“No Way” Street

Feb. 13 9:30 a.m.

I woke up this morning (well, woke up is a matter of opinion) with a fairly decent attitude considering that I hate mornings and usually am very cranky. I followed the usual routine — cup of coffee, check emails, try to wake from my semi-stupor. It always seems to take me forever to wake up and become fully functional in the morning.

After an hour or so, I decided to walk a dog I am presently boarding as this dog just does not want to do her business in our back yard – which is very inconvenient as I have to walk this dog at all hours and it’s been uncharacteristically cold here lately (plus I have to get up earlier than usual which is the real pisser).

So, I took this leashed dog, “Jenny” (a mini Australian shepherd), down the street where I live, “A Street,”* and instead of following my usual route, I decided to venture up “B Street,”* a street that I haven’t trekked in a while. *Both streets renamed for anonymity’s sake

I walked Jenny to the end of “B” Street (it’s a dead end) and when I was about half way back down the street, I noticed someone backing their car out of a driveway, so I stopped and waited for them to do so. I let the dog sniff some bushes and watched as the car took an inordinately long time to back onto the street. The car finally headed down the street but right before it got to “A” Street, the woman driver put the car in reverse, seemingly backing right toward me. Sure enough, when I was alongside her car, the passenger’s window came down (there was a little girl in the passenger seat). The woman driving leaned over and said in a terse voice “This is a PRIVATE street, you can’t walk your dog here.” I stood there for a few seconds too shocked to answer, completely surprised at her anger. I finally just said “OK,” and paused before adding “You know, I’ve lived on “A” Street for decades and I’ve walked down “B” Street countless times without any problems.” (Yes, I used the routine, old-person excuse that makes it OK to do anything if you’ve been doing it all your long life.) She replied “Well, it IS a PRIVATE street and even though it’s not posted, you cannot use it.” I came back with “Well, it should be posted then.” She then drove off in a huff in her overpriced, glorified Toyota (Lexus SUV).

I did have a bag of dog poop in my hand so this “bitch” should have known I wasn’t letting Jenny shit all over “her private street” so I had a feeling that this woman may have felt I looked suspicious or something. Of course I was looking my best, in a pair of dirty, dog-fur festooned sweats and an old knit cap covering my matted hair and since it still was semi-early in the morning, I most likely looked like a zombie (hopefully I wasn’t gnashing my teeth). I also have a bad knee and was dragging my right leg around and hunched over like Quasimodo. I started to think that perhaps there was some validity in her suspicion of me.

Anyway, I hurried back to the house and did a quick Google search on private streets (didn’t find much but did find a website that said private streets are accessible to the public). After that, I called the main phone number for our county offices/departments to see if there was a specific department “official” who could tell me if “B” Street was “private.” I was referred to the sheriff’s office and talked to a clerk who checked for a few minutes and then told me that according to their records “B” Street was NOT a private street and I could walk there any time I wanted. YES!

I then wrote a note to the bitchy woman who told me not to walk on “B” Street and put it under her door mat (thankfully she wasn’t home). I know that seems passive/aggressive but I prefer written words to spoken words (I usually freeze up or say something stupid and of course, I always think of countless witty/sarcastic things to say after the fact).

My note read as follows:

Feb. 13, 2013

Note to resident informing me of “B” Street’s “private” status:

I spoke to the county sheriff’s office this morning and they informed me that according to their records, “B” Street is not a private street.

If you are worried about my dog leaving its business on anyone’s lawn, please be advised that I am a conscientious dog owner and always clean up after my dog.

If you want more information regarding private streets, and in particular “B” Street’s status, please contact the county sheriff’s office.

Thank you,
A Resident of “A” Street

P.S. Posting a sign does not make a street “private” otherwise lots of people probably would be posting “private” signs on their streets.

I was thinking about walking Jenny on “B” Street this evening, but I thought I’d give it a couple of days before once again depriving the “B” Street residents of their coveted “privacy.”

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