Who Gives a Crap?
(Please bear with me; there’s a method to my “psychic shit” madness!)
Some of you know that I jokingly fancy myself a media psychic. That is, some strange, very specific things have happened on TV, online or on the radio not long after I thought or dreamed of them. Truth is, I’m almost 100% sure that they are coincidences — but they are freaky, nonetheless. I’m not claiming causation in either direction — just correlation.
Here’s one example: I had a nightmare, in which I was walking behind some friends in a supposedly haunted house. They were all spooked, but of course I was whining about not believing in ghosts and how stupid it all was, when I was grabbed by the clothes on the middle of my back — as if by a giant hand or maybe a grappling hook — and yanked backwards, twenty or thirty feet across the room. This scared the living shit out of me and I woke up.
That evening I was washing dishes and decided to turn the TV to a channel I never watched. I went back to the sink, but turned to look at a commercial — which was a scene from a new movie: the scene from my dream, exactly.
Oftentimes, I wake up with a strange word or sentence in my head, and that turns out to be meaningful during the day. Remember Quid Pro Ho? But these days, since I injured my arm and sleep with it in a sling, I wake up thinking “Careful… careful…careful.” Because, if I move just wrong trying to get out of bed, the pain is faintingly sharp.
This morning, my first thought after “Careful… careful…careful” was about toilet paper. That’s not so surprising; after all, what do you do first when you get up? Pee. But today, sitting there, I started pitying the forests of the world, and wondering if there was a really sensible alternative to toilet paper — one that wouldn’t use more precious resources, such as water, or cause worse environmental and public health problems. I wished Turkish plumbing was better, so we could flush toilet paper instead of it ending up in landfills. There, poor people are exposed to the unspeakable as they try to salvage something to sell to recyclers — thus spreading filth, and possibly disease, far and wide. So I started wondering if composting toilets compost the toilet paper, too, and next thing you know I’m off the john and online to look it up. “But first let’s just check facebook…”
where we find this, the original sit-in, for “Who Gives a Crap” toilet paper:
So, do I think these coincidences happen for a reason? No. Can I make them meaningful? Yes. For example, I can pledge to give all my 2014 profits from the paperback version of “Hyperlink from Hell” to the charity that “Who Gives a Crap” toilet paper supports with 50% of their profits: WaterAid. Their mission is to “promote and secure poor people’s rights and access to safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation”, worldwide. What better charity could my toilet-obsessed ghosts support? What other books have parts dedicated to poo? (remember Part Two: Shit with Wings?) I’ll also set it up so that anyone who buys the paperback in 2014 gets the ebook for a discount (for free, if I can manage that).
For those who don’t live in the US, here’s the global page for Wateraid, which will take you where you need to go, in case you’d like to make a direct deposit. For the holidays.
If you are lucky enough to live in Australia, you can do even more. You can really give a crap, because “Who Gives a Crap” toilet paper can be delivered to your door.
Quid Pro HoHoHo!
What does someone do with the time someone intended to spend putting up decorations, cooking, etc., when one has a bum arm and is forbidden to do any of the above? (Put up a tree? I can’t open a f&cking tuna can! I can’t yank the Band-aids off my own ass, the ones covering my two-a-day injection sites!)
Someone finally joins Quora, and contemplates the secrets of the universe in question and answer form. (Someone also gets her husband to open the f&cking tuna. The tree? Ha ha ha ha ha… And the Band-aids will fall off eventually. Probably into the toilet. Clogging it up. You think Band-aids can’t clog up a toilet? We once had a plumber accuse us of flushing so much dental floss that it clogged the pipes. We did not flush dental floss. Not even a single strand. Someone did, though. But who? When? And did they cackle maniacally while they did so? Could they see the future, or know what damage that floss would wrought? We will never know.)
So, I probably won’t be asking or answering a lot of questions over at Quora, because this is the kind of question I want to ask:
“Who flushed all the f&cking dental floss, and why do I care that the plumber believes it was me?”
Mostly, I will be skulking around Quora like a one-armed, Band-aid-buttocked Bandit. It is my way. But I wonder how the inhabitants of planet Quora would answer Jimmie’s Secrets-of-the-universe questions, in Hyperlink from Hell. Remember this? It’s Jimmie’s lament that, given the opportunity to ask God anything he wanted, he’d wasted that golden moment:
I’d blown my chance to ask Al some gritty, secrets-of-the-universe type questions, like “Why do flies always buzz around the center of a room?” or “How can blind people tell when they’re done wiping?”
Well, You can’t just ask them, can You?
I’m deadly serious. Wipe that smile off your face. And while you’re at it, I could use some help in the bathroom.
