Wendell and I took a recent trip to the Plano dog park, one of my favorite spots for sniffing and recruiting new followers to the ministry. Wendell has a touch of social anxiety disorder, but overall, he seemed to enjoyed his outing -- though I do wish he wouldn't lie on his back to let other dogs sniff him. Such behavior is unbecoming a possible future ayatollah. As I sniffed at a particularly fragrant patch of grass, near the park's fire hydrant, a young boy strode toward me. He came from a good 30 feet away, his eyes fixed on me the entire time. I assumed he was a fan, perhaps seeking an autograph. Or a child leper in need of healing. But he stopped short in his approach. Looking at my face and speaking to no one in particular, the boy said, "He's not very ... cute."
I am sure that your jaw just dropped, fair reader, as did my mother's. "I think he's very cute," mother said, stating the obvious.
You may be wondering what fate befell this boy who dared to impugn my cuteness. But I took the high road, my flock. I did not point out to the little hooligan that he was the ugliest child in the entire enclosure. (Though he surely was; father probably would have been tempted to say so if he had heard what the urchin said.) Nor did I order the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF) to take him into custody for "interrogation," or worse. No, I simply turned the other cheek. Just as the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, spared the town of Ta'if after its residents threw stones at him, I allowed this boy to escape punishment for his verbal assault. Am I getting soft in my old age? Pray it is not so.