Friday, October 18, 2013

Fortune Cookie #9 - Whistling in the Dark

Once again, like I do so often, I visited my favorite local Chinese restaurant China Buffet #VI. On this visit, I received the following fortune.

You will always have good luck in your personal affairs.

I blocked out the numbers so no one can win on my fortune.

Now, I do have some things going for me. I am dating a beautiful, intelligent, funny woman. I have great kids. And I am less than a year away from completing my Master's degree.

However, it has been a rough week and I love picking apart these fortunes. So, here goes.

First, I lost a follower after my last post This Crap Stays Between Us. I finally hit the 200 followers mark excluding me from ever having to receive the dreaded Liebster Award again. Immediately after this post, it dropped to 199. I guess some people just don't find poop jokes funny.

Next, two of my favorite shows have ceased to exist. Breaking Bad and Dexter have both aired their final episodes. I'll never be able to see Michael C. Hall as anything but a serial killer. I'll be curious to see what he and Bryan Cranston do next.

My last bit of bad luck, despite what my fortune said, happened just today. Let me give a bit of background first.

I have a bit of a problem with public restrooms. Without going into any gross details, I will try to explain it.

I don't have an issue with urinating. As a man, I don't have to touch any public usage areas to do my business. However, if I have other business to attend to, it involves sitting on a toilet that is not my own. This is not for me, except under the direst of circumstances.

Direst?  Most dire? I don't know which is right. Only in the most extreme circumstances. There we go. I know that's right, because extremist means something else. I guess you could say I'm a fecal extremist.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the idea of someone smelling 'me' is petrifying. I just can't handle it. It gets even worse if the people know me. For example, I would never, NEVER do this at work. I will leave and go someplace else if for some extreme reason I just can't wait until I get home. On the rare occasions when I have no choice, I have been known to hide in the stall after my business is done for up to half an hour to ensure that anyone who may have happened to wander in will be long gone before I show my face.

Second, there is the ick factor. What we use toilets for is disgusting. It must be done, but it's pretty gross. Now, my toilet is my toilet. Only a very small number of people use it and I know exactly who they are. I also know how often and how well it has been cleaned. The same cannot be said for any public restroom. The idea of parking my naked rear on the same seat that ANYONE could have sat on before me is unacceptable. They could be carrying any disease, may have any degree of uncleanliness, or possibly even came in contact with one of the cast of Jersey Shore. I just can't take that chance.

My mother tells me I've always had this issue. As a kid, I would get sick when we went on vacation because I would try to hold it until we got home again. Even if that was a week away. I just couldn't do it.

Today was one of those times I was caught away from my house. I had a delivery on the fourth floor of a sparsely occupied office building. When I realized it would not be practical to drive across town to go home, I headed for the sixth floor. The sixth floor only has one office and it is only used during local emergencies, so it is presently vacated. Despite not being at home, this gave the extra privacy I required.

I located the restroom and fumbled for a light switch. Before I found one, the motion activated sensor turned the lights on for me. The stall and bowl looked clean. There were two full rolls of toilet paper and no one around, so I did what I came there to do after giving the toilet a once-over quick cleaning.

Upon finishing, I reached for the paper and heard a click, immediately followed by complete darkness. After a couple of seconds, I remembered the motion activated lights. Apparently, sitting on a toilet is not a high motion activity. At least, not if you're doing it right.

I waved my arms and kicked my legs to no avail. I decided that my movements were not being picked up because the sensor was justifiably outside of the stall.

I quickly pushed the door open to activate the sensor. It didn't work.

I leaned out and waved my arms. Still darkness.

I removed my jacket and waved it outside the stall door. I think it got darker.

I fumbled around and removed the extra roll of toilet paper and tossed it out into the room. Total darkness.

Now, I am not afraid of the dark. That was not the issue, but it was beginning to occur to me just how dark it was. I was in the middle of an office building with no windows. It was total darkness, and the worst part was…I hadn't cleaned myself yet.

Have you ever heard the joke, "How does a blind person know when to stop wiping?" I can now answer that. They don't!

