Friday, February 17, 2012

conflict boots staring

Posted by Picasa Quite a fan of pictograms like this one which  accompanies the slogan "Keep dogs on leads", but I am puzzled by the brisk pace of the dog walker and the dog's static position. The question I ask myself is, how long before the man treads on the dog? Such an outcome seems inevitable in view of the dog's apparent interest in something remote and  its obvious reluctance to move forward.

It has been weeks since I have ventured into the kitchen garden. A rise in the temperature, pigeons cooing and a gauzy quality in the sky drives me to pull out my garden boots, put away last November in a plastic bag and caked with mud. The mud has dried and is easy to scrape off with a knife.With the mud goes all the stuffiness  the indoor-iness of winter. I breathe deeply and dig the last section of the last vegetable bed to be turned over, fill the wheel barrow with several  loads of compost and dump them on the soil to be spread and dug in.  The exercise is good. Birds are stirring.

In the opticians rows and rows of glasses arranged side by side on shelves stare out, cold and expressionless. They see nothing. They are hungry for eyes.


The Crow said...

That last paprgraph, especially, really caught my ear. That line, "They are hungry for eyes.", was superb!

DuchessOmnium said...

How do you feel about written instructions? One is not sure how best to respond to the information that "Dogs must be carried on escalators". What if I find myself without a dog?

Tom said...

Ah! but you see, that's not a real dog. That's a representation of K9 without his wheels. (Why complicate things huh?) And K9 isn't pulling on its lead; its being pushed by a sturdy stick, forsooth.

Don't have a problem with dogs on escalators. We're already prepared. My problem in France is crossing a road when the pedestrian lights are on green - which just happens to coincide with traffic lights on green also. It's a case of being amongst the quick or the dead.

Lucas said...

It is curious that your post on glasses has co-incided with Joyce losing hers. We have searched everywhere we can think of. She hasn't had them for 24 hours, and they must be getting quite peckish by now.

Lucy said...

That reminds me of a collie I had years ago, who once saw someone pushing an empty pushchair on the other side of the park and, to his eyes at that distance, this was obviously an identical shape to a medium-sized dog pulling on lead. He set off briskly, tail a-wag, in 'off-to-make-a-new-friend' mode, only to realise his mistake half-way, and nonchalantly veer off as though he never had any such notion...

(e-mail half written!)

CC said...

Last paragraph.... quite wonderfully put.

Unknown said...

Tom and Lucy Do you know James Thurber's Owl in the Attic, where there is an agony column for humans with animal problems.
Q No one has been able to tell us what kind of dog we have. I am enclosing a sketch of one of his two postures. He only has two. The other one is the same as this except he faces in the opposite direction. Mrs Eugenia Black.
A I think that what you have is a cast-iron lawn dog. The expressionless eye and the rigid pose are characteristic of metal lawn animals. And that is certainly a cast-iron ear. You could, however, remove all doubts by means of a simple test with a hammer and a cold chisel, or an acetylene torch. If the animal chips, or melts, my diagnosis is correct.

The Crow Cheers.

Lucas the last time I lost my glasses, Heidi lost hers too. It transpired that we were wearing each others.

CC Cheers.

Duchess Your question prompts another post in Now's the time today.

Roderick Robinson said...

I'm sure Thurber would have written about this dog and the way its attitude wilfully differs from that of its master. But I'm surprised to hear you're in favour of pictograms. I never think about them when they're accompanied by text but frequently feel menaced when required to decode their meaning unassisted. Different-gender lavatories are a case in point. For a reason I could never fathom the symbols for Man and Woman have drawn closer and closer to similarity, to the point where I became genuinely nervous about making the right choice. And these are official symbols, arrived at internationally to cope with illiteracy. However it was also possible to buy more realistic plates to stick on different doors, implying that the voiding of one's waste products would occur under swankier circumstances. Fatally, the man was dressed in a loose flowing Armani suit that could be taken for a dress as two metres distance. My impression was we weren't making things easier for illiterates, but more difficult for those with a smattering of language.