Saturday, April 18, 2009


Cadmore End, Buckinghamshire.

According to official-looking signs displayed on lampposts hereabouts, if you allow your dog to crap in public and don’t then immediately pick up the resultant turd, you could be liable for a £1,000 fine and/or three months imprisonment. As I’m currently cat-sitting in deepest, rural Buckinghamshire and therefore don’t have the dogs with me, this isn’t an issue. What is and issue, however, is what the signs don’t say.

Having now examined the small print thoroughly, it seems that the law is aimed at dogs, and dogs only. Should I, myself, for example, wish to suddenly lower my pants and deposit a load on the pavement, they can’t touch me for it. Leastways, there's nothing on the signs to say they can. Likewise if I allow my horse to liberally defecate (and, judging by the mounds of horse shit that pile up round here every day, hundreds of people do). As for the result of the local farmer marching his cows from the field to the nearby milking sheds, the less said the better.

So why target dog shit in particular? Granted, it isn’t a pleasant experience accidentally stepping in the stuff. But it’s even less agreeable, surely, sinking up to your knees in a cow-pat or being on a bicycle immediately behind a shire horse when he lets one drop. Yet, in these instances, the local council seem totally impotent.

This morning, just for research purposes, I went on a shit hunt. I wasn’t disappointed. Within 30 seconds walk from this house I must have counted at least 20 horse turds and three cow-pats. If the council applied the same rules to these animals as they do to dogs, they’d already be up £23K on the deal. So why don’t they?

I suppose official attitudes to the matter may date from the days when all transport was horse or bullock-based. Back in the medieval era, for example, while I don’t expect people were exactly overjoyed at having to deal with the aftermath of 1000 mounted men at arms riding through their village, they wouldn’t have thought it wise to complain too loudly, either. Shouting, “Oi, wanker! Your fucking horse has just shat on my front drive, you tin-plated tosser!” to a knight equipped with a long lance and a broadsword maybe wasn’t a good idea. Similarly, putting up signs saying “500 groat fine and/or beheading if your horse shits here” could have financially crippled any royal army marching through. Possibly this explains Richard the Lionheart’s failure to recapture Jerusalem during the Crusades: his army had been previously decimated by having to pay out all those horse-fouling fines. Today, therefore, mindful of this, and not wanting to be decapitated (and, equally, not wanting the Holy Land to fall back into the hands of the Heathen), council officials are still overly lenient with horse owners.

It seems to me, then, that the only way to accord dogs equal status in the pooing stakes is to involve them in the transportation system, too. Mine are a bit small, but could, I suppose, at a pinch, give a ride to Austin Powers actor, Verne Troyer. And, of course, I could harness all three of them together into a team and possibly get them to pull me in a little cart. But in the meantime, if they do take a crap and someone from the council complains, I’ll say it was me, not them. As I said, there’s nothing on the sign prohibiting me from dumping in public.


Anonymous said...

An interesting point well made.

We have a similar problem in the grim north. Vast chunks of my inconsiderable tax has been inapropriately reinvested into so-called regernation. By this, the local 'burn' has been revamped with the aim of creating wide open and highly accessible and attractive spaces - available to all - regardless of class.


If it wasnt for the fact that the plebs that now use the revitalised greenery were the very same cunts that made it a shit whole in the first instance. But I digress.

To resolve the problem we need to fondly recall the old adage, 'where there's muck there's brass'. Or rather, where there's shit there's cash - and lots of it.

Instead of imposing a fixed penalty - per shit - the system will be rectified and a staggered penalty charge will be introduced. i.e the size of the turd will determine the size of fine. Thus, should you be escorting 'jumbo' your friendly neighbourhood elephant out for a saunter - and its rapidly emerging crap covers a local housing estate - you can be pretty much confident that the ensueing penalty could be rather high. Conversly, should your small yet perfectly formed pet take a miniscule, dainty and rather artisitc shit - this will result in approximately £0.12 being paid to the local authority.

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Firstly everything is against the law in Blighty.So you squat down and pinch a loaf and you'll be nicked you scrawny git.Secondly,I have been timed out.