Every day, my husband Charlie and me trade off dog walking duties. Usually Charlie takes our puppy Scamp out in the mornings and I do the afternoons. But last Saturday afternoon, we were both hanging around the house, and I thought, 'Wouldn’t it be nice to take a little walk around the block together?' And let me tell you, it was enlightening!
It started out pretty much ho-hum. We’re walking and talking about nothing much, like you do. At one point I says to Charlie, “Well, People magazine is back on my good side. I just love that “half their size” issue, and January is the perfect month for it.”
“Yeah,” he replies. “I saw it in the library.”
A little clarification: the “library” is what Charlie calls our bathroom. “Off to the library,” he’ll say, “to catch up on some reading.”
So anyways, we were walking Scamp, discussing People magazine, and Charlie goes, “Those before and after shots don’t even look like the same person.”
“I know! It’s amazing what 100 pounds can do. The part I find interesting is what gets them to buckle down and do something about their weight. I mean, when is enough enough?”
As if to answer, Scamp stops to do his business, and like dog owners everywhere, we stop to watch. So I get out a plastic bag to pick it up, you know, trying to be a good citizen, and Charlie says, “Ida, don’t bother.”
“It’s not big enough to bother with.”
Well, that kind of brought me up short. “Are you telling me there’s a minimum size for scooping poop?”
“Yeah,” he says. “I think there is.”
I bagged Scamp’s deposit anyway, and we continued walking.
“So, let me get this straight. There’s some kind of system for determining if it’s big enough to pick up?”
“You bring a ruler or something? One of them gage things for lobsters you pull out and go, ‘Yup, that’s a keeper?’
“No, Ida! You don’t need a ruler!”
“Then how do you know?”
“I just know.”
Charlie and me walked in silence for a bit, me pondering this information. I wasn’t buying it.
“Well then,” I says, “what about on your morning walks when Scamp does his business twice. Do you bring two bags or one, and go in for the double scoop?” (Personally, I go for the double scoop. I know it’s an advanced maneuver, but I have special skills from working checkout at the A&P for all those years. It’s all in the wrist.)
“One bag,” Charlie replies. “And after the first scoop, that’s it. Tie ‘er up and call it a day.”
“And the second time?”
“The second time is just an after thought. Not enough to bother with.”
“You just leave it?”
“Yup. But I take a stick and kind of disperse it.”
“Yeah, you know, kind of blend it in with the surroundings.”
“So, you bring a stick on your walk?”
“No, I just find one.”
“Charlie,” I reason. “Wouldn’t it take less time to just pick up the poop?”
“Maybe, but I left the bag back at the first spot, to retrieve on our way home.”
“So that’s when you reach for your second bag.”
“Don’t need a second bag, Ida. It’s not big enough to bother with.”
After thirty plus years of marriage, you think you know someone. Then something like this comes up, and you find yourself thinking, Who is this guy?
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here.)