Saturday, January 23, 2010

In response to MB, Charlotte, and Sheila, who all commented on my January 21 post: one should also never forget that getting dog licenses can be inspirational.

I walk into the town office, sit in my wait-here chair, and pass the time by reading the sex offender registry and the rules for shooting migratory game fowl. Just as Betty the town clerk is ready to begin working on my dog licenses, an elderly man stalks in and shouts, "Betty, I need a birth certificate!" She smiles nicely and tells him she'll telephone him later after she finds it, and he snaps his mouth shut and stumps away.

We work on my dog licenses, chatting about this and that. (Specifically, we shake our heads over the iniquities of elementary-school basketball coaches from other towns.)

Just as she's about to ask me for fees, another man walks in waving a map and shouting, "Betty, you have to look this up again!"

Betty puts down her pen and looks him up and down. He quails. Then she says, firmly and without irony, but with an embracing tone of weariness:

"Men are always interrupting me."

The lesson here: if I had stayed home to write I would have missed this episode. And what a shame that would have been.


charlotte gordon said...

I loved this post. I love betty.

Dawn Potter said...

Betty is pretty great, isn't she?