I was at a picnic the other day. The host walked up to me and handed me a plate piled high with fresh dog poop…and a fork.
“What’s this?” I asked, assuming some kind of awful joke.
“A lot of people seem to want that,” He said.
“Not me,” I reply, rejecting the plate, bile rising, “I’m having none of that.”
He smiled and took the plate. Not two minutes later, he was back.
“I knew you were one of us,” he said with a knowing wink. He handed me a plate piled high with old, dried-up cat poop…and a fork.
I looked at his face. He seemed serious so I told him, “I don’t want this either!”
The man shrugged and said, “That’s what there is; fresh dog poop or dried-up cat poop.”
“I heard Bernie was bringing hamburgers…”
My host chuckled. “Yeah, he tried. Can you believe that guy? We uninvited him the moment we heard.” People around me were trying to choke down some of the cat poop. “He tried to slip in anyway but we stopped him. The nerve of some people…”
“Well, then, I think I’ll just go with some of that salad I see…”
“No, you can’t have the salad,” he insisted. A woman near me was sick. She straightened up, wiped her mouth, and popped another piece of cat poop into her mouth. She immediately began heaving and I overheard her companion tell her it helps if she holds her nose.
“I really don’t want dried cat poop,” I said.
“Hey, it could be worse,” my host offered. “It could be the fresh dog poop.”
“Well, I can see how that could be worse,” I acknowledged. “But, somehow, that doesn’t make this any better.” I shook my head. “I’m going with the salad.”
“No,” he said firmly, “you can’t have the salad. Look,” he explained, lowering his voice conspiratorially, “one of our guests just…showed up with that salad. We didn’t expect it and it’s not part of the previously agreed menu – so nobody’s having the salad.”
I looked at all the faces around me, green with sickness but trying to accept the dried cat poop. “You should have let Bernie bring the burgers,” I thought out loud.
“The menu was already decided!” My host exclaimed, clearly irritated with me. “And you can’t have the salad. Now is not the time for a ‘protest plate.’ We’ve all agreed on the cat poop!”
By this time, I was confused. “Well, couldn’t we all agree on the salad? I mean, if it’s just a matter of everyone having agreed…”
“We’ve already agreed on the dried-up cat poop!” He insisted. “It’s the lesser of two poops.”
“It’s still poop.” I pointed out, walking toward the table. I put some iceberg lettuce on a clean plate. “Given the choices, I prefer the salad,” I explained.
“You want the fresh dog poop!” he chided. His arm rose straight out from his body and his bony finger pointed straight at me. His eyes widened and a screech emanated from him as if to identify me as “not of the body” to the crowd. “Rabbit crap, 2016!” he declared.
The crowd began chanting in unison, “Hold your nose. It could be worse. Hold your nose…”
“I prefer the salad…”
“It could be worse…”
“I just prefer the salad…” I took my plate and headed for my car.
“You’re wasting your plate!” My host shouted.
“Yeah, well,” I answer, “at least I won’t have to have that taste in my mouth…”