The other day Liz and I were discussing the stereotype of the grouchy older person — the “get off my goddam lawn!” dude we used to make fun of. Based largely on experience, I’m of the opinion that older people aren’t necessarily grouchy—they’re just fed up. After 60-plus years of bullshit (both theirs and others’, but especially others’) they’ve had their fill, and they’re old enough that they don’t care who they piss off.
Here’s an easy and scientific way to determine if you’ve reached this point. Count the number of times in a day you mutter “Jesus fucking Christ” and multiply that figure by how often you roll your eyes. Divide the result by your age (you can round down if it makes you feel any better) and then fuck it — go take a nap. If you’ve read this far you may well be a fed-up old fart; even if you’re not, the sleep will do you good.
What this is leading up to is an article I read the other day about professional dog walkers. All I can say is, JFC.
Apparently, some dog owners are so burdened with the quotidian grind that they feel like they don’t have time to walk their charges. And I get that; what with jobs and kids and hobbies and chores and exercise and any semblance of a social life, it can be hard to find time to get everything done.
But too busy to walk your dog? I’d hire someone to chew my food and spit it into my mouth before I’d do that.
Unless the weather is absolute crap (in which case your pupper probably doesn’t want to go out, either), walking a dog is one of life’s great pleasures. You get to amble aimlessly through your neighborhood (and how often do you get to do that without being hassled by the cops?), stretch your legs and get some fresh air, and meet fellow dog-walkers. You also get to learn about your neighbors — like, which ones are day-drinkers, and whose “tutor” spent the night (again). Fascinating! And best of all, it’s free. Who could ask for more?
This being a capitalist society where no profitable market niche goes unfilled for long, there is at least one national dog-walking brokerage. A sort of Tinder for dogs owners, this service requires their walkers (all of whom are freelancers) to complete a standardized post-outing “report card” that includes arrival and drop-off times, the route taken, and pit stops. And since nothing succeeds in America like excess, a great walker will also craft a narrative of your mutt’s adventures that rivals Jack London, and snap photos like a paparazzo stalking Kim Kardashian.
I’ll just add this to my ever-expanding list of Dumb Stuff Some People Will Pay For. But as far as DSSPWPF goes, hiring a dog-walker makes a lot more sense than say, paying to watch someone else play video games.
Also, if professional food-chewing ever becomes a thing, remember you heard it here first.