—Tour de Cranky McCranky Pants (Not Spandex Shorts, but Real Pants)
A: My goodness, Monsieur or Madame McCranky Pants. I am glad that you e-mailed me instead of, say, reaching for your Magnum or a lead pipe. The hot weather is taking its toll on everyone, but you, my dear, are in serious trouble of overheating. Let's take a few calming breaths together. Ahhhhhh. Better? Good. Let us proceed.
First, let me offer you some validation. For some reason, every July a French bicycle race gets a certain subset of folks all fired up here in Texas. They lose their minds, encase their bodies in stretchy fabric, pump up their wee skinny tires, strap on a yellow wristband, and pedal away until their legs fall off. They think they are virtuous. They think they are hotties. Conversely, they also think they're too cool to follow the rules of bicycle safety. In fact, they are just sweaty scofflaws wanking away on spindly bits of metal and rubber. Okay?
But here's the thing, Cranky. As much as they annoy you, you can't run them over. It would not be good for them, for you, for your car, or for the dogs seated so patiently in the backseat. In this heat, the last thing you need to do is have an accident while driving to Dog Park. Not only will you crash your car and ruin your day, but you just know that those pesky cyclists certainly will not stop to render aid because it would ruin their times and muss up their Spandex jerseys. And the sirens of the ambulance and fire truck (summoned by a friendly, neighborhood dog walker) will upset your animals. You will miss work. Your dogs will miss Park. It's a no-win situation.
So, my friend, the short answer is this: Simply think of the dogs and drive carefully. Don't honk. Don't shake your fist. Be a good role model for your canines. Demonstrate patience and kindness toward lower forms of life. Explain to your pooches that cyclists are like rabbits or squirrels. You want to chase them, but they will only lead you down a hole or up a tree, and then where will you be? Looking silly and out of place. The Dog Parkist also recommends being prepared. Before heading out the the Park, put that CD you won't admit owning—Pachelbel's Canon or Kenny G—in the car stereo. Crank the A/C on its coldest setting. Clutch an icy Big Gulp between your pale, flabby thigh muscles. Do whatever it takes to be cool in both body and spirit and auto. Thanks for writing!
Dear Readers: We are aware that the weather is hot enough to melt a keyboard, but the Dog Parkist still wants to hear from you. Remember, your ignorance is what inspires her to get out of bed in the morning. Ta!