Flip Flop Flying

Dog poo

with 7 comments

A new rule in Berlin kicked in yesterday: clean up the dog poo or you get fined 35 euros. I’m all in favour of trying to clean up the streets, because they’re disgusting in places, and mainly because dog owners let their dogs poo on peoples’ doorsteps.

Although, as a good citizen, I clean up Billy’s poo anyway, and now feel a little irked that my moral high groundy snobbishness is less high and snobby; the paranoid “I know what you’re thinking” person inside my brain can see people thinking, “Ha! he’s gotta pick up the poo now!” when I would’ve done it anyway, clever clogs.

Anyway, there’s posters on bus shelters reminding us: Clean up, motherfucker!
(Sorry, the photo’s crap cos I’ve not bought a new camera yet so had to use my telephone.)

But, hold on there Berlin! Don’t we pay thirty euros a year in Dog Tax? What exactly do you spend that on, if not cleaning the streets? Now, I’m not advocating leaving your dog’s poo on the street, but surely this is free money you’re getting? And I just know that the one day I forget to stuff a plastic bag in my pocket is the day the Poo Police are on the prowl.

So, this rule began, and of course, local telly were out wanting reactions from people. It just so happened that a couple of people from the telly saw me and Billy having breakfast with a friend in a local cafe and began blah blah blah-ing in German. Smugness enveloped my brain like it does when I see those sign-up-to-save-the-dolphins skippy, happy, people on the street: Ich sprecher kein Deutsch. To tell them you don’t speak German is such an easy way to sidestep people. Occasionally though, they reply in English, so I have to hold my hands up and accept their monologue.

Yesterday’s TV people were similar, except they realised I spoke a little German, so I got stuck having to give my opinion on the whole matter. Yes, the streets should be cleaner. I showed them I had plastic bags in my pocket, but the best thing my brain would allow me to say in German was “Ich macht sauber…… die, err, poo.”

Written by Craig

October 17th, 2006 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses to 'Dog poo'

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  1. LOL

    Impa

    18 Oct 06 at 9:16 am

  2. I’m fully in touch with yer contrarian stance vis a vis the latest AKTION. In fact, it fits with what a lot of the local dailies have been saying — they’re quick to point out that similar moves throughout the past century proved fruitless.

    But it’s not my fault y’all want to have dogs and I’m sick of having to watch where my three-year-old plays or what she picks up because some fuckwit with a canine demands the city pick up his shit in return for the paltry euro 30 a year Hundesteuer.

    There’s so much dog shit on the streets that even animals that don’t go outside have to be dewormed because the eggs that are transmitted via dog crap end up on everyone’s shoes.

    If Manhattan can successfully de-poo, then certainly Berlin’s polizei and ordnungsaemter can get up off their bureacrat-salaried asses and spiffy up the streets a little.

    (And also a major hats off to you and Billy as well as Henry and his “halter” for always cleaning up after the gents)

    The Big A

    18 Oct 06 at 10:13 am

  3. The Big A

    18 Oct 06 at 10:22 am

  4. As far as I can tell, it’s not made a big difference so far; my street is still full of dog poo. It annoys me no end that most other dog owners don’t do it. It’s bad enough when I get poo in my shoe tread, but when Billy gets it stuck in the hair in his paws, it’s bloody horrible.
    The thing that I think is important in getting this to work in Berlin is a bit of self policing. Those dog owners who do clean up have to ‘tsk’ at those who don’t.

    Craig

    18 Oct 06 at 10:23 am

  5. That’s no chocolate ice cream in front of the school, right?

    Craig

    18 Oct 06 at 10:24 am

  6. A couple of years back, as part of a Guardian article about famous people’s New Year Resolutions, the rather pretentious British novelist Philip Hensher said that his was “to always pick up my dog Conrad’s poo, even when nobody is watching”. To this day whenever we fail to pick up Marfa’s poo (which is only usually when we’re in deep woodland in Sussex and there’s horse, sheep and rabbit crap everywhere) this is known as ‘Doing A Hensher’.
    Incidentally, his previous year’s resolution had been “to get to know more lesbians”.

    Ian Mac

    18 Oct 06 at 2:46 pm

  7. I’d say it’s fertiliser when the dog poos in the woods, huh?
    Honestly, I prefer doing it when no one is watching. If people see me do it, I get a bit self-conscious.

    Craig

    18 Oct 06 at 2:51 pm

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