The Time I Saw A Pile of Poop at Walmart

If you know me, you know I really don’t like shopping at Walmart. I prefer Target, but since I need to be thrifty, I end up at Walmart at least once a week for the basics.

On my most recent trip to the Mart, I made my circuit through the aisles, hugged my favorite greeter, and made it to the checkout. It was a typical shopping trip.

Until I left the checkout for the exit.

Just 10 feet from where I had paid for my stuff, there was a pile of poop. When I say “pile of poop,” let me be clear. It was not just a turd. Not a dung nugget. Not a dingleberry. Not a gooey smudge from somebody’s shoe.

It was a full dump.

And it looked like it either came from a large dog, or a human being. For a second, I considered stopping to snap a photo, but decided I couldn’t hold my breath long enough, so I pushed my cart past as quickly as I could, without looking like a freak.

So in lieu of a photo, I’ll describe it to you. It was a full dump, semi-coiled, well formed, deposited directly on the store floor. It was partially covered by a piece of paper towel, with a whole roll of paper towels nearby. It was unattended. No signs or warnings had been posted. No “Wet Floor,” or “WTF! Poop!” to guide shoppers away from the scene. I wondered whether the store personnel were away gathering special supplies. Maybe there is a secret human-poop cleanup protocol.

As I drove away from the store, I wondered lots of things.

What made that poop? Dog? Human?

Why was it left there?

If it was from a dog, why was a dog in the store? Service animal? Pet? It was very near the exit doors. And even if a dog had done it, I thought any responsible dog owner would have picked it up, right? RIGHT?!

So… Why would a person poop there? Toilet emergency? It wasn’t too far from the restrooms. Still, wouldn’t a reasonable human have cleaned up his or her own poop? Who just takes a dump on a public floor and leaves it there? Unless it was protest poop!

Anyway, it was pretty disgusting. And that’s coming from a matter-of-fact mother of three who deals with some epic shit on a daily basis. But it left me with more questions than answers. And I haven’t been back to Walmart since.

I Hate Auto-Flushing Toilets

I don’t think I’d ever used a public toilet at Wal-Mart until today. Generally, I avoid using public restrooms anywhere, but sometimes, you just have to go.

So, I parked my cart and went into the ladies’ room at my local Wal-Mart. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the new bidet! I’ve never used a bidet before, but I’ve heard they are something that rich people sometimes have installed in their home bathrooms. They are toilets that spray water on your butt, for an extra-clean bottom, right?

You’re probably thinking Wal-Mart is an unlikely place for a bidet toilet. So was I!

Guess what — it wasn’t a bidet! It was just a stupid toilet with an auto-flush feature.

auto flush toilet
Beware of the auto-flush!

I suppose auto-flush toilets are meant to keep people’s hands clean, by eliminating the need to press a flush lever manually. I presume the intended function of the auto-flush toilet would be something like this:

1. When the sensor indicates a person is seated, the toilet would not flush.
2. When the sensor detects the person has vacated the seat, it executes the hands-free flush.

However, that is not what happened to me today.

First of all, I don’t like to sit down on unfamliar toilets. The paper toilet seat cover dispenser was empty, so I fashioned my own by layering strips of toilet paper over the seat, and assumed the oh-so-graceful hover-squat. Most women who share my fear of foreign toilets are familiar with this position. Done improperly, it can result in a seat-sprinkling spray, so it requires mental concentration, a keen sense of balance, and strong thigh muscles.

What you DON’T want to happen when you’re trying to hover-squat over a dirty Wal-Mart toilet? AUTO-FLUSH.

So there I was, mid-squat, when the toilet started to rumble. Then, the water beneath me started to swirl. Uh-oh.

As the vortex of the rogue flush reached full pressure and velocity, I could feel my backside being sprayed and showered with cold, wet droplets, and a disgusting mist from the bowl. Toilet water and the leftover microscopic nasty bits of who knows how many strangers’ deposits, now clinging to my bare skin. Oh. My.

What would you have done? Of course, I started to stand up and wipe myself off. But you know what happens when you stand up from an auto-flushing toilet? It FLUSHES AGAIN.

