Twig Chopsticks in the Dog Shit City

by Nic Olson

Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.

Dog shit. One of the four most easily distinguishable scents. The others are: cat piss, apple pie, and McDonalds. (The fifth optional scent is McDonalds apple pies dripping in cat piss.) I moved from a town where my high school often smelled of the methane gases from nearby grazing cattle, to the city that smells of the most toxic of animal faeces, that of the dog. The scent followed for blocks, spanning neighbourhoods and lasting several hours. After more than three minutes of the scent, any astute human being investigates the underside of their own footwear, and like a astute human being, I did this. I even checked my pants. It couldn’t be my own body, I just bought my first pair of new underwear in the past two years (with tennis player print, straight from Bangladesh. Best shopping find of the decade). The city is saturated with spring’s cologne of dog shit.

New levels of personal poverty have been attained. New heights of ingenuity have reached. They go hand in hand, poverty and ingenuity (pinvenguity). It started with a coat hanger turned soap-holder for the shower, a rice bag sock drawer in the closet, a shoebox desk on the floor, bricks and 2×4’s for shelves, a flag for a curtain, an orange crate for a night stand, a milk crate for a book stand, and a dish drying mat for a shoe rug.

But on a recent ‘Take-Out in the Park’ date, one where chopsticks were forgotten to be provided, ingenuity, laziness and poverty struck again. Creation: Twig Chopsticks.
Step One: Look on the ground for a twig like a fork.
Step Two: Realize that Asian food is eaten with chopsticks and that straight twigs are easier to find than fork-shaped twigs.
Step Three: Smell to make sure there is no dog shit on the stick.
Step Four: Eat.

Needless to say, I was extremely proud of my innovation. And although I am not ashamed of my poverty, I am comfortable in it, thanks to my countless innovations. And although my bedroom smelled like one of the four most easily distinguishable scents when I moved in (cat piss), and when I open the window it smells like another one of the four, and although I can’t afford apple pie, and although McDonald’s paper bags decorate my street corner like fallen leaves, I have spent a year in the dream world, going to hockey games and getting paid to learn a language. Once reality strikes, I’m in for a real ass-kicking. Money in the bank.

Oh won’t you please take me home.