No, no; not that.
I can’t floss my f&cking teeth.
Someone wrote a post, somewhere,
Where it was, I do not care.
I wasn’t in my underwear,
(Because I do not wear it)
The post was asking everyone
The favorite line they’d writ, bar none,
But I was lazy; I said “Screw it.”
(“I’d much rather talk ’bout Pooh lit.)
There. Now that it’s perfectly obvious that a poet I shall never be… How about that Winnie the Pooh? Huh? Am I right? After all these years, I’m still lovin’ the Pooh, which rhymes with Who, which reminds me that Doctor Who just turned 50 (the special’s tonight!) — but like The Doctor himself, that’s neither here nor there.
So, here’s the thing I‘m gonna ask in a post somewhere:
“What’s your comfort book?”
Makes sense, right? Books for every occasion…
Feeling happy? (Any book for you)
Feeling grievous? (Harry Potter, read two)
Feeling angry? (Catch-22)
Feeling anxious? (Only Pooh will do)
Need convincing? Read this, from The House at Pooh Corner, wherein Piglet asks:
“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?”
“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.
Anyone out there unfamiliar with the real Pooh? If your experience is limited to Disney, or indeed any cartoon version, I pity you. (Take one Pooh, and call me in the morning.)
I, myself, have two tattered volumes from my childhood: The House at Pooh Corner and When We Were Very Young. I borrowed them from my folks’ house and never took them back. Like Pooh with a honey pot, I was greedy and couldn’t bear to share. Not sure why I didn’t grab the lot. Maybe I couldn’t find the others. Maybe my greed would only take me so far down the path of petty criminality. Maybe I just got stuck in the door on the way out.
Oh, bother! Why did I tell you that? (I’ll chalk it up to Pooh Confessions.)
Well, if we’re talking Pooh confessions:
If you’re feeling fretful, too,
Cuz you can’t go to the loo,
Do what I do, read some Pooh,
(Yup, just grin and bear it.)
Review: “Bottling Farts,” by Donald Rump
Yay! Book reviews are back! It’s The Instant Review Challenge, book 9!
A reminder: The Instant Review Challenge is just me, downloading ebooks, reading them, and writing reviews for Amazon — all in less than an hour. But not just any ebooks. I’m reviewing the books written for J.A. Konrath’s challenge to write, edit, format and publish a story, complete with author-generated cover… in 8 hours. And while I’m explaining things: Did you guys know that so many of the Challenge books would be erotica? I’m too em-bare-assed to review that, so I’m not gonna. (Sorry.) Is it getting hot in here?
Here’s the cover for today’s featured book, which is $.99 at the time of posting,
and my review:
Flat-out Flatulent Frivolity!
I must admit to being disappointed, at least at first. Despite its no-nonsense title and serious cover, Bottling Farts utterly fails as a self-help book for chemical warfare aficionados of the survivalist persuasion. Between me and you, there’s just not enough “How to.”
But then, maybe the world doesn’t need another How to Weaponize Your Farts manual. So it’s a good thing. A nasty, smelly, naughty, not-for-kids good thing. I suspect the author, Donald Rump, is all of those things, too.
So if it’s not a how-to guide, what is Bottling Farts?
If you think a story about farts-as-mind-control is funny, it’s flat-out flatulent frivolity.
If you’ve got the urge to see a naughty kid give an odiferous adult a whiff of his own medicine, it’s the gas.
The ending stinks. Also the middle.
Stinks so good.
(5 smelly stars)
If Miss Jane Austen Came to Tea… (a poem, yours free with rant and video)
Before the rant, let’s rave:
Now we rant:
Dear Miss Austen,
Why, why did you write “Mansfield Park”? And why did I suffer through it? All the way to the end?
Because you tricked me. You tricked me with your other books. You used Persuasion against me, appealed to my Pride and Prejudice, my Sense and Sensibility. So I guess you could say (if you were alive, and boy would you look old) that I’m a fan of your other novels — despite your suppression of oppression, your dismissal of many aspects of real life, of current events in the world outside Society. You know, silly little things like war, and slavery, and more important stuff like going commando, and just where everyone was having a poo, and what they used — or didn’t use, ewww — for toilet paper.
But man! Mansfield Park?
True, some of your trademark wit and insight percolates through its peat-like pages, but it’s purveyed solely by the narrator, and that’s a pity. No witty repartee between the sexes? No misunderstandings to wring our hands over? No pent-up passions worth roto-rooting for? (OK, they’re there — but so pent-up they’d need colon cleansing to relieve them.)
