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Insights or maybe not


A friend of ours named Justin was telling us recently that he once had an idea of starting a rent-a-pet service. For one reason or another, he never pursued the idea only to find out that there are now thriving rent-a-pet services in existence.

Renting a pet may seem strange to you, but it’s a great way to meet women. There is nothing sexier to a woman than a man doting over his pet. I came upon this insight much too late in life for it to benefit me in any way. The loveliest women, who ordinarily wouldn’t notice me if I were wearing orange sneakers (more about that later), would initiate conversation when I walked my dog. In fact, some of them thought nothing of it to indulge me in sensitive topics such as whether I had our cockapoo neutered, one even mentioning that her dog was in heat at the moment. You have to realize that for a married man in his 70s, this almost qualifies as phone sex.

Why rent a pet when you can own it? Owning Tuddy (and we loved him dearly) meant walking him as many as five times a day, which didn’t always prevent him from taking a leak in the living room if he felt we were ignoring him. Renting a dog would mean someone else was walking him at 11 p.m. on a winter night. Besides, you might not be a pet lover, but still interested in meeting members of the opposite sex, or the same sex for that matter. I have found there is a basis for the stereotype that lesbians often are dog lovers (also that they know more about football than me).

I don’t see it as a moral flaw if you rent a pet merely to meet women any more than breast enhancements are unfair advertising. I am a great believer in the saying that “all is fair in love and war” (and defeating conservative Republicans at the polls). I don’t know this as a fact, but I have a feeling a good number of pets are rented in order to deceive women into thinking that you really give a fig about animals. I, for one, if I were not happily married, would entertain such a deception if it meant I could meet Sarah McLachlan.

About those orange sneakers, yes, I do own a pair. They are not entirely bright orange. The area around the laces and the back of the athletic shoe are an indistinguishable color; otherwise, the rest of the sneaker resembles a Creamsicle (you remember those, don’t you?). My son tells me the sneakers represent the team colors of the Miami Dolphins, although why anyone other than the president of the Dan Marino fan club would want to wear those particular colors is beyond my powers of reason.

I didn’t start out with the intention of buying orange sneakers. I searched online for a Nike pair that would comfort my aging feet without breaking my bank account. If you’re like me, you’d be astounded at the countless models of sneakers. I found a pair under $80 with free shipping — the Air Pegasus+30, which sounded to me like one of those fighter planes during World War II. The accompanying photo showed what I thought was a pale strip of orange around the sneaker. I wasn’t in love with the color, but the price and promised comfort was right. When the sneakers arrived, I realized I had vastly underestimated the dominance of orange in the color scheme.

I did not send them back because the sneakers felt good on my feet. I shaved at least 15 minutes off my time in the 40-yard dash. I’ve had folks come up to me on the street and lean over to me on the bus to tell me my shoes are hip. Normally the word “hip” and 75 year-old-man don’t go together unless the word “fractured” is in front of it. Nobody has mistaken me for Marino in his prime, but I remain hopeful.

I find the wisdom found inside the cap of a bottle of iced tea extremely pretentious. Since when did Confucius start making iced tea?

In the middle of the school budget crisis, Superintendent William Hite Jr. announced that the Philadelphia School District filled five jobs with salaries in the $125,000- to $145,000-range, according to a memo obtained by the Philadelphia Daily News. One of the new employees began work during a supposed hiring freeze. The job hires are all defended as “key” positions. Some of the positions are newly created with titles such as the deputy chief for prevention and intervention and executive director of the office of school improvement and innovation. Surely these job titles were lifted right out of a Charles Dickens novel. Maybe these administrative jobs are necessary and maybe the salaries will be well-earned. Maybe.

But if I’m Hite and my teachers are taking money out of their owns pockets to buy school supplies, maybe there are better ways to prioritize my needs. And considering that protesters were picketing outside the Comcast building where Gov. Tom Corbett was receiving an honor, maybe if I’m Hite, I might realize my timing might be just a bit off.

These orange sneakers are growing on me. 

Contact the South Philly Review at editor@southphillyreview.com.


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