I was walking my cavoodle around Melbourne’s bourgie inner North the other day when I stumbled on something terrifying.
Well, not stumbled on it. Stopped abruptly in my tracks in front of it, which was lucky because the thing — the terrifying thing — was a pile of dog sh*t.
As monstrous as an irresponsible pet owner failing to clean up after their canine might be (oh c’mon, NO ONE has small plastic bags on them ALL of the time), what troubled me was not the poo, but the tiny toothpick sticking out of it.
On the tiny toothpick was a tiny pink flag. The tiny pink flag read: Medium Rare.
WHO DID THIS?!!
My mind immediately filled with imagery of the kind of person who might go to the trouble of doing something so plainly ridiculous.
The kind of person who became so fed up with picking up poo they spent hours bulk-buying gallons of tooth picks, printing tiny signs and cutting them out with diminutive scissors, only to stalk around the neighbourhood passive-aggressively shaming their slovenly neighbours.
(I have since learned the flags are made for steaks — clearly the middle-class have all kinds of beef.)
I raised the issue amongst my peer group (posted the photo on Facebook) and they were equally horrified — or, at least, compassionately feigned horror in response to my obvious distress.
THEN IT HAPPENED AGAIN.
Yesterday, I passed this sign on my walk home from work:
It was not tiny (it's A4) nor passive aggressive (four exclamation marks and a physical threat is straight up aggressive).
As soon as I was done googling "tiny flags for steak", I tried "passive aggressive dog poo signs" and apparently calling out sh*tty dog owners with crappy home made signs is absolutely a thing that is done.
Or, at the very least, it is a thing that has been done by "17 [American] People Who Are So Over Their Neighbors’ Bad Poop Picking Habits" (thanks, Google).
Regardless of how gross people are, I have several problems with the above course of action:
1) What are the odds the very same person is going to walk the exact same route and think, "Oh, this tiny steak flag is has suddenly made me re-evaluate the obvious disdain I have for my neighbourhood, my pet, myself, my median strip and my fellow human beings"? Un-bloody-likely.
Nope, that's it. That's my main problem with this. Everyone needs a hobby. If yours is making and distributing signs about pet poo, all power to you.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HAVE YOU DONE THIS? DO YOU OWN DIMINUTIVE SCISSORS?
DO YOU EAT STEAK? IS THIS YOUR DOG'S POO?
ARE YOU MY NEIGHBOUR? IS THIS SOMETHING PEOPLE HONESTLY DO?
I am losing my mind here. Help. Me.