Nor’easter is a term i was never familiar with until i moved to the east coast, and I have a problem with the name itself. It’s that quaint sort of past-looking word that leaves me with the same feeling as when I see crap like ‘Ye Olde’ on a pretzel box, or walk past another one of the spate of neo-speakeasies that are all the rage in New York City. And anyway, if you’ve lived anywhere near a tornado corridor as I have, you know that this monster is really just a sissified version of the sort of storms that actually ARE scary, and do have you taking note of where heavy objects and windows are. Any Midwesterners remember winter 1978?
Alas, this week I had to endure yet another round of mother nature flexing her Grandma Triceps. Yeah, it was a lot of snow – annoying, but hardly crippling. So after letting the worst of it peter out, I began the process of clearing the 2 foot-wide (approximate shovel width) footpath to my door and down the sidewalk, taking great care to stop exactly at the property line, because hey, that’s not MY fucking snow.
My father used to tell me “don’t eat the yellow snow.” Then he would point the nozzle of the snow-thrower at me when I wasn’t looking and barrage me, like a shotgun spay, with the contents of half the driveway. I still carry that wisdom with me (to a therapist) , but there would be no yellow this day. Yep there’s nothing like churning up a big pile of dog shit to make your shoveling experience a special one.
Now, living in New York, I’m no stranger to shit. ALL kinds. Brown is the new black in this city, moreso than any place I’ve ever been in my life. Why? I’m not entirely sure, but there’s attitude that comes with being ok with sharing your pet’s excrement that I have experienced firsthand.
A couple of summers ago, I was about to leave for work on a lovely warm morning, and happened to casually peek out of the little window in the front door, and saw an older gentleman bent over my recycling can, very obviously putting something in it. So I opened the door and began a dialogue. It went like this:
Me: did you just put something in my can?
Him: uhhhh. Yeah…Dog shit.
Now, he could have easily been contrite, but I’ll be goddamned if he didn’t just puff up and get all indignant about it.
Me (agitated): Don’t put dog shit in my recycling can!
Him(defiant): Well, I was doing you a favor, I could have just left it on the sidewalk!
Amazing. I felt like I was on Maury.
Maury: This is Tonya. She’s married and had her husband’s co-worker’s baby. Then she strangled his cat!
Audience Member: I just gotta say, YOU NASTY!
Audience: Woof Woof Woof Woof!
Tonya: Bitch you don’t know me! I was doing my husband a favor. I hated that (bleeping) cat. And his sperm was weak!
The little oven that produced the baked goods in question reveals itself. It’s a ratty little poodle. Now I’m more pissed. I hate ratty little poodles.
Me: Yeah, well I’m not real excited about either of those options. So get that shit out of my can, and don’t ever do that again.
Him: grumble, grumble.
So I leave for work and purposefully cross the street to avoid further conflict. He stares me down. So I cross back.
Me: Listen, what exactly is your problem? You put shit in MY can, then you want to treat me like I’m the asshole?
Him: I don’t know why you won’t let it go!
Me: Because you’re staring me down over something YOU did. That’s bullshit. Don’t do it ever again.
Him: Ok, Ok!
End of episode. It just amazes me when a person’s first reaction is to defend the very idiocy that they could have very well just apologized for, and probably saved themselves the extra embarrassment. But then, this person just put dog crap into your personal property, so my guess is the level of self-actualization isn’t terribly high. The sidewalk-to-poo ratio in this city tells me this sort of dialogue might happen way more often if people got up a hair earlier in the morning. Is it a New York Thing? Just maybe.
Ah, memories. Snow can cover them, but they wait, suspended, ready to be re-experienced, like food from the anus. So are the days of our lives.