Category Archives: A Little Restraint, Perhaps

World Toilet Day

Every day of my life, I thank my lucky stars when I get up, go into my clean bathroom, and take care of business.

Some days of my life, I’m less thankful when I am somewhere where the only “facilities” have no running water.  No handle to push.  No way to wash my hands.

Of course, with my potty problems, I guess I’m more in tune to toilet issues than most people.

Why am I telling you this?  You see, Sunday, November 19, is World Toilet Day. And of course, I’m (1) telling you about it; and (2) celebrating it.

The Wider Image: Around the world in 45 toilets

A toilet stands outside the Llamocca family home at Villa Lourdes in Villa Maria del Triunfo on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

The point of World Toilet Day is actually pretty important.  People without access to hygienic facilities risk illness, many women are preyed upon and attacked as they seek out a place to go.  Diseases are transmitted, including infections, cholera, well, here’s a picture.

The "F-diagram" (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing. Source Wikipedia

The “F-diagram” (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing.
Source Wikipedia

Hope you’re not eating.

World Toilet Day is to help the fortunate ones of us around the world realize that:

2.4 billion people around the world don’t have access to decent sanitation and more than a billion are forced to defecate in the open, risking disease and other dangers, according to the United Nations

We in the West are rather spoiled.  And the reality of what some folks, many folks must deal with can be eye-opening.

About 25 years ago, my brother Fred got a grant and went to Africa to study something or other.  It was his first experience visiting the Third World.  When he came back, he talked only about poop.

It seemed that the city he had visited ran with raw sewage.  Poop was in the gutters. Children played in those gutters. The sewage ran into the river that was used to irrigate crops.

Piles of poop were everywhere.  In the street.  Under trees.  In the corners of buildings; everywhere, he said.  Even inside.  Fred described a memorable elevator in the middle of a hotel lobby, that he had seen. The decorative ironwork around the elevator shaft was delicate and beautiful. But the elevator didn’t run — in fact, the elevator itself had been removed.  But people would stand with their backs to the elevator shaft, pull down their pants/up their skirts, hang their butts over the open elevator shaft.  And they’d poop.

“I realized something incredibly important, “ said my horrified brother:

“Civilization all comes down to what you do with your poo.”

So when you’re thinking about the craziness in today’s world, maybe we all need to realize that part of our problem is that so very many people just don’t have a pot to piss in.

***

Yup, it’s a rerun.  But you didn’t really think I’d miss World Toilet Day, did you?

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Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.  Not much, how ’bout you?

There really is no reason.  In fact, this particular post is over due.  I had blog backup and no plunger.

***

For my first post back after a long break, you know I’m goin’ there.  But that is why you came, isn’t it?

Yup.  I read an article.  Several articles actually.  My bad.

This one provides important information to the travelers among us.

The Best Time To Poop On A Plane, According To A Flight Attendant

I will summarize for you, because I have experience in this matter.

The best time to poop on a plane is right after the seat belt light goes off or when the drinks cart comes.  The first is usually pretty early in the flight, so really, you should have taken care of that before you got on the plane.  Unless you’re me — and then you did it then, too.

Second, is a story about a man with whom I should have had children.  We could certainly reach a happy medium:

Doctors remove 28 POUNDS of feces from man, 22, who was constipated

Poop -- HUGE

I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be cradling 28-29 lbs of poop quite so tenderly.  But perhaps that’s just me.Enter a caption

Lastly, the third story, required by the peculiarities of comedy writing, is something I am shaking my head about, well, my butt tto, because really — I should have thunk of this idea first.  If ever a business model stinks of “Elyse,” well, this is it:

A poop-themed restaurant is about to break wind in Toronto*

Yup.  A business model that practically screams “ELYSE!!!” Here’s the ummmm, scoop on it.

Toronto’s new Poop Café will feature a “unique selection of desserts from around the world,” according to a Facebook post from the café’s profile. While the restaurant will serve dishes that are brown and shaped like poop (kind of like the poop emoji), not every dish will look like feces.

I for one am glad that not all of this restaurant’s dishes will look like poop. That’s important to me in the pre-poop stage of nutrient intake.  I like to have a wee bit of anticipation on that score.

Soft serve chocolate.

Not half bad.  Unless it’s been digested first.  Google image.

 

*My apologies to my Canadian friends.  Just when you guys are basking in the glory of a delightful leader, I go and laugh at your poop cafe.  Sorry.  But it IS a poop-themed cafe.  What did you want me to do?

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Warning. Do not try this at home. Or anywhere else.

Yes, I realize that it’s been a while since I granted you all the benefits of my fake medical expert advice.  Sorry.

It’s just that poop news has been rather crappy lately.  What’s a specialist to do?

So for this post, I’m going to go out on a ledge.  Write what I don’t know.  Venture into a whole ‘nuther area of specialization.  I feel qualified because this area of specialty is in the same, errrr,  ball park.  Geographically speaking.  Certainly based on adolescent conversation, anyway.

You see, I read an article recently that inspired me to post after a pretty long hiatus

Doctors warn women against putting wasp nests in their vaginas

Now I don’t know about you, but this particular insert isn’t one I’ve personally ever considered.  Maybe I’m just weird.

