The Dog-Shit Excuse - 6/15/07
It's approaching the end of tut0ring season, what with the coming of summer and all. For those who don't know, I still pay some of my bills by helping rich kids through their tests and classes, a job which has all the summer-vacation benefits of being a teacher, with none of the getting up early.

The other day, I arrived at the home of one of my students for our final prep session before her test. A nice family, a few too many dogs, but I'm not one to judge - you can't get far in the tut0ring business having a problem with animals. The session went well, except for this horrible smell I kept detecting from the house. I didn't say anything, though - it's not exactly tactful so say "hey, I know you're paying me to be here, but your house really smells like rectum right now."

It wasn't until I got back into my car, however, that I realized the smell wasn't coming from the house… it was coming from me. Apparently, I had walked through some dog-leftovers in the front yard on the way in, taught the entire lesson with shit on my shoe, then walked back across their living room carpet again on my way out. Is it wrong that my first reaction to this was that I found it very funny? Then I felt bad for a moment, until I realized it was probably one of their dogs that had started the whole thing in the first place. Then I thought it was funny again.

Yet laughable or not, I wasn't touching the gas peddle of my car with dog crap on my shoe, so I wiped it off as best I could on the grass. Unfortunately, I was wearing basketball shoes, and I learned an important lesson about dog shit on basketball shoes that day: unless you get it off RIGHT AWAY (and god forbid you grind it in on somebody's hardwood floor and carpet and then let it harden for an hour and a half) - that shit is not coming off easily. Crap was wedged stubbornly deep into every crack and crevice of the (unfortunately) incredibly intricate grooves of sole of my shoe, and without a proper tool at hand, I could only do so much before climbing in my car and driving home for some Turpentine and a spork to try and do battle with my deeply entrenched crap-shoe.

And man, if I thought it smelled bad in their house, it was downright FOUL in the closed-in space of my car. Even with the windows rolled down all the way and the air on full blast, I felt like I was racing against asphyxiation as the cloud of noxious fumes rose from my shoe and threatened to choke me out mid-drive. I had to get home in a hurry, even if this meant running a few red lights. And that's when I saw the flashing red and blue in my rearview.

The officer who came up seemed like a seasoned fellow, but I don't think he was prepared the shock he got when he poked his head in my window. I could see his face contort up like he'd just eaten a shit-lemon, although he was nice enough not to say anything. I guess it's not exactly tactful so say "hey, I know I just pulled you over, but your car really smells like decaying asshole right now." Instead, he just asked me if I knew why he'd pulled me over.

I couldn't think of anything but the truth, and so out it came. "I'm sorry, sir," I said. "I know I was speeding and running those yellows, but it's just that I've got this dog shit on my shoe, and I tried to get it off but it had been there for two hours before I realized, and it's way crusted into all the treads of my shoes, and these are Nike's, and it just smells really terrible in here as you can probably tell, and I was in a hurry to get home."

The cop listened to all of this, stared at me for a second, then nodded. "I think I believe you. Just watch the speed and the lights on the way home, OK?" I promised, and he was gone.

I once got a ticket for speeding because I had a bloody nose and there were red kleenexes hanging out of my nose when the cop came to my window, and this worked? Still, my celebration was short-lived, as it took me nearly half an hour with a plastic fork, a toothbrush and a bottle of Febreeze to get my shoes mostly back to normal, and I still had to leave them outside for two days.

I've been meaning to start doing less tut0ring, as it's shitty when it interferes with how much writing and getting-into-wacky-stories I can do. I feel like this is a message about that, somehow...



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