Monday, April 19, 2010

Dooky Duty!

My grandfather always had Labrador Retrievers.  Some thought that he appreciated them more than his family and if he could get away with it, he’d make love to them.  They were always large, good tempered and their favorite pastime was bird hunting.

For the amount of love my grandfather had for these animals, he fed them surprisingly bad food.  It was always the absolute cheapest bulk crap he could find.  He’d sometimes mix in some table scraps to change up the flavor but for the most part, the poor old things were doomed to a lifetime of substandard sustenance.

There was an interesting side effect to the food these dogs ate; tumultuous colons.  These Labrador Retrievers were unbelievable gas factories, they farted unlike any dog I’ve ever seen or smelled to this day.  They would fart so loud and hard that you could literally see their anus lips slapping together and if you know a big lab, you know how big those poopers are.   The smell was shocking and not like normal dog gas, this was rotting corpse meets Tijuana hooker breath.  I’m convinced that whatever was mixed into their food had something that would expand in their bellies to give them the sense of being full.  It would also cause the poor animals to crap all the time.  I’m sure that you’ve already come to the obvious conclusion that their turds were massive.

When I was 8 years old, my grandfather decided it was time for me to have an allowance.  He let me know that I’d have to work a few hours for it each week, doing jobs around the house to earn my weekly money.  He decided that the main job for my pocket money would be to mow the grass and pick up the dog shit in the backyard.  It had never been actually picked up before, it was gross and my grandmother had had enough of it.

So my chores began, I had no problem doing them and to be honest, I was pretty damn excited.  I’d mowed the lawn before and enjoyed it.  I figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone and just mow the piles of dog poop along with the grass.  My first day of chores was interesting.  I started mowing the overgrown back yard grass that was riddled with fecal stalagmites.   It was pretty fun to run over the big piles of doo.  You see, my grandfather was too cheap to buy a mower with a catcher so the grass, twigs and shit would just fly out of the side of the mower.  The larger and fresher the turd, the cooler the sound it would make.  The only downside was that when I hit a large pile, it would vaporize it and the moist cloud would usually hit me in the face; I could taste it.  I was proud of my streamlining the process by mowing the crap but my grandparents thought differently.

I was told the following week to pick up the turds before I mowed the grass.  This was a serious bummer because it was now going to take much longer to earn my allowance.  Being the creative young man that I was, I came up with a solution; doo-doo catapult!  I figured that if I could come up with a device that would allow me to fling the turds out of sight, it would be a win-win for everybody!  Now to just figure out what the hell to make the catapult out of.  As I stood in the kitchen cooking my eggs trying to construct the tool I needed in my head, I looked down at my hand and realized that I was holding the perfect tool; grandmothers spatula! 

Things were great for the next 3 months of summer.  The grass was cut, clean and smelled nice.  My grandparents were happy because their backyard looked wonderful and I was getting a nice little allowance.  As an unexpected bonus, I was thoroughly enjoying my work.  I found that it was really fun to fling the heavy piles of wet smelly dog poop high up into the air, over the neighbor’s yard and onto their roof.  The higher I’d fling them, the greater the splat they’d make upon impact.  I was a hell of a shot too, I never once hit a wall, window or yard; pure roof baby!  Our neighbors were almost never home when I was blitzkrieging their roof with poo.  It was a good thing because they’d definitely would have heard the loud thumps.  I also made sure that my grandparents weren’t home when I did my chores; I didn’t want my “special tool” to be found out and taken away.  Plus I knew that my grandmother wouldn’t be very happy if she knew that the spatula that she used almost every day to flip eggs was also being used to scoop and fling turds.

Now our next door neighbors, the ones whose roof I was stockpiling doo-doo on, were serious assholes.  They were wiry folks who were always frowning, scolding their children and complaining about everybody else’s yards and children.  They kept everything absolutely perfect on and around their house and expected, even sometimes demanded that everybody else do the same.  There had been more than one unpleasant run-in between neighbors and this family; they were miserable people.

