Saturday, May 14, 2005

Don’t Be a Nincom-poop

I want to talk about a serious national problem: people who don’t pick up their dogs’ doodies.

Before I get started, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not for a minute suggesting that people who leave their dogs’ fecal matter on the ground are selfish, lazy jerks. I’m sure they have a good reason for simply walking away after their pet has fouled a sidewalk strip or someone’s lawn. Perhaps they sincerely believe that dog logs evaporate or turn into fertilizer. Maybe they view their pets’ intestinal sculpture as art, and as such it should not only be left where it is, but should also receive federal funding.

The dirt snakes that you proud pet owners leave lying around serve as little (and sometimes not-so-little) reminders that there are lots of well-fed animals. We can see by the evidence that your canine companions eat Science Diet, Iams, Purina and Eukanuba. A few dogs apparently eat socks. It does my heart good to know that they get plenty of fiber.

Those of us who do our doody duty, or don’t have pets, would appreciate it if dog owners would kindly remove their pets’ depth charges so that the rest of us don’t accidentally step on them or run them over with our lawnmowers. We would like to work and play without fearing these land mines.

Remember that whatever comes out of your animal is considered trash, and so it is your responsibility to pick it up and dispose of it properly. Yes, it decomposes, but not right away, and it kills grass because not all excrement is fertilizer. Cattle and other herbivores produce good manure, but carnivore poop is about as useful as the United Nations.

Letting a dog off leash is a no-no. In addition to being illegal, it enables dogs to “let go” out of your sight so you can’t clean it up. Also, free-roaming dogs tear open trash bags, chase cats, and run in front of cars. For these reasons, an unleashed dog is about as desirable as Michael Moore.

You wouldn’t do a Number Two on someone’s lawn, would you? Of course not. Very few people in our country do that. Well, allowing your dog to do it and then not picking it up has the same result. None of us needs any more crap in our lives; we have enough trouble with the IRS.

Did you know that the plastic bags we get at supermarkets make great pooper scoopers? So do the bags that our newspapers come in. Just tie a few to your leash so you can’t forget them. Use a bag as a glove as you pick up dog mess, turn it inside out and tie it shut. If you’re worried about fecal matter going through the bag, one bag inside another will (heh heh) rectify this. I often return from dog walks with a bag or two of you-know-what, as though I’ve just bought food from Taco Bell, the difference being that my dogs’ droppings are more nutritious. I just leave them in the driveway until trash day. My home is now the House on Poo Corner.

I have personally used hundreds of bags on my dogs, not only on walks, but also in my back yard. It never ceases to amaze me that every week they eat seven pounds of food but leave ten pounds of “gifts”. Which reminds me, has anyone seen my socks?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


How do so many irritating people become celebrities? They infiltrate TV shows, musical groups, magazines and newspapers. Any show or ad featuring them should come with complimentary barf bags.

I understand how some people become “stars”: an icon marries, sires or gives birth, and then uses his/her own fame to convince the media to give his/her talentless family member undeserved coverage. Pia Zadora, Melissa Rivers, Paris Hilton, and Ron Howard’s brother are classic examples. But how do you explain Roseanne Arnold? Snoop Doggy Dogg? Howard Cosell?

Famous wastes of protoplasm are worse than useless; they are detrimental to society. Yet we continue to not only tolerate them, but also pay them. Why is it a crime to steal $5 worth of gas, but it’s okay for Garth Brooks to get paid $5,000 for a single concert? Why is it a crime to spray paint on subway walls, but it’s perfectly legal when Michael Bolton mutilates Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me”?

Then there are everyday people who try to make minor celebrities out of themselves with body “art” such as tattoos, nose rings, tongue rings, etc. As far as I’m concerned, self-mutilation doesn’t deserve special attention.

I think we should find a use for annoying people. For example, jail doesn’t seem to deter crime, given that prisons keep filling up. But what if we forced all convicted felons to look at naked pictures of Rosie O’Donnell?

The fire and brimstone of Hell isn’t strong enough to religiously convert everyone. But what if we convinced folks that Hell also included people we can’t stand? For example, here is my definition of true Hell:

I’m at Starbucks (which in and of itself is bad enough). A snotty teenager with an eyebrow ring and an I’m-cooler-than-you attitude serves me a Double Mocha Latte Frappaccino, which I hate because I don’t drink coffee. John Tesh, Kenny G and Wayne Newton are singing, with LaToya Jackson and George Michael as backup singers, while Sandra Bernhard does a striptease act. All of a sudden I’m overcome by the most annoying sound in the universe. I look over my shoulder and it’s Fran Drescher laughing. She’s sitting with Liza Minnelli. At another table Newt Gingrich and Dr. Ruth Westheimer are making out. Willie Nelson comes up to me and asks for some change. Jim Bakker and Oral Roberts wander over and do the same thing while promising to let me spend eternity with them. Pauly Shore and Milli Vanilli try to sell me Amway. Then Danny Bonaduce sits next to me. He wants me to lend him money to help him get a percentage of a Nigerian prince’s fortune that he got an e-mail about. As I look away, Dionne Warwick and a bunch of her Psychic Friends walk in. She predicts that I will enter into a business relationship with F. Lee Bailey. Just as I pass out from garbage overload, Geraldo Rivera offers to take me home.