This morning, as I walk my friend’s dogs around Yummy Mummy TriBeCa, one of the pooches, Jo, stops to take a crap in between two trucks. Over the course of the last week, I have learned the nuances of their outdoor bathroom habits. Both dogs prefer doing their business on cobblestone; I imagine the reason has to do with texture, as they are Los Angeles dogs used to pooping on grass. I’m not saying that cobblestone and grass are reasonably comparable, but I’m trying to think like a dog so give me a break.
So today, as Jo squats down in between two cars, I start to pull out a blue plastic bag in preparation for my least favorite duty in the world – handling poop with my hands. From across the street, I hear a voice project in my direction. It is warbled and mixed in with the sound of passing trucks. Like any good and desensitized New Yorker, I ignore it and continue to watch Jo bear down. And then I hear it.
“PICK UP YOUR DOG SHIT!”
Pardon me? I look up at a man sitting on a loading dock, wearing jeans and a hat. Jo is not even done pooping when he shouts this unsolicited request. Despite his blue color uniform, at first I think the man might just be the unofficial mayor of TriBeCa, overtly concerned about the cleanliness of this already absurdly clean place. Over the next four minutes, I discover this man is simply insane.
Immediately coming to my own defense, I yell back, “What do you think I’m doing with this?” while waving my empty blue plastic bag in the air. “PICK UP YOUR DOG SHIT!” he yells again. Jo finishes her business and I bend down to swiftly pick up the resulting product.
“EWWWWWWW!!!!! YOU’RE TOUCHING DOG SHIT. YOU’RE TOUCHING SHIT!!!! EWWWWWW!!!!”
At this point, I am furious. Totally and completely livid. My cheeks burn hot and red and I begin to sweat under my unnecessarily warm wool coat. Although I can’t be truly embarrassed because this guy is a nut job and anyone walking past knows this, but still, someone is pointing out the obvious: I am handling poop.
My retort comes quickly: “THANKS FOR THE NARRATION, ASSHOLE! GO FUCK YOURSELF.” For added emphasis, I give him the finger – something I have done, typically uncharacteristically of me, two times in the last three days.
As I walk down the street, his unwelcome documentation of the dog poop incident follows me towards the direction of home.
“DOG SHIT! DOG SHIT! EWWWWWW!!!!”
I keep my eyes down and the blue bag of evidence hanging heavy in my left hand. People walk past me and I know they know that the crazy person is singing this song about me. I have never in all of my life wanted to throw feces at another human being. But I consider it. I really do.