Thursday, June 24, 2004

Hazelblackberry: not to be taken with food

Dear Nick

Grumpy thinks that the richer people get, the smaller their dogs get. Grumpy also believes that Pink may be running out of material.

I couldn't comment on the Pink thing; I just haven't watched enough TV Hits, which is a crying shame. All I know - and I may be wrong - is that she once had pink hair but now is blonde. Is that the case? To illustrate his case, Grumpy turned up a song of hers on the radio the other day in which she whinges about some bloke who didn't come to her show even though she left tickets at the door for him. Maybe she even got a ticket for him rather than her mother? Well, some friend HE turned out to be!

Mind you, I think they were a little more than friends. If you get my drift. I wonder if her mother knew....

Anyway, as for the dog bit - sometimes on our drives home we detour through the Nicer Suburbs. Lately, I've been noticing the kinds of dogs that are accompanying their owners on strolls through their leafy, privileged streets. It would seem - though I claim no thoroughness in establishing a working hypothesis or rigorously collecting data - that the preferred style of dog is a small and generally fluffy chap. Domesticated rats. Though I admit some are charming, in a NIMH-esque way.

NOT that I am anti-dog. Except for large, fangy dogs that live on properties with "ENTER AT OWN RISK - ATTACK DOG" signs on the front gate; gates which are often left wide open, swinging in the breeze. I like the concept of a dog. A loyal fella trotting at your heels, looking up at you lovingly while you wait to cross the road. But as wonderful as they may be as pets and friends and, yes, even members of the family, there is one compelling argument against dogs: scooping.

You KNOW what I'm talking about, but here's a bit of detail.

On the weekend Grumpy and I were cruising the streets in the faithful Georgia Satellite. We pulled up at South Perth foreshore to admire the view; where Grumpy once again displayed his unerring sense for finding the one car park with a bin in front of it. "Thank Christ we're finally here," he said (he can speak a little coarsely at times). "You wouldn't believe how many postcards of this view I've sorted in the last 6 months." We sat in contentment for a while, admiring the river and the city skyline and the lid of the bin, and then along came a family for a picnic. They had with them some big old galumphing pooch who had clearly seen better days (particularly in the worming department, he kept dragging his bum along the grass in a most pitiable fashion).

Well the fresh air and exercise clearly got the better of the big old boy and he graced the manicured sward with a poo. Then the mother of the family covered her hand with a plastic bag and scooped up the prize. I got to thinking about a bag of freshly-gassed rats I had to pick up one day at school from the front office for dissection. As I carried the warm bundle back to the classroom I put the wind up myself a bit wondering what it would be like if they all suddenly came back to life and started wriggling madly for freedom.

Wait, I do have a point and the point is this: as the woman walked over to the bin a deposit, she had a look of repulsion about her. Grumpy and I pondered this and could only reach two conclusions. Either:

(1) no matter how many times you pick up a dog's poo it never ceases to be disgusting; or
(2) it isn't really all that disgusting to the owner, but you have to put on a show for all the people around you, because you wouldn't want anyone to think that you thought that picking up a dog's poo was somehow perfectly civilised and normal.

The family then laid their picnic blanket right down over the very grass where Rusty had been dragging his posterior round and round. We left then. I'm sure they had a lovely afternoon.

Until next time, Nick.


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