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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

About Dog Shit

As I was sitting in front of the television last Thursday night, my eyeballs helplessly riveted to the images of Ken Burns' latest documentary about National Parks, I turned to my wife, who was standing on the fifth stair, in her pajamas and brushing her teeth and I said,

"You know, Ken Burns could make a documentary about dog shit and I'd watch it. As long as it had those sentimental close-ups with a slow pull back, narration by Kevin Conway, and laconic piano music by Jacqueline Schwab, I'd watch it."

She gently removed the toothbrush from her froth-covered mouth and said,

"Ah gnhow."

It's not that National Parks don't interest me-- they do-- but I don't think another documentarian could entice me to flit two hours of my life away learning about them. When I was a junior in high school, I took a snow day and plowed through the entirety of "The Civil War." I mean, this is a pretty big deal to a kid who was attaining the absolute zenith of self-pleasuring activities. We're talking three times a day on average, and on a snow day, only serious chafing or a dizzy spell would curtail those activities. So to supplant my zeal for touch-touch with unending VHS tapes about Antietam, Vicksburg and Bull Run, well, as documentarians go, you've gotta be worth your weight in crumpled tissues.

My statement, though, about Ken Burns and a documentary about dog shit got me thinking-- what inane thing could I write about in such a way that it would engage my average reader enough to follow the blog post through to the end? I mean, I've run you poor people through the goddamn mill on numerous occasions, and some of you are still here. That's kind of amazing to me, even after all this time.

As I was thinking, I started to get a little bold...

Could I get away with a blog post about dog shit?

Truly, I don't know exactly what I'd say. I mean, after six years of dog ownership, I guess I can say I'm pretty well acquainted with dog shit, though I have no doubt there are those who can claim more intimacy with said subject than I. My dog is currently eating a food that turns his shit green, which doesn't make picking up after him any better or worse, really. It is, interestingly enough, easier to see the green shit in the dark, so that's good. Picking up dog shit used to be a real drag when I lived in the city, and cadres of black kids on bicycles would laugh at me as I stooped down to pick up the crap, an Eckerd drugstore bag covering my hand like a lunch lady's hairnet. In the suburbs, elderly ladies in track pants coming home from an early morning run at the JCC congratulate and thank me for picking up my dog's shit.

I'm not particularly fond of either resposne.

My outside trashcan smells ferociously, and I'm not sure what, if anything, I'm supposed to do about it. I try to close the lid very securely after each deposit, and I double-knot all my poop-baggies, and yet, every time I open the lid, a thick avalanche of malodorous skunk-air fiercely train-rapes my nostrils. I hear trashmen make a pretty good living, but you couldn't pay me $600,000 a year to be present next to my open trash can for longer than two seconds once a week. I feel bad for the trashmen. I have no doubt that they hate me and dread coming down our alley to get our trash. When I was an EMT, there were certain patient names and certain addresses that I would just pray wouldn't show up on our radios during a shift of mine. Invariably, they did. The foul-mouthed black guy with a cholostomy bag and no legs, the filthy, skeleton-looking woman with a bacteria-infected trach, the 450-pound guy with the watermelon-sized tummy tumor. I know that, for the trashmen, I am watermelon tumor guy.

I've tried putting baking powder in the trash can, but it doesn't work. When I do that, it looks like a cocaine and shit dump, and it still stinks to Christ's ass. The trashmen are just going to think I spilled cocaine in there and they'll call the cops. Or start snorting, though they'd probably die from the stench first.

Did you know that there's services out there that will come to your yard and pick up your dog's shit for you? At least, there are where I live. Growing up, I never knew that I lived in a well-to-do neighborhood, but now that I'm older and I see vans that say, "Tired of Picking Up Your Dog's Poo? We'll Come to You!" I finally get it. Fortunately, we don't have a yard where we can let the dog shit freely, and, if we did, we'd pick it up ourselves.

Actually, come to think of it, we used to live in a house where the dog shat outside, and we pretty much just left it out there. It never smelled as bad as our trashcan does, and, in the winter, it didn't smell at all.

Sometimes, my father and mother take care of our dog when we go away on a little trip, like for the weekend or something. My father loves our dog, and while we're out hiking or on the beach, I'll get a typically awesome text message from my father that will read something like this:

"Finley is great! he made
three bum-bum golden
brown. beeutiful. i sent it
to the art museum for
exhibit. love dad."

I wonder what he'll say about Finley's shit now that it's green. Will it still be museum quality?


Congratulations-- you have just read an entire blog post about dog shit. Can I have my Ken Burns money now?


  1. My Niece loves Ken Burns docs too. She wont watch the jazz docs though. She doesnt like jazz.
    The whole time i was reading your dogshit blog I kept thinking I hope he doesnt write a blog about dogshit! Doh!
    Off to send this to my niece now! Cheers

  2. I don't pick up after Adicus. Of course, he's a stealth pooper (won't go while you're watching), and there are plenty of places in the yard (like on the overgrown hill) that he can dump till his heart's content and I won't ever run into it.

    Cat shit, on the other hand, I've got a wealth of experience with. I love my cats, but must agree with Red from That 70's Show:

    "Best case scenario- the smartest cat in the world- still poops in your house."

    Wonder if there's a litter changing service?

  3. Yes, it's called a cat-sitter. Look into it-- you could probably do with a vacation.

  4. Ever watched an Attenborough-narrated BBC documentary? I assume you can find some online somewhere.

    Same deal there. He can make anything sound exciting/exotic, like you're observing something that only happens once a millennium.

    Plus, he's really damn English, so you'd love it.

    What kind of name is 'Ken Burns' anyway? Richard Attenborough... you know where you are with a name like that.


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