Year of the Dog
I was born in the Year of the Dog.
2006, the year I conceived and developed this blog, is the Year of the Dog.
A blog about dog shit created during the Year of the Dog, by someone born on the Year of the Dog seems strangely fitting.
For the above reason(s), it is ironic that my first and only upbraiding by a New York City Parks employee to date would be at the behest of a dog.
Aside from the “Latina Chicks with Dirty Old Geezers” dvd I recently found behind our apartment, I gave my husband the very best birthday present of all last week: I landed an interview for a job. But in true Miss Heather fashion, this did not come to pass without incident.
Being the punctuality freak that I am, I left Greenpoint at 12:00 p.m. in order to make sure that my well-groomed white-trash ass got to Union Square by 1:00 p.m. I got there at 12:20 p.m. Damn.
I decided to knock around Union Square awhile and what happened next merited a phone call to my husband.
Me: I just got my ass reamed out by an employee of the New York City Parks Department for having a dog in a public bathroom.
Mind you. We do not have a dog.
I had consumed a lot of water and tea before I left the house, so I sought out a public bathroom. Union Square does have such facilities. They are pretty disgusting, but I really needed to go, so I ventured inside.
The ‘handicapped’ stall appeared to be occupied, so I selected the other one. Pissing away in a state of bliss that can only be had after drinking at least a gallon of water, in August, and riding the L train, I looked downward to find a dog. An old Boxer was peering up at me.
“This is weird”, I thought to myself.
I do not like anyone watching me ‘do my business’, so to speak. Then again, a dog is probably the least of all evils I can possibly encounter in a New York City public bathroom, so I tinkled away. Eventually I heard a woman’s voice from the adjacent stall say “O.K. Betty, are you ready to go?”
“This is getting really fucking weird” I thought to myself.
The word “go” has a very distinct meaning in a bathroom. I sat on the bowl as he/she/it/they exited the adjacent stall. I heard the door to the women’s bathroom open, and shortly thereafter, a banshee-like scream.
Imagine Yoko Ono getting buggered with a fire hydrant and you’ll get the general idea. It was not a pleasant sound. My bum-gut instinctively sealed itself shut, so I ‘adjusted myself’ and ventured out of the stall. I found a homeless woman washing herself while her dog waited patiently.
Homeless Woman: Why the fuck do these people get so freaked out by dogs?
Me: Hell if I know, but if I had to take a guess I’d say it’s because most people expect large dogs to be mean. Your dog (Betty?) is nice enough, she doesn’t bother me. Boxers are good dogs. They’re being assholes.
As the homeless woman washed herself and I waited, a NYC Parks Employee started beating furiously at the door. “Betty” started to get restless, so I placed my shoe firmly upon her leash so she would not try to bolt out of the door.
NYC Emp (opening the door and looking at me): You MUST get that dog OUT OF HERE!
NYC Imp: GET THAT DOG OUT OF HERE, A WOMAN HAS COMPLAINED ABOUT IT ALREADY!
Me: But it is not my dog…
NYC Imp: ?
Me (pointing to the Homeless Woman) : It’s her’s.
NYC Imp (in a soft voice, to the Homeless Woman): You need to get your dog out of the bathroom. There’s a woman out here who will not go into the bathroom while it’s in there.
Me (exiting the bathroom and thinking to myself): FUCK YOU!
Even homeless people get more respect than I do. Wherever Rodney Dangerfield is now, I am certain he is weeping tears of sympathy. Perhaps even tears of envy.
Then again, getting a good dressing-down before a job interview is not such a bad thing. It actually made everything that followed rather anti-climactic, if not downright pleasant. I arrived at my potential new employer’s place of business with a renewed sense of humility. A placid state that can only be had from extreme paranoia.
And when I got home I made a very long, very overdue and very gratifying visit to the bathroom.
Cats were afoot everywhere and yet no one screamed.