To be fair to the women who have done this mind-bending medical procedure, the procedure does not involve vaginal insertion of a wasp nest that looks like this one, with buzzing wasps going in and out:

Wasp nest.jpg

Image by ABC Wildlife

On the other hand, maybe something buzzing and going in and out is the whole idea behind the procedure.  But I digress.

Actually, the procedure involves ground up wasp eggs called “galls.”

170601-wasp-nest-vagina

This is a Getty Image, copied from the article

These are Oak leaf “galls” in case you want to make your own.

Galls are wasp larvae, left on the bottoms of oak leaves.  They are ground up and inserted into the vagina to tighten it and to cleanse it.  Okay …

As a fake medical expert, I think I  can safely say that this sounds like a particularly shitty idea.

You know, it never occurred to me that there might be a need to warn women to not put wasp nests, even ground up wasp nests, into their vaginas.

Then again, I never thought it would be necessary to tell women to not vote for a man who believed he could grab their vagina because he was famous, either.

My bad.

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My New-ish Expertise

Being a fake medical expert has become a bit passe, frankly.  And that expertise came after my rarely discussed time as environmental science expertise honed as a lowly paralegal/legislative & regulatory assistant/lobbyist.

So I figure I’m ready for a new challenge.  And just in time for World IBD Day, I’m takin’ on physics!

The Physics of Poop, of course.  And I think you will agree that I do have the expertise.  And the, ummm, credentials.  And I don’t have to go far for sample collection.

You see, there’s an article I read.  (Of course there’s an article.)

The Physics of Poop

You know it’s a good article, because this is the photo that accompanies the article:

Elephant Poop

This critter has nothin’ on me.  Except maybe on my shoes  Credit: Barry Kusama Getty Images

The authors, David Hu and Patricia Yang, studied poop every which way but Sunday.  Well, maybe Sunday, too.  Because there are some chores that simply must be done 7 days a week.

They discovered that herbivores produced “floaters” and carnivores plopped “sinkers.”  And apparently “stinkers” too, as tigers apparently have the stinkiest poop and panda poop is positively precious.

Bigger animals, not surprisingly, are more prodigious poopers, but interestingly, the speed of poop production is similar regardless of the size of the animal:

Assuming a bell curve distribution, 66 percent of animals take between 5 and 19 seconds to defecate. It’s a surprisingly small range, given that elephant feces have a volume of 20 liters, nearly a thousand times more than a dog’s, at 10 milliliters.

In all honesty, the attraction of the article wasn’t the significant increase in my already vast knowledge and understanding of poop.

Nope. There were two reasons.

First, it’s the fact that this article alerted me to the existence of NASA’s

Space Poop Challenge

I think you will admit that I should be an automatic contender.

More importantly, this article gave me something to write about to celebrate World IBD Day.  And while I personally celebrate every day, you, personally can have fun with poop on World IBD Day.  Don’t say I never gave you anything.

***

But WAIT!  There’s MORE!  After this post went to press, I found this article.

When Birds of a Feather Poop Together

Golly.  Studying poop has become a 24/7 commitment for me.

You’re welcome.

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Doggie Bags

Today is Duncan’s birthday — his 3rd!  He is a wonderful dog.  Sweet, relatively obedient, and incredibly lovable.

Duncan Easter 2 2017

The Birthday Boy!

But I went a bit overboard with doggie treats for this good boy this year.  So I figured I’d share them with his friends at the park.  In a way that would be good for the earth.  In a way that positively shouts “DOG!” I made doggie goodie bags!

Goodie Bags

OK, in the stupidest way possible.  I used biodegradable dog poop bags, and filled them full of delicious brown dog treats.  That way, if I missed any of the morning friends Duncan and I usually walk with, I could leave one on their car.

A dog poop bag filled with brown stuff, left on a car.  What could possibly go wrong?

Luckily for me, we saw his friends, and they and their parents were delighted by the goodie bags.  They didn’t think me weird for

  1. Making doggie goodie bags,
  2. Using poop bags for party bags; or
  3. Expecting that if they found one of these on their car that they would open it up and feed it to their dog.

 

 

 

 

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Saturday Night Comes Early to Trumpworld

Breaking news!  Hours after the (Obama holdover) Acting Attorney General Sally Yates announced that she would not uphold Putin’s President’s Muslim ban, Trump fired her.

sally-yates

Just-fired Attorney General Sally Yates.  Google Image

It took Nixon about 5 years to do something this egregious.

Trump?  10 days.  TEN DAYS.

But I think we have another new Democratic hero.  Isn’t it amazing how many Democratic heroes Donald Trump is developing?

 

 

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Cut It Out, 2017

Dear 2017,

Cut it out — right now.  Just stop being an asshole.  You’re far too young.

We already have to deal with Donald Trump sullying the Oval Office.

We already see our rights, our civil liberties, our healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, all flushed down the toilet.  [No.  I’m not going to illustrate a flushing toilet.  What do you take me for?]

But you’re off to a bad start otherwise, too.

Stop taking people.  Or stop taking good people.You need to take someone?  I have some suggestions.  Call me, 2017, so the U.S. Secret Service doesn’t.

But Mary?  You took Mary?  You left Trump and took Mary?

Jeez, 2017.  Cut. It. Out.

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