*Author's note: I'm telling you, I can't make this shit up. I could try, but I would not succeed.
Dan decided to go drive up to <insert place I've never heard of and don't remember the name of> and spend the night camping with his parents, since the Mets game was cancelled due to Hurricane. This left me home alone for an evening of solitude and a good night's sleep (and because I refuse to spend another evening sitting around a campfire getting devoured by mosquitoes). He took Javi, our Pomeranian, with him, leaving Maisy (the pug) home with me.
(Sidebar: Since Dan has no children of his own and my boys are all grown up and gone, we've turned into those annoying middle-aged people who think their pets are human. Dan is way worse than I am, in my defense, probably because I actually do know that my dogs are not people. He calls himself "Daddy" and me "Mommy" when talking to the dogs and believes they understand every word we say. He even spells certain words in front of them. I know, I know... but either way, when he goes someplace he usually takes Javi, because *go ahead and laugh* Javi is a boy and needs guy time with Daddy. Really. He leaves Maisy with me because Maisy is a girl. Don't judge us.)
Anyway, I decided to take Maisy to the market so she could go for a ride and I would buy her (meaning me) a treat. As we walked out to the car Maisy, per usual, took that opportunity to take herself on a little jaunt up the street. This evening, however, she decided to mix it up a little and refuse to come back when I called her. Instead, she stood firmly rooted to the ground about three houses up, tail uncurled and hanging down, looking guilty but stubborn, waiting for me to come to her. (Because I always do. Sigh. I need a Dr. Phil intervention: "How's this workin' for you so far?") I scooped her fat little body up and carried all 18 lbs of stubborn puggy-ness back to my car, which is way easier said than done. (Maisy would rock at a civil right's protest. My girl has passive resistance down to a fine art form.)
Here's where it gets interesting:
As I was hauling Maisy down the street, an Amish buggy went cloppety-clopping by. I got slightly distracted (because yeah, I'm still not over my fascination with the Amish) and only paid slight attention to the car going the opposite way that slowed wayyyyyyy down as it passed me. They yelled something out the window but I was in the Amish zone and heard nothing but air whistling between my ears. ("Ooh! Horsie! Buggy! Girls in bonnets! Squeeee!")
I dumped Maisy in the car and pulled out behind the Amish, going about 10 miles an hour down the street towards the Big M. (Of course. Of course I was going to the Big M. When will I learn?) The car that had passed and yelled something flipped a U-turn and came up behind me, practically driving up my ass and honking their horn. Two small children were hanging out the window and bellowing.
"Why are they yelling and honking at the Amish?" I thought to myself. "What assholes!"
We continued on our little parade, the Amish in front, me in the middle, and the yelling, honking car behind me.
The Amish turned down the side street to the Big M, as did I, as did the yelling, honking car.
I expected them to stop by the Amish over in the Buggy Parking Area, so I kept an eye on my rear-view mirror to see what was going down. The only people in the buggy were two young girls in matching dresses, and the car was being driven by a youngish man and carrying several children. I was all ready to go bust a move and have their backs (the Amish's, that is) if something happened, because for some reason I have it in my head that they are pacifists (which may be totally wrong but I'm pretty sure I read that once in People magazine, or maybe it was Cosmo). (My purse weighs a friggin' ton and packs a wallop, just so you know. I would totally bash in someone's head for the Amish.)
But no... they kept going and parked next to me. Being an idiot, I got out of my car anyway. It was at this point that I finally tuned in to what the kids were yelling...
"THAT LADY STOLE OUR DOG! THAT LADY HAS OUR DOG! HEY LADY! GIVE US BACK OUR DOG!"
Because I'm not too quick on the uptake, I still didn't think they were talking to me. I mean, I knew I didn't have their dog... why would they be talking to me? Right?
Dad came bursting out of his car and tried to open my passenger side door, where Maisy was sitting.
So yeah, apparently they were talking to me.
Since I had already locked my car (thank you, Baby Jesus), the door didn't open. Maisy went ballistic, and I stood there like an idiot still wondering what the hell was going on.
Picture it, if you will: Small parking lot, small town local market, car full of screaming children insisting I'd stolen their dog, youngish man trying to rip my car door off the hinges, Maisy frothing at the mouth and barking her ass off...
It was bedlam.
As the crowd gathered (and by "crowd" I mean about 7 people, but still) I hit the panic button on my key fob, because, ya know? There just simply wasn't quite enough chaos at that exact moment..
And not one single person asked what was going on.
*BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP* *WOOF! WOOF! GROWLLLL* *GIVE US BACK OUR DOG!* *BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP*
Man: *panting and breathing heavily* "Is that your dog?"
Me: *barely able to speak because seriously, people... I thought I was going to have a heart attack and drop dead on the spot* "Yes!"
Man: *still panting and breathing heavily* "We were on our way home and saw you walking down the street carrying a pug... we thought you'd taken our dog."
Me: *shaking and trying not to embarrass myself by bursting into loud, shuddering, hiccuping sobs, complete with snot bubbles and smeared mascara* "Someone stole your pug?"
Man: *and here's the part that will leave you speechless, I swear* "No... not that I know of. We just saw you with the pug and thought you'd taken ours."
I. Kid. You. Not.
Anyway, some other stuff was said, a half-assed apology was offered, the kids still thought I'd stolen their dog, Maisy was beyond traumatized, and I knew the farthest I could walk without collapsing into tears would be the two steps back to my car.
So like any mature grown-up, I burst into tears and drove home.
I'm looking upon this as a message from the Universe:
Stay away from the Big M.