There’s no rule that says I gotta write about food. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
In fact I am dedicating today to– how shall I say this. Well, dog poo. May I talk about dog poo without upsetting you too much?
You see I live in a nice neighborhood. I have nice neighbors, or so I thought. But take a look at this. Someone on my street used their wireless router to shame (presumably) another neighbor about pooch poop. Maybe this street is not quite as decorous as I thought. Because no matter how you look at it, there’s at least one jerk within wireless spitting distance of my house. Either someone is not picking up after their dog or someone is just plain nasty enough to name their wireless network: “Pick up your Dog Shit”! OMG. I never thought I’d use that word on my blog.
At first I thought to myself, “does this guy (I hate to think it’s a gal) know I can see this?”
Then it dawned on me. Of course he does. This is obviously some kind of message. But who’s the message meant for?
As far as I can figure, there are four dogs living on this street. My adorable mutt Mogli is one of them. My dog is so adorable that I am quite confident that this message can’t be meant for me (or him). In fact I am so doo diligent I often wonder what my adorable mutt Mogli thinks each morning during his daily constitution. Because from his point of view he sees me carefully gathering and lovingly wrapping up his daily doo every time he doo‑s it. He must think his poo is precious. At least precious to me. I always wait til he’s not looking to dispose of it.
Okay so now we have eliminated Mogli. That means it’s one of the other three dogs. Well let’s start with the chihuahua Trixi across the street. She can’t weigh but three pounds and probably eats about 2 tablespoons of kibble a day. Besides she’s so uptight I doubt she poos at all. Even if she did I can’t imagine her overtly anal owner ever forgets to pick up the poo. Besides don’t people who own a chihuahua think everything about the little rat is golden– including the poo? So Trixi is out too. It can’t be her.
Then there’s the old guy two door over. He’s strange. He made a fortune as the owner of several adult book stores in Los Angeles, because he had the good sense to sell all of them before the age of internet made all porn free and democratic. He creeps me out. He yells at people who park near his house (it’s a public street).
In fact he’s so loathsome that I would have pegged him as the owner of said router. Except I doubt he even has a computer, let alone a wireless router. He’s that old. He might still be a serial killer, but I doubt he’s clever enough to think so devilishly about new technology.
But he could be the guilty party in this crappy caper I suppose. I used to see him walking two dogs around the neighborhood, two dogs make a lot of poo. Maybe more poo than one old man could handle. But one of the dogs passed away last year, making the job of poo patrol somewhat lighter I would think. I know because I saw him crying in his car one day and asked what was wrong. Talk about a bummer. I didn’t know what to say. I never really liked him, but man he must have loved that dog. I was unprepared for that side of him. So now I wave or make chit-chat whenever I see him. That’s how I know that soon after the death of the one dog he hired a dog-walker for his remaining hound. I just can’t imagine a professional missing a big pile of poop. Nope. It must be the last dog. The new dog on the block.
So I developed a plan. It was a plan I thought would either embarrass the offending dogowner into picking up after her pooch or at least she’d give herself away in the eyes. Either way, problem solved. Not that this was really my problem.
My first hurdle was evident. I didn’t know the woman or her dog. So bringing the whole issue up would be a bit tricky. In hindsight I see that I probably should have let the whole thing slide. But once I start on a project, I’m sorry, I just have to see it through. I was determined to find out who was not picking up after their dog. So I summoned all the courage I had and knocked on the door of the new neighbor. A fit blond woman about 35 opened the door, drinking water out of a bottle. I had only seen her and her dog a few times. But I knew this was her by her Stella McCartney for Addidas yoga pants. Why is it some people seem to only own work-out wear? What do you suppose they wear at their weddings? But I digress.
Anyway, I introduced myself and she seemed nice enough. Then I pulled out my iPad, asking her if she wanted to see something funny. She looked perplexed, but cordial. But guess what? All I was getting were innocuous surnames and completely expected monikers of wireless routers. You should have seen me too. A few steps here, a lunge to the right– trying anxiously to get the network to appear on my screen again.
Perhaps a bit too anxiously because her perplexed expression turned quickly to panic, and she said, “Why don’t you come back when my husband is home, I know he’d want to meet you.”
As she (double) locked the door I realized that not only did the new neighbor think I was unbalanced– worse yet, she probably thinks I am dangerous. Maybe even a serial killer. If only I could explain it to her. I could have knocked on the door again and asked her to come into my house and see my router for herself. But of course that sounds psychotic even to me.
So I turned, my new Converse Jack Purcell’s barely missing a fresh pile of Pooch Poop heaped on the walkway in front of me, and skulked home.
I felt defeated but not completely without recourse because I immediately changed the name of the wireless network at my house to WTFICU2.
Which is sort a disappointing ending to a rather pointless Pooch Poop story. GREG
Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in Panama & Costa Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.