For characters to root for, our choice is between a few good-natured-but-slightly-frivolous theater lovers, and sanctimonious rumps. Sorry, I mean “frumps,” and by that I mean “Fanny” and her male counterpart, Edmund, for whom — despite the fact that they’re first cousins and he thinks of her as a sister — we are expected to wish wedded bliss. (I know first cousins marrying was not unusual, then — but you set up the union as undesirable based on the fact they were cousins and thereby upped the “ewww” factor, and then just said “never mind!”)
Every scene-worthy event, every pivotal plot point worth watching in this novel is played offstage. The reward for plodding through the whole thing was to have the loose ends tied up in an anal afterword, in drier prose than bogged down the previous (seemingly thousands of) pages. Eventually, we are told, Edmund realizes he might as well give good cousin Fanny a righteous poke.
But I forgive you, Jane, not just for dishy Mr Darcy’s sake, but because I see parallels in the universe of my own novel, Hyperlink from Hell. I had my reasons for hiding what was really going on, and for (literally) turning off current events in the book — but only readers can say whether or not I was justified, or successful. I hope so, and hope I’m not a hypocrite. Or hypercrit, as the case may be.
So far, so good. Reviews are raves. I’m still waiting for the Hyper rant. And no one is using its pages for toilet paper — not yet. Not until it comes out in two-ply paperback. It’s still an eBook. (Ewwww.)
It’s marvelous that, 200 years later, your books are still around for me to rant at. So in honor of you, Miss Austen, I have penned a little poem.
(Gentle readers, please read this upwind, then tell me why I am full of shit about Mansfield Park. Change my mind.)
If Miss Jane Austin came to tea,
I wonder what she’d think of me.
She’d see right through a mask, or three,
Of paltry pride, pomposity,
And focus, with her Eagle Eye,
On satire, madness, custard pie.
And when her slated wit had done,
And I, slumped down, the Trodden One,
Raised to my lips a quiv’ring bun,
Miss Austen, with a little nod,
(Tapping a foot, neatly shod),
Would smile and ask me, “Hon?
“You sure you need another one?”
And meanwhile, all about us lay
Humanity in disarray,
A battle here, and slavery there,
While we ate buns without a care
And pondered scandals close to home
(With just a passing nod to Rome).
All my life, no matter where I’ve lived, I’ve assumed there were two kinds of people in the world:
- People who leave their old toilets in the front yard, and
- People who do not.
All my life, I’ve believed I was number 2. But people, that has changed. There’s a toilet in my front yard… and IT’S NOT MINE!
That makes 3 kinds of people, people! And that will not do!
How, how did we come to this lowly state?
Toilet Karma, that’s how.
Let me just back-up a bit — to last week, when I took a walk. Our neighborhood is a mixed one, which here (on the Aegean coast) means “rich folks’ dead-eyed summer villas interspersed with villagers’ honest, lively, chicken-friendly houses.” Sort of a squalid-splendor-meets-splendid-squalor sort of thing.
On my 27-minute walk, I saw 1 cemetery, 8 dogs, 15 cats, about 100 chickens (I lost count), 4 cows, and 3 yard toilets.
3! And not 1 of them had been made into a planter.
Naturally, when the Great Fisherman Boo came home from fishing, I gave him the bad news, never knowing that…
Wait. I’m plunging ahead too fast. Telling, not showing. I forgot the dialog:
Lindy Moone: “I saw three toilets today.”
The Great Fisherman Boo: “What?”
Lindy: “Three! Toilets! In people’s yards!”
The Great Boo: “What do you want me to do about it?”
Lin: “Well, can’t you..? No, no, I suppose you can’t do anything. You can’t even say anything. I just wish they’d at least throw them in the Dumpster.” (Here is where I tell you that we don’t have individual, weekly trash pick-up like most places in the States. We have shared Dumpsters, like the ones apartment complexes have. There’s one in front of our house, emptied daily.)
Boo: “The Dumpster. Yeah.”
B: “I’m gonna take a shower. You need to pee first?”
Fast forward 2 days, to when I spy the toilet. In our front yard. Next to the (emptied) Dumpster.
Lindy: “Did you say anything to anyone about the toilets?”
Boo: “What do you think? No.”
Lin: “Did you see the toilet? By the Dumpster?”
L: “The trash guys didn’t take it.”
L: “I guess it would mess up the truck, huh?”
B: “I’m gonna take a shower. You need to pee first?”
People: the toilet is still there. That makes 4 toilets on our street, and there is only 1 conclusion to reach:
There are 3 kinds of people in the world:
- People who leave their old toilets in the front yard,
- People who do not, and
- People who need people to remove someone else’s toilet from their front yard.
And I am no longer number 2. I am number 3.