Friday, August 24, 2007

Poop, or Something Similar...

Okay, enough with the foreplay. I will freely admit now that I started this blog to talk about poop. There, I said it.

There is so much about poop that gives it a bad rep. Kind of like that relative that we all have, who we don't care for, who seems to think that we're best friends: Poop is smelly, Poop sometimes shows up at the most inconvenient times, you can't avoid Pooping, Pooping can be painful, Poop is messy, and once we've pooped, we want to be rid of it as soon as possible.

But everyone and every living thing poops. I don't know why we all like to pretend that we don't. Why, up until a few years ago, I would get stage fright in the bathroom, and have to wait for it to clear out before I could drop a load. Nowadays, I have given up trying to pretend that I don't poop. In fact, it's one of the most enjoyable things I do all day long. How many things that we can do make us feel so great, without involving drugs, alcohol, eating junk food, or too much exercise?

There is one thing I can think of that makes me feel such relief. Sex. When my mother had "the talk" with me back in the 3rd grade, we talked frankly about sex. She informed me that it isn't always pleasant, but it is necessary, and makes you feel relief. Kind of like using the bathroom. For a long time, I always was slightly confused by that statement. Now that I'm old, married, and have a husband with relatively no libido, I can TOTALLY relate, but in a completely different way. I don't get off on pooping, but really, it certainly has become the one sense of physical relief that I can have every day, short of masturbation. Don't get me wrong- pooping is great. But if I had to choose between taking a leisurely shit and sex, sex wins!

Let's go back to childhood a little bit. I was raised in a family that felt it was okay to talk about BMs. In fact, it was my grandmother's favorite topic of conversation! "Gram, I don't feel so good." "Have you had your BM today?" "Grandma, I'm tired." "Did you BM?" "Hey, I have to get into the bathroom sometime today!" "Do you have to BM?" "Grandma, I'm home from school. How was your day?" "Did you take a BM yet?" She firmly believed, with that New English, phlegmatic fashion, that all the health in your body relates to the frequency and amount of BM left behind each and every day. Feeling sick? "Have some Milk o' Mag! It'll clean the sick out o' you!" I think, back in the day of the hackney sawbones, she would have been a very successful quack doctor because her methods did not involve bloodletting or leeches. "Jus' let me make you a glass of milk wi' some molasses. It'll clean you right out."

My mother, however, was raised in a very stoic, quiet family. You never mentioned poop or farting, and when bodily functions happened, they were ignored. I guess they considered it to be a polite virtue. Not I! Mom always made us refer to body functions with cutesy names, to disguise the vulgar. I always had to make caca, and when I farted, it was referred to as poop or toot. I believe I was around 9 years old when I rejected those terms. It just wasn't funny! Also, Dad always said fart and crap, why couldn't I? Being the eldest child, I incited a riot, and won, and it's been fart and crap ever since. My mother's mother tried to give my youngest sister some cutesy term, which I believe was breaking wind, but for some reason, my sister referred to it as bookwind. Now it's a family joke, that Holly didn't just fart- she bookwinded.

Poop stories have become a staple in my family. Even thought I live 2200 miles from the rest of my family, we still hit each other up on LiveJournal to extol each other with some tale of a freakishly large or messy BM. one of my best friends here in Salt Lake knows ALL the classic family poop jokes. He was there, in this particular incident, and I am proud to share it, as well as a few more, with you all.

Mom's a writer, and she was reading one of her books to Jay and I. Jay went to close the door, to stop my sisters from coming in and interrupting the flow of Mom's reading out loud. When he did, he saw a can of Pringles behind the door. No one can resist the delights of a chip in a can! Well, to make a long story short, he opened it up and we were all nasally-assaulted by the contents of the can. Poop. Thanks, to Holly, Jay has not been able to bring himself to eat Pringles since! But we still wonder HOW did she do it? Did she squat, hovering her butt over the can? Or did she do something more disgusting and sinister, the end of which involving her hands? We will never know, and she refuses to part with the secret.

We had a clubhouse out back of our Vermont home, which was located about an acre from the house. We had, what we called, "the bathroom" there, since any self-respecting home has a place to deposit ones leavings. Ours was a delightfully soft patch of moss. We sometimes also referred to it as "our science experiments" because after dropping a log, it was fun to go back and see flies on it. I digress. One day, my father was taking one of his epic crap dumps w/long shower, so it got to the point where I just couldn't wait any longer! We had only the one bathroom, and time was of the essence! I waddled out of the house, intending to make it for the clubhouse, but as I descended the deck stairs, I knew it was not going to hold any longer. So I made my way, I know not how, to the driveway. I squatted, and dropped quite the substantial log. Afraid that he'd know it for what it was, I kicked some gravel over it, and forgot about it. About two hours later I hear "Heathhhherrrr!" And I ran to see what the trouble was. Dad's standing over the pile. "What is the meaning of this??!" I looked at him innocently, "Did Kitty-Cat poop in the driveway?" "NO! My daughter did!" And I was made to scoop the poop with a shovel and throw it over the embankment beside the house. The whole time I did it, I cried "It was the cat! It was the cat!" But of course, I wasn't fooling anyone. "If the cat made that huge turd, Heather Anne, he'd be dead!"

