Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why Me?

     I awoke this morning from a deep and restful sleep, but instead of being greeted by the rich aroma of coffee, my olfactory receptors were rudely assaulted by a pungent splat of dog diarrhea, artfully arranged in a greasy puddle atop the concrete, just a few feet from our front door. Poor Simon! Either he's got a tummy bug or he ate something outside that didn't agree with him. His gastrointestinal distress got cranked up yesterday afternoon, beginning with the passing of a few of his signature silent-but-deadly farts, culminating later in a magnificent, feculent explosion in the courtyard, the magnitude and stench of which could only be described as epic. Spartacus and I went out for dinner and a movie shortly afterward, hoping the worst of Simon's alimentary turmoil had passed. Aside from the rumblings within his gut, Simon was displaying his typical, well-mannered canine behavior, not acting the least bit ill. As I climbed into bed last night, the thought of awakening to a poopy surprise briefly crossed my mind, but was quickly forgotten amidst the televised excitement of Olympic track and field, specifically the women's 100 meter sprint.
     Bleary-eyed, I stumbled out of bed at a quarter to eight, detracted from my much-needed visit to the coffee machine by the reek of sulfurous fumes. A quick survey of my immediate vicinity, which excepting the two bedrooms and bathroom amounts to approximately 2500 square feet of wide-open space, instantaneously revealed the foul effluvium's source, next to which lay a watery pool of vomity-looking chunks. My first thought wasn't "Oh shit!" or even "How am I going to begin cleaning up this terrible mess?!"; it was "Why me?" It's a question I've often asked myself over the years, usually upon peering into the dishwasher to find that someone has co-mingled dirty dishes amongst an obviously freshly washed batch, or when scissors and various tools have mysteriously gone AWOL, to be discovered months or decades later somewhere in the backyard. "Why me? Indeed!" Contemplating the unfairness of it all, I grabbed a giant wad of paper towels, some disinfectant spray, and the Swiffer Wet Jet, and commenced to mopping up the sloppy dysenteric deluge, hermetically sealing the entire fetid mess in a plastic bag which I quickly tossed outside the front door for later disposal into the blue Dipsy Dumpster that's mercifully located at the opposite end of our complex. I couldn't help but wonder if there was anything remotely Olympian about Simon's ill-fated, diarrhea-fueled 8 yard sprint to the front door.
     The floor was now clean enough to lick, but the besmirched ambient air which lingered presented a uniquely separate challenge. A rancid miasma hung heavily over the previously soiled locus of defecation, not unlike Pigpen's ever-present personal cloud of filth, the funkified molecules of which seemed to be multiplying instead of dissipating, rapidly dispersing to other areas of the loft, most distressingly to the safe haven of our kitchen where my hotly anticipated first-coffee-of-the-morning innocently awaited. I infiltrated the concrete with a few blasts of Nature's Miracle Pet Odor and Stain Removal spray, bleakly hoping that this product would somehow live up to its name. It didn't, and I was back to square one. Overcome by toxic fumes, on the verge of hysterical emesis, I turned on the overhead fan, plugging an oscillating fan into the outlet next to the front door in an attempt to break up the putrescence before it started permanently clinging to the upholstery, desperately hunting for my camphor and eucalyptus essential oils while entertaining the novel idea that perhaps air circulation and aromatherapy were the two most practical solutions. The frantic ten-minute search which ensued left me relatively empty-handed, except for a small vial of lavender-sage oil. Suspecting that my still-sleeping son, Nick, was hoarding our cache of more antiseptic-smelling oils in his room, I settled for the flowery-herbal essence, setting the automatic, electric room-mister on full blast. Within moments, our loft smelled like a truffled turd-bomb, enrobed in a delicate outer shell of lavender, sage, and caffe latte. "How awesome is that?!", I thought sarcastically to myself, realizing that I'd just made an unwholesome problem all the more repellent.
     I was in the bathroom, looking for more spray, candles, anything to get rid of the noxious remnants of Simon's accident, when I came across several boxes of restaurant matches that were sitting on top of the toilet tank. "Why didn't I think of this first?!", I exclaimed out loud, lighting match after match at the scene of the crime. I'm happy to report that three extinguished match flames later, the poo smell was gone for good, and olfactive order was restored to our household. I sat down to enjoy what was left of Sunday morning's peace and quiet, contently inhaling the singularly robust fragrance of my coffee, daydreaming about patenting the world's first sulfur-scented deodorizer. Why not me? Spartacus and I have had several amusing conversations about how matches make the best air freshener, which is precisely why we keep them readily available in the bathroom: the sulfur dioxide contained in a match head effectively masks methyl mercaptan, the gaseous compound responsible for the malodors of flatus, feces, bad breath, and asparagus pee. Our mutual experience has clearly demonstrated that even the most offensive flatulence can be neutralized with the single strike of a match. If only cleaning up the actual mess itself had been that easy. As Spartacus elegantly observed upon arising and learning of my early morning ordeal, "There's really no way to neaten up diarrhea, is there?"
{P.S. Despite Simon's troubles, he's eating, drinking, running around outside, and not acting in the least bit ill :-) }
Simon's "Why me?" face

