Gregory hated a few things in life, although this didn’t make him an unhappy person. He just found it good to discharge unwanted feelings. He hated the way the black part of his toast broke off. He also became rather annoyed in the morning when he had to reach for the fridge, and his arm got in the way of the radio reception. On this list he added barking dogs, crying babies, corrupted hard drives, computer viruses, golf, bugs in the basement, fat people and the Chinese.
Gregory seemed content with everything else, or he at least coped with it. The mornings always brought there own set of difficulties. This very morning he was confronted with two of his pet hates: barking dogs and crying babies.
Mr. Tweedle walked to the park this Tuesday morning. He walked past dogs who assumed he was a misplaced tree, and barked at him. Previously he’d been told to freeze when a wild animal confronted you. He’d done this twice, the first time the dog tried to have sex with his leg, and second he been urinated on. Now on every other occasion (despite his instincts) he continued to walk.
Gregory thought dogs to be the most idiotic domesticated animal. A cat could at least choose where to pee, and a budgie could make a pleasant chirrup. A dog could only bark, roll in the mud and decide to share its mud-rolling experience with you.
Gregory came upon Johnson who was gazing a little earnestly at the ducks on the pond. As usual he had he pencil poised and roughly sketched and scribbled.
“Why the fuck are you staring at ducks?”
His voice thinned out to a squeak when he asked questions.
“I’m studying them. An’ why you making such a big noise this morning?” He small eyes poked out his glasses like a cartoon character.
“Um, you’re sitting gob smacked by flapping feathered things on the water.”
“Yes well, I think the ones near the reeds eat differently, an’ fly less.”
Gregory sat down next to Johnson on the park bench. He too was now in danger of staring at the water a little too intently. He took out the paper.
“I’ve always found it strange how parks attract people,” Johnson began.
“You’ll find the most mismatched people, walking around feeding the ducks an’ doing bugger all. It almost like people want to stand on the little patch of green they can find, even if it means shagging on it at night.”
More pencil scratches followed.
“And why ducks?”
“It’s the most harmless of creatures you’ll find in a pond ecosystem. Others get bigger and messier with things.”
“They also make a nice squawk, if you get close enough to kick one,” Gregory couldn’t resist and killed the serenity with a comment.