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Eyes like an eagle 0

Dear Bradshaw,

I apologize in advance. This letter might be a bit gross.

Let me begin by affirming that I like living in Italy. I’ve been here eight years and am happy, obviously, or else I wouldn’t be here. Rome is enchanting, even magical at times. In addition to the Coliseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Square, and the Spanish Steps, there are cobblestoned avenues, stunning architecture, historical monuments, splashing fountains, green parks, and more. But avert your eyes a moment, look down at your feet, and there’s a good chance you’ll be standing in dog doo.

Yesterday evening, for the second time in a week, I put my foot in the wrong place. Who knows where or how or when but it happened and, as you can imagine, I wasn’t pleased. I’m as careful as can be when walking the streets of this city. After eight years I’ve learned and know better. I’ve got eyes like an eagle and they’re aimed at the ground but, regardless of my vigilant attention, I continue to put my foot where my foot doesn’t belong.

I like dogs, Shaw, really I do, but I loathe stepping in their excrement, especially if it’s someone else’s dog, and therefore, someone else’s dog’s excrement. Why should I (who have no dog) have to track the feces of another person’s pet into my apartment? It’s not fair to me, my wife, or our cat and, besides, it’s unsanitary, not to mention illegal. Yes, there’s a law in Rome about not picking up after your pet, though few people respect it and it’s not so enforced.

Arriving home every day, it’s my habit to remove my shoes and then check the bottoms to see if my worst fear has come true. I save old toothbrushes for the occasions in which it has, and then I get a bottle of alcohol and squirt it on the sole of my shoe while scrubbing the waste matter off with the toothbrush. Finished, I flush the toilet and then dispose of the toothbrush in a bag and promptly drop it in a dumpster outside. It’s an aggravating endeavor during which I feel furious, crazy, mental, and want to do madman things against the owner of the dog whose business is squashed into the intricate design of my shoe’s outsole.

If only I could find them, or catch one of these social misfits after the dog has done its business and the owner starts to walk away. I’d grab him by the neck and rub his nose in it, or follow him home and toss the poop into his apartment as he opened the door to enter.

Thanks, Shaw, I feel better now. I had to get this off my chest or, well, off the bottom of my shoe. Forgive me, please. It’ll never happen again… I hope.

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