Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In Houston, Even the Ooze is Tasty

Caught the latest Constable Victor Trevino Show on one of the public access channels (yeah, we’re a fan: the constable’s a sincerely community-minded dude, plus he far and away has the best head of hair of any local elected official, male or female) and the topic de jour was pollution and litter and similar physical manifestations of Our Town’s distinctive character. Guests included reps from the improbably named Keep Houston Beautiful and Mothers for Clean Air as well as a lady from the city solid waste department who managed to sneak in a backhanded plug for the proposed garbage tax.

The panelists were skating along when the constable broke to take a call from a viewer, a gentleman who related, without a trace of irony or Punk'd smugness in his voice, that he had some green “ooze” “out back here”---meaning, presumably, behind his place of residence---that his dog had been eating regularly. “He really likes it. He thinks it’s delicious,”* the caller added before signing off and leaving the constable and his panelists to ponder the ramifications.

“What did he say? What’s the dog eating?” asked the constable.

“I think he said ‘ooze,’ ” explained one of the guests.

“That sounds worse than ‘booze,’” rhymed the constable.

The panelists resolved that whatever the ooze was it probably wasn’t a good idea to feed it to a household pet and moved on to other matters, but the caller obviously had struck a nerve with the audience, which possibly was in the high two-digit to low three-digit range.

One caller who said he had experience in the chemical industry told Trevino the pet owner definitely shouldn’t use the ooze as a Purina substitute, especially if it was leaking from a 55-gallon drum. Another guy who sounded equally knowledgeable cautioned against the practice if the stuff was spilling from a pipe and pooling on the ground. Finally, another intelligent-sounding caller, this one a female, fingered the ooze as most likely being "gak," a slimy green substance that keeps young kids entertained. It probably wouldn’t harm the dog but really shouldn’t be part of its diet, she added.

The last word was left to the lady from the solid waste department, who, stepping just beyond her purview, advised, “You shouldn’t eat something if you don’t know what it is.”

Everyone nodded. As do we.

*Dialogue not guaranteed verbatim, but close enough.

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