The do’s and don’ts of walking the pavements
DOG MESS was a constant source of neighbourhood news when I was a reporter, with readers regularly ranting about the excrement left in parks and on pavements.
Reporters would often return from a council or residents’ meeting to announce to the newsroom: ‘Another poo story’. We were all obsessed with the stuff.
At one nursery school in Hayes there was a regular poo inspection each morning. This had nothing to do with pupil incontinence and everything to do with doggy-doos.
The children would sit on the floor for some activities, like singing and storytime, so it was important that their communal space wasn’t contaminated by mucky shoes.
Anxious infants would line up to show the underside of their shoes and wellies. And oh, the shame if they had trodden on a turd. The punishment was solitary confinement with only water and dog biscuits for rations – and definitely no walkies. (I jest, obviously – don’t write in).
All this angst disappeared when pets were no longer allowed to roam the streets, and owners were required to clean up after their dogs. But now it seems we have people who are not picking up their pooch’s parcels and are letting them foul the pavements.
On two occasions recently I have stepped in dog dirt. Most annoying was a stream of the stuff in our lovely historic Windsor Street, right in the centre of Uxbridge.
A woman walking in front of me squealed as she nearly hit the skids, but it failed to stop me doing the same. I’m sure many others followed suit, slipping and sliding like a scene from a Carry On film. If this continues, we may in future have to line people up for a shoe inspection before entering our borough. Don’t pooh-pooh the idea.
Can I say again that coffee bars are not the right place to conduct sensitive interviews? Recently, on the table next to me, a man was being quizzed about evidence for some kind of upcoming tribunal. Very sensitive stuff, and too loud to be ignored. It was very discomforting and ruined any hope of a relaxing break for the rest of us.
On a lighter note, what do you call a black coffee when you are in the USA? When Mr F ordered one in New York they looked very puzzled when he asked for an Americano.