Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Smells I like Bleach Better Than

It’s Monday night after a hard day or work and there I am, elbow deep in my own poop. How did I find myself here?

Well in our fair city of St. Louis, we had hard rain 9 days in a row. We’ve had tornados three out of the past four weekends. Every week, the drain in our basement would backup a little more, but never produced much dirt or grime. Just appeared to be rain water. It was almost a non-issue.
Then two weeks ago I noticed a bunch of dirt came up. I know it was dirt because there were those annoying little helicopter things mixed in and I know I don’t have helicopters in my poo.
Then, Sunday night, as Sallie and I start relaxing after an extremely busy weekend (at the end of an extremely busy month) the rain starts pouring. As a side note before I go to bed, I just take a look downstairs at what the damage is.

There’s a smell that reminds me of a similar situation we had in the basement. Slowly my eyes confirm what my nose guessed. Swimming in about two inches of water is toilet paper and poop.
I had a history professor that once said, civilization can be measured by how far their poop is carried from where they live. In this instance, it was about fifteen feet. The Story civilization will be extinct and the only thing left will be the drawings I made on the basement walls of me cursing while poo comes out of the drain. 

So the next night I get home from work and immediately take on this task.

The basement smells rotten. I know I’m going to need to do laundry soon, so it’s inevitable. I’m going to have to clean this poo. I can’t bare to ask my wife to do this. So I put on rubber gloves and a mask, and grab the giant maintenance broom that was left by the former owners.

There aren’t many things that I prefer the smell of bleach to. Poo is one of them however. I must have used about ¾ of a giant jug of bleach and hot water to sanitize the crap outta the place. There are still places I was unable to get, but I managed to touch ever little bit of nastiness with that highly concentrated bleach water.

We’ve called a plumber who will assess the situation tomorrow. If he gives the thumbs up, I’m plugging that hole up and hopefully never touching poop again.

I hope this is just a clog. If its something more, I don't know how Sallie and I will afford to fix it. My next blog post might be a link to my paypal account where you can make charitable donations.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Could Dance in any other Decade Besides this one

I'm awful at dancing. Like dancing handicapped bad. In fact, in the five years I've known Sallie, she has only seen me dance once. New Years Eve, 2007. I was fueled by new love and about six seven and sevens. I was singing every song... sorta... but for the sorta I was getting out of my singing I was making up for with flailing Muppet armed dancing.

Sallie sometimes complains that I don't dance, but I remember after that night her telling me that it was one of the worst things she's ever seen. (On the plus side, it was one of the best times she had.)

The problem is, I'm a male of Irish breed. I have no rhythm, I have no booty, I have no moves.

The 70s was a decade of dying protest rock from the 60s and disco music.

The dying protest rock was leftover hippie music. That's easy, smoke some marijuana, trip some acid, and just let the music take you. If you suck, doesn't matter. Everyone else is too high to care.

Disco music almost had instructions for it. Saturday Night Fever was all you really needed to know. John Travolta was your Bell Bottomed Angel.

These are the five gospels of K.C. and the Sunshine Band

Then the 80s... the decade of bad music and worse dance moves.

Almost all the dance moves of the 80s were basically things you would do in life or objects put to the beat.

"Ummm, uhh, here's the sprinkler system followed by the lawn dart. Uh oh, now I'm grocery shopping."

For real, I could throw dice all day long.

Then in the 90s, we had grunge. You just grew your hair out and ran into strangers until Pearl Jam was done with its third encore.

One of my major regrets in life was when I turned down a girl to a dance.

She was extremely bubbly, nice, intelligent, and funny sometimes. She was a little over weight, but one of those over weight girls that looked really good like that.

She came running up to me after school one day, grabbed my hand, and asked me to the Coronation Dance.

I panicked. Had no idea what to say. I wasn't objecting to going to the dance with her, I was just objecting to going to the dance. Instead of me saying this, I immediately remember all the DARE dances where I sat off to the side too scared to get out on the dance floor. (I spent my time at the dances kissing girls instead, so it definitely wasn't fear of cooties.) I just straight up told her no.

To this day, I feel awful for it. I remember her name was Autumn or April or something like that. I wish I could figure out who it was because I'd really like to apologize for it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Them Angry Kids

"I'm here to take your daughter to the prom."

I saw a couple today, walking, and they made me fear for the future more so than I already do. The girl, was probably 17-20 years old, in high heels, and 7-8 months pregnant. Her husband/boyfriend/baby daddy was walking next to her, with headphones on, rapping and doing Eminem hand air gestures. He was completely ignoring the mother of his child. Not just ignoring her, not even looking toward her. His hand was moving with the beat and coming dangerously close to beating her or her stomach on multiple occasions.

This baby is doomed. I can’t help but think it. If the guy can’t even pay a moment of attention to his baby’s mother, how is he going to pay attention to a child. The child will demand attention by crying, but he just has to slip on those headphones and he’s whisked away to rapper land. In rapper land he’s famous, has twenty cars, all the bling you can ever imagine. Why would you want to leave this?

It’s a fantasy I saw too often teaching in Myrtle Beach. These 15-18 year old guys, some of which already had children, coming back from their weekend pass with gold teeth, writing atrocious lyrics, rhyming a word with itself (like “here” with “here.”) These kids definitely have the life experience, but they don’t have the talent to make it. It breaks your heart knowing that they are going to feverishly live in this dream world until the cruel suffocating embrace of real life forces them into poverty.

I’m reading Barack Obama’s book, “Dreams of My Father.” It gives some insights into the inner city populations of the 60s vs the populations of the 80s. At one point a guy is reminiscing. He shares memories of when their area used to be filled with children playing out in the streets. The men of the neighborhood used to gather at the corner store to share news and gossip. There were picnics and carnivals. He says he doesn’t know what happened, but when he looks at the children now, they look angry, forgotten, neglected. That, he says, is the source of the future problem.

"I am the future!!!"

I couldn’t help but thinking what I saw today was that future problem. I don’t see quite as much anger nowadays, but I see apathy. Apathy can almost be infinitely times more dangerous. At least with anger, you occasionally get someone willing to fight for what they believe in and make a change. Apathy removes a conscience and drive. You’ll steal just enough to get by. If someone gets in your way, shoot them.

Sometimes I feel like Sallie and I not having a child is contributing to the problem. Here you could have a child growing up in a nurturing, hard working, and intelligent family. That child would theoretically grow up with the same values and might just do something to save the world. If nothing else, that child would make the world a better place.

Right now, I don’t think that child should happen. Sallie and I are enjoying mild success and we both feel too many people we know need our nurturing now. We like being able to help and take care of people. Maybe instead of having our own child, someday we’ll adopt one and rescue it from the fate above.

Plus, I’m just too selfish. I like stuff and things.