They walked towards me on Tuesday afternoon at Arlington Park - an early twentyish couple - dating or just good friends, I know not.
Without so much as a "hi" she said "is he a Border Collie?"
Then he said "an Australian Sheep Dog?"
"No" I said to her. "No" I said to him.
Then I turned my mind to auto-pilot and spoke my automatic speel, (speil, spele, speal,) "I don't know what breed he is. Perhaps there's some English Setter, or English Golden Retriever, mixed in with Brittany Spaniel - but since I do not know, I have decided that his breed in "Darling".
I was walking the trail clockwise and they anti-clockwise so when we met again I pointed to the young man and asked the young woman "and what is his breed?" "A Nathaniel" she replied, which led me into an unrehearsed speel about Nathaniel in the New Testament.
In hindsight this must have utterly confused him.
He then ventured "I am British you know". Further interrogation led me to understand that he is half British - his mother hails from the west Yorkshire town of Pontefract.
That knowledge was more than enough to trigger my boring old fart mode. I asked him if he knew about "Pontefract Cakes".
He didn't, so I gave him the scoop. He told me that now he understood why his mother loves liquorice, and that she had worked at a liquorice factory in --guess where? -- PONTEFRACT.
Dear reader - you can look up Pontefract Cake for yourself!
I saw them again the next day. I asked the young woman her name. "Torey" she said. I countered with "Hallo Torey, Hallo Nathaniel".
He said, "my name is not Nathaniel, it is Shane".
Torey chipped in "when you asked what breed he was I wanted to say Neanderthal, but it came out as Nathaniel".
All such silly nonsense, but it out strips the yelling and screaming which masquerades as political discourse.
And Shane told me that his Mom got a kick when he told her of the Englishman (with a darling dog) who knows about PONTEFRACT CAKES.
P.S. Pontefract Cakes are not cakes.