Seriously?!

So I decided it might be safer to sit down again, because that’s how you’re supposed to tell the toilet that it shouldn’t flush yet, right? So I dried off the seat, which had also been fairly thoroughly spritzed by the flushing, laid down another layer of clean paper, and tried sitting down.

Too late! During the seat-preparation phase of my toilet transaction, the toilet must have thought I was seated, and when I turned around to actually sit, it went into geyser mode again.

Fountain Geyser in Yellowstone National Park
Fountain Geyser in Yellowstone National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dammit! By that time, I was so frustrated and disgusted, I gave up.

I dried myself off, pulled up my pants, and went out to wash up. As soon as I got home, I threw all of my clothes into the laundry and took a shower. I hope I don’t catch death from the triple toilet unintended bidet-spray. Be careful out there, people!

Stop calling things “Artisan”

On a recent trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru, I was in the mood for a cheeseburger, but convinced myself to go with a slightly less guilt-inducing “Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.”

On my way through Window One, the polite girl at the register confirmed my order, made change for the ten, and waved me forward to Window Two. The boy there handed me my Diet Coke and then said, “I’ll go get your Artesian.”

Artisan vs artesian
Stop calling things “artisan!”

Seriously?

This prompted a couple of thoughts for me:
1. Stop calling things “artisan.”
2. “Artesian” and “artisan” are NOT the same.

Dictionary.com provides this definition of “artisan.”
Artisan: Adjective. Pertaining to an artisan or the product of an artisan; artisanal: artisan beer.

I enjoyed my chicken sandwich. It was pretty good! But I doubt anything about it was “artisan.” The bun didn’t appear handmade. I doubt the chicken was an artisan. The people who assembled it in the kitchen? The kid who handed it through Window Two? Nope.

And while we’re talking about that kid, he’s not the first person I’ve heard say “artesian” when he meant “artisan.” In case you’re wondering, here’s what that means.

Artesian: Adjective. Noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of an artesian well.

And if you don’t remember what an artesian well is?

Artesian well: Noun. A well in which water rises under pressure from a permeable stratum overlaid by impermeable rock.

My sandwich was tasty, but it was neither artisan nor artesian.

Stop calling things “artisan!” And if you call anything “artesian” that is not well-related, you sound stupid.

Black Widow in my Garage!

I live in a small town in the high and dry southwest corner of Colorado. We have lots of critters here, including deer, elk, black bears, and black widow spiders. I did know that it was possible for black widows to live in my neighborhood, but until a couple of days ago, I didn’t know that they ARE in fact living right here in my house.

Here’s my story…

I was returning from my morning chauffeur run, after dropping off my three kids at their schools. After parking inside my garage, I approached the door that separates the garage from the rest of the house. I just happened to look up at the top of the door. There was something black there, right at the top edge, where the door meets the frame. See it in the photo below? It’s pretty big.

What's that thing on my door?
What’s that thing on my door?

I got closer to see what it was. A spider! It didn’t occur to me that it might be a black widow, so I got up close and took some photos. I was a biology major in college, and I try not to freak out about critters.

Wow, cool! A big spider! Never seen one quite like this in the house before. Good thing I looked up before opening the door, or it would have landed on my head!

Oooh, look! Big spider!
Oooh, look! Big spider!

I even took a video of the spider and posted it on Facebook. I asked if anyone knew what kind of spider this was.

My husband was the first to reply. “Black widow.” Hahaha. He’s just like that. But then other people started commenting that it really did look like a black widow. I thought they were kidding, because they know I’m gullible and trusting. So they posted reference photos and descriptions and “how to identify a black widow” tips.

I started to wonder. I grabbed a can of Raid and went out the front door and took the long way around to the garage door. I sprayed the spider down from the top of the door to the floor. It was still pretty lively, so I gave it another generous squirt and left it there for a while. After it stopped moving, I went inside and got a juice glass and a piece of paper.

I scooped the spider into the glass and took it inside, where I covered it with plastic wrap and secured it with a rubber band. When I looked closely, I noticed it was still twitching, so I put the glass into a Ziploc bag, and placed the whole thing in my freezer. I was not going to mess with a “mostly dead,” possibly deadly spider.

