A few days ago I had to run a few errands on my lunch break, and stopped to grab a quick bite to eat at the local Noah’s Bagels. This Noah’s is located in a relatively mellow suburban shopping center, right next to a grocery store.
It was a nice, warm sunny day, so I sat at one of the outside tables to eat my sandwich. Although several cars were parked next to where I was sitting, there were hardly any other people around. It was quite peaceful, and I settled into a relaxed state of mind that such perfect spring afternoons bring.
A few minutes later, totally without warning, the giant, 1970’s-era Buick parked right next to me started up its engine. I hadn’t seen anybody inside it, and the driver’s side door was in my line of sight… Nobody had gotten in, so – what was going on here?

I looked inside the car, and in the driver’s seat was a mid-sized Springer Spaniel. There was nobody else in the car.
I sat there staring for a few seconds, incredulous. The dog just stared back at me with a stupid look on its face as the engine idled. I was half expecting him to put the thing in gear and drive away, but he just continued to sit there calmly. ‘Maybe he’s waiting for the engine to warm up’, I thought.
After a minute of trying to make sense of all this, I figured that maybe someone was pulling a joke – and that they were crouching beneath the dashboard or something. Even that seemed too hard to believe, though.

Just then, an elderly man slowly walked up to the car, putting his keychain back in his pocket as he approached. He opened the door, told the dog to move over, got in, and drove away. As this was happening, I realized that the car had been parked in a ‘handicapped’ spot.
It suddenly all made sense. The guy must have had one of those remote starter things on his keychain. Nevertheless, the whole brief incident was quite funny. I will never forget the way that stupid dog looked, staring out at me from the driver’s seat.