poop jokes

This morning as he began to work on a piece by Mozart at my behest, Adam blithely informed me the legendary composer was fond of making poop jokes with his family and friends but I was incredulous so he proved it to me. Well, I had no inkling but find it strangely reassuring (and frankly, far less off-putting than Beethoven keeping his chamberpot underneath his piano).

September 2010 - Helens (146)

After dinnertime, I requested Adam’s company for an evening stroll in the Arboretum, it was refreshing yet somewhat chillier than either one of us anticipated, doubtless a product of spending far more time in the climate-controlled indoors as a result of the global pandemic which has swept across our community. The timing of tonight’s stroll was fortuitous as we gamely avoided other persons who might unintentionally, oafishly or just plain inconsiderately endanger the six foot radius which is vital for personal safety at a time like this. Perchance we should cross paths with anyone it was mutually agreed upon that we’d either dive headfirst into the bushes or spin about our heels, fast-walking in the opposite direction with purpose, not making too huge a deal about it because there’s no point in making anyone more uncomfortable during such a horrible time.

On the walk through the Arboretum, we talked a lot about the use of the n-word in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer which he just finished last weekend and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the book he’s currently reading, and its relation to contemporary cultural contexts.  This afternoon he was pleased to inform his aunt who is a foremost connoisseur of literature and film that not only has he recently completed Frank Herbert’s Dune but that he watched the Godforsaken horrendous movie the very same night, against my advice.

Searching the rubble pile of our unfinished basement this afternoon in vain for an n95 mask in the hopes that I could send it to my sister who is a nurse in the intensive care unit of a regional hospital which has run out of masks for nurses and doctors, I came to the discouraging conclusion that it must have been used up several years ago while I was cleaning up the remaining petrified rat turds out of the nooks of the pony walls, from that horrible, epic infestation of our home during the hard winter of 2008, when the basement doubled as a rat nightclub during evening hours and a day-use center center during the day for those rodents with missing teeth and desensitivity to light.

Finally, this frame features a point of stubby rock (The Dome) in the blast zone which served as my North Star all day long on that walk to the north of Lawetla’la which I referenced in my previous writing. It seemed forever out of reach but doggone it I finally rounded the danged thing up high and thereafter would leave it behind for so many hours that when it was time to turn around, the thimble on the horizon caused me quite a shudder as I realized to the bottom of my sore feet the terrible excess to which I’d indulged. I never knew I could walk twenty miles in a day but never again!

postscript: I wrote this last night.

11 thoughts on “poop jokes

  1. 20 is pretty impressive on rugged terrain! Those trees up the slope were blasted by the volcano? I guess the blast wave would’ve just shot up the slope, not a place I’d want to be, of course, but standing on the other side, seeing it shoot up over the that peak, would’ve been something to see. I guess now they monitor that lava dome pretty closely?
    Speaking of massive releases of gas, I only watched part of Dune, never made it to the end. I did think Sting seemed to be enjoying himself, playing a bad guy.
    I mentioned the rail-trail just across the river from my apt, the joggers/runners are still running in pretty tight packs, I actually get off the path an study the scenery until they’re past, puffing away and seems like they’ve got to be swapping water vapor.

    • Twenty’s a lot (I can’t fathom walking that far in one day, ever again in my life) and the terrain is rugged but the path was really well-graded and there weren’t any very discouraging elevation gains or losses. Yes, the blast cloud did surge up this slope. It moved like a fluid along the ground because it was full of crushed pumice and pulverized lava but through study the past several weeks I’ve learned that by the time it got to the top of this ridge is when it started to become less dense and it began rising more like a cloud. Where I was walking represents the boundary of the most restricted zone on the day of the eruption (lots of controversy around how these zones were set up) but looking to the north from here, the countryside is still decimated. Back in May 1980 the morning of the eruption, there were people legally camping down in a much lower valley from here to the north, who were killed by intense heat, ash and treefall. You’re right, the lava dome is monitored like crazy. St. Helens has been an extraordinary opportunity for scientists around the globe, not just the dome but the countryside around it. of course, conservationist get a lot of credit for first fighting to keep it from just being mined or dune-buggied to death Btw, I didn’t realize Sting was in Dune! I doubt Adam knows who that is (although I’m pretty sure he’s heard some of The Police’s songs, like Every Breath You Take).

      • Sting, but not the Spice Girls.
        Somewhere in my parent’s house is a little plastic envelope of ash from St. Helen’s. A friend who was studying geology in Corvallis at the time, drove up immediately, pretty exciting start for a geologist. You weren’t supposed to send ash through the mail, I guess the pumice would ruin the sorting machines, but he packaged it in 10 layers of wrapping.
        I guess volcanic ash wouldn’t be any kind of fertilizer, like wood ash, so it takes quite a while for plants to take root?

