Category Archives: Shit

Blue Eyes Crying

We all have them.  All five of us were born with Mom and Dad’s Irish blue eyes. They light up with laughter and mischief.  Especially when we were all together.  The last time all seven of us were together, the jokes ricocheted around the room as if shot from an AK-47.

Eva Cassidy.  Bob gave her to me.

It’s one of my first memories.

We headed up Wells Street.  Bob, my eldest brother who is seven years older than me, was riding me on the bar of his bike.  I was about 3, and I sat happily on the bike, watching the baseball cards that were clothes-pinned to the spokes of the front wheel click.

“Lease,” Bob said, “Make sure to keep your feet out of the spokes!”  He didn’t tell me why.  Maybe he should have.

We turned onto Charles Street, next to St. Pat’s School.  Our brother Fred was standing there on the corner.

“It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen,” Fred has said 3,428 times in the intervening years.

It had never occurred to me before Bob mentioned it, but I was suddenly curious as to what would happen if I DID put one of my feet into the spokes. So I just put one little piece of my sneaker in.

“You guys came around the corner, and all of a sudden, the bike just STOPPED! In slow motion, Bob flew over you and the handlebars, and then you, Lease, flew over too, and landed on top of Bob.  The bike followed, and there was a big pile on the corner,” Fred has said, often.  “I laughed and laughed.”

The lesson I took from that experience was that if somebody tells you not to do something, think about why they are saying that.  They might just be right.  It’s possibly one of the more important life lessons I’ve ever learned.

Of course, he taught me many other things.  Big brothers do that.

Another lesson is that slapstick is hilarious.  Unless you’re the one slapped.

As I write this, my big brother Bob lies in hospice in Florida, dying.  His illness and deterioration happened incredibly quickly, and I can’t get there for a few more days for medical reasons.  Fred is trying to get there to be with him.  Bob is unresponsive, incoherent.  Mentally gone.

As Bob is unmarried and has no kids, the decisions for his care have fallen to me, as I was named his medical proxy, and I’ve shared that responsibility with Fred, just as the three of us shared the burden (along with Beth’s sons) when our sister Beth was in Charon’s boat.

Writing comforts me, and you are all my friends, who have read the stories of my childhood, my family. Bob hasn’t appeared in many of my stories, as he was much older.  He doesn’t fit into the narrative too often.  Moreover, as an adult he has been a difficult guy.  Reculsive, introverted, angry. His has been a difficult life.

But he was also a sensitive man, with a big heart that he kept well hidden.  A writer’s eye for detail, and a love of eclectic movies.  Like the brilliant comedy, What We Did On Our Vacation

Appreciate the folks you have who love you, and whom you love, no matter the differences.  No matter how big a pain in the butt they are.  Because you just never know.

 

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Filed under ; Don't Make Me Feel Perky Tonigh, Adult Traumas, Cool people, Crazy family members, Family, Good Deed Doers, Good Works, Growing up, Hanky Alert, Humor, laughter, Love, Nurses are Wonderful, Sad News, Shit, Taking Care of Each Other

A Ruse?

Our kids need to get out more.

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Filed under A Little Restraint, Perhaps, Advice from an Expert Patient, Assholes, Bat-shit crazy, Being an asshole, Class Act, Disgustology, Huh?, Humor, Oh shit, Poop, Poop Power, Seriously weird, Shit, Wild Beasts, WTF?

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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Filed under 'Merica, ; Don't Make Me Feel Perky Tonigh, A Little Restraint, Perhaps, Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, Assholes, Brothers, Crohn's Disease, Good Works, Health, Health and Medicine, Holidays, Holy Shit, Humor, Poop, Poop Power, Shit, Shit happens, Sit ins, Taking Care of Each Other, Travel Stories

Don’t Make Me Do It

You won’t be at all surprised to learn that I am sitting here at my computer figuratively shitting bricks about the latest news about the latest attempt of the Senate GOP to repeal Obamacare.

I’ve already written to my Senators (who will vote against it, they’re both Dems), to Senator Collins and Murkowski urging them to stand fast.  I sent a link to my story of how loss of insurance in 1982 led me to a suicide attempt (albeit a stupid one) to Senator John McCain.  I’ve called everybody I can.

You can reach your senators via this link:

https://www.senate.gov/

You can call your Senators via this phone number

(202) 224-3121

Because if we don’t succeed, I will have to take drastic measures.  And I know just what to do.

I recently read an article about a “Mad Pooper” who is on the loose in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  She’s a jogger, who periodically drops her drawers and poops.

 

Now, in spite of 45 years of bowel problems, I do have a smattering of pride left.  So I don’t want to do this.

But loss of insurance once led me to contemplate drastic action with a tetherball thing-y on Capitol property.  Dropping my drawers and producing something nasty would be a breeze.  And I will poop up and down the hallways of the United States Senate.

So call your Senators.  Get them to vote AGAINST the Cassidy-Graham bill.

Cassidy-Graham

DON’T MAKE ME DO IT

CALL YOUR SENATORS

202-224-3121

 

 

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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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Filed under A Little Restraint, Perhaps, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Assholes, Being an asshole, Chronic Disease, Conspicuous consumption, Cool people, Crohn's Disease, Disgustology, DON'T go back to your day job either, Flatulence, Gross, Health and Medicine, Holy Shit, Huh?, Humor, Mom would die of embarrassment, Moose, Mysteries, Oh shit, Oops!, Pandas, Passive Aggression, Peaceful Protests, Pets, Poop, Poop Power, Return carriage, Satisfaction, Shit, Shit happens, Size Matters, Stop!, Toilets, Tom Price, Trump, Wild Beasts, WTF?

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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