Ask Mr. Cranky Pants

Dear Mr. Cranky Pants:
This morning during my run, I was shocked to see several walkers who were letting their dogs off-leash, despite the fact that this is strictly prohibited town ordinance. What do you think of this? —Dog Tired in Davidson

Dear Dog:
In my day, just walking down the street was like navigating a mine field. Every third step you’d have to readjust your path to avoid a steaming pile of doggy-doo. It was a miracle if I made it to school without fecal matter on my shoes. And don’t get me started about the biting. Any self-respecting kid needed to know how to keep all the loose dogs at bay and avoid getting nipped on the ankles. The little dogs were the worst, I’ll tell ya! They bit anything that moved.

Nowadays you have to be more careful about the dog-owners than the dogs. As soon as their dog stops to smell a fire-hydrant, they’ll bend over to try and capture the output. I’ve hurdled more people in the past month than OJ Simpson ever did back before he was the poster child for hiring fat-cat lawyers to dodge a murder rap. And watch out when two or three dog-owners get together. You’ll be lucky to escape the small-talk, let alone tangle of leashes.

Now, what was the question again? —Mr. Cranky Pants

Dear Mr. Cranky Pants:
These days people line up for for four days in the snow just to register their kids for kindergarten. Isn’t that unfair to people who have jobs? Or small children to watch? —Wondering in West Philly

Dear Boy Wonder:
Parents these days are all mixed up. Don’t they realize that kindergarten is just play-time? In my day, you only signed up for kindergarten if you had a job. Otherwise, you’d let your kids play out on the street while you sat inside watching Days of our Lives. That way you didn’t have to worry about your kids getting dog poop all over your carpet after their mile-long walk home from school.

And don’t get me started on those boulders they put out in front of schoolhouses. The boulders are supposed to be there so the kids don’t spray graffiti on the school—it’s “okay” spray-paint the rock. Talk about spoiling the fun of a healthy activity like graffiti. Now the only people who use the rock are parents who buy 15 cans of spray-paint to wish Bratster McSpoiled-Rotten a happy 11-and-a-halfth birthday. They don’t even let kids buy spray paint these days anyways, because of the danger of “huffing.” Back in my day, we called that “improving the gene pool.” —Mr. Cranky Pants

Dear Mr. Cranky Pants:
Aren’t heated car seats an abomination? Talk about wasting resources! —Concerned in California

Dear I already forgot your name:
They make heated car seats? If I didn’t live in the South, where we have about 6 days a year when we shut off the AC, I’d think that was a fantastic idea. But why stop there? They should have heated steering wheels and gear shifts, too. That is, if they bothered to make cars with manual transmissions any more.

What really bothers me are those silly stick-figure “family” stickers that suburban families put on the back of whatever they’re driving these days in the suburbs instead of a “Suburban.” If you didn’t have impenetrable black tinting on the windows of your monstrous SUV that’s never seen a gravel road longer than the driveway at the local soccer complex, I could easily see that you have two kids, a dog, a latte, and a cell phone glued to your ear. I don’t need a sticker to tell me that. —Mr. Cranky Pants

Well, that’s it for this installment of Ask Mr. Cranky Pants. Tune in for another episode next week, next month, or whenever I get around to it. You think Mr. Cranky Pants is going to stick to a schedule?

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