Follow Your Nose

Test your pee-yew IQ at the Pow Wow of Pooper Scoopers

The Turd Wars

Dodd Ridge Kennels (3048 Dodd Ridge Avenue in Maryland Heights)

Saturday, January 17. Call 314-770-1500 for more info.

Everybody loves a good poop joke. Even a halfway-decent poop joke garners laughs, because poop is inherently funny. Saying the word aloud in a group of so-called adults is sure to break up at least one immature person (usually male), which normally leads to a chain-reaction giggle-fit.

So the decision to start a business based entirely on a comedic cornerstone of the English language is a sure sign that you have a good sense of humor. Debbie Levy of Yucko's Pooper Scooper Service certainly has one, or she wouldn't organize the Second Annual Pow Wow of Pooper Scoopers. This three-day seminar for those in the business of cleaning up other people's pets' business (a class of professional whom Debbie refers to as "entre-manures") does more than just summon super-scoopers from across the country for the purpose of sharing tips on technique and equipment (most of which is custom-made by industrious scoopers). The Pow Wow also helps to raise money for the United Animal Nations, an organization devoted to aiding animals ( Truly, the Pow Wow is a way for the scoopers to give something back to those who have given them so much.

Of course, the social conscience of the Pow Wow runs headlong into the attendees' sense of humor. On Saturday the scoopers will compete in the "Turd War Games." In addition to "Turd-Herding" (the gathering of droppings in a race against the clock), this year the experts in excrement will test their knowledge with "Name That Turd." Here, the pre-gathered, jar-contained specimens must be identified by dog breed, solely by sight, not by smell or touch (Levy notes that many pro scoopers conduct their business in a "hands-on" fashion). Of course, spectators are welcome. Try to keep the snickering to a minimum during this event.

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