"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 suspect.
"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…. Poo?
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 supplies.
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.