Anyway, ok. I had an absolutely amazing weekend at Grassroots - camping out, checking out loads of bands, eating amazing food, chilling with my friends, swimming in the creek, dancing up a storm, making new dancing friends at the klezmer show and the swing night, and getting Derek to teach me how to properly throw a football. People arrive and enter a totally different lifestyle and I take to it immediately and have a hard time remembering that I have any responsibilities in life other than keeping my money securely on my person, and trying to get to the shower trailer before they run out of hot water.
However, prior to getting there I had to confront the fact that it has only taken me a few years of city living to make me terrified of the country - specifically the isolation. Getting lost in sleepy towns that look so deserted for all I know they have succumbed to a zombie attack, having no cell reception, finding myself in places so remote that no one could hear me scream - not my idea of a good time. I think about how country folk are so paranoid of the city, but they weren't in my neighborhood that Sunday evening when the first floor got broken into, and my neighbor chased the robber out into the street in her nightgown - and within seconds we were all on our porches, and within minutes my other neighbors had called our landlord and the cops had barricaded both ends of the street and were going on a manhunt in the backyards. I am a big fan of living within earshot and counting on quick deployment.
This brings us circuitously to the Pitbull Story. I went to stay at Uncle Rob & Lisa's 60-acre farm in upstate NY on my way to the festival. At dinner they got to talking about the pitbulls across the street. They are owned by a farmer who runs a butcher shop out of his home. He's got a daughter who's Sydney's age. One day Syd was over there standing in the kitchen and Moet, the black pitbull (one of six or so), walked over to her and bit her in the leg for absolutely no reason. So she ran home and Lisa called up the mother all frantic and asked if the dog had its rabies shots. She assured her it had.
Fast forward a few months. Another neighbor lady went to the house to pick up her daughter and was attacked by Moet, who bit her thigh so badly she needed 12 stitches and PLASTIC SURGERY. Sooo, the woman brought these people to court, and my uncle testified against the dog. The owner offered to have the dog put down, but then the bleeding heartandleg lady said nononononono, don't kill the wittew doggie woggums, just have her leashed. So the judge ruled that the dog had to be on a leash of a certain thickness at all times. Incidentally, during the court proceedings it came to light that the woman totally lied about the rabies shot - and as you may be aware, if a person starts to show symptoms of rabies, it is 100% fatal. So I think the owners should be locked up right along with the dog. (Seriously, the rabies thing is what really gets me. Sydney could be DEAD because that woman lied. If that dog is going around biting everything that moves, it could contract rabies at any time from an animal on the property and no one would know until it dropped dead - or until one of its victims did.)
Early Friday morning I leave their house to go for a run. I turn right out of Uncle Rob's driveway and am suddenly face to face with two pitbulls across the street, both UNLEASHED barking their damn heads off. One is the legendary black one. I had time to think, oh shit, I know who YOU are. And that's about all the time I had before Moet started to charge me. I didn't have time to be scared, I didn't have time for any articulate thought beyond, YOU HAVE TO KICK IT IN THE HEAD. I started running backwards shouting BACK! BACK! my ipod flew out of my hand, and then I started screaming bloody murder as this little fucker was FLYING at me. Like, it looked like a damn panther it was so fast, and I'm watching it gaining on me and all four of its legs were off the ground. It chased me well into U Rob's driveway, and then miracle of miracles, it stopped. And ran back. Thank fucking Christ.
Seriously, it all happened so fast that it took time for my emotions to catch up with me. My brain went all quiet and I felt like I was watching the whole thing happen to somebody else. I didn't get the shakes until a good 10 minutes later. But the freaky thing to imagine is if it had been a kid running to the edge of the driveway - anyone pitbull-size could have been torn to pieces. I cannot believe that dog hasn't been put down. Get me a gun and I'll do it myself.