Last night my new husband and I returned from our European honeymoon, and we were disappointed by the lackluster greeting we received from our Labrador Retriever. Duncan must have been upset with us for leaving him for two weeks.
So this morning I made it up to him by playing guilt-fetch and then I took him along for a walk to buy milk. Although Duncan had the opportunity to go to the bathroom in his own yard, he decided to do it in front of my neighbor’s house.
While scooping the poop into a Wal-Mart bag, I wondered what I should do with it. We could: go home and put it in our own barrel, fling it into a neighbor’s can, or throw it out at the store. Unwilling to walk home (this milk was for my coffee) and afraid of getting caught poop-slinging by the neighbors, I decided to dump it at the store.
But once we reached the corner store’s trash can, I saw that someone had written “NO DOG CRAP” on it three times. Crap is a really strong word. It tells you something about the person who wrote it— “Poop” is playful, “waste” is proper, but “crap” is very angry.
I figured that the store owner would rather have my business and my dog’s business instead of no business at all. So in went the waste.
I looped Duncan’s leash around a pole, went inside, and brought a half gallon of skim to the counter. But the little store was empty, save an old man pretending to read the newspaper.
I heard a bark. The clerk was outside by the trash can. Crap.
All of a sudden, a man with a shaved head and blurry tattoos walked right into the store holding my Wal-Mart bag full of excrement. “It says no dog crap right on the barrel” he said as he gripped the bag with a full fist.
“Oh. Would you prefer me to bring it in?” I asked.
“If that’s what you gotta do” he said as he handed me back Duncan’s poop and politely explained that he didn’t want to smell it all week.
Jetlagged, more annoyed than embarrassed, and in need of my coffee, I made nice with the clerk. I paid for my milk while dangling a bag of doody over the display of Trident and Tootsie Rolls. I doubt the clerk washed his hands.
“Welcome to America” I thought to myself as I juggled the milk, the dog, my change, and bag of poop all the way home.
Maybe next time I’ll take Duncan for a slightly longer walk to the 7-11, where they don’t discriminate against what you dump in their trash can. Or maybe I shouldn’t have picked it up at all.