Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Rain Will Wash It Away

Today was the first of my weekly dog shit pick-up, for which I am gettin paid $10 at the end of the month. Once a week, I have to roam the backyard looking for piles of decomposing fly-covered turds to scoop. Since our backyard isn't fully enclosed, we can't let our dog out without a leash. Therefore, we have a wire running from our back porch, diagonally across the yard, to an opposite corner of the back fence. To this wire, we hook up a leash so Batsy can run along freely back and forth as he chooses.

Unfortunately, I waited for a bad time to start the job. My mother had invited her friend with her two kids, and they were currently sitting in our backyard: the parents drinking wine, and the children playing on the lawn (away from the dog's poop ridden path, of course).

Before going out, I put on some old shoes I didn't mind getting dirty, and planned out my technique. I would stick my hand into a plastic bag, pick up as many piles as I could in my fist, and then use my free hand to turn the bag inside out. Instead of just one, I would use two bags (in case the first had a hole in it). Not having any proper tools, all I had at my disposal were grocery bags. The same grocery bags that we trusted to carry our milk, bread, meat, fruits, and other foods home from the grocery store. The same grocery bags in which we brought home the dog food itself, which is now scattered into digested piles all over the back lawn.

With my plastic bags in hand, I walked out unto the back porch, only to hear, "You're gonna need at least six or seven of those," from my dad. Before I even got to the lawn, I could already see a fresh, steaming heap wating for me. I picked it up using my pre-planned method, but the smell was too much to take, so I immediately inverted the bag and threw it a few meters away. I looked down at the lawn and saw that it had left a brown smear on the grass. The rain will wash it away, I thought, and continued along the rest of the backyard, praying that I didn't step in anything.

Our guests quickly noticed what I was doing, and my mother's friend asked my parents, "How much are you paying him? Maybe I should get on my knees and give him a hand!" Hilarious. Somehow, things just aren't as funny when you've got week-old clumps of excrement in your palms.

And then, as I was tying up the last bag, my dad noticed the smear I had left from the first collection. Thinking someone stepped on it, he asked the kids to check their shoes.

"Oh, don't worry, the dog probably stepped on it himself. The rain will wash it away," I said, hoping to get away clean.

"No, how about you tear out the dirty grass so we don't have worry about it anymore."

Well at least for all the other times after that, I tore out enough of the dirt so that I felt as less of the warmth and soggyness as possible.

On my way back to the house, I wiped my shoes on the (clean) grass, and checked for the twentieth time that they were shit-free. When I got back into the house, I took them off, and then touching absolutely nothing, I walked to the bathroom and washed my hands for five minutes straight.

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