“…that makes me…a very stable genius…” President Donald J. Trump, Jan. 6, 2018
Let me tell you, it’s not easy being a Stable Genius. I should know–I tried. I’m still trying.
It started with retirement. Before I hung up my lesson plans and red ink pens, my wife handled all the horsey chores. On rare occasion, such as when she was out of town, I’d handle a shift, and I admit the ultra-manly instincts kicked in right away.
I was going to be the best pooper scooper the world has ever seen.
That occasional horse apple that dribbled away from the rest of the pile, a runaway chunk whose presence besmirched what would otherwise be a pristine pen? No more!
Those plops busted into pieces by roving wild turkeys (yes, we have them here) desperate for an undigested oat seed? Scraped up and disappeared!
You get the idea.
I’d tackle the efficiency angle, too. The right footwork with which to approach and attack the pile. The best angle of scoop, the best order in which to fill the wheelbarrow–small stuff on top, bigger turds on the bottom. On those occasional stints before retirement, I’d imagine a bleacher-filled crowd watching the disposal of all this compostable material, announcers describing the competitors’ strategies and wowing about the awesome prowess of yours truly.
Then reality hit. The missus is off to work every day while I stay home pretending to do something gainful, which is to say, pursuing the writing gig, a pay-to-play proposition at this point in time. So now I’m the first-string pooper-scooper, the captain of the barn.
It’s January, in case you haven’t noticed. In this northern climate, winter presents a substantial challenge to championship-level turd chasing. Specifically: shit freezes–I mean, rocks-embedded-in-the-ground bad. Bust-the-tines-in-your-muckrake bad.
But if you’re a stud pooper-scooper like me, no problem, baby. No matter what the conditions are, the top dogs of doo-doo venture outside to tackle the plains of poop.
This morning I grabbed the mattock–that’s a tool with a flat, pick-like blade, the perfect tool for digging a narrow trench or removing hair from your armpit. I dropped the thing in the wheelbarrow and bumped across the frozen tundra to Mound Number One, adhered to the ground like concrete. Try to kick it loose, and you’d bust your toe.
Again, not a problem. I assumed the proper stance–knees slightly bent, torso hunched above the offending mess, mattock poised just behind the head. When the imaginary whistle blew, I swung down, forceful and yet controlled, perfectly whacking the exact edge where pile met ground, and–did you see that?–he obliterated the crap out of that crap! Chunks shot up off the frigid soil, and the crowd went wild.
The part that the spectators didn’t see, the result that only slow-motion instant replay could capture, was that my face got in the way. The biggest chunks missed me, but the ancillary spray of poop dust peppered my cheeks, forehead, chin–yeah, the whole noggin.
And my mouth was open, too.
But that’s a price I’m willing to pay in order to be a Stable Genius.
And so, with my hard-earned bona-fides, here’s the advice:
- Capture as much shit as you can per scoop and aim carefully when you fling it.
- Leverage is important. Bend over when you’re pitching crap.
- Don’t follow the horse all day and night in order to catch poop before it hits the ground. You can leave it lying there and develop a plan of attack in the morning while watching Fox and Friends.
- When the shit’s flying, it’s best to keep your mouth shut.