La La How The Life Goes On

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet

Posted on: November 1, 2011

As much as I love Halloween, I truly love when it is over. I love kiddies in costume, I love their palpable joy at being handed candy for no good reason, I love the almost valedictory neighborly socializing before we all begin to hibernate for the winter.

I do not love adolescents in “costume” [mickey mouse ears with their regular outfit] expecting candy at my door. Are you kidding me? Don’t you have boys to be texting or something? Get dressed up for real or get lost.

I do not love people giving out granola bars or pretzels instead of candy. This is Halloween, folks! I don’t give you an Easter egg at Christmas, do I? So give out the candy already. If you don’t want to, then don’t hand out anything. It’s my job as the parent to decide how much candy my kid eats, so you don’t have to do the nutrition job for me. Kthxbye.

I do not love communing with my neighbors in 30 degree weather. “Hello, Global Warming” is all I’m saying. Snow on Halloween. Nuff said.

Leading up to Halloween, we had–as usual–Baby Sister being a total pill, refusing to participate, and in general impeding the preparations for everyone else. It started around 3pm–the usual time when she morphs from cute funny happy monkey to what my dad would have called “a bear with a sore arse.” As we were getting out of the car she refused to put on her shoes. REFUSED. For 15 minutes. So I said fine, walk into the house with bare feet, but you have to carry your boots and your jacket. Think ill of me if you must, but I subscribe to the concept of natural consequences. If you dally around in the AM and forget to put your lunch in your backpack then you will have no lunch. (Well, I usually give one “freebie” as in, this is the first and only time I will drive your lunch to you after drop off. Act accordingly). So, I was thinking that she would step out of the car, freeze her damn feet off and immediately beseech me for her precious boots, all the while apologizing profusely for being three and obstinate. Well, just as the moment was about to happen (minus the apologizing part from my fantasies), some guy walking his dogs says, “Oh my goodness! She shouldn’t be out in the cold like that! It’s too cold! You should put some shoes on her!”

Really, motherfucker? Really?

And as quickly and smoothly as an autumn leaf falls from the tree, Baby Sister sees that the global balance of power has shifted. She is no longer ready for her boots. She is ready to hear more from this obviously well-informed dog owner who is appalled at her Mama. She begins to prance around in her bare feet, proud of her ability to bring total strangers to attention. Nay, to bring total strangers to shocked horror in their kindred disapproval of Stalinist boot-loving Mama. From this moment on, there will be no boots, there will be no obedience. There will be only Baby Sister, fittingly on this Halloween, living the words of Robert Burns in Tam o’ Shanter: nursing her wrath to keep her feet warm. I was beyond furious. So I just said, “Yes, I’m aware that she needs shoes. Thanks.” Luckily my icy stare made know-it-all dog owner take off before he saw Baby Sister’s boots coming at him.

Which brings me to people who let their dogs take a shit outside my house: please don’t. The other day I saw a woman letting her dog shit on that strip of grass near the curb. Picture if you will: your lawn, then the sidewalk, then that 3 feet strip of grass before the curb. The dog is dumping on my grass! I know, I know, she’s going to pick it up. But hello? I put my bags on that grass when I’m getting into the car. My kids play on that grass. It’s MY FUCKING GRASS. But she’ll pick it up! She’s got that plastic bag thingie! Great. But a dog has still shit on my grass. Still not convinced? How about I come and take a crap on your kitchen floor? Don’t worry! I’ll scrape it up when I’m done! No problem, right? Because if I remove large chunks of poop from your floor it’s like I haven’t really pooped, right?
It’s called curbing your dog for a reason. The whole world is not your dog’s toilet.

Speaking of toilets and neighbors, I was recently the recipient of divine retribution for being a dickhead. The people a few houses down from us put three gross mattresses out on the curb and there they sat for weeks. Weeks! The BabyDaddy and I, not usually the type of people to get all huffy about stuff like this since we have two kids who essentially destroy everything, completely could not stand looking at these mattresses every single day. We’d harrumph about it over dinner: “Why are they there? What is wrong with these people?!” We’d make grrr noises as we drove past them. We’d tell friends about the nasty mattresses blighting our street for weeks on end. We’d imagine terrible things about the motives and manners of the people to whom these mattresses belonged. And then we put our TV out for municipal bulk pickup. “Call by Friday at 1pm, and pickup will be that Saturday between 10 and 4.” I made the call days earlier. Uncle Neil left work early to come help put the 800 pound TV out there on Friday. Saturday AM arrived and we felt so glad to see it go–unlike those heathens and philistines whose mattresses were STILL THERE. Only, it didn’t go. Not that Saturday. Not that Sunday. Not the next Saturday. Not the Monday after that. Oh no, friends. It took 6 phone calls, three online requests, and three weeks to finally have our TV removed from the front of our house. Only 6 days later than the mattresses.

It became clear that WE were now no doubt the object of our neighbors’ irritation, with our big old redneck TV and stand sittin’ out there for weeks on end. All we needed was a couch and an old fridge and we’d have been set up for watchin’ them there raccoon races wit’ ma kinfolk from Pennsyltucky. Horrifying. Until yesterday when I drove up the street to see–on our neighbor’s curb–a washing machine and a toilet. Hosannah! A commode! Toilet beats TV any day! We’re saved!

That said, I really hope the town picks it up soon. Mostly so my neighbors don’t feel bad about their trash for weeks on end, but also because I’m sure if it stays there someone will let their dog crap in it.

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4 Responses to "Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet"

This blog continues to be the best thing i read on the internet. Thank you EPZ. And i guess thanks to Al Gore.

Um, actually, Mama it’s not YOUR grass, it’s the berm and it belongs to the city, which is more than happy to let you maintain it for them. There are no prohibitions against pooping (canine, that is) on the berm, as long as the poop is scooped. No self-respecting dog will actually poop in the gutter when there’s grass to squat in, the taller the better. I often wonder, by the way, whether the dog wonders, “Why is he picking that disgusting stuff up and saving it?” Well, gotta go. It’s time for more berm-desecrating.

At least they pick up the dog shit…I keep meaning to write a letter to the editor regarding the monumental amount of crap that dog owners leave on the sidewalk along the otherwise pretty ocean walk in my town, which by the way is labeled a “heart healthy trail.”

I can identify with your hillbilly image. When I moved to Houston a month earlier than the rest of the family, I arrived with a loaded pick-up truck pulling an over-loaded U-Haul trailer. I doubt that Jed Clampett would have made a worse impression than I did as I pulled into the driveway of my shiny new home.
I think that the neighbors were relieved when the rest of the family finally arrived with all of their stuff in an eighteen wheel Mayflower Vanlines truck.

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