Tag Archives: carpet

Baby Krakatoa

by Eli Stratus

My daughter was about 15 months old. In the middle of the night, she woke me up, fussing because she had pooped. In my sleep-deprived daze, I went to change her diaper. I took her out of her crib and put her on the changing table. That’s when I noticed that this was no ordinary poop; this was a poop explosion. The poop had leaked out of the diaper, and it was all over her pajamas and the changing table. I had poop all over my arms, too. She was going to need a bath.

As any parent will tell you, we are trained not to leave a child on the changing table, but I needed help. I put her on the floor to wake my husband, Fred, to help me.

She promptly pooped again on the carpet.

20 minutes later, we were all cleaned up. The washing machine was taking care of the sheets and changing table cover. The carpet, on the other hand, was nasty.

It was only a cheapo remnant, easier to replace than clean. I rolled it up, poop and all, and took it to the curb. Just before we drifted off to sleep, Fred said he didn’t think the trash truck would take it. Trash day was that morning.

When I woke up, Fred told me we didn’t need to worry if the trash truck would pick it up. Someone drove by in the middle of the night and took the carpet.

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Man’s best friend

Puppies are just so damn cute. If they weren’t, we would never let them piss on our laps and shit all over our houses.

Sweet Perfect Hazel was an amazing puppy; she was cute, she was obedient, she was calm, she didn’t bark. She was a border collie mutt, attentive and social and smart. She was an A+ dog in all things except Housebreaking. F. A solid, shitty F.

  1. We put down newspaper for her, patting the paper to show her that this is where good doggies go potty. She was so sweet. She’d scamper onto the newspaper, with us saying gopottygopottygopotty, and then she’d go to the edge of the paper, all four paws on the paper, and squat, her little doggie butt hanging over the edge of the paper so she could shit on the floor and not soil the beautiful paper we’d laid out for her.
  2. After she ate, I would take her outside on her leash. We would walk around. I would be super patient, waiting for her to do her business. Nothing. I would sing to her. Nothing. 45 minutes of nothing. I would eventually decide she didn’t have to go, so we’d head back inside. She promptly ran to a corner of the living room carpet and baked a Tootsie Roll. I think she was actually waiting to go inside so she could do her business.
  3. We locked her in the laundry room until she pooped. She’d cry and whimper and howl until we let her out, where she would promptly scamper somewhere exciting in the house and let it fly.
  4. We built a little pen outside, next to the kitchen door, where we could leave her cooped up until she pooped. Minimal success, and then we discovered that she could get out and we were too inept to patch the pen properly.

It was horrible. NOTHING WORKED. Crate training seemed cruel and unusual punishment and slightly unnecessary. My girlfriend and I were both 22; we had bachelor’s degrees but were still at the developmental stage where you get the phone shut off because you forget to pay the bill and it’s easier to just close the office door than clean up dogshit. This is actually quite a brilliant solution. We lived in an enormous house, a four-bedroom summer home on a lake, out in the wilds of central Virginia. The house was so big that if Hazel took a dump somewhere, we could just ignore it. Like the Mad Hatter’s tea party – move on to another room. So we did.

Hazel was an equal opportunity pooper. The house had vinyl flooring in the kitchen and laundry, hardwood in the living room and dining room, slate in the foyer, and wall-to-wall carpet in the bedrooms. She’d poop in all rooms, but she seemed to prefer the wall-to-wall carpeting. In this case, ignoring fresh dog poop makes sense – if you let it dry and harden, it is easier to pick up. I have a terrible gag reflex, finely honed from growing up with two poop-mongering black Labs. Trying to gingerly pick up Sweet Perfect Hazel’s moist poop and not have it smear into the carpet was a nightmare. Way easier to breathe through your mouth and pick it up tomorrow. Or maybe on the weekend. Yeah, that’s better.

I worked days and my girlfriend waited tables at night, so the only time Sweet Perfect Hazel was alone was if I went out at night and left her home. Frequently, I’d come home from work, change out of my suit and into casual clothes, and then take Sweet Perfect Hazel out with me to the restaurant where my girlfriend worked. It was during the summer months, and I’d sit on the restaurant patio having a beer with Hazel on a leash. It was far preferable to being alone out in the woods in a empty old house full of drying dogshit.

One evening I came home from work as usual. Coming in through the kitchen, I heard the phone ringing. I dropped my keys on the kitchen table and looked around – the phone wasn’t where it belonged. In such a huge house, a 1989-era cordless phone could be left anywhere, and finding it was a chore. I started jogging through the house toward the sound of the phone ring. This was pre-cell phone and voicemail; screening calls was unheard of. I picked up my pace, not wanting the caller to hang up. We were not only too lazy to pick up dogshit, but we were also too lazy to get an answering machine.

I ran through the rooms. Dining room – nope. Living room – nope. As I made a sharp left into the slate foyer, I spotted the phone on the bookcase, and I picked up my speed. I was wearing dress shoes, and my left foot hit a patch of something slick on the slate.

That’s when life kicked into slow motion.

My foot went out from under me, forwards, and I was launched into the air in a classic slip-on-a-banana-peel move. Except this wasn’t a banana peel. As I slid, I caught the pungent stench of fresh dog shit in the air, feeling it sliding underfoot, and my gag reflex kicked in. My foot went forward and I went backwards. Assaulted by the smell of dogshit, I vomited. A big, hot, involuntary jet of vomit shot into the air as I fell. I landed on my back, fortunate not to hit my head on the slate, unfortunate to fall onto the pile of dogshit. A spray of vomit landed on my teal 1989 power tie.

