I just came back from Wal-Mart. I had to run in and get a few vegetables, and ended up being in around 20 minutes. As I often do, I took my dogs with me. The weather here right now is wonderful, in the low 70s. I came back out and a woman stopped me at my truck, screaming at the top of her lungs.
“You are abusing your dogs! You don’t deserve to have them! I have called the police!”
She was concerned that I hadn’t rolled down the windows when I went inside.
“Would you have treated a child that way?” she asked.
“Well, that’s different,” I responded. I was thinking about the safety of leaving a child alone, not the temperature. If temperature was my only consideration, I probably would have done the same thing.
“It’s not different! You don’t deserve those dogs!”
She went on for at least five minutes. If I would have followed my own public relations advice, I would have let her rant and then go away without responding. As it was, I wasn’t feeling very public relationey.
“Lady, you’re crazy,” I finally said.
“You’re crazy! You’re crazy!”
I am offended by anyone who says I abuse dogs. I have owned at least one all of my life, and I know how to treat them. My dogs–from my perspective–were never in any danger.
But whether you agree with me or not, the message here is that you will always find people who disagree with you. And then there are the crazies.
When I ran the local radio station, I got a letter from someone who was upset because our signal was interfering with another radio station a hundred miles away.
“I hope lightning strikes your transmitter and you burn to the ground!” the letter said.
I’ve been around a while and I have heard lots of extreme views. As a writer, I’ve gotten those kinds of views too. Like the man who felt “betrayed” because my end-time book reflected a Seventh-day Adventist perspective on the Second Coming. Well, guess what, folks. I’m a Seventh-day Adventist, and I make no bones about it. I have read lots of book with views I don’t agree with, but I have never felt “betrayed.”
It comes down to people having a perspective that’s different that yours. When it comes to book reviews, the best thing is to smile and say thank you. But once in a while you really need to have a sense of humor to deal with the crazies.