Everything will come out eventually.

This post involves things that some people might view as “TMI”, and involves bodily functions. If you are squeamish, easily nauseated, or have other mental problems, you may want to skip this one. People with kids, however, will understand and totally relate.

 

So a friend of mine was telling me this story of his kid, as fathers we can both relate to the same sorts of things. There are some things that you just don’t get to discuss if you’re not a parent… a whole world of events that you just miss out on.

Like, for example, the kid not taking a dump for a week. If you’re a hiker, involved with other hikers, the subject of pooping may come up. For example, “Hey go on up the trail and whistle if someone is coming, because that Mountain House meal I ate last night is about to reappear. Is that poison ivy?”

So this guy is telling me about his kid not taking a dump. First of all, the kid is ten. I understand if the kid is 2 or 3 or something, they have this poop anxiety, like they are leaving part of their body behind or their intestines are falling out or something. But at ten, kids should be well acquainted with taking a crap. After all, they should have crapped on average every day or so, so its a habit you get used to. But his kid doesn’t like to crap, or something, and holds it.

I don’t know how. Sure, like every person I can keep from crapping my pants for a while. Maybe a few hours or so, but sooner or later its coming out whether I want it to or not. We’ve all been there… I know cops who have said they had to leave accident scenes and drive to the station with lights and sirens going because they had been directing traffic just a bit too long. I’ve had “vacation bowel” before, a unique sort of event in itself. Have you ever been say, to Disney World, and about the fourth day you’re thinking, “you know, I haven’t pooped yet, and I’ve been eating like crazy…”? Generally once you’ve popped the cap on that thought, within a few hours you’re leaving Mickey a present he won’t soon forget.

But this kid hadn’t gone to the bathroom in like a week, and sometimes she doesn’t go for days at a time. So he has to take her to the hospital for stomach pains. I wonder why? The doctor basically tells the kid, “Look you have to poop”, and orders some laxative stuff after doing an exam most of us would consider a violation of our humanity and dignity.

So the kid has three days to take a dump before further measures will be taken.

A hospital trip because you held in taking a dump?

That’s an expensive poop. I mean, I’ve gone to the hospital for a number of things. I tripped up the stairs once in house shoes (leather moccasins) and broke my toe. That was rather stupid, and expensive. My wife dropped me off and went home while they worked on me. I’ve had a few Kidney stones, and even got fixed (best. operation. ever. Well worth the $200 guys, don’t be scared!) We even took the kid to the hospital once because she was making these awful sounds that turned out to be the croup.

But going to get x-rayed for not shitting? That definitely seems like a first world problem. Everything will likely come out in the end…

 

See what you’re missing not having a kid? There’s more to life that some skank getting called out on “The Bachelorette” for sleeping with everyone. Find someone with a kid tomorrow and say, “Hey, I’ve been considering becoming a parent, tell me your worst bathroom horror stories.” I’m sure they’ll oblige.

 

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Hits it right on.

This was pretty much whatever a “team assignment” resembled over my time in junior high and high school. Everyone hates team projects. We all know how they work. The smart person winds up with most or all of the work, while the pretty people sit around and talk about their off topic nonsense about who’s dating who and where they are going on spring break, and then everyone gets the same grade.

There’s not much that I can see in a store that makes me happier…

The flamethrower is positive proof that sometime, somewhere, someone said, “You know, I’d really like to set those people over there on fire, I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”

Blue Angels, Sunburn, and Cat Turds.

My daughter spends a few weeks each year over the summer with her grandfather in Pensacola Beach. It’s a lot like summer camp, without the exorbitant costs and child molestation. Just a short, 11 hour drive across three states, and she’s there. Really, people I know hear Florida and think, “Disney World”. That’s only 7 hours away from us (which is why you see so many Disney World posts on here). Miami is 11-12 hours away. You wouldn’t think that Pensacola Beach would be so far, but it’s practically Alabama, the bit of Alabama that sticks down on the ocean… To put it in perspective, I can drive to Miami in 669 miles. Pensacola, when I go down I-95 instead of around Atlanta, is 682 miles. So – it’s more like driving to Key West… Hey now THAT’s an Idea!

