My dog frequently defecates on the sidewalk when we are out walking. I realize this an unprepossessing opening to a blog post but please bear with me.
Anyway, being a good neighbor, I take great pains to remove these turds from wherever they may fall -- most often right in the middle of a busy street -- utilizing one of the old grocery store plastic bags I collect for this especially unpleasant and embarrassing chore.
Hunched over my squatting dog, plastic bag turned inside out on my hand like some a hazardous waste disposal mitten, I have never felt more like a social outcast. Only the wheezing vagrants retrieving spent cigarette butts from the gutter receive more disapproving looks than the blushing pooper-scoopers such as I.
Nevertheless, once the wretched bundle has been swiftly and discretely deposited into the nearest trash receptacle, my municipal obligations are complete and my torment is over. The dog and I can march on our merry way as if nothing had happened and I thank my lucky stars for the modern convenience and versatility of plastic bags: a simple, effective solution to a filthy problem.
So last week I was aghast to learn that our "going green" town government had banned the distribution of plastic bags by local businesses. Consequently, the neighborhood grocer must pack my fruit and vegetables in brown paper bags, which, let's be honest, lack the non-porous durability to cope with even the two or three tiny fingers of fresh excrement a small dog can produce.
This means my supply of plastic bags will be exhausted before too long and I have no idea what to replace them with. I suppose I'll be forced to buy one of those "park service" litter picker-upper type things with flexible jaws on the end instead of a spike. But curbing an excitable dog amid all the distractions of a city is an ordeal in itself, never mind operating an array of unwieldy specialized tools as well. And what of those imminently bankrupt plastic bag manufacturers and their soon to be laid-off employees?
I'm as eco-friendly as the next man, but surely Mother Earth can overlook a little landfill to indulge the rest of us in our plastic bag habits?