My brother, at 6, was disconcerted when my Dad had to remove the toilet to run one of those snakes through the plumbing. Seems my sister's flushing whole bars of soap, and Mom's makeup, in addition to a family's worth of poop, finally caught up with the pipes. My poor brother, however, could not figure out why the potty was on the porch, but that wasn't stopping him. Up he jumped, down the poop went, and the poor wooden porch was stained. I believe Dad had to hoze it off. But it was winter, if I remember correctly, or maybe he just kicked the frozen turd off into the snow.

My other sister, Melissa, was a big one for always doing the right thing. She never got flack for pooping where she wasn't supposed to. Except that ONE time... She was sleepwalking and stepped into the bathub. Mom caught her just in time before she pooped there. She was dreaming that she was at camp, and had to go outdoors.

For years, Holly refused to eat corn, because of one fateful day when she got the runs upstairs, and pooped corn on the carpet. In fact, I don't know if she even now eats corn. I suppose with braces, she wouldn't. She always had an excuse! Holly is just as bad as I am, regarding pooping weird places. There was that paper plate we found in the bathroom garbage can, with that decidedly greasy smear in the direct middle, and we never could figure out who did it. I have my suspicions! There was also the time that she put a note on the toilet lid that said "Merry Christmas, look inside!" And my stepfather, upon opening the lid, was so horrifically disgusted, he insisted on waking her up from a sound sleep to rail on her. "We don't leave poop in the toilet, Holly!!!" While the rest of us snickered behind our hands at his prudish reaction to a pretty amusing prank.

My siblings aren't the only ones with poop stories to haunt them! Everyone poops! Our pets were no exception to the rule. Ah, I remember the good ol' days, when eating dinner at the table as a family, we were subjected to the sight of our lovely black Maine coon cat, Kitty, treating us to a bum-revealing display of pooping. He got the angle perfectly, we all saw the poop leave his butt. But that was not all! We then got to watch him turn to sniff it, get a disgusted expression, and try unsuccessfully to kick dirt over it, before running off in a tiff, with his ears back and his tail high in the air. Mom insisted on keeping the shades closed after that.

When I lived in Connecticut, we got a dog. Her name was Casey. She was some kind of yellow lab mixed with something else- we assumed German Shepherd. She was so smart and very well trained. She would always bow down before us and moan "Oouuut!" when she had to go. It was very effective. However, in the first week we had her, we had no idea she would have such a finicky reaction to the canned food we got her. I woke in the middle of the night, to walk down the stairs in the dark, to get a glass of milk. As I stepped off the last stair, my right foot went *squelch* into a big, soggy, COLD pile of dog diarrhea. Disgusted, but determined to make it to the kitchen to wash my foot, I tried to hobble through the dining room when *squelch* it happened AGAIN and this time to my other foot! I ruined one of Mom's kitchen towels cleaning my feet that night, but I will never, ever forget the feeling of cold dog droppings oozing between my toes. It also was the beginning of the "First one who finds it, cleans it" rule of my house. Damn dog.

One of my high school boyfriends' cat was a strange creature. One night we were watching a dramatic movie in the dark, and right at the climax, where everything is revealed, we hear the cat in his box, scratching and crying. Thanks, Toon. I've never been able to watch Double Jeopardy since, without thinking about it.

Poop and me, me and poop. Poop and my family. We all do it. We all laugh about it. Why can't more people just take a casual and humorous attitude involving poop? I guess it all boils down to insecurity, and the inability for many people to admit that they too, have a vulnerable, private moment, in the stall at work. Or after a big Mexican meal. Or even right when they wake up, coffee on the sink, newspaper in hand. Everybody poops. Everyone!

And on and on it goes. I'll leave you with one more flashback: One day, I really had to go at Grandpa's house. I did my duty, flushed, and moved on. Some time later, Dad shows up, and after going into the bathroom, I hear my name being called, "Heathhherrrrr!" So I go to see what he was on about. "Heather, the toilet's flooded over, and you'd better get to mopping!" I looked at him with all the dignity a 15 year old can muster, and said to him, "Dad, this was NOT me! Why is every time the word shit mentioned in this family, MY name comes up??!!!"

Dad did the mopping.


Opheliac said...

Haha! This was hilarious!
I'll remember to deposit any good BM stories I come across here, okay?