Seen in the night

Lisa and I were walking home from dinner last night when we spotted a big van parked in front of a house on McGraw St. What could it be? Fed Ex? UPS? An out-of-season ice-cream truck?

No, it was “Suds in the City,” a “mobile dog-grooming vehicle,” which is exactly what it sounds like: a dog-grooming service that makes house calls, or rather curb calls. There’s a big window on the right side of the van so passing pedestrians can stop and watch Rover get his coat trimmed. Because it was dark out and the interior of the van was so brightly lit, the dog-grooming team couldn’t see us staring in at them (either that, or they’re just used to ignoring gawkers), and the effect, watching them go about their business, was of having stumbled over a life-size diorama that someone had left out in the road. Combined with the bracing cold air and the Christmas lights spangling every other house on the block, it made for a nice bit of winter surrealism, although when I try to imagine explaining this scene to someone living in, say, Kabul, my mind just goes blank.