"Do not go on the dirt. It is cow poop. Thanks."

So my apartment over here in Burbank is kind of lame. Okay, really lame. One of my stuck-up work "friends" says that I live in the Burbank-ghetto. Whatever. I say, "So what if people get shot on my block every once and awhile?"

"What are they doing walking around outside?" Jackasses.

Besides the random gunfire, my apartment building has lots of kids. Almost like the two go hand-in-hand.

Anyway, it's kind of nice, too, because since my apartment is one of the cheapest apartments in the greater San Fernando Valley, we have lots of newly arrived Americans. You know ... freshly minted citizens ... recently departed from the mother-land ...

Okay, okay, I'll say it - foreigners.

Thus all of the kids running about are of different races and creeds. It's a vertiable United Nations on the playground. Except we really don't have a playground. We have dirt. (Like I said, it's a cheap apartment.)

In effort to spruce up the joint for fall, or somesuch, the owner of said apartment building tore up most of the said dirt in the courtyard. Oh, don't worry, the kids just played on the pavement on in the driveway, they didn't miss the dirt.

But I sure did. On returning home from work one day, I went to get the mail. And it smelled so horrible outside. Very horrible.

My first thought was, "Some kid totally made in his pants." Then the fecal smell got stronger as I got closer to the courtyard. My next thought, "So tw kids went in their pants?" Closer, smellier. "God damn, did the kids have a shit fight?"

Then I see the crudely drawn sign. "Do not go on the dirt. It is cow poop. Thanks."

I cracked up.

See, it works on so many levels. One of the managers kids has to have drawn the sign, it's in magic marker with random upper-case / lower-case letters. But it's so simple, because no matter how old you are, no matter what country you live in, you know "poop". It's like the first thing they teach you off the boat. One of the easiest words in the English language. (I'd say "pee" is, too, but it's kind of technically a letter, so I don't think it counts.)

So my now ex-girlfriend comes over one day, and smells the horrible stink. Then she sees the sign and laughs. Same with my snobby work friend who says I live in the ghetto. He laughed, too.

Because nobody wants to mess with the poop.

And after a few days of watering the poop, it's now bright green grass. Sure, the signs are still up, and the roping they put around it (I guess so all of the illiterate children wouldn't find themselves smeared in the poo) is still there. But the poop smell and the simple fact of having a courtyard full of crap has faded. And that's too bad.

I have to steal one of the signs for my buddy Nate at work. He has an unhealthy (at least for a 26 year old) obsession with the brown stuff.

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