"Daddy, what is that?" I had no idea what it was, but I do know
it wasn't there when we left.
"I'm not sure." I replied. We were still four houses
away from our front door, but it was hard not to see this
thing on our front lawn. I squint, but I couldn't make heads
or tails of it. However, I have safely eliminated squirrel,
cat, dog, hedgehog, raccoon, gopher, tiger, giraffe, stork, lemur,
miniature cow and Ally Sheedy, everything else was still a
"Why isn't it moving?" Lu asks.
"I don't know, maybe its eating." Or planning an
attack? I don't know what to do, I'm sure whatever it is,
it's loaded with rabies. I grab a rock and take aim.
Soaring through the air, it flies a good 50 yards and lands within
a foot of the beast. It doesn't move. Hmmmm….
I've probably angered it.
"Well let's just start walking, maybe it will scurry away as we
get closer." Lu positions herself behind the stroller.
For a second I worry that Ruby, who is strapped into the stroller,
might prove to be too tempting of a meal for the beast to
refuse. I arm her with a stick, immediately she begins to
gnaw on it. Perhaps she's sharpening her 2 front teeth for
battle. She smells the fight. Oddly enough, the closer
we get to our house and the beast, I begin to smell something
too. It doesn't smell like fear. It smells like….
Standing in front of the house, I'm absolutely shocked by what I
see. Ruby begins to cry, I turn the stroller away from the
scene. Lucy covers her face and backs up to comfort Ru.
I'm beside myself, how is this possible? It's
horrifying. I look back at the corner; it was the last happy
place we stood. I'm scared because I can't explain what we
are looking at, it just doesn't add up.
"Da, who did that? Who pooped in our yard?" I
stumble for words, because I don't think it's a question of "who"
pooped; it was a question of "what." I was standing before
one of the most colossal piles of dump EVER! Seriously, do
you even understand that 6 minutes and 50 feet ago I thought there
was a predator in our front yard? Come on who would allow
this to happen?! This is a family friendly neighborhood in
Chicago, not the plains of the Serengeti. Lucy is so visibly
disturbed; she has flat out refused to come any closer to the
house. Ruby is none-the-wiser, thankfully, she's still facing
the happy corner. And I'm… I'm… I'm just overcome with
curiosity. This is other worldly. I mean yeah it's a
poop, gross-whatever move on… but I can't! I'm drawn to this
riddle, I need answers.
"Aren't people supposed to pick up their dog poop?" You
see, even Lucy knows the rules of society and she's only 3! I
explain to her that yes, if you have a dog and it poops, then you
should pick up after it. But I don't have the confidence to
say this mess was in fact made by a dog. In my estimation, it
is far more likely that this Earth tilting mound of turd came from
a rhino, a 14 foot Yeti or a T-Rex, and if that's the case, I have
no idea what the poop removal etiquette is.
I have no idea what to do. Is this a crime? Should I
call 911 and report a case of vandalism? Does the city have a poop
removal truck, they send out in extreme cases? Of course this
is all wishful thinking. I already know what the answer is.
I'm only postponing the inevitable. For the sake of the
children! For the sake of the neighborhood! And for the
sake of all humanity, I have the unfortunate and perhaps dubious
distinction of being the "Chosen One." With the girls playing
under the watchful eyes of Mother Nature, I run to the garage for
I grab a snow shovel, two empty garbage bags, gloves, the hose
and a bike helmet (if this were a movie, I'd substitute the bike
helmet for a colander). I return to the front of the yard
prepped to do battle. I turn Ruby around, she needs to
experience this. She needs to know how far I will go to
assure her safety and guarantee a normal life. As I get
closer to the pile, I think I see a sock in there, a whole sock, as
in whatever did this, ate a foot. I jump back.
"Seriously! What is going on?! Am I on camera?
Is this a joke?!"
"Daddy, who are you talking to?" I don't answer. I
listen for hidden laughter and wait for a B-list celebrity to jump
out of the bushes and tell me that I'm on the WB's new hidden
camera show. I wait for Mario Lopez. When nothing
happens, I look over at Lu and say, "no one." Then I man up
and begin the excavation.
The process takes way longer than expected. Somehow in
less than an hour's time; the entity maliciously rooted itself into
the ground, forcing me to dig up 3 square feet of soil. Lucy
was a real trooper, she stood by my side (12 feet away) providing
just the right amount of inspiration.
"Scoop the poop. Scoop the poop. I want lunch so
scoop the poop!" She cheered. After bagging the final 8
pounds and disposing all potential evidence of an unknown urban
gorilla, I step back assess the damage. Scientifically
speaking, I'm certain that this will either be the most fertile bit
of land Chicago has ever seen, or one that has been so severely
damaged, plant life ceases to grow there for a million years.
Only Spring will provide an answer.
After lunch, I put the girls to bed and take a scalding hot
Silkwood shower. After which, I pour a cup of coffee, grab a
box of tissue, turn on the soothing sounds of Cyndi Lauper. I
sit quietly searching for answers while the mellow screams of "She
Bop" fills the air. My Zen moment is suddenly interrupted by
the ominous moans of Lucy's poop induced nightmare. This
angers me. I wonder how this event went unnoticed by the
community. Or maybe it didn't… maybe someone did say
something and what if the only thing left of that person was the
sock? What would I have done? I don't know. I
don't have the answer. But what I do know is this; I already
have enough on my plate. I'm an over-protective paranoid
father in an unstable world. I have a lot of things to do and
a ton of things on my mind, the last thing I want to do is deal
with someone else's crap. It's a smelly heavy mess and if
you're not careful, it might eat you alive.
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