Despite the distance, however, I do love the area. Clean white beaches, interesting places to eat, generally not as crowded as Myrtle Beach (which is only two hours away), and free lodging. There’s a pool there as well, which seems silly since the ocean is 200 yards away, but sometimes there’s jellyfish, which seem to have an affinity for my daughter, and which we have never found in the pool.

The only time the place gets REALLY busy is July, between the 4th, which for some reason they shoot off lots of fireworks and traffic is terrible for hours afterwards, and the following week, the Blue Angels hold a series of practices and ultimately an Air Show, so if you want to go anywhere at all for about 3 days, it better be on foot. On Saturday, There is not a parking space on the island to be had, if there is dirt without a roped off section, there will be a car on it.

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Thankfully there is plenty to entertain yourself with, and the Condo my father lives at is close enough to the main drag that we can see some of the airshow without dragging ourselves down to the crowded main viewing area, and the planes fly right by, rather loudly.

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And when, as it happens in Florida, sudden thunderstorms come up, you don’t find yourself running for the car only to sit still in traffic for three hours like some people did. The airshow presents a unique set of problems for those just visiting, mainly the lack of public toilets on the far end of the beach from the pier. While watching from the balcony, my stepmother saw a group of people wander over to the condo property’s gate and try to get in. They didn’t appear to know the code, and someone wandered over to the gate, punched in the code, and let them in. There were a group of adults and about five kids, and once inside by the pool, they didn’t know the code for the lobby door, either, and sent someone to the front to let them in from the other side. We went to the first floor to see what was going on, under the pretense of getting something from the car. The group was hanging around in the lobby and using the first floor pool area bathroom. When they went to leave, they didn’t know the gate code to get out, either.

Someone let them out, and they watched, rather intently, as the gate code was punched in. About ten minutes later two of the group returned with more children and adults in tow, and tried to get back in the gate. My step-mother was understandably distressed at all the random people coming in, as people leave things a mess, break things, leave water running, and damage things. I shouted down from the balcony, “Are you staying here?” The response was, “No – we are coming to use the bathroom.” I told them, “This is private property, not a public restroom, you can’t come in unless you stay or rent here.” The results were some dirty looks, and a couple of the girls taking photos of me with phone cameras as they left. I understand their plight, but as a matter of course, you don’t just wander into private property to use the bathroom. Hopefully the people in charge of the island put out some port-potties for next year.

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But when the weather is nice, there’s one thing Florida has in abundance, and that is SUNSHINE. They don’t call it the sunshine state for nothing. So we brought out our tent (the same tent that Myrtle Beach has made illegal, take that Myrtle Beach!) and set it up a couple of days before and after all the airshow antics. Diligently I sprayed my arms and legs with sunscreen. intending mainly to sit under the tent and enjoy the views and look for the odd shell or two. We also played a game, called “oh no they didn’t”, which is a lot like I-Spy, only a LOT more judgmental. Mainly it involves people in inappropriate attire, or barely there attire (thong bathing suits are legal here, another point for Pensacola that Myrtle Beach makes illegal). The first person to see, for example, someone in a bikini that is mostly covered by their fat rolls says “oh no she didn’t!” discreetly, pointing with their eyes. Its best to play discreetly, avoiding the chance of getting your ass kicked. Other than that, the water is gorgeous, and recently beach erosion has shaped the coast into a series of sandbars and little tidal pools great for people that don’t like waves or don’t swim well.

My fearless daughter kept pestering me to come swimming, having gotten bored burying my feet and looking at the same people standing around. So I stripped off my shirt and headed to the water. It is at this point I will remind you that I sprayed my arms and legs, with the intent of staying under the tent, or getting shells. So I float around on her boogie board for 30-45 minutes, with the full expanse of my white pastiness exposed to the radiation on a burning thermonuclear explosion only 92 million miles away, possible causing someone else to score a point in the “oh know he didn’t!” game. We returned, hot, tired, and jellyfish stung (the stings we got were unpleasant, but not terrible, going away after only a few minutes). Putting away the tent and going inside didn’t take long, and my wife said, “your back is burnt”. Oops, at this point I realized the error of my ways.

