Noilly Prattle: The Dog Sh*t War

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Dog Sh*t War

WARNING: This article contains bad language and unpleasant images.

     Our neighborhood has enthusiastically jumped onto the bandwagon of wars on just about everything.

        Let me explain more or less briefly.

        Japan is a very organized society. We have associations for everything here. I wouldn't be surprised if we had an association to promote better regularity. It could be called the Association for Better Bowel Movements (改善された便通協会). There is a thing called the Neighborhood Association that every household is required to belong to on pain of ostracism. We the members have to pay dues and fulfill certain duties, including twice yearly neighborhood cleanups. There is a local neighborhood chief who is required to serve a period of one year. The chieftaincy rotates to each household in the neighborhood from year to year. The chief is responsible for passing out circular notices (回覧板) to each household. These notices are usually pretty bland and innocuous. But the one we received today was quite startling in its graphic directness about a dispute over doggy doo.

        People here are usually pretty fastidious about politeness and decorum among the neighbors as well as keeping the neighborhood clean. The Japanese border on fanaticism about cleanliness. It leaves “next to Godliness” in the dust.

        Anyway, the dog poop scoop.

        We used to have a dog, Alfie was his name, and I used to take him for walks for exercise and to do his business. Alfie was pretty fastidious about where he deposited his turds. It's a good thing because there was no way I was going to hold a baggie under his ass and wait for him to fill it, which is what many local doggie walkers do with spoiled pets urging and cooing little Mignone to poo-poo for Mommy. No, Alfie was a man's dog who had the smarts to crap in the grass instead of on the sidewalk. OK, end of preamble.

        Lately, on our health walks in the neighborhood, we've been noticing un-picked up dog turds along the side of the road. Now, this can be very annoying if you step in a freshly deposited pile—as anyone who has spent any time in Paris will know. I started muttering under my breath: “This neighborhood is going to the dogs.”

        So, today, this circular comes around to our house about a dog sh** fight in the neighborhood. One of the neighbors (Number 1) who was on the receiving end of another neighbor's (Number 2) dog's deposits got angry and told the offending neighbor to pick up their dog crap or else they'd call the cops. Neighbor 2 ignored the threats and so neighbor 1 called the cops, who said they couldn't get involved in such a trivial dispute. Their main occupation is setting up speed traps for unwary motorists whenever the department is low on money.

        The offended neighbor (1) decided to take the law into his own hands and poisoned two's dog by giving it food laced with an agricultural insect poison easily available from any home center. Whereupon, the pet's owner (2), understandably upset, began a screaming contest with the poisoner (1). I don't think it deteriorated into pitching dog turds at each other though. The wars went on and on at escalating decibels until the Neighborhood Association decided to step with its usual persuasiveness by issuing a circular notice.

        The circular politely suggests that everyone please cooperate in picking up your dogshit so as to avoid such an unpleasant and unseemly display of bad manners. (If I were the neighborhood chief I would have invited the combatants to join the senior citizens gate ball association, where, if push came to shove, they could have swung gate ball mallets at each other. Better than flinging dogshit, I'd say.) 

No comments: