You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy™
The Shit Shoe.
It happened as I was carrying an old television to the curb the other day. I was trudging forward, shuffling my feet on the dew soaked lawn. I had my right hand under the front of the old Digital TV, and my left hand was on the back of the Sony Triniton.
My son was in front of me, walking backward, also straining to keep this analog relic from toppling over. As we approached the street, I knew the curb was close, though I couldn’t see it over the set. I could barely see my son over the clunky box that was once the greatest TV on the market.
As we placed this new millennium paperweight on the grass, I stood straight, feeling the old man muscles in my back screech in horror.
“Why you carrying a thousand pound TV set, you old fool,” my neurons chimed in angrily.
We walked back into the house. My son plopped onto the couch.
I stood there, huffing and puffing. An aroma of stank floated under my nostrils.
My head, on a swivel, scanned the room looking for the noxious fumes.
“You smell that?,” I queried my son.
His head was buried in his smart phone, his dreams and visions filled with you tube nonsense of this new generation.
Then the horrific last thought anyone wants to think crosses my mind.
I put my hand on the wall for stability and lift my leg enough to see the bottom of my shoe.
There it was.
A brown smear of dog crap.
It was wedged into the grooves of my sneaker. There was tiny rocks and blades of grass stuck to the rubber soul.
Like a tea pot coming to boil, I felt anger boil into my neck.
What the F…?
My thoughts were blinded by frustration bordering on anger.
“I stepped in dog shit!,” I exclaim.
My son smirks, never looking up from the hypnotic screen of stupid.
For some reason that infuriated me even more.
I wanted to yell at him, but quickly realized I would have been transferring my frustration onto him.
So I bolt outside and stare at the dinosaur on the front lawn. I scan around the sidewalk and the grass near the TV.
That’s when I see it.
A smeared lump of steaming dog poo.
It is a disgusting reminder that people are rude.
Sometime, from somewhere, someone in my neighborhood walked their dog to the front of my home and then didn’t clean up afterwards.
The thought of an owner walking an animal to my lawn to take a dump had me simmering. I imagined the animal squatting, balance precarious, ass shaking with indignant intent, anus pulsing, opening closing.
Then a lump of soiled soft excrement squeezed onto my lawn.
But the animal is not the problem. Its owner is the problem.
I see red. I stare at the lump of doo on my lawn and then look around.
The neighborhood is devoid of humanity, but in my eyes, everyone is culpable.
I walk to the front door, and lean against the brick. I carefully untie the affected shoe and remove it.
I bang the shoe on the grass to dislodge the sticky, foul smelling sediment.
A clump of clay like disgust falls to the Earth.
The grooves of my sneaker are filled with a moist brown stink.
I am mad.
Who walks their dog and doesn’t carry a Mutt Mitt, I murmur to myself.
If you have a dog, be responsible. Carry a plastic bag, keep your animal on a leash. Clean up after your pet.
I love dogs. But I hate derelict dog owners.
I carry my shoe inside and set the faucet to scalding.
As the steam begins to fill the sink basin, I put the shoe, upside down under the stream of scalding water.
As the remnants of humanity’s rudeness dissolves into the city’s storm system, I think about the thin line that separates us from the chaotic abyss.
Manners and respect versus anarchy.
Is it possible the dog owner didn’t know his dog left a piping hot load on my lawn? Was he on his smart phone, divorcing his wife, adopting a child, learning his winning lottery ticket was stolen? Was he so engaged, so engrossed in the banal aspects of his life that he didn’t realize his dog squatted, quivered, and pinched a steamy pie onto my grass.
Then I wondered who? Who has the temerity to stand there and dream a visage of nonchalance while his dog craps on my lawn.
And then he simply walks on like he has no responsibility?
WHO ARE YOU SIR?
I will later look at my door bell camera and see several suspects, but there is no concrete evidence of deliberate defecation dumbness.
“You over it yet?,” my youngest says. His delivery is sterile, droll, unconcerned.
He knows me so well. He feels compelled to take my emotional temperature.
“One day you’ll be a homeowner and you’ll see how rude that is,” I say.
He smirks, never staring from his magic screen.
He silently thinks I am old.
I turn off the water and laugh at myself.
I have become Clint Eastwood yelling at the kids to get off my lawn.
And take your damn dog crap with you too!!
As I place the shoe outside to dry, I take a deep breath.
Somewhere in the distance, I hear a dog bark.
I quietly hope he’s shitting on the culprit’s front porch leaving him a piping hot reminder that what comes around goes around.