The lunch rush has ended. Except for a couple of drunken lunching ladies, the restaurant’s empty. The staff’s in the back busily devouring their lunch. Smells like Ernesto made tacos today.

I’ve already eaten. I’m up by the front window sipping a cappuccino and reading the paper. In an hour we’ll open for dinner and start all over again. I’m enjoying my little break.

A man walks past with a dog on a leash. It’s a big dog – like a retriever on steroids. The man stops and looks at the menu posted in the window. I notice he’s dressed in those expensive “distressed” stoner clothes and sporting a dirty goatee.

The man finishes looking at the menu. Probably not enough nuts and twigs for his delicate eco-conscious palate. (Have you ever noticed how vegetarians are often the biggest potheads?) Stoner Dude starts to walk away, but his dog has other plans.

Copping a squat, the dog deposits a massive shit by the front door.

Now, this doesn’t piss me off. I have a dog. I wait for the Stoner Dude to take out a latex glove or a plastic bag and clean up after his mutt. Instead the guy looks around to see if there were any witnesses to his dog’s bowel movement.

Stoner Dude looks at me through the front window. I look at him.

Stoner Dude just walks away.

Now I’m pissed.

“Sonvabitch,” I hiss, jumping up from my chair.

Sensing retribution’s hot on his heels, the man breaks into a light jog and is out of earshot before I can get out the door. That bastard.

I look down at the offending feces. My dog makes little poops. But this dog looks like he’s dropped a leg of lamb. It’s friggin huge.

I sigh to myself. I have to clean this up before someone tracks it inside. Somehow I don’t think the smell of dogshit jibes with the olfactory ambience we’re trying to create.

Cursing loudly I stomp towards the back.

“What’s the matter?” Maximilian, one of our bus boys asks, looking up from his lunch.

“Some jerk’s dog just crapped outside the front door.”

“That’s too bad,” Max says, smirking.

I don a latex glove, grab a plastic bag, and return to the scene of the crime. I try picking up the mocha colored feces with the bag, but it’s too soft and big. Part of it breaks off and lands on the pavement with a soft plop. The smell is indescribable.

“Goddammit,” I whine.

Carefully picking up the errant pieces with a gloved hand and I place them gingerly inside the bag. Suddenly I hear laughter. Max is standing by the front door, savoring the spectacle.

“Enjoying yourself?” I ask

“Nice to see you finally doing something around here, cabron,” Max says.

“Thanks a lot.”

“Hey, it looks like hazelnut gelato,” Max offers.

“I should put this shit under that asshole’s windshield wipers,” I mutter.

“Yeah, with one of our cards stuck inside,” Max says.

I deposit the fecal matter in a trash bin and tramp back into the Bistro. After washing my hands thoroughly, I return to my paper. Soon I’m aware of Max hovering over me.

“Yes?” I ask.

“You want some tacos?” Max asks, proffering a tortilla laden with a greasy pile of beef and refried beans.

Somehow it looks – familiar.

“No thanks Max,” I say, “I’ll take a pass.”

Max laughs and walks away.

“Very funny,” I grouse to no one in particular.

Never let it be said I’d ask someone to do what I’m not prepared to do myself. But next time?

Max gets to clean it up.

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