Towards the end of summer, I had been putting off my dog-poo duties for a couple weeks.  You see, summer was coming to an end and as much fun as professional dog poop flinging is, it’s not more fun than swimming and running amok with other kids around the neighborhood.  This is especially true when you know that summer is ending and school is just about to begin.  My grandparents had been patient with me knowing my final days of summer predicament but just couldn’t stand my putting of the pooper picker upper duties any longer.  I was given until the end of the day to take care of my backyard responsibilities.  After much whining, arguing and failed attempts to persuade my grandparents to let me do it later, I gave up and headed outside to do my duty and pick up the poodie.

I didn’t really care that day if my grandparents caught me using the cooking spatula as my personal poop mortar.  It never even crossed my mind that they’d give a damn about my using the unpleasant neighbor’s roof as a destination for our dogs’ excrement.  Frankly, I didn’t give a shit about anything at that moment, I had to do something that I didn’t want to that was taking away from playing; I was pissed.  I marched through the kitchen, snapped up my grandmothers’ spatula and stormed out the back door. 

I was determined to take care of the dog shit and lawn in record time so I could get back to my friends who were at that very moment waiting in the front yard for me.  I started running from dog shit to dog shit, scooping and flinging towards the neighbors roof.  I was scooping and flinging turds as fast as my grandmother scooped and flipped pancakes that very morning with the same spatula!  As you can probably guess, I wasn’t worried about accuracy at this point, it was the furthest thing from my mind.  I was concentrating on quantity and speed.  I’m sure you’ve also probably guessed that when the neighbors got home and found dog shit in their perfectly manicured lawn and wall of their house, that I got in huge trouble.  You would be wrong in this assumption.  Not that I didn’t get in trouble but how I was discovered.

I have to back up about 20 minutes earlier to clearly paint the picture of what happened and the incredibly serious trouble I caused.  I had ridden up to my house with a pack of kids on our bikes; not realizing my grandparents were waiting to ambush me and make me work.  As me and the large gang of boys arrived at the house, I noticed cars absolutely everywhere and figured somebody was having a party.  What I didn’t realize was that it was the mean neighbors who were having a massive party for their co-workers who were all bankers.

Now please remember, I was mad, deep in thought about how I’d never make my children clean poop when I grew up and furiously running from pile to pile, flinging with all my might, over my shoulder, towards the neighbors house; I was oblivious to the outside world.

About the time I’d chucked the 15th or 20th turd, I can remember seeing my grandfather come running out the back door waving his arms in the air, face bright red and screaming something at me.  I then remember my realizing that there was a lot more screaming and yelling, other than my grandfathers.  There I stood, spatula in hand, massive fresh dog shit on spatula, grandfather racing towards me and the full realization of what it’d just done.

I immediately felt like I was going to soil my pants, my chest grew tight and I began to tremble.  It only got worse when I could see the guests, bankers in suits, their wives in nice summer dresses, still running for cover.  My grandfather stood there yelling “Jesus fucking Christ, what the hell were you thinking!”  My grandmother walking up to me but only looking at the spatula and said in a feeble voice “how long have you been using my spatula?”

Almost at the same time, both my grandfather and I turned to look at the neighbor’s house.  It was a mess, there was shit everywhere; and it got worse.  The K9 shrapnel had not been kind to the partygoers.  I’d succeeded to hitting a number of people, including innocent women and children, with poop.  The food for the party had not been spared either; it was tainted with stinky doo-doo morsels.  The party was officially over.

I don’t know what my grandfather told the people next door that evening but he was in a heated negotiation for a very long time.  As they stood in their back yard, neighbors’ arms flailing, fingers pointing in every which way, retelling the horror of the carpet bombing they’d just experienced and presumably pointing in the direction of each turd and turd nugget strewn throughout their property; I began to feel sick.  I was sure that I was going to be hauled off to jail or grounded for life.  Just as I thought I was going to throw up, there was a lull in the discussions between my grandfather and neighbors.  My grandfather turned to me but to my surprise, his face was not red with anger but was a stern look indeed.  As I looked into his eyes in anticipation, he gave me the slightest of smiles and winked.  He then turned back to the wiry neighbor and recommenced the heated dialogue.

I was not punished harshly, almost not at all.  I was however given a very long and stern talk to by my grandmother about using her kitchen cookware as turd picker uppers.  But even towards the end of that conversation, both of us giggled each time she used the poop word.  My grandparents weren’t angry, especially because my grandfather thought the neighbors were assholes and got what they deserved.