Fender Blender

Art by Bob AulSend anonymous thanks, confessions or accusations—changing or deleting the names of the guilty and innocent—to "Hey, You!" c/oOC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247, or e-mail us at letters@ocweekly.com.

Fender Blender

I walk out of my class at Santa Ana College a few weeks ago and stop at a street corner, waiting for the light to change. It's a perfect day: sun shining, light traffic, something like a gentle trade wind blowing. Next to me, a young woman is pushing a stroller with a young kid, maybe 4 years old, and holding a puny dog on a leash. Ah, life! The light changes, the dog charges into the street, hits the limit of his leash, gets tangled around the wheels of the stroller, and locks up the stroller in the perilous path of traffic. Cars stop. I help the woman unwind dog and stroller, and as the light changes again, we return to the safety of our curb. We talk amiably—nice kid, nice dog, thanks for helping, think nothing of it. The light changes again. Crosswalk says walk. Dog leads us off the curb and into the crosswalk—as a car bears down upon us, races through the intersection and rolls over the dog, the driver tapping the brakes briefly—maybe to consider the possibility of stopping, sensing perhaps the oncoming traffic—and then punching it. Gone in a cloud of dust and dog guts. I did not get the license number or even the make of the car. But I will never forget that fender and the sight of that little dog body rolling around the tire not once but twice, bouncing off the wheel well like a shoe in a dryer before being shot out sideways a few feet from the stroller and the crying kid and the freaking woman. I'll never forget that fender. Never.

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