I Get No Respect

I moved slowly through the back yard, plastic bag on each hand, picking up the shit as I went.  The dogs watched from the back door…and I swear they were laughing at me.

The joy of pet ownership.


8 responses to “I Get No Respect

  1. You’re right, they are laughing at you.

    Because you go to work to make money to feed them and they turn it into shit and you pick it up for them.

    Ain’t life grand!

  2. You know, I invested in one of those scooper things that sort of looks like a glorified version of barbecue tongs. I probably look like an eccentric whack-job when I de-poop my lawn, but it’s better then plastic bag duty (no pun intended).

  3. We’re considering the miniature septic system: http://snipurl.com/2bwh6
    Though the dogs will just laugh at me for spending more money on them. They always win.

  4. “Though the dogs will just laugh at me for spending more money on them.”

    I met a waiter in Hoi An, Vietnam who would cry if he heard about someone spending the equivalent of the wage he makes for a month of 12hour days on a glorified plastic trash can to handle dog crap.

    I bet he’d be happy to sovle your dog crap problem for nothing……….

    in just one meal for his family.

  5. Well thanks, Razz. Now I feel like hell. Though you certainly tread on a slippery slope where any problem or concern you have in the first world is completely meaningless and it’s selfish to even think about it.

    Your kid has allergies? That’s nothing, kids in africa are starving to death every day.

    Car won’t start and you’re late for work? How selfish of you. Most of the world’s population will never own a car, and millions dig through landfills for scrap metal because they can’t get work.

    Your logic nullifies anything and everything that may be of issue in my life. Yet it’s still an issue, whether or not someone else is much worse off.

    Frankly, I don’t like those arguments. “At least you’re alive.” Yes I am. Though I suppose my gratitude for that much should make me an emotionless robot, since others are dying every day. How dare I be angry about losing a job? That logic renders everything in my life as meaningless. And, to some extent it is. Just as meaningless as everyone else’s.

  6. “Your logic nullifies anything and everything that may be of issue in my life”

    Don’t be so sensitive and overly dramatic! Such black and white responses are the tactics of demagogues.

    Just because I’m not on board with your dog crap issues doesn’t mean that I don’t respect you (I do). It just means that I don’t agree with you on this point.

    Think of my comments as part of a Socratic dialogue where we test out each other’s ideas and beliefs.

    I’m just saying that I think that we (I include myself in this) in the first world have lost track of how many people live, and we have developed some very strange (to my eyes) priorities.

    It’s one of my pet peeves (no pun intended) how we (in our well off societies) think nothing of lavishing so much money on pets when there are so many people suffering.

    A friend of mine said his biggest regret when he visited Vietnam was that he didn’t spend more money with the locals. I remembered my friend’s words when I was over there and I tried to help people out by buying their produce their services.

    Unfortunately I developed a little “compassion fatigue” over time and started to get a bit resentful of all the approaches that were made to me, to buy things.

    One time when I was in Hanoi a guy in his late twenties (probably close to your age), speaking very good English, was very persistent in hassling me to buy a book.

    I kept on refusing until he said to me, “look, I’m university educated and I’m reduced to selling books on the street, help me out and buy a book.””The cost of the book is nothing to you.” He was right of course and I bought a pirated edition of Bao Ninh’s excellent novel “The Sorrow of War.”

    Having said all that, I don’t think that all concerns we have in the first world are meaningless. I just think that things should be put into perspective in terms of the rest of the world.

    Think globally, act locally. Perhaps you could give the money for the pet septic system to a charity and bury the dog crap in a garden where it can fertilise the soil.

    Love, peace, mung beans, and above all…….


  7. Sorry, I’m a little cranky at the moment. And I’ve had the sufferings of others used as trump cards in arguments a few times…and I hate when people see fit to invalidate my points through such tactics. It’s one of those things I’ve always bristled against.

    Suffering and unhappiness are not the property of any one group, and problems are obviously subject to wide variances in scale.

    Perspective is definitely important, but we all feel highs and lows independent of what goes on in other parts of the world. I suppose that is a curse in that we are able to turn off such thoughts, and a blessing in that we are able to turn off such thoughts.

    I agree that our priorities are generally bizarre. Can’t argue with that. I can’t imagine living where people simply shit on the side of the road, or dead bodies float by on busy canals and nobody notices. It does make my crap problem seem, well, crappy.

    I’ve considered the $50 septic solution because I can go through fewer plastic bags. I can’t let the crap stay out there because the yard is very small, and the dogs will eventually run through it and track it back into the house. Also, it’s quite hot and humid here, and fermenting dung can be smelled quite far.

    I’d love to bury it in the garden but I can’t have a garden – the fecking dogs have destroyed every plant on the ground back there. The butterfly bush, which was quite lovely, nearly killed the older dog…and we spent an inordinate amount of money to keep her alive. Probably more than most Vietnamese make in two years. And that’s definitely a sad thing.

    Again, sorry for the bitchiness.

  8. No need to apologise.

    I wasn’t offended, but I was a bit worried that I had offended. It certainly wasn’t my intention. I’m just clumsy I suppose.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the third world and how good my life in the first world is in comparison.

    I guess that’s what happens when one looks through their old travel photos for things to put up on their blog.

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