Of Airport Elevators and Australian Cattle Dogs

When Hubby & I were first married, one of the requirements of a program we were piloting* was to have a golden retriever and buy it high-end dog food from one of those boutique pet stores.  Check and…check!

What was particularly fun about the pet store we frequented was that it had a pet!  See – fun, right?!  The pet was one of those Australian Cattle Dogs.  You know the type: coarse, mottled fur; looks like it’s made out of two different dogs fused together in the Frankensteinerator; mad herding instinct that cannot be domesticated out of it.

As soon as you walked into the store, the dog would come over and herd you in.  To the store you were already coming in to anyway.

It would just get behind you and follow you down whichever aisle you were going to and then, when it was convinced you were safely on your way to your destination, it would break off and go back to the door to await its next herding assignment.

Well, when I was coming home from a recent trip to Cal-i-for-Nigh-Ay, I encountered a man who TOTALLY reminded me of that Australian Cattle Dog.  He was waiting outside the parking garage elevator.  Anxious to help move forward a process-which-was-already-moving-forward.

His physical characteristics had nothing to do with why he struck me as Dog Man.  Rather, it was the herding mannerism which kicked in when a bunch of travelers walked up and the elevator arrived.

Dog Man turns to everyone in the general vicinity and announces that the elevator is here and asks who’s getting on.  Like allofasudden he’s Elevator Welcoming and Loading Committee or unnecessary herding dog or something.  We’re all here, Dog Man, because we were already committed to the elevator process in some way.  But thanks for asking.  The other travelers straggle on and give Dog Man – who somehow teleported from outside the elevator to INSIDE the elevator and is now manning the number panel – their floor numbers.  I’m also in the elevator by now but I know of the top-secret SECOND number panel on the OTHER side of the door, so I just press my OWN floor number thankyouverymuch!  Having spent the last three hours sharing half my airplane seat with a bobbing, weaving stranger https://newstayathomemom.com/?p=2523 I am no longer interacting with humans at this point.

We get to Floor 4.  And the doors open.  And no one gets off.  Uh…

Dog Man turns to a particularly loopy lady whose head remains attached to her shoulders only by grace of the bohemian scarf she has wrapped three times around her gullet and says, “This is 4.  You asked for 4.  Are you getting off now?  Who else is getting off?!”  Oh my gosh, he memorized everyone’s floor number?!?  Yikes.  Someone is super committed to elevator running.  Unless he just wants her OUT already!  ‘Cause I know I want her OUT already so I can go home.  Get OFF, LaLaLoopsy!  In fact, EVERYONE off!!

When the elevator is finally empty, it’s just the two of us.  And he’s staring at me manning my Control Panel for One like I’m a rival for Elevator Person of the Year.  Hey, Homeslice.  You were the one who was herding people you didn’t need to be herding.  So don’t give me that look.  To defray the tension, out loud I say, “I’m just tryin’ to get home so I appreciate you keeping everyone on track.”

He gives me a relieved smile.  And then ding!  The elevator door slides open.  I pretend to look around, like there’s lots of people still on and yell, “Everyone OFF!” making Let’s Go!/Come on! motions with my hands.  Hee-hee, me funny.  We chuckle as we head down the aisles of cars.  He’s subtly following behind me.  Until he breaks off.  I didn’t actually see where he went.  But I suspect he went back to the elevator. 


*We were part of the DINK pilot program.  Do you remember that yuppie term that came into popularity in the late 80’s/early 90’s?  Dual Income No Kids??  It turns out that unbeknown to us, we were actually part of the DINKY program.  Surprise!  Dual Income No Kids…YET!  And an even bigger surprise??  We are now part of the SITCOM program – single income, two children, outrageous mortgage.  SURPRISE!!!!   

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