it was Saturday. I was zooming through produce, shocked that Honeycrisp apples were still available, that the green beans were not actually brown-spotted beans, that bananas were mostly ripe and the Kumatos weren't fuzzy. it felt like I was Kali, the multi-armed Hindu goddess of time and empowerment, minus the blue skin. *shrugs* can't have it all.
and then I saw her walk between the baked-a-week-ago cookies and cellophane-wrapped sponge-cake tartlets.
she looked like every other teenager: earbuds, phone, uggs; except this version was attached to a cute yellow labrador puppy. scratch that (no pun intended, tee hee), a "Leader Dog for the Blind" in training.
no, this isn't a "dogs shouldn't be in a grocery store, shaking dog hair all over the exposed produce!" post. I respect the Leader Dog/Puppy, truly I do. it was the distracted human attached via leash to the LDP that proved to be the bane to my existence.
I was once again playing beat the clock. I had to get a gift card for my son's friends birthday, grab some other necessities, get in line, get home, grab my son, and get him to said birthday party before 12:10. I glance at my phone, 11:38. yeah, I was screwed.
I rush to other side of the store, when I notice strange items on the multi-flecked linoleum floor ahead of me. ancient evolutionary warnings slow my speed-walking gait, part of my brain thinking I'm hallucinating, it can't be... it can't...
dog poo piles, 18" apart. in Meijer--the superstore.
I avoid the nasties, and search for the nearest Meijer associate. my shock and disbelief has plateaued enough for me to point and stammer, "um, over there-- there's poo."
just as I turn and point to the trifecta of poo, teenager with guilty-looking puppy nears, oblivious to the dangers ahead. I begin to wave her off, as Meijer associate bellows behind me, "what do you mean, poo? dog poo?!"
Meijer associate's decibels must've been louder than teenager's soundcloud choice, because she looks up, sees my warning wave, grimace and emphatic pointing at the make-shift doggy toilet.
Meijer associate is next to me now, armed with his accusatory look and exclamation of "dog poo?!" his glare rises from floor, then bores into teenager with the vest-wearing poo-machine on a leash.
teenager girl doesn't flinch, doesn't even remove an earbud (the 21st century's polite thing to do in this scenario) as she flatly states, "not my poo."
she then proceeds to maneuver around the piles-- oddly enough, the exact size of pile one would expect to come out of a puppy. I can feel the blood-boiling heat come off the Meijer associate, as I quietly push my cart away from this potential lawsuit.
the rest of the conversation seemed mostly one-sided as Meijer associate asks teenager to explain her assertion; "whose poo could it possibly be when there's only one dog in the store...?!"
back to my time-crunch. I whizzed over to birthday supplies, searched for an appropriate cool/funny/not childish b-day card, a gift bag and tissue paper. hallelujah, I can finally go get in line! I was forced to return back to the smelly scene of the crime, except-- there was no teenager, no puppy. instead-- two Meijer associates, a look of horror on their "what now?!" faces.
it seems that while I was gone, associate's need to make the poo denier admit her offense meant that he didn't clean-up the poo, much less rope off the area.
spread across thirty feet of Meijer's blah-tinted-flecked linoleum tiles, multiple skid marks, from defiled Meijer carts, streaked the main walk-way in front of the precious few (only 7 lanes open on Saturday?!!) staffed check-out lanes.
eww. eww. eww.
my phone chimes an incoming text: "mom? where are you?!"
my thumb taps out the only possible reply: h-e-l-l.