For years, I would just use these old grocery bags for poop retrieval when walking my own pup. It's a good way to recycle, and cuts down on the ever-expanding mountain of polyethylene slowly taking over my kitchen. But, after a few occasions of missing a small hole at the bottom of the bag and ending up with more shit on my hand than in the bag, I finally made the switch to buying bulk doggie poop bags. They're great- they come in rolls that can easily be stored in your pocket, and I've yet to find a hole in one. Some are even manufactured with a slight scent to mask the smell of what has become of all those terrible table scraps you fed your hound last night on the way from your hand to the garbage can. The bags are great- no complaints.
The only real issue I have with these bags is getting them open. Since they come in rolls, they are very tightly wound and folded to maximize efficiency. This is all well and good when your hands are uncovered and you can lick your fingers to get enough traction on the bag to get it open- not unlike the plastic produce bags in the grocery store. But, what about when it's so cold outside that removing your gloves is not only inconvenient and uncomfortable, but also a potential health risk?
I've spent many hours contemplating this very complex urban problem. After removing my gloves hundreds of times to pick up dog waste and ending up with only dry, chapped hands, a couple of lost gloves, and leash burn, I began to toy with some ideas. Most didn't work. You certainly can't lick your gloves; don't even try. Using specialized rubber gloves that you might use when handling chemicals does in fact work, as they are very good for gripping things, but do nothing in the way of keeping your hands warm. So, that's out. But finally, after months of trial and error, I finally stumbled upon a solution that works perfectly- every time. Please follow the steps below very carefully, and you too will finally be able to retrieve your dog's waste without losing your comfort, various sundries, or sanity!
1. Is it that time? Okay, while Fido's pooping, retrieve the roll of doggie bags from your coat pocket. Pull one off the roll while he's finishing up. Unfold the bag and hold it thusly:
2. Now, with your gloves still on, hold the bag between your thumb and middle finger, as you would to open it if your hands were uncovered:
3. Holding the bag very firmly, slowly begin rotating your thumb clockwise while keeping your middle finger stationary. The bag will be unaffected at this point:
4. Continue rotating. Notice that the bag has not begun to open at all, but in fact looks exactly as it did when you first unfolded it. Don't worry- this is important. Polyethylene has a very high friction temperature, and what you are doing right now is essentially breaking the bag down, coaxing it to acquiesce to your desires:
5. After about thirty seconds of this, note that the bag remains unchanged. Also note your dog's boredom and readiness to get away from its own shit. Now, here's the trick: switch hands. Laugh aloud to yourself while noticing the askance glances of casual passersby as you begin furiously rotating your other thumb (counterclockwise this time!) against your middle finger:
6. Hmm. Acknowledge to yourself that this fucking bag is no closer to being open than it was a minute and a half ago. Consider removing your gloves momentarily in order to expedite the extremely simple task of bending over and picking something up off the ground, but, and this is crucial, DO NOT REMOVE YOUR GLOVES. Do you have a pocketknife, or better yet, a loose straight edge razor floating around in your pocket? If you live in the city, you damn well better:
7. Expose your blade (the thinner and sharper, the better!). Gently touch the top edge of the bag, and try to find the space between the two thin sheets of plastic that are less than .0025 micrometers thick, which cling together through the maddening science of static electricity:
8. Oops! Did your restless dog dart after a passing squirrel, causing you to lose concentration while simultaneously forcing the incredibly sharp cutting implement across your free hand, lacerating it deeply? Perfect! You're almost there now:
9. Were you aware that human blood, while not only being an extremely useful household lubricant in a pinch, can also serve as a makeshift adhesive? Yes, as blood coagulates, it becomes extremely sticky and can serve all sorts of fun purposes! But for now, let's focus on this pesky dog bag. Hang your injured hand by your side, allowing the blood to clot more quickly, and hang your head in shame. Note the wild look in your dog's eyes as the smell of human blood conjures ancient genetic memories long since bred out of the docile creatures:
Note: If you are a hemophiliac, skip steps 10-12 and report to your nearest trauma center.
10. As your blood dries, carefully take the doggie bag out of your good hand with your injured hand and repeat step three:
11. Voilá! Your bag will open as if you weren't wearing gloves at all! Now, retrieve your dog's poop, allowing any extra unclotted blood to collect in the bottom of the sack as well, in order to avoid any embarrassing bio-hazard situations that may arise from nosy onlookers that callously ask you to stop bleeding on their lawn:
12. Scoff at your neighbor's shocked looks of horror, and say something cryptic like, "The blood's the thing, methinks." This part is really up to you. Have fun with it! If their reaction is anything short of a quick retreat back into their home and locking the door behind them as fast as they can, hurl your bloody sack at their house. Note that they will never again cast dispersions or ugly looks upon you when, in the future, you allow your dog to relieve himself there unencumbered, allowing the poop to collect and whiten in their front yard, creating brown patches of dead grass for years to come:
Then, run home.