Thursday, October 27, 2005

Neck-Brace Man.

The summer of my sophomore year I decided I was going to hike the Y everyday. Ambitious, yes of course but defiantly manageable. I began taking our dog Sophie with me. She kept me company and I think she even shed a few pounds. Speaking of pounds, I shed a bunch. I was motivated to hike everyday because the mountains delicious breeze and I loved what the weather did to the environment.
8 years later, I pack for my trip home and pack my sneaks, and exercise clothes. I simply can’t wait to hike the hills!
Sophie since has passed on and my parents got a new dog that we ecstatically named “Nan”. Nan had puppies and my sister Lucy kept one of the puppies who she named (obviously while drunk) Bobby.
I started for the trail the next morning after arriving in Provo with Nan and Bobby. I took a deep breath of that “delicious breeze” and up I hiked, happy and content until, I ran into a man who had two rat pug dogs on leashes. Now, it needs to be said that he indeed had a neck brace on. I know being prejudice against people with disabilities is considered discourteous, but whom are we kidding it was an awesome sight, something right out of a amusing movie. His hair was gray and I was sure he was in his middle 60’s. Of course Nan and Bobby went right up to the rat pug dogs and sniffed them up and down. The man was so furious I thought his neck brace was going to pop.
“Don’t you know that dogs are supposed to be on leashes up here LADY”?
The tone of his voice was cruel, but I think him calling me “lady” was more offensive. I smirked and apologized. It was true, the dogs were not controlled and I was having a ruff time calling them back to me. He yelled some more complaints as I walked past him. I went home to tell my dad that I ran into the world’s biggest grump.

Next morning, I saw the neck-brace man again. I ignored him as I hiked past him on the third switchback. He didn’t have his dogs with him this time thank goodness, but he did pull out his pointer finger like it was a gun. He began waving it in the air, but all I could hear was Postal Service on my MP3 player. I smiled and walked past him confidently. I turned around and he was staring at me with his arms folded up to his chest. It was (I must admit) creepy. Who does he think he is? The “Y” nazi?
I retold the story to my Dad and he told me that dogs in fact DON’T have to be on leashes at the “Y” because it is private property. Hmmm, now I was exited to run into neck brace again, I’d tell him what’s what.
Next morning, just as I suspected the man was there again. I saw him coming towards me and I was sacred, yet confident with what I could come back with. He yelled again, his finger was madly pointing at me and he called me LADY again. I gasped, and came back with my ditty. We must have yelled for what seemed like 20 minutes. But I felt like I had won the battle. He ended with
“It is a 90 buck fee PER dog, PER dog lady for not being on leashes. I will call security right now and have them meet you at the bottom!” I said back
“You do that sir with that cell phone you have in those sweats. (do sweats have pockets? NO) and it better be the forest service because Provo city does not own the “Y” nor does dinky BYU…best of luck, and have a great day, oh and by the way, read the sign posted at the foot of the trailhead, it says nothing about dogs.”
And off I trod to the bottom. My heart was pounding and I was uneasy that just perhaps he had a special pocket in his neck brace that kept his cell-phone.
That night I was invited to the BYU homecoming football game with my Dad and brothers. I was delighted! We found our seats and sat down eager for the game to start. I happen to turn around and something familiar caught my eye…a neck brace! I double took and looked, it was him…neck-brace man. Our eyes almost met and I gasped and gulped, he was only two seats behind me. Could this Sienfield episode really be happing to me? I told my Dad who casually turned around and then; he began waving even talking to neck brace man.
Dad looked at me and said. “That’s my good friend” Could it get worse? Yes it could, when neck brace came to chitchat with Dad during half time. I looked away praying that he would notice me.
Come to find out neck-brace man was responsible for the “facelift” that “Y” mountain got which I despise.,1249,630152833,00.html
Neck-brace man is Stephen Stewart. Beware SS, I’ll be back…don’t you worry dogs in tow!