When I was sure it was completely dead, I took it out of the freezer. I had learned that black widows usually have a red hourglass on the underside of the abdomen. For years, I’d thought that marking was supposed to be on the spider’s back! So when I first observed my sneaky spider friend, I assumed it wasn’t a black widow. No red on the back! Who looks at the belly?!

Red marking on underbelly!
Red marking on underbelly!

Oh my goodness. Yes, it’s a female black widow. Apparently, they are prolific breeders. Females rarely leave the nest, and they typically produce one or two egg sacs, each containing up to 900 eggs. Therefore, it’s likely that there are up to 1800 black widow babies nearby. Great.

I think I deserve some credit for staying pretty calm. I could have freaked out! I admit, when I thought about how many more spiders might be in the garage, I considered using a flamethrower for spring cleaning. Instead, my husband brought me a pair of work gloves and some home insecticide. True love!

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Don’t Minecraft While Sedated

The cartoon xkcd is one of my favorite nerdy comics. For your Friday fun, here is a strip about Minecraft. The moral of the story: don’t let your noob friends into your Minecraft world while they’re recovering from wisdom teeth extraction.

Happy Friday!

Don't Minecraft on Drugs - comic
Don’t Minecraft on Drugs
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Thanksgiving Tip: Remove Guts from Turkey Before Roasting

Remove giblets before cooking turkey! Click to read source article.
How to remove giblets before cooking turkey! Click to read source article.

Here’s a story that we tell every year… Enjoy!

We’d been married about six months by our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple. We lived in an apartment with a small electric oven. I was so excited! You know… “Look at me! I’m such a good little wife cooking for my new hubby…”

I roasted a turkey, fixed up the trimmings, complete with cranberries from a can and Stove Top stuffing. When it was finished, he carved up the bird, my manly husband, and discovered something strange inside the breast. What the heck?! Did we get a defective turkey?!

We examined the pale, wrinkled, alien membrane, and figured out that I had forgotten to remove the bag of neck and giblets before I cooked the turkey. Yes, the bag of turkey guts was still inside, like an unexpected prize inside a cereal box. But instead of a super secret spy decoder ring, it was a baked bag of neck, gizzard, liver, and heart. Now, I’m sure that lots of people love to eat those parts, but we are not those people. I was quite embarrassed, especially when he told his mother about it. Fortunately, I have an excellent sense of humor. 😉 We still laugh about it!

failed turkey roast
National Lampoon’s Turkey Disaster

The rest of the turkey was delicious, and we are still married 17 years later!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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George Takei’s Amazon Product Reviews

George TakeiGeorge Takei is Emperor of the social networking universe, from Twitter to Facebook and Amazon.com!

Wait. What? Did I just say “Amazon.com?” That’s not a social network! But George Takei is making it social by writing hilarious product reviews and sharing them with all of his fans and followers!

Here are a few excerpts from some of Takei’s reviews.

From George Takei’s review of the Matrix Zorb Human Hamster Ball:

Oh myyy. Friends, you haven’t experienced Newton’s Third Law of Motion until your Human Hamster Ball collides with a semi heading the opposite way. I ricocheted like an eight ball and flew several hundred feet, then bounced from car to car until I finally came to rest somewhere along Rodeo Drive.

From George Takei’s review of Bacon Shaped Bandages:

Not to pork fun at an injury, but nothing strips the pain away like meating friends out dressed like this. “That’s sow wrong, George!” they squeal. But fat chance they let such a pig idea go. In fact, they often rip it off quickly–after giving me the cold shoulder.

From George Takei’s review of Canned Unicorn Meat:

Unfortunately, I found this unicorn meat brand to be quite similar to spam, both in texture and blandness. I’d been hoping for that zestier kick that comes from the rump cuts of other mythical and fantastical creatures, such as griffins or centaurs (for the latter, serve only the back half of the creature with guests, or it gets awkward).

To read the rest of his entertaining reviews, head over to George Takei’s reviewer page on Amazon.

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