Sweet Perfect Hazel ran over to me, lying in the front hall sandwiched between her shit and my vomit, and started licking my face. Good girl.

The phone still rang on the bookcase next to me. I reached up and grabbed it.

“Hello?” I croaked.

“Are you okay?” my girlfriend asked, sixth sense on overdrive.

“Guess where I am,” I whispered.

“What’s going on?”

I explained the situation to her, my voice low to keep control. I thought I might cry. At first she was silent, and then I thought maybe she was crying, too. Soon I realized she was laughing and trying not to. Little high-pressure gasps of merriment pffted through the cordless phone.

“It’s not really very funny,” I said.

“Yes it is,” she shrieked, full on hoots of laughter now.

I was lying on my back on a pile of dogshit, with a puppy licking my vomit off the lapel of my charcoal suit. There was nothing to do but laugh along with her. We finished our conversation, but not until she retold the story to everyone within hearing range at the bar. I clicked off the phone and stood up. I stripped naked in the front hall, dropped my suit and tie and everything in a pile on the slate, and got in the shower. I left the pile of clothes in the foyer. I put Sweet Perfect Hazel on her leash and took her to the bar for a much-needed beer.

It’s worth noting that a year later, when we moved out of that gargantuan house, the landlords kept our entire security deposit. They said the house smelled. We didn’t argue.

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Not your father’s Oldsmobile

by JP Reese

When I was in high school, we lived in a split-level house on a hill in New Jersey. The road up to the house, Circle Ave., was one lane and twisted, and it was slow going to get off or onto the hill. My boyfriend Jimmy and I would lie on the basement floor shag rug and watch TV after school every day, scrounging snacks from the kitchen upstairs and necking. One afternoon around 5:00, we heard my Dad’s LTD outside and the garage door going up.

My Dad came running through the door into the house, threw his car keys at Jimmy, and yelled, “Put my car in the garage!” as he bolted up the stairs and disappeared. We looked at each other, not knowing what to think, and Jimmy shrugged and went outside to pull the car in. He came back into the house with a horrified look on his face and whispered, “That car smelled just like SHIT!”

Apparently, Dad was stuck behind one of the slower neighbors on his way up the hill and home, and he decided to let one in preparation for a nice, long visit to the toilet, après commute. As he later explained it after Jimmy had gone home, “I let go to get a better hold, and it slipped.” The car did, indeed, smell like shit.

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There has to be a merit badge for this

On a Cub Scout field trip, we visited a clipper ship. It was a beautiful boat, lots of polished wood and portholes and brass fittings and all sorts of things that appeal to the nautical-minded Cub Scout pack. There were long banks of navy blue plaid cushions and a dark mottled shag carpet on the floor in the cabins below – it was the 70s, and shag carpet even followed you underwater. We’re talking half-inch pile here.

We learned that on a boat, the kitchen is the galley and the bathroom is the head. Our guide, a man older than our fathers, told us that if we needed to use the head, we should go first and then pump a handle next to the toilet. This was a white metal arm with rubber handgrips, on the floor next to the toilet bowl like an emergency brake. It’s a water conservation mechanism; on a boat, it’s an empty, waterless bowl and it flushes with a quick, powerful whoosh.

The pack followed the guide to other parts of the boat. While we were in the Captain’s Quarters, I received an urgent message from my netherworld: time to poop. It was perfect timing, since I could run back to the toilet unnoticed. I am a quick and easy pooper, not someone who needs the New York Times and a quiet half hour. All I need is a closed door.

I went back to the head and shut the door and pooped immediately. No problem. Quick wipe, quick zip of the Cub Scout uniform, and I was good to go. I pumped the handle to flush. Nothing happened. Dropping a log into a boat toilet is highly unsatisfying: there’s no water for floating, so it just sat there, marooned next to a wad of toilet paper. I pumped again, and a sad little whoosh took away the toilet paper, leaving a very stubborn Cub Scout muffin in the bowl.

I flushed again, feeling creeping panic. Nothing changed.

I made a snap decision: I closed the lid and prepared to abandon my shame. No one would know it was mine, and I would be free. I listened at the door; hearing nothing, I cracked it open and peered out into the hall. I was alone looking down a long corridor of shag carpet. Score! I closed the door behind me and went off to find the pack.

Then I was seized by an unusual tug of my conscience: you can’t just leave it lying there. The Cub Scout motto: I promise to do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the law of the pack. An abandoned turd would reflect poorly on all of Pack 452. I did my duty, and now I had to get rid of the evidence.

I went back to the head and opened the door. I lifted the lid and looked at the obstinate little turd. One more try. I left the door open, so it wouldn’t look like mine should I be discovered. Disgusting, isn’t it? What churlish Scout did this?

I gave the white metal handle a very hard, double-handed pump. To my great surprise, the turd was ejected from the bowl. It flew through the air in a high arc, out the door, into the hallway, onto the carpet. There it lodged in the deep 70’s shag.

My poor little Cub Scout heart stopped. I peered at the turd; touching it was out of the question. This was just as bad as it could be. What could I do?

I looked out the hallway: it was empty.

I bolted out of the bathroom, dodged the carpet burger, and headed as far from that toilet as I could. I dashed the length of the boat until I found my pack, and I rejoined them as if nothing happened. Oh, I was just playing with a porthole, I would tell anyone who asked. No one asked.

I was back in the pack, breathing silent relief. Someone would step in it, and I would be far from the scene of the crime when it happened. Fuck Pack 452.

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