Welcome to Thatz Not Okay, a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions (max: 200 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."
I am helping a friend by taking his dog to the vet to get a microchip. The dog sometimes runs away, so the microchip would be a great help. I am thinking about taking advantage of the free neuter that comes along with the microchip. My friend hasn't had his dog neutered because he "just can't bring [himself] to" but I think the dog's escapist tendencies are exacerbated by balls. Not to mention unwanted pregnancies. So, as uncomfortable as being on the side of eugenics makes me feel, I think this is the right decision. Is that okay?
Thatz not okay.
"Thank you so much for taking him to get that microchi—-UM WHERE ARE MY DOG'S BALLS?"
I applaud your noble intentions here. Spaying and neutering dogs not is not only socially responsible, it can also provide health benefits like eliminating the risk of testicular cancer for males. But it's not the kind of thing you can just go ahead and do to someone's dog without their permission.
A dog's testicles aren't like his hair; once they're gone, they're gone forever. They are, in that respect, similar to the feelings of affection this friend has for you; taken for granted until the day you chop his dog's balls off in secret.
Depending on the dog's age and size, recovery time from the procedure can be anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. Do you really think it's in an injured dog's best interests to spring him upon a shocked owner with no warning?
Well intentioned though you are, you can't bury a surprise like that inside a favor.
"I filled your car up with gas and also threw away all that stuff you had in the backseat."
"I refinanced your mortgage and also started renting out the top floor of your house. (I leased it to a cute couple but I'm pretty sure there are actually three people living there.)"
When your friend says, "I can't bring myself to neuter my dog," he doesn't mean he is physically unable to do so, otherwise he would. He means he doesn't want to neuter his dog. Since you feel passionately about this issue, find out why. Explain to your friend the benefits of neutering his dog. Emphasize that the procedure can be performed for free, because free opens up a lot of doors. With any luck, you'll be able to bring him around to the idea. (If nothing else, you'll at least know why he's so strongly against it.)
If, after this discussion, you decide conclusively that your friend is totally incapable of making responsible decisions, offer to take him out for a "peace offering" of coffee.
THEN SLIP HIM A MICKEY AND CHOP OFF HIS BALLS. That's the end of that poor decision-making line.
My old roommate allowed mutual friends to use our garage as storage about two years ago. I wasn't asked permission but we didn't need the space, so I didn't make a fuss. The roommate has since moved out yet the stuff remains. Tables, a treadmill, a couch, kitchenware and many other household items. I have contacted the owners of these items several times over the years but they have expressed zero interest in getting their stuff back. I have new roommates and we'd like to be able to park in our garage again. Is it okay to sell their stuff in a garage sale? It is okay to keep the money from these sales? Is that okay?
The big news here is that these people have already thrown their stuff away. Except, instead of illegally tossing it in the dumpster behind a Winn-Dixie like any decent friend would do, they've chosen to dispose of it in your garage.
What is the alternative to you getting rid of it? Preserving it forever as a shrine to some mutual friends? Do you plan to evaluate potential homebuyers on their curatorial abilities? ("We'll only feel comfortable selling to someone who demonstrates the proper respect for the pieces we've acquired over the years.") Will you include the treadmill in your will, leaving it to the residents of your neighborhood on the condition that it never be moved without the written consent of a direct descendant of one of the original mutual friends?
You are not bound to these people's junk forever. If you truly are one of the kindest human beings on the planet, you can let them know you've decided to reclaim your garage, and tell them to pick up their kitchenware (an old melted rubber kitchen scraper! Two forks and eleven knives!) by X date or it's getting scrapped.
Furthermore, you're damn right you're keeping the money you make from this sale. In fact (I am putting myself in charge of this operation since it has apparently floundered over the years due to gross mismanagement), I forbid you from offering them a cut of the take. Get as much money as you can and treat yourself (and your new roomies) to a celebratory candlelit dinner in your new spacious garage. Or, price everything to move and experience the natural high that comes with shouting "Treadmill for a nickel! Armoire for a nickel! Everything's a nickel!" at passersby.
And don't let people store things in your house without your permission anymore. That's how you end up with a cooler full of left hands.