The softest thing under heaven
gallops triumphantly over
The hardest thing under heaven.
Who needs action when you got words?
The Meat Puppets
A couple years ago, my dog friend Fargo and I were taking a late night walk in the Park Avenue neighborhood of Rochester NY—not to be confused with that other Park Ave. somewhere else in NY state...I was looking after him while his human roommate was out of town...or he was looking after me...probably a bit of both. Anyway, we were over near some bars where college kids hang out, and, there in the back parking lot of one, a college guy and girl were grappling with some violence, as she—kind of a classic sorority girl—was trying to get away, and he—kind of a classic jock—wasn’t letting her, was holding on tight, in fact, as she struggled to escape.
This created a bit of a quandary. I’m really not the kinda guy who gets into street fights, especially not with drunk jock types slightly more than half my age who could easily kick my ass. Then, I also like to think that I’m not the kinda guy who’s gonna keep walking while a girl gets assaulted. I had to do something—though, preferably, something other than simply taking her place as his object of brutality. So...I stood there...for a minute or two....
Then, however, she, still in his drunken grip, turned to me. Tell him to let go of me! she shrieked.
It sounded like a plan. So...I, in a soft, calm voice, said let go of her.
And here’s the weird part: he did—almost as soon as I’d said that, she was released from his grip and walking rapidly across the street, while he, galumphing like some old Hollywood Frankenstein monster, followed. So she turned to me again, yelling tell him to leave me alone! And I, ever valiant, in the same soft, calm voice, said leave her alone.
And then—seriously—you can ask the dog about this—the guy stopped in his tracks like a trained bear, pivoted, and walked away.