By Vernon Felton
Hey, you. Yeah, you, the person who takes his dog on a walk in the forest and lets him crap in the middle of the trail. This one is for you.
Let me begin by admitting that I am not a social animal. I do not chit-chat. I do not wave and talk to my neighbors. I never make small talk with the supermarket cashier. It's not that I'm an asshole—not all the time, anyway—I just crave peace and quiet. I think that's one of the things that draws me to mountain biking—the escape from the masses. Turning the pedals takes me away from the annoyances of modern society. It fills me with serenity. It provides a respite from the yelling, squabbling and pettiness of everyday life.
At least it did, right up until the moment when I noticed the dollop of dog shit on my shoe. Your dog shit.
Look, I'm a fan of dogs. In fact, I like canines more than humans. I've yet to meet the German Shepherd who's tried to rip off my car or sell me a bogus health insurance policy. Dogs are alright in m book.
No, I don't hate your dog. Sparky or Mr. Muffins probably jumped out of the car at the trailhead today with nothing more on his mind than the pursuit of butterflies and squirrels. But then he had to take a crap and, lacking a thumb and a roll of Charmin Ultra, he squatted in the middle of the trail and left a pile of well-camouflaged feces; the very feces I plowed through at high speed and which is currently spattered on my new Shimano shoes.
Did I mention the smell? Nope? Well, there's a reason "smells like shit" has a place of its very own in our lexicon. This stuff absolutely reeks (seriously, what do you feed your dog anyway?) and here's the thing about dog crap, if you finish a ride and find a chunk of the stuff roosting atop your shoe, you can bet there's a hell of a lot more of it wedged into the nooks and crannies of your tires ands spackling the bottom of your downtube. The shit on your shoe is always just the tip of the filthy fecal iceberg.
Yup, I just checked and it looks like someone painted the belly of my bike in recycled Alpo.
And then there’s this: I drove to the trailhead today and there’s no bike rack on my car. I’ve got to break my bike down and stick this feces-frosted machine in the back seat and that means I'll dedicate the next half hour of my life to scraping your dog's poop off my bike with a stick and, if I'm lucky, maybe a PowerBar wrapper.
Just a suggestion here: pick up your dog's shit the next time he hunkers down in the middle of the trail and booby traps it with a pile of his evil. It's the responsible thing to do. It'll make someone else a much happier human being…and, here's a bonus, you'll never have to wonder why I came to your house and left a bag of dog shit on your front porch.
I'm a conscientious guy so I'm give you notice right now: I have a mastiff and the thing cranks out crap like it's going out of style. He's a pro. You'll see. Just as soon as I get this dog shit off my shoe, you'll see…
Consider yourself warned.