Introducing ‘Who Does That?’, a compendium of complaints large and small

The other day I was walking my son’s dog (actually, it was closer to being dragged by my son’s dog; he’s young and strong, and I am not) when I spotted a little green bag containing dog poop dropped on my neighbour’s lawn.

I thought to myself: Who does that? Who goes to the trouble of buying a doggie poop bag, bending down to pick up the poop (one of the tiny humiliations that comes with dog ownership), tying off the bag … then dropping it on the ground? Who does that? Was the last step of doggie dump removal – walking a half-block away to a garbage can, or even throwing it down the sewer – just too onerous? And if you’re not going to toss the bag, then just leave the poop on the ground to decompose; the green bag doesn’t. 

Then I started to think about other ‘Who does that?’ questions. And so, welcome to a new, possibly semi-regular feature, ‘Who does that?”

Still with the dog theme, who lets their dog poop on public property and not pick it up? This is rude and crude and displays a complete disdain for your fellow human beings. It’s bad enough when people let their dogs (and, judging from the size of the deposit, they are always HUGE dogs) poop in a public park. That’s bad, but at least the poop will, in time, provide fertilizer for a little patch of grass. But then there are owners who let their dogs poop on sidewalks! Who does that? 

Still with dogs, we have an un-neighbourly neighbour who leaves her shrill barking dog outside for hours at a time. Does she not recognize that the dog is upset, or in distress, or at the very least annoying everyone around it? The dog’s bark somehow carries for blocks. My question is, why own a dog if you don’t take care of it? Who does that?

And you cat owners don’t get off the hook. I’m on a website called Nextdoor, which is essentially Facebook for neighbourhoods. Every week, there are at least a half-dozen notices of missing cats, someone crying that their precious Tibbles/Sweetums/Fluffy, etc. hasn’t come home. Well, maybe if you didn’t let your cat roam freely about the neighbourhood, you wouldn’t worry about Tibbles/Sweetums/Fluffy, etc. Who does that?

Of greater concern to me than wayward kiddies or indifferent dog owners is noisy mufflers.

Maybe it’s the result of COVID, or maybe it’s just because I’m getting progressively more cranky (OK, there’s no maybe about that), but noisy vehicles are elevating my blood pressure. 

It seems to me that thousands have retrofitted their vehicles to make them as noisy as possible. 

What part of the word ‘muffler’ do they not understand? The reason for a muffler is right there in the first six letters – muffle, which means to ‘deaden the sound’. You can hear these modified vehicles from kilometres away. A quick check on the internet finds pages devoted to rating the noisiest mufflers available. One website I found provides a helpful list of the noisiest mufflers, with the Flowmaster Outlaw (“extremely loud and deafening”) leading the list. While the site says the Flowmaster Outlaw is illegal, it also provides a helpful link to purchasing one on Amazon. Who does this? Well, this one I can answer – young, male idiots who get a charge out of making as much noise as humanly possible, likely to compensate for personal deficiencies of some sort. While Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act prohibits modifying a muffler to make it noisier, the fine is a mere $115, hardly enough to deter a muffler moron. How about a $1,000 fine?

And finally, one last, very local Who Does That?

There is a major transit station at West Edmonton Mall (or, as we call it in Edmonton, just The Mall) that closed in 2016 for a massive, $3 million rebuild. It reopened in 2017.

That $3 million transit station, open just four years, has now been demolished to make way for LRT construction that is years away before it gets to The Mall. That’s three million taxpayer dollars flushed down the crapper because Edmonton Transit doesn’t have good lines of communication open with … Edmonton Transit.

Who does that? We’ll never know.

By Maurice Tougas

Maurice Tougas is a lifelong Albertan, award-winning writer and reporter, and a former MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark.

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