Waste Land

Trail Etiquette, Dogs, Bozeman, Trails, Montana

Waste Land

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the editors

Flogging dog owners in the pillory.  

For the past 20 years, Outside Bozeman has made a habit of calling people out. Sometimes—most times—we’re kidding. But other times, we’re so hoppin’ mad that if we don’t lash out verbally, we’ll lash out violently, and no one wants that—our publisher owns a set of large, razor-sharp ninja stars. 

The thing that most consistently fires us up is when adults act like children—spoiled, bratty, self-absorbed children. The most blatant and damaging case in point is this: Dog Owners Who Do Not Pick Up Poop. Screw you guys. Seriously.

Why is this concept so hard to fathom? Your dog poops, you pick it up. And you either pack the poop with you, or you toss it in a trash can. If you forgot to bring a bag, find one—in said trash can, or maybe use some litter near the road. Hell, make one from old sock or some foliage like arrowleaf balsamroot.

The most egregious offenses take place at trailheads like the M, Sourdough, and Peets Hill—WHERE THERE ARE TRASHCANS AND POOP BAGS PROVIDED. Do you mean to tell us that you’re such a lazy, inconsiderate ass-hat that even when resources are offered free of charge, still you can’t be bothered to take a moment, be a decent citizen, and pick up your dog’s nasty excrement? You suck, and so does your dog, and probably your kids. Your parents suck, too, obviously. And all your friends. Ever seen The Thinning? Might be time for you to take the test.

We’ve tried to address this issue nicely in cute quizzes and informative articles about the adverse effects of ubiquitous poo-piles, but the problem persists. Organizations like GVLT and the City of Bozeman are nice about it and install polite reminders along popular trails, but that hasn’t worked either.

It’s time for the pillory.

In days gone by, the pillory was used to discourage petty crime through public accountability, mockery, and mild corporal punishment in the form of rotten fruit to the face. We’re reclaiming the pillory and the power of public humiliation—and we’re not above mushy apples and putrid pears, mind you—by vowing to reprimand non-poop-picker-uppers when we see them. We’ll yell, point, jeer, castigate, embarrass, and excoriate, and whatever else it takes.

So, all you crappy crap-leavers, be warned—and change your behavior, pronto, or pay the price. If you don’t, we can always resort to ninja stars.

 
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