Friday, March 4, 2011

The Poo Nightmare

A tower of poo made by Jaycee the Italian Greyhound. Those Italians and their art.
I have more stories about poo than I am entirely comfortable with. Here’s one of them.

Well, two actually. See, I was telling the guys at work about Lil’ Troublemaker’s potty training progress. He’s pretty much good to go at this point whether we’re out or at home. We’re very proud of him and how it went down was basically one day he just decided it was Big Boy Underwear day and has rolled like that ever since. It’s awesome.

But before that, in the times where things were a bit sketchy, he gave me a poo story.

We were hanging out at home while the missus was at work. We had been playing for a couple of hours and the time came around that our son may or may not take a nap depending on the alignment of planets that exist only in his little three-year-old head. So we laid down on his bed and made an attempt at taking a nap.

Now, I am a Nap Master. My expertise in nap-taking and proficiency at nap-time activities is surpassed by few. I challenge anybody to fall asleep faster than me. So I was sound asleep on the bed and Lil’ Troublemaker had decided to skip nap time that day. So presumably, he got up and played Batman or whatever while Daddy was conked out.

It was the smell that woke me.

Not the proud young voice proclaiming, “Daddy! I pooped in the potty!”

Not the feel of cold plastic against my cheek.

Not the dog sitting in the corner, laughing at me in his doggy way.

I cracked my eyes and realized my three-year-old son was helpfully pressing Frog Potty’s removable seat up against my face so that I could see the fruits of his labors. So to speak.

So I’m lying in a tiny bed, with a nude three-year-old with a presumably filthy hiney pressing a blue plastic bowl full of little toddler poops up against my face. You’d think I would scream, leap out of bed while swatting the bowl away from my face and run from the room directly into the nearest shower. But no, in one of my proudest Daddy moments I managed to collect myself, force the words, “Wow! Awesome, buddy!” out of my mouth and gently retrieve the blue poo platter from his little hands. I went and dumped it out, wiped some hiney and high-fived my extremely proud little son.

No running. No yelling. No screaming.

But telling that story made me remember this other poo story. And it does involve screaming. I honestly don’t know if I should even share it, but I’m here to entertain.


This was just after we moved into the house a few years ago. Our Boxer – Otis – was about six months old and Mrs. Troublemaker’s dog – an Italian Greyhound named Jaycee – was still alive. My wife was at work (which is apparently when all bad things happen) and I was asleep after working a night shift.


I should also point out that Otis had chewed up my brand new glasses and I did not at the time have any contact lenses. The quality of my unassisted eyesight is not so bad that I am legally blind but is also not so good that I can, say, distinguish between a refrigerator and my wife’s Aunt Patty.

So I was sound asleep in bed when the smell woke me up. I didn’t immediately place it, I just knew there was a bad smell. I opened my eyes and looked over and saw that Otis was sitting beside me; a paw on my arm and his head tilted to the side. He has retained this little habit – his way of saying, “Excuse me. I have an issue that requires your attention.” And believe me when I say his paw/head tilt motion convey that as clearly as human speech. Whether he needs to go out or just wants his ears rubbed, this is the indication.

So I figured he needed to go outside and poop and had just come into the room and farted as he jumped on the bed; another habit that remains to this day. It’s like he needs that little extra boost. But I noticed that the paw on my arm was sort of moist. And I looked at my arm and saw that there was a dark discoloration in the vicinity of that paw. And then I opened my eyes all the way and looked at the bedspread and saw similar dark patches of discoloration all over. And inhaled. And figured out what was going on (or so I thought – it ended up being so much worse).

“WHAT THE FUCK!”

“OH, MAN. WHAT THE FUCK!”

“OH… FUCK!”

I swung my legs down off the bed and lowered them to the floor as Otis jumped off the bed and bounded about the room, playfully spreading poo everywhere his little puppy paws went. At some point his older sister joined in as well, somehow finding the energy in her ancient, arthritic little body to bound gleefully between the bed and the floor; droplets of poo spreading through the air like morning dew (doo). Getting out of bed, my left foot hit the carpet but my right foot ran into some interference. In the form of a big, sloppy pile of poo.

“OH… OH… FUCK FUCK OH…”

I jumped up in a futile attempt to extract my already poo-covered foot from the mess and in the process put my unsullied left foot into one of the many (and growing) poo stains all over the floor.

“FU… GAAAH!”

I didn’t want to put my extremely pooey right foot back on the floor, so I hopped on my very slightly cleaner left foot to the bathroom to wash off the poo. That mission accomplished, I went back into the bedroom that the dogs were attempting to repaint in a lovely shade of brown.

I made my way through the minefield of poo spots, perilously close to panic. I made it to the hallway and looked down it to the end.

And I then came as close as I ever care to get to the pure, unadulterated madness that Lovecraft wrote about. The absolute loss of one’s self in the face of something so incomprehensible; so outside of the human brain’s ability to relate to that one’s very soul is in danger of being torn asunder. I looked then into the Mountains of Madness. And lo, they were made of dog poo. Remember, I had no glasses or contacts and have very poor vision. 

But I could tell what was going on in that hall.

The mess in the bedroom wasn’t shit (pun intended) compared to the absolute swamp of canine fecal matter in the hall. It was all over the floor, the baseboards, there was a little bit on the walls. I think there was even some on the ceiling. And there, at the end of the hall, was roughly two square feet of brown pudding. And I had to navigate that vile hall to get to cleaning supplies, a phone; matches and gasoline. Anything that might help take care of this nightmare.

Actually, I’ve had nightmares that weren’t this bad.

There was no way to navigate what was in that hallway. I stood there - poo-covered dogs frolicking about my feet – and spent several minutes planning my next move.

I’m not particularly proud of this next part, but I speak only the truth here. Once a tale has begun, it must be seen through to the end.

I ran as fast as I could down that hall, skidded in the poo pile at the end and narrowly avoided falling directly into the mess by grabbing the door knob on the living room door (thank GOD there is a door to our living room – to think I had questioned its existence and even considered removing it at one point), pulled myself into the living room to behold yet more poo, grabbed the phone, ran through the kitchen, out the door, threw up beside the carport and called Mrs. Troublemaker and told her what was going on and how she was going to have to come home to clean up this mess because FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I CAN’T SEE!

I did not appreciate the hysterical laughter that she responded with.

I certainly didn’t appreciate it when she handed the phone to her co-worker and made me tell the story again.

So I sat outside on the steps in my boxers and bathrobe and waited for her to get home. Seriously. There was no way I was going back in that house.

My wife didn’t stop laughing at me for days and made me repeat the story to everybody we knew. Fine by me. She could have told them she came home and found me prancing around the basement in her underwear if it meant I didn’t have to deal with that horrifying mess.

Thank God for that living room door and thank God for my wife.

Note: I just recalled that somehow I did get both dogs into the backyard over the course of my panicked run of the poo gauntlet.

I swear that every word of the above article is true. Who in the world would make stuff like that up?

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