Wally Wonders Why No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

February 28, 2010

Cat Poop Variation

In struggling to understand the whole “net” safer concept proposed by red light camera advocates I came up with the cat poop analogy which I think brings the concept down to a more base level that may be easier for some to understand.

I happen to  have a backyard that is filled with so much dog poop that it is a dangerous to walk across the lawn.    Now one day a young man named Pan Dike (no relation to Pan Peter) came knocking at my door with an offer to help me take care of my dog poop problem.  His proposal he explained, would reduce my chances of stepping in  dog poop  and at the same time provide a little income for both he and I.  Really?

Where’s the catch I asked?  And young Pan showed me a report from a study of his proven system that not only would benefit me with regards to poop, but paid him a tidy allowance of which he was willing to share.  Seeing the disbelief in my eyes, he showed me a study of 7 homes  in my neighborhood as proof that on average owners were 24.6% less likely to step in poop.  And he reminded me that it wouldn’t cost me a penny to try.  Being the greedy and gullible schmuck that I am, I bit on his poop proposal like a two for a dollar Snickers sale.

Arriving home after a long day of work I decided to slip out and enjoy my now much safer backyard.  What the heck! I looked down to see that I had stepped in poop.  What happened to my 24% reduction in dog poop that Pan Dike had been promised?  It was then that I perceived the subtle difference in odor.  I didn’t own a cat, but I had just stepped in cat poop.

I took a closer read at my con-tract as I dialed Pan’s number.  As it turns out the shyster was going throughout the neighborhood picking up dog poop just like he said he would, but he was also dumping  cat poop from his litter box cleaning service out in it’s place.

How does that make my backyard safer?  Well you see said young Pan Dike justifying his smelly deed, even though there may be just as many poop piles in your backyard, you are 24.6% less likely to hit dog poop and cat poop you see, it’s smaller and therefore less likely to be stepped in.  So even though you still have a yard filled with poop piles you are in fact 9.9% “net” safer than you were.  It’s kind of like when they install those red light cameras causing tail end accidents that are “net” safer than  the T-bone collision they used to have more of.

March 21, 2008


carpi.jpgToday many people, yes even middle aged conservative Christian white guys, are stepping through two-wheelers for one reason or another. Maybe fun, maybe practicality, maybe $3.50/gallon gas. For me, it might just be in my blood. I grew up riding everything from a 2-1/2 hp Lil’ Indian minibike, to a Solex Moped, to various, mostly sport touring, motorcycles. I’ve logged hundreds of thousands of miles on real motorcycles and even tens of thousands of miles on pedal variety two wheelers. But, with real life setting in, those motorcycling days soon faded into the distant past. I became a used to ride guy.

Last spring my wife suggested that she get a fun little scooter to ride around. I was all for her having fun, but when she suggested I get a scooter also, my thoughts were of embarrassment, not fun. So we bought her a nice little silver scooter and you have never seen a perma-grin until you’ve seen the one on my wife’s face while she is riding. I didn’t get a scooter. However, I did have to swallow my pride a few times and ride her scooter over to the high school so she could do some parking lot riding practice.

fiji-150.jpgIt was while making these rides, that some peculiar things happened. First, I found that 2 wheels are fun even without a clutch nor anything resembling horsepower. The second, and more peculiar thing came one day when a Harley rider gave me the courtesy wave as we approached each other. I thought what the heck, and waved back. But as he got close, he realized that he was waving to a scooter ; so he quickly pulled his wave and looked down as we passed. The irony hit me like a brick; I was on a scooter having fun while he was riding a Harley, a real motorcycle, and feeling embarrassed. A few days later I ordered my own red sporty Roketa Fiji 150 scooter from Urbano Moto.

As weather allows, I scooter for fun and often commute to work. My wife still scooters just for the grin. Our kids are still too small to reach the pegs, so as babysitting allows, we scooter together for fun.

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