Pet Peeves


Artsy Kind of Guy

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

I’m not by nature and artsy kind of guy. But the other day I fell into it. I took my morning walk to have a cup of coffee at Main Beach boardwalk. Scratch that. The dog took me. If you go by Fitbit, it’s a one mile and half walk to town or about 30 minutes from my place. But the dog does not go straight. I get upset about it everyday. My wife says I should calm down. The dog is just being a dog. But I don’t think so. I watch other dogs. To prove my wife wrong, I secretly put a Fitbit on the dog’s collar to find out. Here was our walk route. You be the judge.

We went out the door. Half way down our front sidewalk, the dog turned around at a missed smell. Several minutes passed. Then off the sidewalk and we encounter the first meet and greet. Lots of barking. Lots of sniffing. Leashes get tangled. Then it’s a “Have a nice day” parting. Go a block and it’s another meet and greet. My dog is not interested. He makes a beeline for the owner’s pockets. The owner gives him all the treats in his pocket in order to get away. There wasn’t a “Have a nice day” parting from him. We’re off to the second block. Here my wife points out a black cat. The dog goes bonkers. My wife loves it. Both are having the time of their lives. I’m screaming, “Watch out. Car, car, car.” We barely avoid being hit. They turn and give me the look, “What?” On to block three through 20: pooping, barking, going backwards, eating sidewalk garbage, eight more meet and greets, ten “Oh, what kind of dog is it?” more pooping, 55 mark your territories and we’re there. Ta-da.

I don’t feel like coffee. I need a stiff drink. The wife says no and swats my nose. She heads into Starbucks. I check out the dog’s Fitbit. We have traveled 5 miles in 2 hours. Double ta-da. My wife exits Starbucks and informs the dog that we are heading for Main Beach boardwalk to see the “Art & Nature” Exhibit and to have her coffee and the dog’s treat. Nothing for me. I shouldn’t have screamed, “Watch out. Car, car, car.” It upset the walk for everybody.

We get to the boardwalk and find a seat. She explains the exhibit to me. It’s called “¼ Mile Arc” and was done by Phillip K. Smith III. Sponsored by the Laguna Art Museum, Smith’s work is described as, “A site-specific installation that continues his exploration of perception, light, geometry, and time. The arc forms a visible marker between the man made and natural worlds and reflects the changing colors of the ocean, sky and shoreline throughout the day and night.” My wife takes a sip of coffee. I’m lost in thought over why I didn’t get a treat. She wipes her mouth. “Well, what do you think of the art display?” I haven’t heard a word she has said. “I, ahh, like it. It’s lots of mirrors, right? Sunbathers catch their reflections in them. Oops, maybe too much reflection there. Everyone is leaving. I see the artist’s point. When 6 million tourists weigh in too much on Laguna’s natural beauty, it’s bye, bye and “Have a nice day.”

I’ll bet Smith has a dog, too.


Crantz tells the Indy that the trip home was eight miles in three hours, just in time for happy hour.



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