Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Scoop on the Poop

I am an expert on crap. Not quite a fecal freak, but after living in the West Village for just a few months I feel like I know the stuff well enough to file a few words on it.
In all its forms. Brown. Black. Solid like glue, soft like cheesecake. All of it expelled from the dogs in my own West Village. It’s everywhere, if you haven’t noticed.
It’s not that I like the stuff. It’s just that it’s nearly ubiquitous, and, again, writing about it for a weekly newspaper shouldn’t be too hard. No angry letters demanding more of it on our city streets.
I hope to change the world. By writing this I hope to convince animal lovers to invest in lizards, tarantulas, rats—any animal whose shit is tiny and hard and easy to ignore.
Readers, especially the dog owner/lovers among them, may object to my tone, or my non-discriminating, blanket bomb approach to my attack on them. I will not deploy the civility or euphemism to be found in a sign reading “Please Curb Your Dog.”
What can I say? Extreme times and extreme measures and all the rest of it. New Yorkers walk with their heads down not because they are rude, nervous or navel gazing—they really just don’t want to step in a dog’s rectal issue.
You the dog owner, will read this and think, This isn’t me. I clean up after my dog—whatever that means. I follow after Rufus with a plastic bag, wait, then pick the poo up and congratulate him (Of course you do. If he wasn’t doing it here, at the corner of Washington and Charles, he’d be making waste on your couch!). Then you walk half a block or more with a bag of crap. You may be throwing it out, but I cannot be the only one who sees the absurdity in this, or the only one to feel pity for the sanitation workers who deal with hundreds of these bags day in, day out: crap in, crap out.
I ask the small army of New Yorkers walking around carrying crap: Is it worth it?
If the answer’s no, you’ve read enough. Go sell your dog to a sweet old couple upstate.
If you’re fine carrying crap from corner to corner, I’ll try to tighten the screws.
To do so I e-mailed Monica Collins, a syndicated columnist who writes a kind of Dear Abby column for dog owners ( She was surprisingly sympathetic to my plight. Not only did she acknowledge the sad fact that dogs for some people are “starter kids, substitute kids or empty nest kids,” but she did say that my theory about who to blame for the tons of dog crap in the West Village holds water. As she said, “Responsible dog owners suffer the burden of scorn.” And I am the who will heap that burden upon them all.
I spread the net wide.
My blame goes beyond the city itself for not cleaning it up, beyond delinquent owners who can’t curb their dogs. I have a theory that all dog owners should be blamed for the plethora of poo, because the more dogs people see on the street in general, the more relaxed the doo doo delinquents may feel to just let the crap fall where it may.
The truth is, every person who owns a dog is to blame.
Even the most fastidious of the feces carriers. The ones with the little dogs, the big ones. The ones with the really furry ones, those that sweat in February. The ones that scoop it up like it was flaked with gold. You all form links in the chain of guilt.
I blame that one guy who has to park his dog out in front of the Brewbar—great place if you haven’t been, they sell scones and doggie snacks—just so that everyone will look at it and go “Oh, how cute.” And others like him, I blame them too.
My logic may be comprised of empty syllogism, but here goes: Dog people see the dozens of people walking their dogs and something in them clicks. They think it’s ok, that it is natural, to get a dog to walk around with if they feel any kind of lack in their lives. Delinquents multiply.
As I see it, the doo doo dilemma is an expression of a more serious, widespread problem with New York City: people can’t just have their hobbies. They have to be sure and share that passion with everyone.
I fear for you that there is something is missing in your lives. The dog shit all over and everywhere is some dark excrement of your souls.

No comments: