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.”