Recently, when we’ve taken our morning walks around the Yantis Loop, Penny, Kasey, and I have often found unwelcome surprises at various places along the fence line. They are bags of dog poop, carefully tied off yet left on the top of the fence posts. I pick them up, carry them to the next disposal container, and toss them in. And I always wonder: who in the heck would do such a thing?
In The Sign of the Four, Sherlock Holmes explained, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” What can we deduce from the poop bags? First, we know the culprit has a dog and is sufficiently mobile to make it to various places along the Yantis Loop track; cat lovers, the physically infirm, and agoraphobes therefore need not apply. Second, we know that the perpetrator has to be tall enough to reach the top of the three-foot-high fence posts and have the eye-hand coordination to tie off a bag of poop, which eliminates infants, toddlers, and the pooping dogs themselves. Third, the miscreant can’t be a total jerk; if they were a complete reprobate they wouldn’t bag the poop in the first place. Ergo, they must have some sense of social obligation. Finally, the poop bags are small, suggesting that the dog is a tiny, yapper dog, the kind that most men despise.
From these clues, I deduce that the wrongdoer is a repressed husband who walks his wife’s appalling pocketbook pooch at her request, bags the poop while growing increasingly annoyed at the shrill barks, and then leaves the bagged poop on the fence as a last rebellious gesture before heading home to endure the tattered remains of his miserable, pathetic life. It’s either that, or a wealthy but absent-minded New Albany philanthropist who leaves the bags to identify citizens who care enough about their community to dispose of bags of a strange dog’s poop, but then forgets to reward those decent, responsible, civic-minded folks.
What say you, Watson?