Simon, sleeping off any remaining GI distress, under Lilly's watchful eye

19 comments:

  1. This is very Freud style writing. Oral faecal route transmission of your thoughts LOL

    Seriously, the best and the most hilarious writing of all time :)

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    1. Thanks, James! So glad you enjoyed it. This was quite a lot of fun to write.

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    2. It is in deed a good reading while I was troubled by work matters. You are a good writing. I wish to have your writing skill :)

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  2. Very funny! I'm still laughing probably because I've shared that experience with puppies we've had.

    Love the Charlie Brown cartoon. I met the artist in person once, in 1974. He even drew me a picture of Charlie Brown and signed it. It's locked up in a safe!

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    1. Lowell, Whatever would we do without our pets? They're endless sources of entertainment! How cool that you met Charles Schulz and have an autographed drawing of Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown is my all time favorite cartoon, especially the Christmas one. Thanks so much for stopping by! :-)

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  3. Oops, the date of the signing should have been 1954!

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  4. Possibly the most poetic post about dog-poo I've ever read.
    Cute dogs by the way.

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    1. Thanks, Big D! Simon and Lilly are German short-haired pointers; very sweet dogs, but huge poo!!!! :-D

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  5. As I started reading your post I began to smile, remembering 19 some years ago when my eldest daughter had a cat that had become ill in a similar manner on the comforter of my bed. 30 washes later and the only effect was mass fading, we discarded the comforter soon after we were told by the drycleaners that there was nothing ever going to get that smell out.

    I learned the value of a match while growing up and continue to keep a box in the bathrooms and kitchen for the hard to disperse odors.

    Hopefully simon is feeling more up to par now, he has a loving owner who will always know what to do. As far as asking "why me", I never do it because I will never like the answer.

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    1. Welp, Simon is doing great, but this morning, Lilly upchucked. Thank goodness for concrete floors, and for the fact that these dogs never puke, pee, or poo on the few rugs we do have...

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  6. Kris, this post was such great fun to read due to your colorful use of vocabulary alone. I don't think you missed a single descriptive word applicable to Simon's sorry condition.

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    1. I was really trying to create a specific mood with all these poo-related words. Such fun!

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  7. Pets, sick kids, we've all been through the "now that I've made it through the issue, how do I get rid of the smell" dilema. Thanks for the laugh!

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  8. I could just visualize you cleaning up that mess. Yuk, but I guess that's all part of having a dog. You get the fun and the dung. Dogs can be pretty good actors, and Simon's face looks like a right picture :).

    Good tip about the matches, I'm gonna try that the next time I'm trying to get rid of a bad smell, and so cheap, so thanks Klandt.

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    1. Trust me, RPD, matches are the way to go when there's an offensive odor :-D

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