A decade or so ago, around the time we bought a little Pekingese puppy, I began noticing the birth of an increasingly powerful movement that I’m still trying to wrap my head around: the pooper troopers.Aside from the obvious absurdity of wrapping biodegradable mass in unnecessary plastic, there's something psychologically weird about the dogshit obsession. It's another sign that the city is becoming, literally, anal about stupid stuff.
I’d feel their cold stares as I walked my dog. Somehow, while my head was turned, they had infiltrated the social and cultural consciousness of America. Under their watchful eyes and the movement’s fluttering banner (a plastic grocery bag), it had become politically incorrect, anti-social, downright disgusting, filthy and even criminal not to scoop your mutt’s poop.
I gave the matter deep thought. What is the purpose, I asked myself.
Even so, despite the ascendancy of the scooping fetish, I somehow manage to step in it as often as I ever have. (Seriously, ask Menckles. This happens to me so frequently that she jokes I must be doing it on purpose.) And, yet... you know... shit happens.
On the other hand, anti-poop fad has made for some interesting signage around town. Here are some that I've noticed in recent years.
There's the simple approach.
That sign is from January 2006. At this time, there were still flooded cars, downed traffic signals, and various other forms of debris and flotsam everywhere. But someone decided dogshit was the real barrier to tidiness. The masking tape and plain paper approach was in keeping with the post-K DIY aesthetic.
This one is the polar opposite.
Very classy from 2008. In the Garden District, of course.
You can get other sorts of professionally made dogshit signs too. Here's a cute little number I noticed on Napoleon Avenue a few years ago.
This one is even simpler. Graphic, rather than language based.
Then there is the more official signage. Or, at least, signage designed to look official. Like this one in the Marigny from 2006.
Is it really a $100 fine? Who enforces that?
Here is an official sign at the gateway to the Crescent Park. It's only been there a year or so at the most and already someone has embellished the message a bit.
Whoah.. I really wonder who might be responsible for enforcing that one.
The best dogshit signs, though, are the homemade ones. Here is one I noticed during Mardi Gras 2009. It's meant to be read at poop's eye level.
And then there's this one right around the corner from 45 Tchoup.
At first I thought the misspelling was cute. But, when I noticed another one just like it, I realized it was an affectation and it became annoying all over again. Kind of like the whole poop-scooping concern itself.