The Sidewalks … They’re Full of … Poo


Hi again, long time ect ect. My neighborhood sidewalks are overrun with poo, well at least a lot of things that look like poo. This has made my recent runs into something resembling an exercise in survival.

Everyone usually keeps 1 eye on the ground scanning for poo whenever walking in public, because it is everyone’s fear to step in poo. If you step in poo, you will have to deal with it all day and it will not be pleasant. Everyone hates that lingering poo smell. Its just awful. I don’t need to remind you of all the negative qualities of poo, we’ve all dealt with that horror. This post will be about what I’m thinking could easily be an Olympic sport; Poo Evasion.

My neighborhood sidewalks have been (and mostly still are) overrun with snow. Half of my neighborhood still has a foot or so of snow on the sidewalks. The other half is for the most part melted, except for those huge piles that you find on the corner of every street and those random piles still loitering around. It snowed A LOT here (Northern Virginia), we got somewhere around 30-40 inches in 2 or so weeks. Everything was shut down here. My neighborhood, as it turns out, is not high on the priority list of snow plows. One weekend we got 30 inches and plows never got to our neighborhood. Driving was limited to going 2-4 MPH and it wasn’t even really driving, it was sliding down the street and you were mostly pumping the brakes and trying not to steer into giant snow banks. Anyway, we got some plows in here after we were hit with another foot of snow a week or so later, and they piled everything all at once onto the sidewalks, ect. Its only been really till last week where snow had melted enough to where I could go running on the streets.  We have very wide streets here, mostly to allow for cars to park on both sides, but it is terrifying to run on the streets cause everyone here sucks ass at driving and its not an easy thing to put my fate into their hands while doing something I don’t exactly love.

I’ve been patiently waiting for the sidewalks to melt to ensure a moderate amount of safety. I don’t know what the deal is, but the half of the neighborhood that I like to run on more still has a foot or so of snow while the bitchy half (the one with hills) is pretty much good to go, sidewalk wise. Probably has to do something with the sun and trees and hootennannys, but I’m thinking it’ll be another week or so till my favorite half is good to go. Yesterday I started running on our sidewalks while last week (Tues, Fri, Sat) was spent on the terrifying roads (surprising amount of glass, 3 cars in a 1/4 mile distance had windows knocked out. I hate teenagers). Little did I know the amount of jumping/dodging/scanning/questioning I’d do during that (and todays) run. All in the name of poo and things that look a lot like poo.

I don’t know exactly what lead to the sidewalks being overrun with brown objects/residue/runoff, but when your running and have faint visibility thanks to dim streetlights, you try your damnest to jump/avoid anything that might be poo. You don’t want to chance it, just avoid it, cause the one time you don’t you know for damn sure its gonna be poo. Now mind you, I’ve run this path many times before, mostly in the summer/fall, not so much in the winter (kinda took off the first half of Dec and the last half of Jan) and there hasn’t been any problems with poo lying about, believe me if there were I would have written about it. But now, good gravy, theres a good amount of actual poo littering the sidewalks, which quickly ratcheted up my paranoia of ‘sidewalk poo’.

I’m not sure how much snow is to blame, like what ‘poo suspects’ did it keep nestled in it this whole time, IE brown leaves, acorns, those bristly brown things that you used to put peanut butter on to make a makeshift birdhouse (dammit, what are those things called, they’re very crunchy, almost the size of a jumbo hot dog. Ah dammit this is driving me nuts, anyway they’re on the sidewalk, look like poo from a distance). I’ve got those jerks all over the place plus with the snow melting I’ve got mud puddles everywhere and also for some reason big clumps of grass/mud plopped around. If you add all this onto a running trail, you have your work cut out for you in the dodging department. I spent most of my time jumping side to side or slowing down to prepare for a big jump over brown water (I don’t know what made it brown exactly, so I’m jumping thank you), or just generally surveying the path ahead of me to plan my path around the possible poo. I spent 3 miles yesterday and 3 more today worrying myself to death about poo. I don’t know how much time I spent with my head up, just enjoying the crisp weather. I can tell you a majority of the time was spent head down, wide eyed, eyes shooting side to side like mad men. It was not pleasant. It rained a little today, which sucked, cause there was more kick back of any groundlings, so I had to be extra careful today of being poo free, cause if I did hit me some poo, it might of like kicked off my shoe onto my back or something. Or my hair. You kind of get a feeling of what was going through my head for 3 miles then. I might take tomorrow off, kind of a ‘poo holiday’.

“Why don’t you just run in the streets” you annoyingly ask. Cause I don’t want to be hit by cars, and also there are things that look like poo out there too.

I apologize if you read this whole thing. Upon review, it truly was terrible. “He’s better off not writing”. I agree. You ass.

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