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So, the following morning we returned, all 11 hours, to home with our stuff, my back itchy and uncomfortable. Along the way she gets invited to Myrtle Beach to see other family members. I have to work, and having had enough of sitting on a beach in the sun for a while, I offer to drive her, since she doesn’t like traffic.

Oatmeal baths become my friend, and after a four hour trip (2 each way) to Myrtle Beach, I take another one, and try to rub down my itchy reddened back. Why is it that sunburns look worse two days later?

The following day I go back to Myrtle Beach to pick up the wife and kid, and on the way back a discussion ensues that goes down as one of the weirdest in history. My daughter starts relating the tale of how my sister-in-law’s new cat crapped on the carpet. Not only did I not need to know about that, that was one thing I prefer NOT to hear about. It’s one reason I hold dogs and cats in disdain, and prefer to stay away from people who have dogs and cats in their house. I don’t want to hear, see, or be around animals that routinely poop where they aren’t supposed to, namely inside. So they go on and on about this cat and it’s bowel habits, and finally, sunburned and exhausted from driving 11 hours, then 4 then 4 more over the course of a few days, I tell them, “can we please stop discussing the cat shit? I’ve heard all I ever needed to know about cat shit, I never needed to hear the first thing about cat shit, and yet here we are, five minutes later, discussing the cat and its shit on the rug”. My wife asks me if there’s a contest I am in to see how many times in one minute I can say “cat shit”. Then she makes the mistake of taking a long drink from her coke can.

In response to her query, I reply: “No, but it’s just that every time you mention it, I picture this turd on the rug, and that’s a visual I just don’t need while I’m driving in traffic.”

Her response is to spew out about half a cup of coke all over herself, the car seat, her jeans, and her feet. Oh well, at least we stopped talking about cat shit.

Hobby lobby and the Invisible Sky Man

 

 

So now that the initial furor over the whole Hobby Lobby birth control thing has passed and we have moved on to more important things like; how is Honey Boo Boo doing? and when is the next season of Keeping Up in the Kardashians? It’s time to look at the Supreme Court decision with an open eye.

 

Initially I thought they were crazy. From what I was understanding Hobby Lobby basically didn’t want to have their insurance include options for birth control. Crazy, right? What sort of place tells women, basically making minimum wage, that they can’t get birth control unless they pay for it? Wouldn’t a store WANT women to have birth control. They can’t fire you for getting pregnant, so it’s in a store’s best interest that women have birth control.

But it turns out that’s not what they were saying at all. Hobby Lobby, to their credit, was saying that birth control is fine, just not birth control that might cause abortions. And what is an abortion?

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An Abortion, in their opinion, isn’t some full bellied woman going to a doctor with a vacuum cleaner, it’s a medication that prevents a fertilized egg from implanting. That’s it. Because to a lot of Christians, life begins the moment the guy rolls over and says “sure I’ll call you later. Promise. What was your name?”

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But what confused me more than anything was that an employer could pick and choose what services the insurance would pay for. I thought that in general insurance covered a sort of standard group of services. I never imagined that employers could tell insurance companies, “yeah we don’t believe in things that cause abortions, can you take that out of the policy?” 

And who does Hobby Lobby think they are, telling people “hey this is against our beliefs, we don’t care what your beliefs are, but we are against it, so you can’t have it!” you almost expect them to stick their fingers in their ears and go, “Nyah Nyah Nyah!” and blow a raspberry. 

So, the government, essentially, telling a business “yes you can use your religion to keep services from employees” is really scary. It’s not really this one that’s scary, after all anyone can go to the pharmacy and buy the plan b pill (“or as I call it, plan A” – Amy Schuman). what’s scary is there are a lot of other freaky beliefs out there. 

Scientologists don’t believe in mental illness, they think it’s space aliens or something, what if a scientologist-owned company decides not to cover Xanax and Prozac and such. Different religions believe in different things… All of which could be excuses for dropping coverage on services that employees depend on. 

 

 

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Of course, the other side is equally scary. The government shouldn’t really be in the position to decide “hey these are the things that should be covered and these you can drop”. This seems to be where obamacare is headed, a single set of standards for health care, where x is covered and y is not. 

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But just saying, “we don’t believe in it so you can’t have it” just seems wrong to me. A corporation shouldn’t inflict its values on its employees. Employees should have the right to make their own choices based on their own beliefs. Your boss has no business in your bedroom. It’s easy to say, “well they can go work somewhere else.” 

