December 25, 2005

"Crappy" Morning - At Least It’s Friday

OK. So it's Christmas (almost). Sugarplums, stockings, frankincense, yada yada. My new home in the Salt Lake Valley is unseasonably tepid, which is really of no concern since there's 100 inches of powder snow 20-30 minutes away in all directions. A common maxim out here is that "It snows in the mountains, not in your driveway." You get the idea. The only drawback is that the grounds of my apartment complex are sopping with mud. And while there is a paved walkway to our car-park, they did not pave the path behind the building that leads to the "dog exercise area" where they keep the poop bags. Nevertheless, I complete that faithful circuit several times daily out of appreciation to my dog-friendly housing authority and respect to my friendly neighbors.

This fine morning, however, as I slopped through the squishy clayish top layer around 5:30am I was unaware that some other resident had not extended me the same courtesy. While most of the topical earth had lost it's grip upon climbing the two flights to our appartment, a much more resilient matter was clinging vehemently to the Vibram treads of my Keen clogs (Don't laugh. They're sporty.) But it wasn't until I entered our off-white-carpeted appartment, proceded down the hallway, and flicked on the harsh bathroom light that I saw IT. A faint trail of smudges lined the hallway carpet like a landing strip and led right to the culprit. The forensic evidence was undeniable. I picked up my shoe (clog) and there, anxiously cloaked in a clump of leave, hugging the compensatory treads was the wet, doughy pad of wayward dog waste. It stared at me so smugly, taunting..."Your move, sucker."

I tried to remain calm. My wife, Sarah had not woken and I didn't want my frustration to bring her to an abrupt rise, or at the very least I needed no advice or suggestions yet. First things first. I cleaned the carpet. Spray. Dab-dab-dab. Spray. Dab-dab-dab. Etc. I then had to attack the shoe. I sorted through a series of crude disposable tools. I settled on an old allen wrench from the bike kit. It was a simple solitary L-shaped hex-wrench from my days at the inline skate shop in Boston. It would have to be sacrificed. Over the railing of our third-floor deck, I started scooping chunks of offending gunk from the surprisingly deep treads. Ironic after all that the very treds that justified the borderline effeminant, yet super convenient casual footwear were the very treads confounding my dilemma at this moment. My progress was somehow gratifying as the major globs extruded into interesting shapes and fell to the ground by the decks below — neighbors be damned. Having removed as much of the oodles of doodles as possible, I went to the kitchen, where I sprayed and wiped the surface as much as possible. Then I used hot water and the sprayer to clean out the rest. Finally, I sterilized the sink with hot water, paper towels and some kind of spray. Most of the apartment was still dark mind you as I had not yet awoken my bride.

I brought the shoe out to the deck to dry and air out, or perhaps to think about what it had done wrong. I walked back into the unlit living room to start my day. I must have taken a slightly different course than on the previous two trips as my left foot, still bare, landed squarely in a NEW pile of dog waste. Apparently after eating several magazines yesterday, Blü decided that the 3 or 4 deposits she had made last night were not enough to last till morning and the middle of the living room floor was the perfect place for an encore. No such level-headed calm was forthcoming at this point. —"F***!!!"— That woke Sarah up. I explained what happened and she seemed unmoved. I hopped to the bathroom in a rage. I ran the water over my slimy soul, trying to collect myself. Eventually my repulsion turned to an eye-rolling sense of irony in the moment. After all the lumps were NOT the of most muculent variety, as the dogs miraculous digestive system was mostly just passing dry nuggets of satisfactorily digested paper products, rather than the usual heaps of moist steamed mush. Once my foot was steamed and pristine, I returned to the living room to clean the mess. Sure enough, this new pile was not all that glutinous so the damage was in fact, minimal. I cleaned the area anyway.

My morning proceeded without incident for a few minutes. But as I began clipping my toenails, I actually dropped the nail clippers into the toilet bowl. UGH! WHY?! Keep in mind the toilet had been recently flushed. But the last flusher was ME! And I've been known to be quite abusive to a toilet first thing in the morning. Especially, after the tumultuous morning I had already endured, I may have unleashed a little fury of my own, before showering. Regardless, no time for that kind of thinking. I invoked the same logic that created the "5-second rule" and the "morning after pill". I punched into the suspicious toilet water to rescue the drowning instrument. I shook off as much water as I could and turned to rinse the clippers and my vulgar hand. I scrubbed like a surgeon, but I have this haunting agitation, a feeling of contamination that lurks in my vertebrae and leaves me with chilled bones in the temperate dawn.

I recounted the mornings events to my wife, now rising from blissful sleep. Squinting and yawning, her response was simple. "At least it's Friday."

'At Least' indeed. Humbug.

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