The Sweet Smell of Success
Sometimes life just stinks. The truth of this hit me just below the nose as I was driving home from a weekly meeting of my networking group (unemployment stinks, too). I happened to pull up behind a small paneled vehicle covered with some very intriguing—or maybe off-putting—advertising. There, emblazoned across the back in large letters was: POOP911.com. That’s right. There is now a dot com for doo-doo. The company even has this catchy slogan: “We scoop dog poop.”
Now, like much of the population these days, I am unemployed but I’m not so sure I’d want to stoop to scoop poop for loot. I do it for free at my own house (“If it’s round, brown, and on the ground, scoop it!”), for which the yard men are most appreciative, I’m sure. Doing it for people who are too lazy or too delicate to do the same for themselves, however, strikes me as a form of enabling. Of course, when jobless one should not be too proud to accept even the most menial of jobs if it means the difference between buying a burger inside McDonald’s or picking through their dumpster out back. Just the same, I have to admire a guy who can sniff out an opportunity in a tough economy.
As advertised on his truck, our scooper’s rates begin at $9.95 a week (rates differ depending on location). I wondered if this rate is based on the size of the yard or the size of the dog. After all, Pekingese pellets can’t compare to the land mines dropped by a St. Bernard, in which case maybe charging by the pound would be more profitable. Or if the rate is based on the number of dogs, just think what that would add up to if someone had two or more of these load-luggers!
Picking up the Pieces
With my interest piqued, I surfed the Net for POOP911.com and learned that the company is a franchise operation with excrement entrepreneurs throughout the country. According to their website (www.poop911.com) they have franchise plans to get you started “from the ground up” and a start-up package. (Please, don’t let that mean a free sample.) They also say that if “you have already started your business you obviously don’t mind getting your hands dirty.” Whoa! Back up the shitake* wagon a minute. If I’m going to clean up dog poop I insist on gloves and a pooper scooper, maybe even a pair of hip waders. (Those St. Bernards, remember?) A more questionable turd, er, turn of phrase at this website is this: “You do not have to be home for us to come do our business….which is your dog’s business…. which is our bread and butter.” (Urp!) They did have some noteworthy terminology for the doggy doo-doo, though, such as dog logs and hound mounds. (Oh, dear. Oh, no! This is embarrassing! Forget the St. Bernards. My dog is a Cockapoo. Caca-poo? With a name like that my mutt must be a double-duty, doo-doo dumper!)
Uh, where was I? Oh, yes. For a real howl, check out a more complete list of doo-doo euphemisms at “The Poop Thesaurus” at www.heptune.com. Some specimens include “bum nugget”, “dookie”, “toilet orphan”, “gobbers”, “package”— that “start-up” thing???!!!— “looloos”, and even “log out” (apparently even the Internet isn’t safe). Unfortunately an inordinate number of these proxy poos are correlated with food such as corndogs, Tootsie Rolls, Ho-Hos, and fudge brownies. Honestly, you’ll never think of many of your favorite foods in the same way again. Still, I have to admit my personal favorite is “sewer trout”.
“The Poop Thesaurus” also informs us that hospitals have a special way of alerting nurses when a patient has a pooey mishap in bed: They issue a “Brown Code: STAT” (or is it “SPLAT?”).
(My friend Anita called me while I was in the middle of writing this article. I told her what I was doing and recited numerous examples of what I had found at “The Poop Thesaurus.” I guess it was too much for her. She finally said, “This is more than I can handle. I’m going to take a. . .” “Dump?” I asked. “No,” she answered. “I’m going to take a nap. I can’t take any more of this.”)
Go for It
There’s a lot more poop information out there but it’s probably more than most of you want to know anyway.
Surprisingly, the poo-bahs at POOP911.com aren’t the only ones with this cow pie-in-the-sky idea. Another, petbutler.com (“Have Poop, We Scoop”), claims, “We’re #1 in the #2 business . . .” If this is an accolade I’ll, uh, pass.
To think all this was inspired by an ordinary pile of pooch patties. A dog really is man’s best friend.
Oh, and just in case (despite reading this) you are now eager to start your own poop scooping business, I have a slogan for you: “Dung-ho!” Accept it with my compliments. Think of it as my free “start-up package” just for you.
*An actual euphemism for poop.
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