The crazy things we humans do

At the end of the workday today all I wanted to do was walk the dog around the little pond nearby and commune with nature. But no, humanity had to go and butt in. 

We had just crossed a lovely tree-lined street and were strolling by a classic Victorian home with well-tended gardens– the kind that you just know they paid a high-end landscaper way too much to dump a bunch of mulch and waltz around with a hedge clipper– when I noticed a huge pile of dog poop right on their lawn, close to the sidewalk. 

It was a massive mound of poop, so obvious, and so incongruous, that it absolutely had to have been knowingly deposited and then purposely neglected. 

Who does that? I thought. What kind of psychopath not only lets their beast take a dump on a lawn like this, but then goes and leaves it? 

Then I had a paranoid thought: 

…will these homeowners think it was us? 

That thought horrified me. I am the biggest rule-follower when it comes to “Curb your dog” and “No Trespooping”. I will go to ridiculous lengths to be the good doobie. I had to get out of there! My first instinct was to pretend I never saw anything and hurry away, lest the owners of the very clean and neat home think that it was my dog that pooped, and me that let him. 

But then I thought: If they see me running away, then they definitely will think that it was me and they’ll assume I’m trying to flee the scene of the crime.  

And then I got pissed, so pissed at whoever it was that did let their large and apparently well-fed dog crap on a neighbor’s mowed lawn and then did flee without picking it up, because their laziness makes ALL of us dog owners look bad. And, how dare they have put me in this awkward position where I looked and felt guilty even though I did absolutely nothing wrong! 

Jerk. Must have been a huge jerk. 

By this point my dog was sniffing at the nasty pile and now we REALLY looked like the guilty parties, so I decided to take one for the team and just pick it up. Might as well, dammit. 

I had a doggie waste bag on my hand and was just bending down, still totally cursing out the lazy, irresponsible, and jerky dog owner, when a car driving down the road right behind me slammed on its brakes and came to a squealing stop. Like tires screeching stop. Then a man inside the car started yelling. 

My very first thought was that an animal must have run across the street in front of the car, like one of the gazillions of rabbits or squirrels running around everywhere must have darted into the street, or even maybe our cat who’s been mercilessly hunting the rabbits and squirrels and then bringing their mangled little bodies to our back porch for us. 

But when I saw no such creatures, the way my brain works, I then immediately assumed that the man was the owner of the defiled property and that he was yelling at me because he thought I let my dog lay a huge-ass turd on his freshly mowed lawn. I even put my hands up as if to say, It wasn’t me! 

But then I realized he was hollering at his little kid who was peeling himself off of the back of the front seat, wailing in terror and pain. The kid must have gone flying when the car screeched to a halt, and face-planted upright against the vinyl. 

The guy was yelling “See? See? What if that had been a real accident? That’s why you buckle your seatbelt when I tell you to, because if you don’t, you could get hurt. That’s a lesson for you. Do you get it now? Huh? Do you get it? BUCKLE UP RIGHT NOW!” 

But the kid was wailing away, wiping his face, his little four-year-old face which probably was hurt because it might as well have been a real accident. It was shocking to witness this guy, presumably this kid’s father, rationalizing a cruel and dangerous stunt like that, going on and on and never asking if the child, presumably his child, was okay. All the car windows were open– it was a very warm day– and I was standing right there literally a few feet away, but they never noticed me. 

Finally the boy sat down in the back seat– still sniffling– and appeared to be fastening his seat belt, so I figured he was actually okay. 

So I bent down to pick up the worthless anonymous jerk’s big dog’s big poop. Which required two bags. 

The car began pulling away finally, but then, loudly and defiantly, the boy spat out: 


The car again screeched to a halt. The man twisted around in the front seat: 

What? What did you say?” 

The boy just sat silent, and I couldn’t see his face, but a hundred bucks says his expression repeated the word quite clearly. 

As long as it took me to collect all that feces was as long as the car sat there, and as long as the occupants inside stared at each other, presumably with seething hostility, though I couldn’t tell exactly. 

Wow, I thought, There’s some messed up folks in this fancy little neighborhood. Except maybe it wasn’t “messed up” I was thinking, because I prefer alliteration when possible. 

Then I felt bad, because, “let she who has not sinned cast the first stone”, you know? I know for a fact that I’ve pulled some shameful parenting stuff. (Except maybe it wasn’t “stuff” I was thinking, because, alliteration.) I’m pretty sure I have, but I can’t remember exactly what terrible things I may have done or said, because I was so sleep-deprived and stressed and distracted for the first few years of my kids’ lives, I can’t recall major developmental milestones, never mind those shameful moments I’d rather forget anyways. 

I recently came across a photo of my now-eleven-year-old daughter as a toddler in a high chair, and I had to admit I could not recall even owning a high chair. If we didn’t have that photo I’d probably be thinking we must have let her crawl around on the floor and tossed food scraps down there occasionally or something. 

No doubt I’ll hear about it all at some point. In any case, as the car finally drove off– and I watched it go, all the way down the road, because I half-expected the guy to hit the brakes again, and then cause a really real accident– I thought about all the crazy things we humans do, and I figured I’d write about it.

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