Wednesday, February 21, 2007


When snow first falls it is one of the most peaceful and beautiful things this planet has to offer. After a day or so, as cars go by, the pretty snow becomes a nasty gray slushy mess of gross. You spend a while slushing your way through it to get to wherever it is you need to go and then the weather changes, and it starts to melt.

I love melting time. I have very fond memories of crunching the ice and snow along the edge of a pile with Mom who called it “helping the spring along”. When snow melts it seems that the world is being reborn. It felt more like that when winter actually lasted forever and thaw truly meant spring but, whatever. I don’t even mind the fact that everything is icy because of all the thawing during the day and freezing at night, I just tread softly and hope for the best. Luckily, I have gotten much less clumsy since leaving college. Is it the more reasonable shoes? Is it the lack of Bates Hill? Is it my less cloudy mental state? We may never know. I just know I haven’t fallen (outside) in like two years and that is pretty impressive.

Unfortunately, in the years since moving off Belmont (thanks for the wonderful memories crackneighborhood but when the aging hippies changing their socks on the “stoop” ask you to wait until they are done before you can get into your own apartment it is time to leave) I have learned something about snow melting in the more homey areas of town. It’s like a magic formula of some sort; snow melts, poop appears.

I have never owned a dog. I plan to own a dog someday but now is not the time. This being said, I have also never walked a dog. Henceforth, I have never had to pick up poop. This poop picking up is the thing I most dread about being a dog owner. I am sure I will get over it eventually but the idea is just disgusting. I don’t want to be one of those lame dog owners with the scooper tool but I just might go there. Don’t even get me thinking about babies pooping. I don’t know how I am going to handle that when the time comes. I am kind of scared. I digress. Dog poop, not baby poop, is the topic at hand.

For the past four years, give or take, I have lived in very dog friendly neighborhoods. My current area, in particular, is doggie heaven. People are generally decent about picking up after their dogs. There is always stray poop here and there and it makes me cringe but it is typically ok. That is not the case when the snow melts.

I suppose what happens is that a dog walks into a snowy area and poops. The poop, presumably being denser than the snow, falls into the snow and the owner forgets that the poop is there. Out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, when the snow melts, all the formerly out of sight poop is now in plain view. It is everywhere. Sometimes it is frozen looking, sometimes it appears to have thawed out as well. All I know is that I am in serious danger.

Yesterday I noticed no less that twelve large poops in rather prominent places on the sidewalk. Please realize that I did not actually count poops and am simply guesstimating. The first one was right where someone would step if they left my apartment building and took a left. Luckily, it was enormous and I didn’t step in it. This first encounter put me on the lookout. It was good that I was. I had to dodge poop left and right, occasionally stepping on slippery ice to avoid the potential squish. Luckily, I didn’t slip on the ice and fall into poop. That would have sent me straight home and back to bed. I made it to the train and I was ok.

The walk home from work was even scarier. When I get off the train it is dark. Imagine walking along, knowing there is ice and poop everywhere, and trying very hard not to fall prey to either. It is no picnic. I made it though, it was ok.

This morning I noticed much stepped in poop. I felt very bad for all the poor souls who did not fare as well as I. Let this be a warning to everyone. Snow melts, poop appears. It is inevitable. Keep your eyes open and your shoes clean.

1. Hey little boy you’re not allowed to stay/ You have to evolve inevitably/ And I’ve sure come a long way.

2. He said “I’ll protect you like you are the crown jewels” /Yet/ Said he’s feeling sorrier for me the more I behave badly/ I can bet.

3. Love is a dress that you made long enough to hide your knees/ Love to say this to your face/ I’ll love you only.

4. I heard rumors/ I heard talk/ About the trail you left of /Broken hearts

5. And I/ Never thought I’d feel this way/ And as far as I’m concerned/ Glad I got the chance to say/ That I do believe I love you. That's What Friends Are For, Stevie Wonder and company. Identified by Brooke.


Brooke said...

Friend, that's so funny, I always thought Thom York was saying No Strings. Nice Dreams, eh? Hmmm.

#5 is That's What Friends are For - Stevie Wonder. I really really want to make fun of you, but since I recognized the song I guess I can't.

Mom said...

Various musings...

Congrats on not falling for the past 2 years. (grin)

The thing about baby poop is, you generally don't have to touch it or (yuck) feel how warm it is when it just came out, like you do when you pick up your dog's poop. And generally one's own kid's poop is far less annoying to smell or see than any other baby's poop -- I dont know why, it just is.

For all these reasons and more, I heartily endorse the doggie pooper-scooper tool. Why not, after all? No creature should have to touch another creature's poop.

I remember the first inklings of the dog poop problem when I was in Chicago recently. I do hope the owners go out and do a "clean-up". Or (much more likely) that you have a good rain soon!

And since when do you wear reasonable shoes? I cannot imagine...

Steven Novak said...

I had to pick up poop all the time when I was a kid...

Maybe it has something to do with my intese dislike for dogs these days. :)


CSL said...

Funny stuff. When the snow melts (quickly) around here, it's cowpies tha appear.

Johnny Yen said...

When I was a kid, there were no leash laws, and so there was dog poop everywhere. When I moved back to the city after college, there was something missing that I couldn't place. It eventually occurred to me that it was the smell of dog doo in the alleys.

When my family moved to the suburbs, one of the chores my brothers and I was to go with a little shovel and clean up the poop in the backyard from our two dogs. My mother couldn't resist telling us we'd done a crappy job.

Johnny Yen said...

Doh-- meant to say "there were no scooper laws"

notfearingchange said...

teehee...good post.

First - not falling. I found that after university where my butt was left black and blue from my docs failing me winter after winter. I too do not fall anymore. teeheee.

Second - hate the winter. I wear jeans to work and have a change of clothes at my office for office wear. Saves on me freezing my butt and from the salt stains.

Third - poop...euw gross! lol....

Lizza said...

A poop post!

Oh, Natalie, the image of you in the dark trying to dodge poop is hilarious. I'm glad you got through it unscathed.

Dark Damian said...

You'll get REAL used to baby poop. You'll have to. You'll see so much of it.

And once your kid is 2, you've seen so much shit (figuratively and literally) that nothing will phase you. Vomit on your shirt? Whatever. Urine on your lap? Please. Poop on your hand when you change the diaper? Just gimme a baby wipe and the Diaper Genie, and keep on truckin'.

Dog poop pales in comparison.

Oh, and screw snow. Yay for Texas!

Natalie said...

Brooke- No strings would be a good song too. I made fun of myself about That's What Friends are for, it's ok. You were in my dream last night. We randomly met in a strange theater where we were watching Midnight Cowboy (and other movies were playing all around to different audiences)but I went to the batroom and missed the funny dance. Then strange stuff happened to us.

Mom- Thanks, I can walk now. I wear reasonable shoes on the way to the train and stuff. I change into normal shoes at work.

Steve- Maybe the point is to make the kid pick up the poop. Good idea.

CSL- I bet cowpies are huge and nasty to step in. Gross.

Johnny- I am very happy about scooper laws,and leash laws. Your mom is hilarious.

Not fearing- I wore docs one day last week, it was funny. I usually am not cold due to my thick tights and salt doesn't reach my skirts. Poop sure is gross.

Lizza- I thought it was time to talk about meaningful tihngs like poop. It was funny to see me jumping over poop that may or may not have been there.

Damian- Maybe the dog can change diapers? I have much respect for your poop abilities and hope to have them myself someday.