Just A Cane?

A scene witnessed from my apartment office window has just resulted in having to perform a double take. This early Wednesday plotline taking place as I perched my butt on this desk chair. The sight causing me to remove my specs and, cartoonlike, rub my eyelids with the inside of both index fingers and thumbs.

After putting my gigs back onto the bridge of my not inconsiderable conk, yours truly rescanned what I thought I’d seen moments earlier. This second ocular glance mercifully re-assuring me I’d not woken this morning into a world of even more baffling human behaviour than when entering the Land of Nod.

This subsequent look confirming what I thought I’d seen was in fact a sensory trick. The view verifying GJ Strachan had NOT just witnessed a particularly doddery old man walking an invisible dog.

At this juncture, I would imagine concerns for my state of mind will be on even higher plateaus than when usually reading my sometime far-fetched observations. However, bear with me on this and I’ll endeavour to paint a clearer picture of the scene which played out in front of me.

My apartment is located on the main Wakefield/Barnsley Road. Not relevant to the overall plotline, but I thought I’d add it for completeness… Also, knowing my rough locale will come in handy if you want to bring me a breakfast sandwich from the excellent Hoffman’s bakery across the street.

“For God’s sake get to the point, Gary!… Never mind trying to blag a butty, tell me about the invisible dog story before I self-combust with intrigue!” I hear you cry.

Anyhow, the reason I thought this fella in his dotage appeared to be walking an ethereal canine was because of the type and angle of the walking stick he was transporting in his right hand. 

This cane was dark at the thicker top end with ever narrowing silver coloured segments towards the end designed for ground impact. This colouring and narrowing as it got lower, along with the fact he was carrying his strolling accessory at a 45-degree angle from the ground, giving an impression at first glance he was carrying a dog leash.

Upon an inaugural glance at the events, as they played out in front of my apartment window, a lack of hound at the end of the (not) dog lead leading to that aforementioned double take.

Despite my second glance re-assuring me I’d seen a cane, and not party to supernatural canine chicanery, I still have unanswered questions coming from this brief episode. The main one being, why was this elderly fella, who was evidently unstable on his pins, not using his stick as a weight support accessory?… Why, with such jeopardy of a fall, would he carry it at a 45-degree angle from the ground?… Which, like this essay, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Who knows, maybe the chap does indeed own an invisible mutt… Or , at least, thinks he has. 

Perhaps he has recently lost his beloved dog and cannot, or will not, come to terms with the loss. The potentially idiosyncratic behaviour I witnessed driven by his grief, or denial, the canine can no longer provides the love and companionship he so craves… Bloody hell, I am going to have to stop this theoretical line or I’ll be blubbing into my laptop shortly.

No Gary, it was just a stick… Just a stick, I tell you… The old man’s dog has not died, he was merely carrying a stick, not walking the ‘ghost’ of Rover (other dogs names are available)… Stop crying, he was merely carting a walking pole along Barnsley Road, no dogs have been lost on his watch.

God, I am a mess!… Where’s my tissues?!

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