Q: Why is it such a big deal if I drop my bag of dog poop on the side of the trail and forget to pick it up?
A: Thanks so much for your question, CP, and for being the first to submit one to our new feature, The Dog Parkist. I am delighted, thrilled even, to answer your question. First, a little background. I am a product of the working class. One of my earliest childhood memories is watching my father, a telephone lineman, sit at the dining room table at night extracting splinters from telephone poles from his calloused hands. While my father worked, my mother dedicated her life to keeping a clean house instead of running a major corporation or ascending the ranks in the Armed Forces. When my brother and I were older, she would ask us, with thinly veiled sarcasm, if we thought that she had been put on this earth to pick up after us. Our response was a shrug. That seemed to be what she did all day, right? Wasn't that the world order we'd been born into?
So, I see where you are coming from CP. You are a clueless, self-absorbed adolescent who thinks that other people enjoy picking up bags of poo that have been festering in the hot Texas sun for hours, if not days. Of course, your response might be that you have done the dirty work. You have actually put your hand into that dinky bag and scooped up your dog's soft, gooey excrement yourself, and that you really, truly, honestly meant to return to that bag and take it to the dumpster on your way to the car. But, of course, by the time you made a full loop and were headed back, you forgot. Or, worse, you saw that disgusting, shriveled bag of poop on the ground and thought, "Ugh. Who left that there? I'm not touching it."
So let me tell you what happens next. Some innocent Parker, someone very much like the Dog Parkist herself, comes along, and, in a snit, picks up your abandoned bag of excrement between her thumb and index finger. She walks with her arm outstretched, in order to keep the offensive bag away from her person. Her every thought is now consumed with the desire to reach a receptacle in which to dump a rude stranger's dog doo. She tries to think pleasant thoughts about helping the community, but they grow darker and more bitter with each step. CP, with your thoughtlessness, you have ruined a perfectly good walk for someone else. Your half-assed efforts have interfered with another Parker's experience of the Park. Feel bad? Good. Thanks for writing!
Dear Readers: Please e-mail your questions or comments to email@example.com or click on the button below this post. The Dog Parkist will not be deterred by your lack of interest, however. She will continue to pose interesting and relevant questions and provide helpful, if snide, responses. Thanks for reading!