So this is how it all started:
There’s a strip of lawn between my house and my neighbor’s that’s, oh, about six feet wide. There’s no discernible easement, nor a fence. This is the place where Petey does his business.
On rare occasion, I go a day or two without picking up the resulting product of Petey’s business. Never more than a couple days, though.
So there’s the set-up.
On Tuesday last, I got home pretty late after the Renny Christopher event. There was a note on my door, and something on the welcome mat. In the dark and distance, I thought it was a package.
It was a piece of cardboard, with two days worth of dog poop on top.
The note, taped to my door with a return address label, said, ‘Please stop letting your dog crap on my yard. Matt’
I threw the note and the poop away and fumed for two whole days.
I had this idea to send Matt a card, one with a blank inside and a peace symbol on the front. A tiny smear of doggie doo on the inside.
But I didn’t. I chose to rise above Matt’s childish, passive aggressive play. I ignored it and, from then on, made a silent vow to pick up Petey’s droppings when they are fresh and warm. Again I feel the need to stress that this is something I do normally do.
A week passed. The lawn remained trimmed and free of poo.
On Tuesday morning, I took Petey out for his morning dookie dump. And there was Matt (who I’ve only seen once before in the two years I’ve lived here.) Here’s how our conversation went:
Matt: [petting Petey, who has run to him for scritches and scratches] He’s getting big.
Me: Yeah. Come here, Petey.
Long, awkward pause.
Me: Hey, I’m sorry about that poop. I guess I slack–
Matt: No biggie.
Me: -ed off for a…
Matt: I know it’s a big chore.
Me: …couple days.
Exit Matt, stage left.
Me: [inside my head] What I was trying to say, you big jerk, is that yes, I did slack off on my Poop Patrol for a couple days, and thanks for picking it up for me. I appreciate that. As you said, it can be a big chore, and I do appreciate you taking it on. Rather than leaving the poop on my doorstep,though, you might have instead left the note, requesting that I be more responsible and respect our social boundaries by taking care to clean up after my dog. I wouldn’t have minded that. But that’s not what you did, is it, Matt? Noooo. You had to be a BIG JERK and go one step too far. So poop on you, Matt. Poop on you.
And don’t walk away from me while I’m thinking about what I should say to you.