First off, I apologize for so many references to poop, since I happen to know that both of my regular readers check out my column at breakfast time.
I was going to soften the blow by using a suitable euphemism for horse poop, such as “political promises,” but decided against it.
For the third consecutive year, I volunteered to be a pooper scooper at the Fairfield Fourth of July parade. In 2012, the city was in danger of not having a parade, but volunteers stepped up and made it happen.
I posted in a Facebook group then that I would do whatever was needed, including pooper scooping, and City Councilwoman Catherine Moy and others held me to it.
Like last year, I assisted Boy Scout Troop 182 from Suisun City, led by Scoutmaster Ken Miller Jr. The first couple of years, I really didn’t scoop that much poop.
This year? What the heck were they feeding those horses? I checked to see if maybe their saddles were too tight. It was like they were trying to set the Guinness World Record for horse pooping.
In the previous two years, the horses we followed were near the parade’s beginning. This year, they were number 53 out of 61 entries. That was cool because I had an opportunity to see more of the parade as we waited.
I thought the entries this year were great and I hope that the horses’ repeated bowel excavations in the staging area was not an equine editorial comment on the quality of the participants.
I did some research in preparation for the parade. Specifically, I read the book “Everyone Poops” by Taro Gomi. If someone needed me to scoop up poop from a rhino, camel or sperm whale, I was ready. What does the fox say? Well, I dunno, but I can scoop his poop.
Finally, it was our turn to march behind three steeds. It is always fun to see people I know in the crowd, so allow me a “Romper Room” looking-in-the-magic-mirror moment. I saw Terrell Wiliams, Jennifer Matcham, Gary Falati and many more.
I even had a stranger yell, “I LOVE YOUR COLUMNS!” Which was great . . . until he called me Kelvin.
I worked out a code phrase with the Scouts and tested their readiness in drills.
Then, it happened.
A horse in front of us, with no shame and apparently in an effort to test our mettle, pooped.
“FIRE IN THE HOLE!” I shouted. “THIS IS NOT A DRILL!”
I told the crowd to remain calm as the Boy Scouts and I sprang into action.
We were all skilled professionals so there was no need to think, just act. We just relied on our training, muscle memory and teamwork to get the job done. Utilizing flawless technique with no wasted movements, the offending droppings were quickly removed and a crisis averted. The crowd cheered and applauded our efforts.
It was like street theater. Only with poop.
We had a couple of more command performances and the Boy Scouts and I chuckled as the throng roared approval each time. I had a blast.
So imagine my surprise when I got home and posted pictures from the morning to Facebook and was accused of (gasp) being a pooper scooper poseur.
The person who called me out will hereby be referred to as Poo Poo Head or PPH, because I don’t want him to sue me for defecation of character.
He suggested my shovel remained clean while I let the Boy Scouts do the dirty work and posed for pictures. That I was not there for the selfless service, but for the selfies.
Luckily, Anita Miller, Scoutmaster Ken’s wife, had photographic evidence of my scooping. If that is not enough, I will gladly leave Exhibit A in a flaming paper bag on PPH’s porch after ringing his doorbell.
The crowd’s applause was nice, but I didn’t do it for that. I was just doing my duty (tee hee, I said doody). Now, I do think I deserve attaboys for resisting the almost overwhelming urge to cleverly work the words “shitake mushrooms” into this column.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.