Trio: Copraphagia

I

We always rented a cabin in Wisconsin Dells for a few weeks in the summers when I was small, and one summer when I was four years old, my sister Elaine, who was eleven, and I took the row boat out for an evening ride. Suddenly, I had to go #2 really bad! There was no way we’d make it back to the cabin, so Elaine persuaded me to slide into the water with my life jacket on, hang onto the side of the boat with one hand, and tug my bathing suit to the side and let fly. I was so embarrassed, but necessity dictated hers was the logical choice, so in I went. As I did my business, I was horrified to note that small brown lumps began to pop to the surface and float all around me like tootsie rolls! I didn’t want to touch them, so as soon as I finished, I screamed for Elaine to lift me back into the boat. As if that wasn’t enough, as soon as I was out of the water, there was a sudden splish-splash all around us, and small carp began gobbling up my solid, little contributions. Who knew fish delighted in small person poop?

 

II

My grandmother told me one that troubles me to this day. She told me that when she was a little girl she was quite the prankster. She was a country girl, and although her family was well traveled, many of the children on the neighboring farms or in sharecropper shacks were not so well traveled. No shoes, that sort of thing. One day she decided to play a prank on a local boy who was a bit of a thug and not too bright. She arranged poop on a plate and told him it was chocolate. He ate it all. Questioned whether it was really chocolate but didn’t suspect. I can’t remember if she told him or not.

 

III

My sister-in-law was working as a pharmacy tech in some small-ish Eastern Tennessee town. This guy came in one day and asked to speak to the pharmacists. She asked what it was in reference to, and the guy wanted to know if there’s some kind of medicine he can take for worms. He said he had worms in his poop. She stopped him and went to get the pharmacist but not after saying he probably should go to his doctor if there are worms in his poop.

The pharmacist came out and, having heard a lot of crazy things before, suggested to the guy that perhaps they weren’t worms but maybe some undigested food or something. The guy said he knows for sure they were worms and asked about any over-the-counter medications he could take. The pharmacist explained the medication would be determined by the type of worms, and he really needs to go to the doctor to find that out.

The pharmacist – I can’t believe he went this far with this conversation – said, “OK, describe what the worms looked like.”

The guy said, “I can do better than that,” and pulled out a jar with his poop and the now-dead worms in it.

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