An Irregularity: Question From Your Son That Every Mother Longs to Hear

You could say that I have a very good relationship with my son. Unlike my teenage daughter who is secretive to a fault, he’s always talked to me frankly about many things. He knows how I react (usually there’s no reaction, I have to play it cool), so he enjoys bouncing things off me. Sometimes he makes stuff up just to cause a reaction. He gets that from his dad’s side of the family. Sometimes the topics are things I’d rather not know about, but I listen anyway.

I received an email from this 20-year-old college son today. It was just two sentences. I wish I could describe it, but my inner decorum won’t allow me, so I will reproduce the entire email here:

“So Mai [his girlfriend] takes a dump 1 time every 4 days. Any suggestions on how we can get things movin in there?”

My first reaction after laughing my ass off (thank you, son, for bringing some levity into my otherwise drab and morbidly morose existence) was “what the f***? Shouldn’t you be practicing?”

My second reaction was “Oh, my God!”

That’s because he takes after his father. If you read this post, you’d know what I am talking about. My husband can talk poo ad nauseaum. (And believe me, I’m pretty nauseous if I allow him to do so.) Me, if it leaves my body and I flush it down, that’s it. I don’t wave farewell; I don’t deliver eulogies; I don’t review the size, texture or color; I don’t look back. The rest of the family is an entirely different story.

While my son and his girlfriend were here for Christmas, he and his dad tried valiantly to suck me into a poo-laden conversation. I refused to participate, except to say that I’m regular. I regularly do it every day. In fact, I regularly do it every morning right after my one cup of coffee. My regularity is of the atomic clock-setting variety.

My son, as well, is regularly regular. On the other hand, my husband is totally irregular. A week or so may elapse before he goes. This just occurred last week. Since I don’t keep track, I didn’t realize this was the problem until I made a comment on how big his stomach was getting. The reason this was noticeable is because the rest of him is thin. Mr. D’s reply was “well, I haven’t taken a dump in a week!” to which I replied, “EWW! Don’t tell me!”

Back to the email: I don’t know what to tell the young man. His girlfriend is a vegetarian, so she gets plenty of roughage. My husband eats twigs and bark for breakfast, so he gets plenty of fiber too. Both my son and I are carnivores who detest cereal made from twigs and bark, so what does that tell you?

I’m thinking about not answering that email at all. I don’t want to become swallowed whole into the vortex that is poo-talk.

The Fall of Civilization Due to the Elimination of Outhouses

A warning: if you are particularly squeamish about bodily emissions, I would pass this post up today.

Outhouses. We need them. I came to this wonderful conclusion while getting ready for work today.

For some background, you must know that Mr. Demonic is truly one strange dude. I believe it has to do with the way he was brought up. In his family, they were all about bodily emissions of every type. I have photographs of his mother, his sister and his brother, as well as my children, with their fingers up their respective noses. The photos of my in-laws were not taken when they were young; no, they were taken within the last fifteen years.

Similarly, I discovered once I married in, that there is much ado about poo. When my children were potty training, my husband and MIL (mother-in-law, not My Internet Love) would comment on size, texture, and smell, as well as whatever shape the poo ended up looking like. Mr. Demonic, likewise, used to call me into the bathroom to show me his own extraordinarily large turds, turds that looked like soft-serve ice cream with a gentle dip at the end, and ones of an unusual color or if they had interesting items like corn mashed in them. I played that game for a little while, but now I refuse to patronize him or the other Demonics when they want to show me what ends up in the toilet bowl.

Come on, people. We didn’t do this in my house growing up! It’s not because we had more money; in fact, we probably had less money than most people. It’s not because my parents had a sense of decorum and manners, because they didn’t. I didn’t know what a napkin was for until I moved away at 18. It’s not because we weren’t close, because with two parents, six kids, several barnyard animals, a horse, a dog and a cat in a three-bedroom house, we were forced to be close whether we liked it or not.

No, I think the reason my parents didn’t make much mention of poo is more nurture than nature. It’s the way my father was brought up. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t talk about poo in any company, whether mixed or not. He didn’t have use of a flush toilet until he joined the Army at 17, so there was no in-depth analysis of human excrement. Before that, it was outhouses in the middle of the cold, frozen North.

If you’ve made it this far in the post, without groaning in disgust or throwing up, hear my argument for why outhouses are the last bastion of civilization. First of all, even with a two-seater, which my grandma had, the user just didn’t spend much time in there. For one thing, it was dark – no electricity. For another thing, grandma’s choice of reading material was mostly the really bad jokes she made up and posted on the walls. Once deposited in the outhouse, a person just can’t oooh and ahhh over the shape of the poo. It’s down there so far you can’t see it. Also, outhouses tend to have a rather piquant smell, especially in the heat of summer. Take my word for it, you don’t want to spend any time there, if you don’t have to.

In the wintertime, there were other dangers. When it is 30 below zero, the seats are rather cold – too cold to sit on. Grandma always had a warm one positioned next to her pot-bellied stove. You would grab the spare and head out, do your business and quickly return your butt and the spare to the stove area before the rest of you froze to death. In the summer time, at night, there was always the possibility of running into a wild animal. Bears, ‘possums, bobcats and skunks were always lurking about to scare the heck out of you.

So it all boils down to this. Civilized people don’t talk about poo. If you can’t see it, you won’t talk about it. If you have to use an outhouse, you can’t see it.

This brings us to today. Mr. Demonic rushed in as I was taking a shower (lathering up with sandalwood rose body wash-my favorite) and proceeded to do something which ended up smelling so nasty, I was gasping for air. I quickly jumped out of my hot shower without toweling off, and ran into the bedroom for relief. There was none. I could no longer smell my lovely sandalwood rose. Meanwhile, he was laughing hysterically.

I personally thought there was not one thing about this situation that was funny.

I can’t help but think if that guy Crapper hadn’t invented the flush toilet, we’d all be a little more genteel.

Some Dirty Office Talk

1. The manager is ribbing one of the guys here, because he shared once that he wipes his ass while standing up. This office is four females and three males. All of us laughed. It’s not so funny, because my son also wipes his ass while standing up. His reason for doing so is because my husband used to make him stand up to do it when he was a toddler. So my son never really learned how to wipe sitting down. If that isn’t totally weird, I don’t know what is. Now the guy in the office, I don’t know why he wipes standing up, and neither does he. He thought everyone did.

2. We have another guy who works here, who is basically a gopher for my husband. We found out from another employee that once he was at a location and had to go to the bathroom. We shared the bathroom with the suite next to us. It was after hours, so he left the door open. Employee #2 walked by to find Employee #1 on the toilet with his pants around his ankles. When I bring it up, Employee #1 gets very angry and hostile. I can’t imagine why.

3. We were reminicing that one time about ten years ago, the cleaning company that was supposed to clean our office didn’t show up for a month. This was during the summer, when we are the busiest. I guess the guy had a heart attack but no one knew. Anyway, after a few weeks I noticed the bathroom smelling particularly bad. I armed myself with a lot of strong cleaning equipment and started to tackle the job. I noticed there were some bottles and vases on the back of the toilet. They were filled with liquid. When I dumped the liquid out, I realized it was urine! After that, I put a lock on the door, so now you have to have a key to use the facilities. It’s a bit of a hassle, but keeps the homeless and the teenagers out.