Category Archives: Shit happens

My Patriotic Duty

In spite of the fact that I have been AWOL for quite some time, I will not let my countrymen and countrywomen down.  I am aware of my patriotic duty.

And I will fulfill it.  Or fill the pot with it.

The Washington Post today ran an article about the Trumps’ request to borrow a painting from the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.  The painting they requested is a Van Gogh.  I can say, that I wouldn’t mind having private access to a Van Gogh, myself.  Especially if I had already been exposed has trying to pass off a fake Renoir as a real one.

Anyway, here’s the painting they requested for the White House residence:

Landscape with snow

Instead, they offered an alternative:

The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.

For a year, the Guggenheim had exhibited “America” — the creation of contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan — in a public restroom on the museum’s fifth floor for visitors to use.

But the exhibit was over and the toilet was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House,” Spector wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post.

The artist “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan,” wrote Spector, who has been critical of Trump. “It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.”

My friend Mark, at Exile on Pain Street, wrote about his personal experience with this, ahh, exhibit, a while back.  But I couldn’t find the link.

No word on whether the Donald will accept the loan.

***

I just thought you needed to know about this.

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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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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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I Can Change The World!

It will come as no surprise that I would personally love to save the world.  But like most folks, well, I just couldn’t figure out how.

 

When the Women’s March happened, my hopes dwindled.  How could I save the world and still be within reach of the bathroom?  Ditto all the other spontaneous and planned demonstrations that have taken place since January 21.

But then I learned that Yes. I. Can!  Really!  I can save the world from climate change single-handedly.  Really!  Me!

You can’t though.  Sorry.

You see, I just read this article that says that the city of Portland, Oregon has come up with a terrific way to produce electricity through poop.  And pee.

I can do that.  In fact, I often can’t NOT do that.

It’s true!  They installed toilet turbines to generate power with every flush.

I volunteer to power the East Coast.  Except for the White House and Mara Laga.  Because I don’t give a shit about Trump.

 

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Two Mints in One

Remember those Certs’ Ads from the 60s?  {Shut up if you don’t, please.  I’m not talking to you, you whippersnapper.]

Well this morning I had a “two in one” moment, and I nearly drove off the road because the story I heard on the radio hit my two* hot buttons.

Did you hear this one?

Louie Gohmert, (Braintrust-TX (of course) announced that he wasn’t going to do any in-person Town Hall meetings with his constituents because, and I quote:

The House Sergeant at Arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at Congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed — just as happened there.

Now to clarify in case you’ve been self treating your PESD heavily and are starting to look like Steve Bannon, this really pisses me off.

Because Louie, Louie has an A rating from the NRA, and just two weeks ago on February 2, Louie, Louie voted to allow mentally ill folks to get guns, and he believes that MORE guns will prevent mass shootings.

Talk about the personification of the politician who thinks it’s OK for US to get shot wherever we go, but makes sure that his place of employment is a veritable Fort Knox of security.

Later today, Gabby Giffords, who has been working since her shooting for sensible gun laws, called Louie, Louie out on his hypocrisy:

“I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning, my offices were open to the public,” Giffords said. “Ron Barber ― at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead ― held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.”

“To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage,” Giffords said. “Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”

Gohmert, put on some kevlar and get your ass in front of the public.

My own member of congress, Barbara Comstock, you too.  Telephonic Town Halls don’t cut the mustard.  I want you to look into my eyes before you rip away my healthcare/medicare/civil rights.

Oh, and in 2018, can we please get rid of these GOP members of Congress who are too stupid to even know how stupid they are?

* OK, so I have more than two** hot buttons.

** OK, so I have more than two hundred hot buttons.

*** Did I forget a footnote?

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Gigantic Turds

Earlier today, after spending hours trying to digest/swallow Putin’s President’s nominee for the Supreme Court, I tried not to vomit.  That continued as I tried not to go ballistic over the fact that the Senate Finance Committee cheated by changing the rules for reporting nominations out of committee and sent PRICE — nominee who wants to gut Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security —  out for an up or down vote on the senate floor.  You see, in the real world — pre-Trump — the Senate had rules.  They followed those rules.  And things worked out OK.

Now?  Not so much.  Things don’t seem to be going quite so well.

So naturally, I thought of poop.  And my friend Nikki/Jordan provided the backup for my concerns.  Sloths.

sloths

So I’m figuring that the Trump Administration is a collection of sloths, all holding in their shit for a week at a time.  And that explains how miserable they are.  Constipation doesn’t make for happy government nominees.

This explains everything.

You’re welcome.

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