People need to take a chill pill and relax. Stay well, my friend!

    • Billybuc June 3, 2020 at 2:43 pm #

      I’m with you on the relaxing thing, Bill! We will get through this. We are tough enough to handle anything.

  7. 1authorcygnetbrown June 2, 2020 at 5:46 pm #

    I have been talking with a number of young people lately (under the age of 31, incidentally) and I think quite a few of them have good heads on their shoulders. I think that if we can get through this crisis that this country is now having and they are able to get a chance to get control, I really think they have hope!

    • Billybuc June 3, 2020 at 2:42 pm #

      I hope so, Donna! I really do!

  8. Shauna L Bowling June 2, 2020 at 6:01 pm #

    Bill, slap my mouth, but what you said to that woman just may have caused her to step back and think about what she said. For one thing, domestic pets can’t pass COVID-19. For another, she t was just being flat out cranky. But, you’re probably right. She’s over it all and needed to find someone to unload on. Perhaps she lives alone and is more isolated than most.

    I had to think about your 7.5 billion humans statement. With the pandemic having already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, I wonder what that number really is today?

    Have a great week, Bill. Keep on being you and don’t let the crank pots get you down!

    • Billybuc June 3, 2020 at 2:37 pm #

      Sha, I don’t even know what the birthrate is these days. I suspect we can make up those deaths pretty quickly around the world.

      You are right about pets and COVID-19…they simply cannot pass it on to humans. But fear will do that to people, and I understand that.

      I think next time I”ll just smile and say “have a nice day.” That’s safe, right? lol

  9. nightlake June 3, 2020 at 3:26 am #

    Though I can’t see how a pet would follow human rules, I am glad you didn’t say anything much to her. Fear makes people do strange things. Some people are over the top and others act as though everything is normal. Let us see when this pandemic ends. Hope you have a great day!

    • Billybuc June 3, 2020 at 1:38 pm #

      That’s the thing about fear: it can bring a strong human to their knees and turn their bowels to Jello. It will happen to all of us, and it would serve me well to remember that.

  10. Lawrence Hebb June 3, 2020 at 7:59 am #

    The last few weeks I’ve been able to look at a few important things in life, at least I think they are!
    Being ‘knocked for six’ (forgive the cricket analogy but hitting a six in cricket is like hitting a home run, so being knocked for it, we’ll I’ll leave that to your imagination) has left me thinking about the way people reacted.
    It’s made me appreciate where people are coming from.

    • Billybuc June 3, 2020 at 1:37 pm #

      I hear ya, Lawrence. I hear ya!

      Glad you are back, my friend. Thank you!

  11. phoenix2327 June 3, 2020 at 8:13 am #

    Good Morning, Bill.

    Maybe it’s the misanthrope in me talking, but I don’t think what you said to the lady was out of line. Maybe your witty response was the shot of reality she needed to reappraise her thinking. I like to think so.

    Yesterday, I was taking a walk around the neighbourhood when I was approached by a lovely Dogue de Bordeaux (the dog from ‘Turner and Hooch’). He was so adorable I couldn’t help but coo over how gorgeous he was. His owner was all apologies and tried to call him back, but he was too busy making friends and ignored her. (Is that what Toby does on your walks?) Eventually, he returned to his owner’s side and we went our merry way. Totally made my day.

    People are a complicated lot but that’s why they’re such great fodder when it comes to writing. Imagine if we were all the same. There would only be seven books in the world because that’s how many stories there are.

    Have a great day, Bill.

    • Billybuc June 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm #

      All true, Zulma! I have a history of saying things without a filter. I try to work on that, and perhaps I should have given it a ten count before speaking. Oh well, another lesson in life for me to learn. There sure seems to be a lot of those lessons. 🙂 Not sure I have the time.

      Striker says to have a great day, so I’m passing it along to you.

      • phoenix2327 June 4, 2020 at 8:05 am #

        Striker said that? OMG, am I being targeted?!

      • Billybuc June 4, 2020 at 1:39 pm #

        Striker’s got your back, Zulma. No worries!

  12. Shannon Henry June 4, 2020 at 8:58 pm #

    Your response might have seemed harsh to that woman, but it’s not wrong and it seems fair, given the rudeness of her initial comment. My dog likes to bolt out of the house and say hi to all the neighbors he knows and bark at those he doesn’t. He’s a real pain in the ass, but animals don’t know they can also get sick. Besides, isn’t it rare for pets to catch it?

    • Billybuc June 4, 2020 at 9:39 pm #

      Thanks Shannon! Yes, it is almost unheard of that an animal can give the virus. She had a better chance of catching it as it blew in the wind from a block away. Oh well, she’s lucky I have matured a bit. lol

      • Shannon Henry June 5, 2020 at 2:48 am #

        I, on the other hand, am a lot more likely to speak my mind and say something like you did than I used to be when I was younger. Seems to worsen or improve, depending on how you look at it, the older I get. Maturity is a matter of opinion, maybe? LOL

      • Billybuc June 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm #

        Agreed! I wonder how she would view it? lol

  13. Andrea Stephenson June 5, 2020 at 1:56 pm #

    It’s interesting the way people deal with the same situation. I’m never quite sure whether to keep my dog well away from people or not – some people still want to pet him, while others don’t!

    • Billybuc June 5, 2020 at 2:22 pm #

      It’s a tough call, Andrea. Most of the people in our neighborhood know our dogs and are fine petting them. Evidently this woman didn’t get the memo. lol Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend.

  14. AntiSocial June 6, 2020 at 11:42 pm #

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud today!

    • Billybuc June 7, 2020 at 2:11 pm #

      It was my pleasure. Laughing…it’s a thing, you know!

  15. SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️ June 7, 2020 at 5:20 pm #

    Nice blog!

  16. Damyanti Biswas June 9, 2020 at 2:06 pm #

    Social distancing with Toby, now who’d want that?

    • Billybuc June 9, 2020 at 4:12 pm #

      Exactly Damyanti! My thoughts as well. 🙂

  17. Sarah Potter Writes June 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

    I have a very wise and kind granddaughter who will be 18 next month. She loves animals. She is especially gifted at working with people with dementia. I am very proud of her. As for the woman on the sidewalk — I find myself getting quite wound up by runners who have no idea of social distancing, but it is just fear that causes my stress. Fear, because if I was unlucky enough to contract the virus and end up on a ventilator, I wouldn’t do too well with a BMI of 18, taking into account how much muscle mass you lose each day while ventilated. Also, my husband is in a high risk group, so I don’t want to take the virus home to him. So I expect your woman on the sidewalk had issues of her own.

    Today, my grocery delivery man said, “I hear you have a lovely dog. Can I see her?” My dog was so thrilled that somebody actually wanted to make a fuss of her, as she’s been wondering why everybody has been socially distancing from her that used to previously give her a great deal of attention. The delivery man said that if he has had a bad day, a few minutes spent in a dog’s company will cheer him up totally.

    • Billybuc June 18, 2020 at 1:42 pm #

      Sarah, the grocery delivery man is a man I would like.

      Your granddaughter has a heart of gold.

      As for the woman I encountered on the walk, I need to practice more patience and remember that everyone has a story to tell, and that story often dictates their actions. Just because I don’t know their story doesn’t mean it isn’t real to them. 🙂

      Happy Thursday my friend. Hugs coming your way!

      I’m enjoying your book!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: