You are where you pee


A short time ago, I wrote an essay about a man in a nearby neighborhood that had become somewhat well-known in the community for peeing in the bushes along the front of his house. And a few readers stunned me.

For those that may be seeing this for the first time, several months ago, Terry and I were discussing someone that lives not all that far away from our house. Few turns this way, few streets that way, and there he is. The discussion centered around the idea of us having driven by his house one day and seeing him standing facing the bushes. It sure looked like he was peeing.

Friends we mentioned it to quickly knew exactly the house we meant. They knew it because the road happened to be something of a common connecting road to a bit of everything, and frequently travelled. You might have guessed, the friends had been treated to a similar sight, and knew of several others that had seen it happen.

This man was well-known for peeing in his yard.

Reaction from readers was quick. Reaction was strong. Reaction wasÖ wellÖ Iím wondering. Because the reaction was unanimously against the neighbor. Thoughts ranged from ideas of bringing it inside to making a phone call to the police. Up and down and sideways the reactions swept across just about every way of determining it was inexcusable.

I should point out that I agree with the masses on a simple fact: He had a choice. I do believe this guy just decided he couldnít be bothered by heading inside (or at least into the woods behind his house), wandered a few feet from his front door, turned to face a bush and there it was. I also agree that heís done this repeatedly.

But Iím wondering about the responses. Because none of them allow in even the slightest that there could be something else involved here. Consider:

* Did he have a well? Was the power out? Because if you have a well and the power is out, youíve got a limited number of flushes available until the power comes back on and the well pump can operate.

* Was he locked out of the house? Different scenario, but same concept of an unavailable bathroom. Maybe he was locked out of his house, didnít want to break a window just so he could pee, and there you go.

Ok, sure, both of these examples have a few weaknesses. Once again, he could have wandered off to a more concealed section of his property. And a power outage doesnít seem to explain the repeated viewings of his activities. But at least they offer a thought of an alternative.

Then thereís this:

* Bears. Mountain lions. Or maybeÖ okÖ fine, maybe not bears. But Iíve seen everything from skunks and racoons and woodchucks to deer and turkeys and geese parading in and out and all around my yard. Seem them in the fields nearby. Maybe he was having some troubles with wildlife around his yard and heard that the scent of his pee can act as a repellant.

The idea from these three thoughts is simple enough: itís possibleónot necessarily likely, but at least possibleóthat reasons beyond a lack of self-respect and laziness were involved in the decisions to pee in his yard. And, yes, pee in his yard repeatedly and in a variety of places out front.

Iím not defending any of them as valid reasons. Iím just saying that many of us have things weíve done that others may not appreciate as common, normal or even acceptable, though we think nothing of them and carry on.

Do they make us the crazy neighbor? Maybe. Maybe they do. But before you reach that result as the reality, you might want to at least consider the latest coyote sightings in your neighborhood.


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