When I wake up, I take my roommate’s dog for a walk. I do this every morning. I didn’t know how quickly he would get use to it, however. As soon, and I mean immediately, as soon as he hears my foot on the steps, he’s at the door of the basement. That’s where I live. The basement. And it’s actually nice. Anyway, there this dog is. He stretches, he wiggles and he used to bark. But I stopped him from doing that. We’ve gained a trust, he and I. I will walk him promptly if he doesn’t bark. And when we go outside, he sniffs every tree, pees all over the world and, and here is the part that is the center point of this writing, he shits. And I have to pick it up.
I sort of want to pause there. I want to state the previous statement again, but separate it from the rest of the words, to give it emphasis.
He shits and I have to pick it up.
I find this horrible. For several reasons. It’s not the actual picking up of the shit, which makes me mad. It’s the fact that I have to do it. It’s a law and stuff. If you own a dog, and the dog shits, you are responsible for picking the dog’s shit up. Which, I mean, can my mind blow out any more than it already has? So, if a stray dog shits, no one has to pick up anything. And if there were a pack of stray dogs rolling around, shit could be everywhere and no one would care.
Who picks up Deer shit?
This is a serious question. Who picks up the shit that deer shit? No one. Why? Because no one owns deer. So, if you own an animal, you have to put your hand into a plastic bag and pick up warm shit when the animal shits. But if you don’t own it, you never have to pick up shit. Ever.
This is why I don’t own animals and this is why I’m a bit afraid to have children.
I asked my students once why lying is unethical. They gave me the usual answers. Lying is bad. Lying is wrong. Lying is a sin. That’s not why lying is unethical. Lying is unethical because, if the entire population of society lied, we’d be a dysfunctional society. Same with stealing, adultry, all that. Some people doing these things doesn’t screw the system up. But everyone doing it causes real problems. Masturbating isn’t unethical because it doesn’t hurt society. As a matter of fact, it does the opposite. But we’re getting side-tracked. Our society is built on rules. And, as a society, we’ve fine-tuned things to the point that it is a sin, an unethical crime, for me to let my roommate’s dog shit and for me to just walk off. That’s wrong, somehow. Every time I have to do it, I get mad, really mad, that I pay taxes for people to sit around and think this stuff up.
What does this have to do with me and kids? Everything. Because, when I have children, if I do, will I even care if they do things? If I had my way, dogs would shit all over the place and we’d just let nature take care of it. But what if my kid skips school? What if my kid pulls his or her pants down in public? I don’t care if a dog takes a dump in my neighbor’s yard. Will I care if my kid takes a dump in my neighbor’s yard? You are saying, having a kid and having a dog are two different things. I’d argue no, it’s not. The only difference is that dogs are perpetual kids, while kids grow up, listen to bad music, dye their hair green, say they hate you, leave, realize you were right all along and then move back in after college because they can’t find a job. Wait, what was my point?
If this post seems abstract, you have to understand this feeling I had today. I was at Lafayette park in Downtown DC, laying on my back, my pack as a pillow. My feet were cross, a breeze was blowing over my face. The sun was blocked by the tree I was laying under. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. No one was talking to me. I’m sure I was receiving emails and texts, but my phone was off, so it didn’t matter. For an hour, I was the island that I’ve always wanted to be and always seek to return to.
If I get upset that I have to pick up dog poop, will I get upset when my child says they are hungry or bored? Will there be enough chemicals pumping into my brain to allow for the emotional connection needed to change my child’s diapers? This is what I think about.