Speaking of horse cops (Dr. Know, May 25, 2011), who cleans up the enormous turds the horsies leave on streets, sidewalks and bike lanes? —Ben
Sometimes I wonder if all this dwelling on enormous turds and fair-trade blowjobs isn't at least part of the reason I haven't managed to parlay this column into a lucrative PR gig somewhere. But I gotta be me: Let's talk shit.
First, your premise is correct: Mounted Police Unit horses, like all horses, crap pretty much whenever and wherever they please.
"Some horses will refuse to poop on the street, others may poop up to four or five times during their patrol," says mounted unit Sgt. Franz Schoening. (Seems like they could just hustle up a few more of those genteel, non-pooping horses and put Old Free-Bowels out to pasture, but I guess the budget won't allow it.)
As to who cleans up, that depends on how obnoxious a spot the horse has picked to unburden itself. If the offending pile is on the sidewalk, in a footpath, or right in front of some poor bastard's falafel cart, the officers will move it into the gutter (or a trash can).
If it's just in the middle of the street, though, they generally let it lie. (That'll teach you jaywalkers to use the crosswalk.)
"Horse manure is a natural product," says Schoening. "The impact is minimal."
Well, a dead deer is a natural product, too, but that doesn't mean I want one in my driveway. Luckily, however, the forces of sun, rain and traffic tend to break down the horse's special gift in a few days.
In the meantime, as long as we all keep to the sidewalk and exercise reasonable care when choosing a gutter to sleep in, we should stay blissfully shit-free.