Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Secret of the Old White and Crumbly

I mentioned in a recent post one of those jokey emails that starts 'You know you're getting old when ...' Remember? No? Oh dear. You know you're getting old when your memory starts to fade ... But I jest. One of the items nearly always mentioned in the accompanying list is 'old white crumbly dog turds'. Sorry, but it is. And the anonymous author is right; I used to see them all the time when I was a kid but very rarely now. Well, today I realised why and I'd like to share it with you, if you don't mind.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I did my ankle in today. Like the lumbering clumsy twat that I am, I stumbled over the very stone I'd carefully repositioned so I didn't trip over it while putting the wheelie bins out for emptying last night. I put all of my weight onto the side of my foot, wrenched my ankle and then fell over, bashing my already knackered back onto the dwarf wall that surrounds my front garden. Consequently, I ended up cancelling my plans for the day as I nursed my swollen foot and aching back and generally felt sorry for myself as blokes do. But what good timing! The sun came out and we had a glorious day of weather. I couldn't do much so I just sat out in the garden, reading Dave Gorman's America Unchained and watching the red kites (a large British bird of prey) soaring high overhead. They were almost extinct in the UK a few years ago but a captive breeding and reintroduction programme has been so successful that they're as common around here as seagulls are in Blackpool. And they are as beautiful as they are huge. I'm sure I read somewhere that they are the third largest bird of prey in the country after the Golden Eagle and the Buzzard. Certainly, their wingspans can exceed five feet. At one point this afternoon, four of them were floating above my house, eyeing the fields and woodlands nearby for a warm mobile lunch. Glorious.

Anyway, there I was enjoying the weather and raptors when I spotted - yes, you've guessed it - a crumbly old white dog turd. It was hiding under a Bramley tree and as white as white can be (that rhymes!) - as if Frosty the Snowman had been caught short in the garden rather than one of my dogs. And suddenly, I understood why.

I am lucky enough to have village shops and a local butcher nearby from whom I get my meat. It's all local produce, it's mostly organic, and all of the pies, sausages and other meat-based products are made daily on site. That means that when the meat arrives at the shop, it's still hidden inside a cow, pig, lamb or fowl of some description. The carcases have to be butchered ... which means left-over bones. When I was in the shop on Saturday, I found myself watching one of the lads boning out a beef leg. I asked if I could have the old bones for Willow and Buster and brought them home one each. They loved them. They stayed outside in the garden for hours, despite cold wind and drizzle, gleefully cleaning the meat off the outside, cracking their way into the marrow and generally enjoying doggy Nirvana. After two days, they'd reduced the bones to hollow remnants a quarter their original size and devoid of all edible substance. And that explains the change in their ... produce. They had ingested so much calcium and eaten so much bone that the white colour was inevitable.

Thinking back to when I was a kid, dogs always seemed to have bones. They either got the one from the Sunday roast or they got treats from the local butcher. But what chance is there for Rover now with boneless convenience joints of meat for us and tinned dog food for them? How many of you have access to a decent butcher where the meat looks like meat, rather than a Supermarket plastic and polystyrene-packaged anonymous red lump? It's no wonder the white dog turds have gone; the very thing that caused them, the bones that provided so much pleasure for the average dog, have been taken away in order to make our lives convenient. I can't help but feel that in doing so we've robbed our canine chums of something dear and caused hassle for ourselves in the long run ... as the person who has to clear up the 'dog eggs' in our garden, I can assure you that the 'old white and crumbly' is almost odourless compared to the usual fare.

Right, that's me done. Sorry if the scatological content of this post isn't to your liking but at least I didn't include any photographs.

Think yourselves lucky.


Anonymous said...

'Boning out a beef leg?'

Oo-er etc. etc.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Bloody Hell ... I'm a channeler for the spirit of Benny Hill ...