Stepping in dog shit

If there is one thing we should be able to do in this day and age, it is to avoid getting shit stuck to our person. But it happens. We step in dog shit. 

There are a multitude of disempowering moments when one steps in dog shit. There is the moment of realization, the squish of our shoe and the prayer that it is something other than what it is. "Oh, I just stepped in mud." That is the magical thinking phase. If that moment is missed, the next moment occurs when a waft of putrid rancidity bombards our nostrils. "What is that disgusting smell?" It is usually just a matter of seconds before the appalling truth registers in our minds. "I could be the source of the putrid rancidity." 


The next moment of disempowerment occurs when we confirm that we are indeed the source of the foulness. A leg is lifted. An ankle is turned. Tread is visually inspected and sniffed. There it is. It has happened. The gag reflex kicks in. Disempowerment is rampant.

We do a lot in order to avoid smelling bad in our culture. We bathe, brush our teeth, wear deodorant and slather ourselves with oils and perfume. We want to distance ourselves from stench. But body odor is a bouquet of roses compared to the foulness of dog shit. A beautiful day outside is invaded by a most unpleasant odor, a clear shift in the winds of fate. And there isn't anything we can do about it. 

Further disempowerment occurs when dog shit comes into contact with treasured objects, or even worse, loved ones. Part of what makes stepping in dog shit special is its sometimes stealthy nature. Unbeknownst to us, we enter our car and smear said dog shit onto our mats and pedals. An unwanted invader has perpetrated the sanctity of our mobile sanctuary. 

Or we track it into our house...or even worse, a friend's house.

That, my friends, is an awkward moment. It begins when the smell fills the room. Everyone in the space is in the bargaining phase of the loss cycle, hoping the whiff is some ghost remnant from an unpleasant event in the past. When it persists, there is an automatic shift into a self-centered orientation:

"Please, God, please don't let it be on my shoe, please, not my shoe, anyone's shoe but mine, please!" 

Then there is the moment of truth, the hush in the room, the checking of the shoe, and that moment of total disempowerment: "I stepped in shit, and I tracked it into my friend's house, and everyone knows it was me."

Finally, there is no dignified system of removal once this unwelcomed guest has breeched our inner sanctum. You can slide your shoe through the grass, skid it through a puddle or scrape it against a curb (all of which make you look like a doofus), but in the end, you have to sit down and use a stick to dig the crap out of your treads. A water source is necessary to do a thorough job. One must be careful when using a hose, for it is here that a whole new level of disempowerment is possible. The spray of the hose can spatter dog shit on your face.

There is really no way to escape an encounter with dog shit unscathed. Your best bet is to welcome the absurdity of this event. You are part of a long standing tradition that dates back thirty-thousand thousand years when man first domesticated the dog, and shortly thereafter, stepped in its feces. Breathe in the history, my friend.