I knew I was not going to get the lights back on without getting up, but I needed to take care of this first. So, I did the best I could. However, without knowing for sure, I wasn't about to pull my pants back up.

With my pants around my knees, I stood up and started out into the room. I got to where I thought the door was, but couldn't feel a wall. The first thing I did find was the automatic hand dryer. For some reason, those things seem much louder when you are deprived of vision.

After walking into three walls and having no idea where the door was or why the lights were not coming back on, it suddenly occurred to me. I have a flashlight app on my phone.

DUH!

Using my phone, I was able to locate the sensor. It was right by the door and there was a wall separating it from the rest of the room. Only motion going in or out of the room would activate it. Serious design flaw.

I waddled back to the toilet. Now that I had light, I needed to ensure that I had, in fact, cleaned myself properly.

I took one swipe and checked…I was clean!

I'd be an awesome blind guy.


Next time, I think I will try to make it home.

Monday, October 7, 2013

This Crap Stays Between Us

Due to my job of delivering office supplies around town, I spend a lot of time in my car listening to the radio instead of playing Candy Crush Saga or watching Big Bang Theory. It's amazing the things you learn if you just pay attention. Yesterday, the radio got my attention when I heard the phrase "poop in a pill."

Yes, the reporter actually used the word 'poop.' I always thought 'feces' was a more professional word, but he said 'poop.'

Apparently, medical scientists really have made a pill full of poop. You can read about it here.

If you are like me (or like any normal person), you are probably asking yourself, "Uh...why?"

Believe it or not, there actually is a medical reason for this. According to the news story, there are some intestinal infections that make a lot of people really sick and can even be deadly, but don't respond well to antibiotics. What do they respond to?

MORE POOP!

After being told our entire lives to wash our hands after going to the bathroom, doctors have started treating certain infections with poop. For the last two decades, doctors treated these infections with fecal transplants. 'Fecal transplant' is the medical way of saying that they took someone else's crap and stuck it in your butt.

These fecal transplants work because…well, wait a moment.

Try to remember I am not a medical professional and will do my best to explain this, but will be using layman's terms.

These fecal transplants work because, healthy crap (HA HA) has the bacterial enzymes needed to fight the infection. The doctor would normally select the crap of a close family member to attempt to recreate the intestinal environment the bacteria are accustomed to. You know, because a happy bacteria is more effective than unhappy bacteria. Apparently, one-celled organisms are temperamental. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that playing soothing music into the rectum afterward makes them work even more efficiently.

If you happen to be the recipient of one of these 'poop surgeries' and are bothered by the fact that someone else's crap has been inserted into your mudhole, you can take some comfort in knowing that it is not a stranger's turd in your butt, but your mother's. Not much will bring a family closer together.

However, regardless of whose crap is now invading your intestinal tract, it is still a procedure that most doctors and patients would like to avoid. This is where the poop pill comes into play. Scientists have found a way to extract the necessary enzymes directly from the donor turds so they can be prepared to be taken orally in pill form. They are made into pills because a suppository would sort of defeat the purpose.

Now, a pill may be less invasive than an enema, but you can't deny that this is still the eating of crap sanctioned by the medical profession. In fact, I can already see how the next Thanksgiving would go at my house if this happened to one of us. Right after filling our plates, I would lean over to my brother and whisper, "Remember that time you ate my sh*t?"

 Nevertheless, they are seeing great success with this new product.

Since it looks like this just may be the intestinal infection treatment of the future, it only stands to reason that the price of crap is about to increase. I haven't been able to find any crap investments to buy into, but I do have plenty I could sell and I make more all the time.

When I was in college, I used to donate plasma. They gave me $25 every time, but I could only do this once every six weeks. If someone established a donor center to accept Fecal Donations and paid the same rate, I could make a deposit every day. That's $750 a month! That would pay my rent and my power bill! A family of four could make enough money that no one would have to work. Or at the very least, their crap donations might be enough to supplement their Obamacare health plan.