I was watching an episode of “Cops” this evening. The officers were arresting a vagrant caught stealing copper wire (no, it wasn’t a KC ep, but it could’ve been), when I noticed the seat of the gentleman’s pants were stained. Now it could’ve been ordinary dirt, but it reminded me of several recent stories I’ve heard and experiences I’ve had with bum shit.
If one is inclined, one might take a tour Washington Square Park at 23rd & Main and examine the base of the towers that support the Link skywalk. You can often spot fresh and decaying deposits left by part-time residents of the park.
My friend C. (one wonders about his karmic load) has two bum shit stories. Here is the first. When C. and his wife moved into their Midtown home, they decided to build a patio at the back of their yard. While working on the patio, they noticed a faint odor. As the spring rolled into summer, the odor intensified. Examining the alley behind the yard, C. discovered a small alcove hidden by high weeds near their garage was a very popular dumping ground. A cleanup expedition was launched and now the camouflaging weeds get a regular trim and the problem has abated.
C.’s other story is this. While out for a marathon training run, heading north on Main from the Plaza, he meets an obviously unmedicated homeless man. Actually he met the scent of the man about a block before he met the man properly. As C. tells it, the man had obvious psychological issues alternately mumbling and shouting at the sky. As C. drew closer, the man stopped and picked up his right foot and began violently shaking his leg until an offending turd rolled out.
Next time someone hits you up for a dollar or a “quarter for the bus” while you’re heading into Barnes & Noble or strolling into McDonald’s to buy hormone-laden synthesized meat product and you scowl and say “no” and think to yourself how inconvenient it is to be hit up for a hand-out every time you walk outside your door, consider that your circumstances aren’t that bad and if you can afford the dollar, maybe you could see fit to parting with it. Yeah, there’s a fair chance it probably won’t go toward bus fare or a cheeseburger, but if you had to take your morning shit in an alley you might want to get high, too.