I heard this story on our morning walk from a friend who lives for a good part of the year in Washington, DC. It concerns, yes, dog poop.
The unseemly stuff appeared, it seems, in a school yard, where it was stepped in by one of the children playing there. The school authorities called the child's mother, who was at work, instructing her to bring her child another pair of shoes--for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who has ever stepped in dog poop. The child's mother was constrained to leave work, at considerable cost of time, in order to comply with the school's request.
A simple enough story, you might think. It seems, though, that the follow-up was anything but simple, and brought about a bitterly disputed controversy amongst those involved. There were those, on the one hand, who believed the school to be at fault, for having called the parent away from work for so trivial a matter. It should have been incumbent on the school, the partisans argued, to clean the dog poop off the shoe and spare the mother the embarrassing need to excuse herself from work in order to resolve their dog poop problem.
Partisans on the other side disagreed. Dog poop clean-up, they argued, was beneath the dignity of a teacher and besides, it would divert her attention from her duties to other students--and for a considerable amount of time. Have you examined the sole of a sneaker recently, with its multiplicity of deep crannies and notches? It might take half an hour to insure its restoration to proper cleanliness for the school room, let alone the odor! No question but that the parent should be called upon to take care of a problem that affected only her child.
At least all could agree that the appearance of dog poop on the school playground was an intolerable disgrace, and one that should never have been allowed to happen. Still, the controversy was continuing to rage, our friend assured us, long after the untoward event, impinging disagreeably on the peaceful relations of the denizens of our nation's capital. Though, come to think of it, if you substitute "deficit" for "dog poop"...