Dear Uncle Mat 

My neighbor’s dog consistently deposits its waste in my yard, and my neighbor attempts neither to prevent nor clean up this mess. I posted one of those no-dog-defecation signs with the picture and this has had no effect. I can’t afford a fence and it seems rude and unwelcoming anyway. What should I do?

— Pooped Out

Dear Pooped Out,

Your neighbor’s dog cannot read or self-identify with the image on the sign, so please take that eyesore down, now. I am sorry about the shit in your yard, but those signs are ridiculous. The world is a dog’s toilet. They got the short end of the evolutionary stick, what with lacking opposable thumbs and abstract reasoning, but as a consolation prize, they can run around naked and poop where they please. Oh, and they can lick their own balls and butts without any sense of shame. That’s handy.

Don’t worry, I don’t think you should just shut up and shovel your neighbor’s crap. It is rude of your neighbor to leave his best friend’s mess in your yard. Though I don’t think a fence need be rude or unwelcoming, I respect that you do not wish to invest in such a solution, nor should you feel compelled. Ask him/her nicely to both “curb” the dog (meaning to restrict its frolicking to the grassy patch between the sidewalk and the street) as well as pick up the poo. If this doesn’t work or the offense is occurring off-leash and unsupervised, write your neighbor a polite yet firm letter.

If this friendly and unprecedented behavior on your part still fails, you can report the situation to the city, which might cite and fine your neighbor, locking you two in a permanent grudge match. Hooray! Then you could scoop up all the poo, put it in a brown paper bag, place it on the neighbor’s porch, set it on fire, and ring the doorbell. Don’t forget to run away!

Here is another alternative: Give them a plate of cookies and a copy of the Current with this next line highlighted: HEY ASSHOLE! YOUR UNCLE MAT SAYS PICK UP YOUR DOG’S SHIT! And scratch the dog’s belly for me. I love puppies! Seriously people, its what you have to do.

Much love and luck,

Your Uncle Mat

My boyfriend “cuts” his own hair with electric clippers and a plastic guard. I begrudgingly trim the back of his neck and around the ears. This was cool when we were younger and poor. Now that he has a “real” job making decent money and is approaching 30, I want him to go to a salon. He says that’s a waste of money. I say he needs to cultivate an adult look. How do I convince him it’s time to grow up and get a real haircut?

— The shampoo girl

Dear Shampoo Girl,

Whoa! The subtext here is, “How do I make my boyfriend grow up, get a promotion, ask me to marry him, buy a house, and knock me up?” Yeah, that is what that sounds like to me, just so you know. Thirty isn’t that old anymore; waiting to settle down in career and life till after 30 is more common and smart these days. Be patient and enjoy his youth before corporate culture completely beats him down, castrates him, and remakes him with a series of goal-setting seminars and team-building exercises on casual Fridays.

I agree, no girlfriend should be forced to cut her boyfriend’s hair. Maybe he thinks salons are girly while the chain shops are far too pedestrian. There are a lot of guy-friendly shops out there that feel like record stores, tattoo parlors, or vintage stores. Look through this paper’s ads. I go to Shag when I’m in SA. You could even take him to an old-school barbershop. Buy a gift certificate first. He can’t argue if you have already spent the money. And it’s a gift! Then compliment the shit out of that haircut till he goes back and tell your friends to do the same. Liberal applications of sex will help, too.

Much love and luck,

Your Uncle Mat

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at dear or
yourunclemat. Your true identity is safe with him.




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