Smeone shouldn’t be forced to make that choice. This is a lot like sexual harassment. One could always say, “hey Jessica is complaining about the staff making suggestive comments, maybe she should quit and go work at Applebee’s.” no, that’s unacceptable. If someone is making sexual comments to an employee, it’s expected to stop. Employers shouldn’t get to tell you what you do in your private time, whether it’s smoking, drinking, or having sex. 20140710-093328-34408012.jpg

Happy Birthday ‘Merica! Lets go Kill Stuff.

As an American, I feel it’s my invisible-sky-man-given right to go forth and destroy. The Fourth of July is about a lot more than fireworks and barbecue and your alcoholic beverage du jour. As foreigners who came over here uninvited and made ourselves at home, we have always enjoyed a fine tradition of slaughtering things. And yes, most of us are foreigners. Unless your great great grandfather slept in a teepee and had an animal in his name somewhere, like “Runs With Squirrels” or “Teats like a Longhorn”, then yes, you’re a foreigner like me.

imagesSo, in that grand tradition, I started out our country’s birthday by destroying things. First, I killed millions of thriving bacteria on the old smoker. The remnants of the memorial day pork roast still clung to the grill grates like the last survivors of the Titanic right before the final plunge. Firing up the grill and heating the metal until it smoked made quick work of that, only to be blasted off with a jet from the hose. As an aside, is today REALLY our country’s birthday? We celebrate it like it was, but its more a “conception announcement” than a birthday. July 4th is when a bunch of guys sat down and signed a document that pretty much was going to start a new nation, or wind up with themselves getting hanged. A very strong motivator to win the war, at the very least. I would think our country’s birthday would be the day the last British ship sailed away and the captain gave us the finger and said “good luck on your own!”, much like when you finally get your crap and walk out on the sleazy girlfriend for the last time.

UnknownSecond, I completed my second annual tradition of spraying around the house. Ants like to come inside during the hot dry summer months in the south, and forage for sugar bits and crackers and gummy worms and toothpaste. So annually I mix up twice the recommended amount of permethrin by volume, and spray the outside foundation walls of the house. This results in a sticky smelly death zone for insects that wander within a foot of the bricks. My neighbor has a bug zapper. I think the thing is powered by fusion, because from three yards away we see the purple glow and hear these zaps like someone fired off a 22 rifle. It’s an amazing little device, one I thought went by the wayside in the 80s. I have to get one, if only for the entertainment value.

Third, now that the smoker was heated up, I threw on a slab of ribs. True, I didn’t directly have anything to do with the death of the pig. It was pre-slaughtered, gutted and chopped up into delicious pig bits, washed, cleaned and wrapped in plastic to protect me from its uncooked germiness. BUT – because stores like to keep their inventory up, by buying a slab of ribs, there’s a pig in some stockyard somewhere who’s number just came up red. Sorry Porky, but you taste delicious.

Which begs a point – In all that processing and cleaning and packaging, why can’t the pig killers pull the nasty membrane thing off the back side of the ribs? They don’t toss a tail in there and say, “hey get rid of this while you’re at it”. No – everything else is done, but I have to fight the baby back ribs equivalent of old duct tape off the back side of the thing. I’m not sure why, but there it is. Same thing with the Turkey bits at the grocery store during the winter celebration of Indian-Killing known as “Thanksgiving”. How do they sell turkeys? By the Pound, right? So why is there a frozen bag of nasty turkey parts inside the bird? Thats an extra half pound or so that goes in the trash, and because its a holiday, it sits there stinking until Monday when everyone goes back to work. Unless, of course, you tie it up in the Walmart bag it came in and drop it off in the trash at the gas station. There should be a “no nasty gross stuff inside the bird” option. Or maybe a bin of parts beside the turkey display, like feet and wings and such. Ugh. 1-IMG_5128

So, the smoker is doing what it is named for. Time to go check the ribs. I would mow the grass today, but I always do that on Sunday, just to piss people off. I never knew mowing on sunday was so forbidden until recently. Apparently I’m supposed to rest on Sunday because someone wrote it in a book somewhere, but that’s another post.