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in thinking that no-one can do instant self-justification like a teenager?

(33 Posts)
unclefluffy Thu 25-Sep-08 07:59:48

It's early, so I'm not at my Socratic best. The (maybe?) 14 year old paper boy who delivers next door let his dog start to crap on my drive, then let her finish her crap in the bushes in my front garden, then kicked the crap off the drive into the bushes. During this manoeuvre, I went outside in my pyjamas to remonstrate with him. First I had to do a little dance to get his attention because he was listening to music.

Please imagine a woman in pyjamas, barefoot, 7.5 months pregnant, holding a handful of courgettes, waving and saying "'Scuse me!" over and over again in a tone loud enough to attract attention, but not loud enough to disturb the neighbours who aren't usually up until 7.30am. When he finally saw me and took his earphones out I said: "You need to clean up after your dog properly and not just kick it into my bushes." He immediately replied: "It's more environmental! And I just used a poo bag and I didn't have another one." He was clearly a very cunning chap and could tell that the courgettes I had in my hand were organic courgettes and that I would be open to the environmental argument. In some ways, it's just a shame he under cut it with the bit about the poo bag...

Anyway, as I said, I was not at my Socratic best, so I ended on the rather weak: "Sure, but you mustn't let your dog crap on my drive, and you obviously need to bring another bag because I've seen it happen before, OK?" In my defence, I was taken by surprise at facing an actual argument at that time in the morning. Would you have been surprised? Could I have said anything to cut the self-justification off at the pass without actually yelling at the kid? Or are teenagers just generally self-justification machines (and I have this all to come)?

Just because I know we get into trouble otherwise, you should probably know that:
1. I have seen the dog crap on my drive three times, and seen the crap minus culprit on one further occasion.
2. No toddlers play in the bushes.
3. I have no real intention of doing any gardening activity at all in the near future, but if I did it's perfectly possible that I would take a rake to the huge piles of leaves (and, as it turns out, turds) that accumulate under the bushes in the front garden.
4. It's perfectly possible that what with the dancing, the courgettes and the large fleece I wear as a dressing gown, the kid didn't know I was pregnant.
5. In fact, being pregnant isn't really relevant to the story. I raise it purely for sympathy during the part of the story when I dance around in front of my house.
6. I have no idea why I didn't put the courgettes down before I ran out of the house.

So there.

WeDoTheWeirdStuff Thu 25-Sep-08 08:04:27

what were you doing with courgettes at 7.30am?

isaidno Thu 25-Sep-08 08:07:31

I would have got him a bag.

isaidno Thu 25-Sep-08 08:07:48

Or thrown a courgette at him.

unclefluffy Thu 25-Sep-08 08:10:18

Didn't think of getting a bag. That's clever. You're much smarter than me. sad

The courgettes were from the box of organic veg (a recent innovation in the fluffy household) that gets delivered on Thursday mornings. I was trying to put it all away when I saw the dog. Maybe if they had been supermarket courgettes I would have thrown one... grin

WeDoTheWeirdStuff Thu 25-Sep-08 08:12:59

ooh yes don't waste the good ones

bagsforlife Thu 25-Sep-08 08:25:39

I am afraid teenagers are experts at instant self justification. You will never win. Throwing a courgette would be much more gratifying, organic or not (speaking as parent to 2 ex teens and 1 just comng up).

Starbear Thu 25-Sep-08 08:29:09

Teenagers are yukky! Bring back National Service, but bring the age down to 13 year olds. Off to the Shetland Isles. The crofters keep complaining that their schools and post offices are closing. This would save those communities. Just for two years they get better after that. Day before yesterday had a major problem with boys throwing rubbish. But when I looked around there were no bins by the bus stop for them to throw it away

unclefluffy Thu 25-Sep-08 08:33:45

That's what I was afraid of, bags. Just wish I had a better throwing arm! I did play cricket once-up-a-time, but rugby's more my thing these days. And rugby-tackling people can get you into trouble!

Starbear, I think the Orkneys! One of my SILs lives there and she is scary as hell (wrestles horses as a kind of relaxation) and would soon sort out any litter-droppers.

UniversallyChallenged Thu 25-Sep-08 08:47:48

I had a similar thing with someone who as i was getting my dcs out of the car let her dog poo right in front of us - where dcs were stepping!! angry
I told her she should clean it up, she told me to mind my own business. Then I explained to her that she had made it my business by allowing her dog to do it right in front of me where my dcs were walking, and making no attempt to clean it up. The she proceeded to swear, tell me to f off - all in front of my children shock

Was she a teenager? No. At least 70 years old. Not a shock really. I find teenagers much more polite then the older generation.