      • What’s your geologist family friend up to these days, do you know? That must have been incredible to experience something like that so early in their career, you’re right! Some people around the inland Northwest were bottling up the ash as it fell, for a keepsake. Regarding the volcanic ash, there are some caveats that lead to different interesting explanations but I think your general question is pointed the right way in that the stuff wasn’t exactly a bottle of Miracle Gro. A pretty important counterbalance against the ashfall (particularly in places that weren’t stripped to bedrock) was the timing of the eruption. Well documented in the literature, fortuitous in that there was still a lot of snow on the ground that time of year (not unusual for high country in the Cascades and Olympics) and plenty of small of critters and plants were still blanketed/burrowed for the winter. Huckleberries that had been under the snow were some of the first plants that came back. Chipmunks dug out of their burrows and little pockets were made where seeds and pollen could accumulate. Other colonizers like praire lupine that are nitrogen fixers spread like wildfire in places, they use the bacteria in their roots. Looking out more regionally, where ash fell quite heavily, that was bad news in some places…..crops were ruined. Deleterious effects on some insects (esp. pollinators). But on the other hand, in other locations in the region where the ashfall was thinner, it helped with water retention and some nutrients. Some good yields in certain orchards, etc.

      • Our geologist friend started by working on the drilling rigs in the Gulf, but after several years with an oil company, started teaching at a big comm. college near LA, and lecturing on Nat’l Geo. tour ships during the summer, and right now is finishing up 30 years by figuring out teaching his last semester online. He’s been all over every continent!
        That’s pretty interesting about the ashfall and the varied effects. Must’ve been a heck of a shock for all those critters who poked their heads out afterwards!
        I looked up prairie lupine, I wouldn’t mind seeing fields full of those! Just once we were visiting out in Utah, just when the wildflowers came out, up in the Wasatch range, and I couldn’t believe it.
        I read onetime about a particular period in western NY, when they were clearing a lot of woods, but didn’t have a market/transport for a lot of timber, and they just made huge piles and torched them. The wood ash gave them a temporary boost in productivity, but some found they’d overdone it, and baked & ruined sections of their soil. The topsoil around there, other than the muckland bottoms, isn’t very deep really, nothing like the Midwest I guess.
        Well, thunderstorms here today, but I’m heading out, My apt is feeling kind of small lately! 🙂

  2. Lovely textures in the photograph J, and the contrast in scale between the tree and the mountain (and the trees (or remains of) leading us up the mountain).

    I always enjoy your adventures with your boys. That rat infestation sounds pretty horrendous, but you framed it in a very comical way.

    Regarding the title of this post, since I’m reading this in WP Reader (sorry, your blog’s light grey text on dark grey background isn’t easy on my eyes!) I have a couple of suggested posts below in the “More on WordPress” section – “The Day Of The Poop Apocalypse” and “PRIMER ON ELIMINATION COMMUNICATION (I.E., INFANT POTTYING”, and yes it is all in CAPS like that… I daren’t click on either…

    • Hi Dan. I’m glad you liked the image. Regarding the background for text/text color, I completely understand. I’ll figure something else out, very soon. You’re not the first person to tell me something ☺ I’ve always been terribly conflicted about the darker background- It looks so nice for images but it’s awful for setting text. just need to find something fairly neutral besides white. And btw that’s pretty funny about the WP Reader! I guess I just stepped into that one. I’ve seen some humorous stuff show up down there, too.

      • Yeh I agree, in Flickr when viewing photos I nearly always hit L to view in Lightbox with the black background. Not so good with text though!

  3. Glad to see you are still able to venture out on occasion TF. Just be safe and stay well. Sounds like you guys got it figured out. And geez, sorry to hear about the hospital situation where your sis works. Man I wish people would not be so panicky and so selfish. My God these times bring out the best and the worst in people.

    • Hi Ilona. With the closing of DNR land in the state, not to mention trails in National Forests for Oregon and Washington starting very soon I’ve been told, a lot of the plans I had for the boys and I venturing out in the forseeable future have been dashed. I’m trying to make sense of the new restrictions but lord no complaints whatsoever here about staying closer to home, talk about small things. I’d lock myself in a dark closet for two months and make it work if this would all go away. The pandemic is a nightmare that’s hitting oh so close to my family right now, something we’re monitoring on a constant basis…. but then again, who isn’t this hitting oh so close, everywhere? You stay safe and well, too and keep being the light.

      • It’s terrifying to consider the possibilities TF. Life is on hold for the time being. I am sure you are feeling it more acutely as you are close to the Seattle epicenter and you have vulnerable members in your immediate family. I hope and pray all your loved ones weather this storm safely and come out okay in the end.

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