Walking down an alleyway this morning, at the other end a large woman with a tiny chihuahua. Nothing remarkable about these two facts… just establishing the scene.
It is at this point that a stone, perfectly calibrated to sit above the surface of the street at such a height as to allow my stride to connect with it at an angle just beyond 90 degrees so as to establish maximum lateral velocity while also utilising the rubber of my shoe’s sole to its full effect, decided to place itself in my trajectory.
I could not have made a cleaner connection with the stone if I had spent the previous evening calculating the physics involved, which, I hasten to add, I did not.
It pinged off like an arrow.
Time seemed to slow down as I watched the newly-created projectile wing its rocky way directly towards the canine’s cranium. While planning my look of innocence, I also found myself reflecting on the relative diameter of meteorites and that of planet Earth, and of the extinction of the dinosaurs.
All life on the surface of that dog will be obliterated, I thought to myself.
Neither dog nor woman were even slightly aware of the goings-on of the moment, and happily they remain mostly unenlightened. The stone skipped off the road, gaining just enough altitude to clear the dog’s bonce and smack off a steel metal garage door behind them with a resounding clang.
As they were both clearly unable to connect this unexplained explosion of metallic noise from behind them with the wide-eyed, terrified looking stranger walking in slow motion towards them, I remain a free man.