So to me YABU - it's a state of mind to be self justificationing (new word!) not an age thing.

bagsforlife Thu 25-Sep-08 08:51:38

I didn't mean that teenagers are particularly offensive or swear or are horrible, it is just that they are ALWAYS able to self justify whatever the argument/discussion. They are experts in it, and they do eventually grow out of it (apart from your 70 year old example obviously).

frisbyrat Thu 25-Sep-08 08:54:29

Complain to the newsagent.
<evil cow>

brimfull Thu 25-Sep-08 08:56:53

I agree with universallychallenged

stop picking on teens
I know loads of lovely teens who are polite and respectful.

unclefluffy Thu 25-Sep-08 08:58:37

UC, I'll take my teenage miscreant over your geriatric one anyday!

I agree, bags. Said teenager wasn't at all nasty or sweary. In fact, he looks quite angelic (baby face, curly hair, sweet little dog with a handkerchief tied round its neck) and looked me in the eye and everything. It's just that, when challenged, he had an instant answer. And it was early and I was unprepared. grin

unclefluffy Thu 25-Sep-08 09:03:31

grin at frisbyrat! I can't complain to the newsagent because I'm too busy giggling at the thought of you hurling a rat, frisby-style, at the crapping dog.

hatwoman Thu 25-Sep-08 09:04:05

thank you unclefluffy for providing me with an early morning chuckle. I think you have to take him on. (dh did this with some door-stepping Christians once). befriend him. greet him in the morning with a cup of tea or slice of toast. (or a courgette). agree with him about the poo bags. but talk to him about the micro-environment - we need to look after little spaces and keep them nice and respect other people's little places, as a building block for bigger and better macro-environment considerations. being neighbour friendly and a bit hippy-like and collective and kind and we're all in it together etc etc. smother him (metaphorically, of course) scare him silly. then give him some biodegradable nappy sacks (have never seen biodegradable dog poo bags). and some spare veg that you can't use (because you can't possibly waste it). preferably do all this in your dressing gown.

unclefluffy Thu 25-Sep-08 09:24:03

Classic, hatwoman. That's EXACTLY what's needed - micro-environmental building blocks to throw at him instead of courgettes!

josiefc Thu 25-Sep-08 12:44:00

I laughed at this like I've laughed at no other thread on MN before.

The courgettes are the winning touch.

merryberry Thu 25-Sep-08 12:51:32

offer to plug said dog and/or teen with courgettes, she said psychotically sweetly

DaphneMoon Thu 25-Sep-08 12:51:55

That's the funny thing about teenagers, they often look menacing, but if you approach them to remonstrate them about something, they often back down, go red and apologise.

We have lots of cats round our way, one keeps pissing up my front door, I have absolutely no idea why it keeps choosing my door. Either the same cat or another keeps crapping on one of my bushes and when I see which darn cat it is it will get a kick up its furry arse! angry

theultimatethreadkiller Thu 25-Sep-08 12:57:10

Hide behind the bush tomorrow, with a water pistol!

Mumi Thu 25-Sep-08 13:17:48

But by the time you'd returned outside with a bag, he would've left you to do it yourself angry

Don't know whether you already have DCs but being pregnant is actually relevant as you are just as much at risk of Toxocariasis from faeces, which can in turn pose a rare but very real risk of blindness among other nasty consequences. I'd tell the newsagent and ask for another paper deliverer, upon threat of cancelling the order if necessary if you're not taken seriously enough.

unclefluffy Thu 25-Sep-08 16:47:23

Mumi he doesn't deliver to me - only next door. Our driveways are right next to each other - no fence. And I know about the disease risk. That's one of the reasons why I mentioned in the OP that I wasn't really planning on playing around under the bush in question - I didn't want to worry anyone unnecessarily!smile

My evil thought was to wait until a day his mum does the round for him (that's a whole other thread - my mum would never have done my paper round) and dob him in. But now I've been on here I'm thinking the vegetable solution is more the way forward!

The thing I'm really puzzled about is what makes the dog want to go on my drive. Cats pissing on Daphne's front door could be marking territory. But surely the dog can't be getting some subconscious 'crap here' signal everytime it crosses my drive. Surely? Any dog psychologists out there?

StayFrosty Thu 25-Sep-08 17:28:45

I would tell his mum/his employer. I'm an evil cow as well. And agree with UC that it's not just teenagers; I have fetched a bag for a frail old lady and stood over her gimlet eyed while she reluctantly removed her dog shit from the end of my drive as well. I told you I was an evil cow. grin

wehaveallbeenthere Thu 25-Sep-08 17:50:50

hey, sorry this hits close to home. Do you know that dogs pass parasites in their poo?
This child have parents? I would take the poo bagged up and put it on the front step if I knew beyond a doubt who it belonged to.
Call me what you want but that is a really lazy, selfish way to treat your neighbors.
Kicking it under the bushes is NOT environmentally friendly.
Oh, even if you are munching on courgettes at that time, you are pregnant and entitled. I doubt you would have an appetite though after having to chase some teenager and his dog.
The dog will return to the driveway btw. They have a keen noise and often return where they have done their business.

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