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Well, you're a renter, so your answer is technically true, though perhaps neither as direct as one of your alternatives nor as entertaining as "It's not my dog."

I wish my imp of the perverse worked more on the "It's not my dog" model.

Okay, I will tell you something stupid that I did almost a year ago and that I still think of regularly, unbidden and with a sudden hot thump of mild shame.

There was a wonderful used bookstore a few blocks from my home, and predictably I stopped in there at least once a week for the past few years. (For whatever reason, the owner never grew to recognize me, and often viewed me with the kind of suspicious that only the elderly and bookish can radiate.) Then the owner decided to retire, so she announced that the shop was closing.

A month or so before the closing, on similarly satisfying day to the one you describe, I finished a busy round of errands and tasks by stopping into the bookstore, where of course the owner looked at me askance.

I said to her, "I'll be so sorry to see the store close. The whole neighborhood will miss you."

For the first time ever, she smiled at me. She said modestly, "Well, that's a shame."

... and I said, "I'm sure we'll muddle along."

I am an idiot.

Don't feel badly. She probably was a kleptomaniac/axe murderer, and your imp enabled you to escape a fate worse than death.

I'm with kmkat... you didn't know her and she didn't know you, and it was strange.

The last time I let a stranger into my (shared) home to "use the bathroom", she stole my roommate's ring and my last $20. I was 19, and haven't done so since. Probably she was fine, but maybe not.

Elsa: THANK YOU. I love you. Sudden hot thumps of mild shame are the story of my life.

Kmkat, Suze, and Mum: You all make a fine point, but surely I could have avoided letting her in without telling a wholly gratuitous lie. Although, now that I think about it, if she did have something nefarious in mind, that would make it exceedingly unlikely that she spent or will spend any time thinking about what a big liar I am!

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redfox is a small furry animal, but unfortunately not the sweet and adorable kind. she lives in an awfully large house with her black-bearded husband snarkout and marauding child jane.

see also: the hungry tiger

Dinner reports

More dinners.

Things I Cried Over

  • The Great British Sewing Bee.

  • Window washers.

  • Lilo and Stitch. Repeatedly.

  • "No one was with her when she died."

  • Slings and Arrows.
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