PEOPLE WATCHING — BETTER THAN THE FUNNY PAPER
Do you get a kick out of people watching? It’s more fun than the funny paper and you can do it anywhere. On a city street or a park or in a coffee shop you can catch people doing weird stuff. Check out my cartoon animals playing out people roles.
MIRROR, MIRROR — DON’T WE JUST LOVE A MIRROR?
Have you ever caught someone — or yourself — delighting in your own reflection in a store window. You’re thinking, Oooh, I look good! You smile at yourself, and pose, and nearly prance along to catch the next window. It feels great — until you realize you’re being people-watched…. And they’re laughing.
IS YOUR DOG PEOPLE-WATCHING YOU?
What do you look like when you’re with your dog? What silly and totally watchable things do you do? Do you baby talk? Sing? Argue? Cajole? Or do you ask it questions and imagine it’s answering you?
Don’t you ever wonder, when you do all that gushy baby-talk stuff, if your dog is people-watching you and laughing?
AND THE DOG ANSWERED…?
One morning, I stood on Prince Street for five minutes and watched a woman soliciting her dog’s opinion and acting as though he was answering.
“Which way should we go today, Felix? Toward the river? Do you want to go walk on the river and see the ducks? Or we could go to the park? Maybe you can make a new friend. No? That’s not where you want to go? Oh, I understand. You want to go by the river and then go to the coffee shop where they give you treats.”
Can dogs roll their eyes?
PEOPLE WATCHING IN THE COFFEE SHOP
A coffee shop is a good place for people watching. There’s something about it that makes people think they’re at home — alone. One morning I was at coffee with a new friend. A group of people at the front table were in an animated conversation, talking over each other, and gettin louder and louder.
Later I thought of what I should have said. “If those are their inside voices, somebody should get them bark collars.”
A CHIHUAHUA AND A MAN CAME INTO A COFFEE SHOP
Another morning I was having my tea when a man came in carrying an adorable chihuahua . You couldn’t miss them. The man was formidable — looking a lot like Edris Elba and the chihuahua weighed maybe five pounds. That incongruent sight alone was cute enough to qualify for quality people-watching. But it wasn’t the funny part.
CHIHUAHUA IN CHARGE!
The man got his coffee, sat on a couch, and placed the dog beside him. He opened his laptop, ready to go to work. But the dog wasn’t. First it climbed up the man’s body to perch on his shoulder and look out the window. Then it climbed down and walked across the laptop to finally settle in the man’s arms.
What did the man do? He waited.
WOULD YOU TAKE THAT FROM A HUMAN?
Have you noticed that people apply different standards to their dogs than to other people? Would you put up with a human who made a show of contempt for you? Or threw a fit and tore up your things whenever you wanted to go out alone?
Or butted your arm when you’re trying to work? Or hogged the couch? Or bit you?
This is Georgie and she does all those things. Watch her, but from a distance — because one can’t be sure what might annoy her — and you never want to annoy Georgie.
GEORGIE BITES — BUT ISN’T SHE ADORABLE?
“Look at this,” said Georgie’s Daddy, holding out a wounded hand. “I don’t know what I did but she came at me again — another scar. Oh, but have I shown you the pictures of her in her new magenta sweater and matching bows? No? Here, I’ll load them on your phone.”
I now have more pictures of Georgie than I have of my children and my dog put together.
MORE PEOPLE WATCHING — THINGS I WISH I’D SAID
Have you ever thought of a really good comment — too late? That’s me. A great one-liner always come to me when it’s too late to use it. I have a people-watching friend who’s funny and judgmental and British — and always right on spot. When we go out for a walk, Jill rarely goes a block without seeing someone who earns one of her snarky barbs.
WE’RE NOT JUDGING — BUT…
When a middle-aged man walked by with his stomach dancing a jig beneath his crop top, Jill didn’t miss a beat. “That’s a crop that needs to be planted on a different farm.”
Sometimes Jill’s barbs hit close to home. A smiling mini-skirted middle-aged woman with lace leggings strutted past.
I was thinking how nice it must be to have that woman’s self-image if only for one day. But Jill wasn’t about that. She stared at the woman’s backside as she walked away and said, “There goes mutton dressed as lamb.”
ARE PEOPLE PEOPLE-WATCHING ME?
I laughed. But it made me stop and take a mental inventory of my closet — my favorite worn and torn jeans, painter pants, scoop-neck orange sweater, flowing beach dress, and my husband’s old shirts. And what about my cute sundresses? What would Jill say about them? That they should go to Goodwill? Probably, but I like them.
With, “Mutton dressed as lamb,” booming in my ears, I decided to move back to watching other people.
PEOPLE-WATCHING AT A LECTURE
A lecture hall is another place to watch — and learn about — people. Look at the woman with her coat and bags on the two chairs next to her. You think she’s holding seats for friends because the hall is filling up fast? Maybe. But the lecture starts, and from where you are, standing in the back, you can see that the coats and bags still warm the chairs for no one.
Okay, I’m judging.
WHO HAS A QUESTION?
When the lecture ends, the moderator announces, “Now we’ll open it up to questions.” Up fly the hands of the audience but they don’t want to ask questions — they are self-proclaimed authorities who want the floor so they can correct or fill in the gaps left by the lecturer. “I’ve read that blah blah blah blah …. and it’s been shown that blah blah blah blah.”
I wish I’d said, “Would anybody like the definition of the word question?”
PEOPLE WATCHING — YOU NEVER KNOW WHT THEY’LL DO
If you get a kick out of people watching, head on outside. People are doing weird or funny things everywhere — on a city street or in a park or a coffee shop. It is like real life funny pages and you can make up your own cartoons — and your own quips.
- Try this one. What would you say about the thirty-something woman staring into space and blowing bigger and bigger bubbles while waiting for a table at a café.