The Dogs’ Burgers

Without a doubt our dogs are spoiled rotten!
Whenever we decide to have a take-out meal,
the dogs now know that they will get a burger often.
Since dogs are not of Epicurean tastes, whatever deal

is advertised determines where I will buy their burger.
Today, once I have picked up Chinese dinners for us,
the way back home offers Burger King and, down a bit further,
another couple of choices. Okay, I can satisfy their burger lust

just fine at Burger King, where double-meat cheeseburgers are 99 cents
on special. I will need to turn across two lanes of oncoming traffic,
so I occupy the center turning lane, admittedly getting aggravated since
no chance to turn is near, what with evening traffic being so thick.

As I am waiting, looking around, my attention focuses upon
a man - a strange-looking man wearing a long coat in summer heat,
carefully counting his coins, then staring at the 99-cent ad. Done
with totaling his change, he slumps, appearing decidedly downbeat.

Arriving at the drive-through, I think about the absurdity of it all -
my buying burgers for dogs, this man to go hungry! “Give me
two specials plain…and two all the way.” “Squawk…screech...all?”
“Yes” I guess and drive around….My order in hand, I honk so he’ll see

me waving him over. He appears perplexed as he reaches my car.
As I hand him his bag, “I hope this helps out.”… He says nothing.
The traffic has an opening - clear on the left, a bus on the right but far

enough away for me to make my left turn. All right! But, just then
the man says “Hey, can I have a coke with this?” I’m thinking “No!”
but instead give the ingrate $2. “Enjoy”. Unappreciative…plus when
I was delayed by his wanting a drink, I lost my only chance to go!

The bus now rumbles past, followed by traffic out of sight.
Watching as the bus pulls up to the red light at the corner,
I’m thinking “That could be me there!” … Screech. BLAM! Right
at the bus’ driver-side front wheels, a SUV has slammed into her.

I’m thinking “That could’ve been me there! I’d probably be dead now.”
The man returns, “Your kindness will be repaid some day, somehow.”

Harry Edward Gilleland      08.16.02