I was at Cobs’ Bread this past Friday watching a middle-aged guy berate the pimply kid behind the counter. It wasn’t because the guy had discovered hair in his bread, or because he’d had a $20 stolen from his wallet, or anything else — it was because the particular Cobs in which we were standing didn’t make the olive Pane Di Casa bread on Fridays. The guy was going on a righteous rant about how screwed up Cobs was — because, you know, these kids definitely have the power to set the baking schedule, and the guy clearly knows more than they do about what sells and what doesn’t — and I wasn’t going to say anything until the guy roped the other pimply kid, the kid who’d been helping me, into his rage fest. This kid was clearly overwhelmed, and so being the person I am, I offered to the middle-aged guy that maybe he’d like to try another Cobs, since they all have different baking schedules.

“No!” he more or less screamed. “I’m not running around all over town to fix their mistake!” Fair enough. The kid meekly offered a suggestion that perhaps he try a different kind of bread; the guy indignantly told him he couldn’t eat white bread, and huffed out of the shop after complaining that Cobs had ruined his dinner (it was 10 in the morning — I’m pretty sure I could have made bread in time to get it out with dinner). I left with my garlic and herb loaf, thinking warm thoughts about what I could do with its chewy texture and appealing taste (thought number one: take the freshest tomatoes from the back yard, mix with brunoised red onion and garlic, coat with good olive oil, and toast — yum). Ordinarily I’d get kind of worked up about this sort of guy, and maybe I am, but I just couldn’t see the value in getting mad about him. He was, after all, getting mad about something entirely inconsequential.

This past week has been a lesson in perspective. The main floor of my house has been turned into what is effectively a hospital room. The patient is Goblin, my 13.7 year-old English Shepherd, and Thursday night I brought him home from the hospital — for better or worse.

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