After ordering my submarine sandwich, I placed myself at the corner table and, when given the luxury of some extra time, engaged in one of my favorite activities: people watching.
On the sidewalk outside the window in bustling downtown Seattle walked a non-descript gentleman. He appeared to be on break from one of the local offices and was walking a leashed Beagle when he paused outside the restaurant. Unfortunately, the only accurate description that comes to me is “average.” He was about 40, dark hair, six feet tall, normal build, dressed in black slacks, a blue button-down shirt, and sport coat.
Deciding he was as good as any other subject of my momentary observation skills, I watched as he approached another man I assume to be homeless. I could not hear the conversation through the glass. The dog patiently waited, his brown eyes glancing back and forth between the faces of the two men.
When the conversation ended, the man of the street pushed his stuffed shopping cart against the building and entered my restaurant with Mr. Average (and his dog), approaching the counter as a threesome.
Being the guardian of a mini-schnauzer and two orange cats, I have nothing against the more furry members of our families. However, I was raised in a different era, and I am under the impression health code regulations prevent pets from entering restaurants unless deemed as “service animals.” Based on this (correct or incorrect) assumption, I became judgmental. “How dare he bring an animal in to this restaurant!” my inner dialogue harrumphed. “Who does he think he is? Does he have no respect for the other patrons?”
Due to my perception of this seemingly inconsiderate action, I made up from whole cloth an unfavorable back-story about a man I had not even met. Moreover, I managed to extrapolate it to the general sorry state of the world. It went something like this: