Even on a good day, clothing in Paradise (my parents’ cottage) needs to be at least 4-ply, and this was pushing an 8-plyer. Not for the faint-hearted.As my mum and I sat on the aga (probably inadvisable) and nursed flaggons of red wine, we idly flicked around the trillions of channels that clutter up the telly. It was all pretty standardly depressing, until we came across the baffling, worrying, scary, unbelievable, utterly ridiculous American ‘Downsize my Pet’. Cue time to switch off the telly.
Oh dear. Surely a programme like that goes against every cute, cuddly little ‘A dog is not just for christmas’ NSPCA campaign, ever? You can’t part-exchange pets… or can you?! Some clarifying googlification revealed that it is basically a doggie dieting show. Not quite as sensational as swapping your average old gazelle-eating boa constrictor for a bijou little slow worm, then.
There are whole swathes of the world that haven’t yet been explored, countries at war, hundreds of years of enlightening literature, new discoveries around the corner, unwritten histories and horizonless creativity – and some bright spark comes up with ‘entertainment’ in the form of a pet dieting television programme.
After a bit of thought and some possibly misguided logisitical pondering as to pets and their input/output patterns, I have come to a conclusion. The only way I could support a show called Downsize your Pet is if, by some miracle, it led to dog poo-free pavements, or, at the very least, a reduction in the size and frequency of pedestrian booby-traps. And that would mean a total end to any of those ubiquitous but really nasty little poos-in-bags that punctuate our pavements.
Why do dog owners make the effort to pick up the offending articles and then leave the tied-up plastic bags of poo on the pavement? The revolting truth is that dog turds will take an awful lot longer to decompose when they are stuck inside a non-compostable plastic bag, then if they are simply left out in the elements. If you’re going to plastic-wrap a poo, then make sure there’s a special dog poo bin nearby, otherwise it will fester for hundreds of years in its protected environment. Not a pleasant thought.
The chances of that hairbrained and ill-conceived american tv programme affecting our London streets are slim to none, I agree, but stranger things have happened. On telly.