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KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.05.2012
after anthony, who is five, goes poop he loudly calls from the bathroom "i'm done" and waits for someone to come and wipe him. if someone doesn't respond soon enough he calls, more loudly, "i said i'm done!". whenever i am home and hear this cry i try to be the one to respond since marty has certainly wiped enough ass that's not her own in the last eleven years i figure any soiled cheeks i can take off her hands is deserved and appreciated. last week when i pushed the door open and walked in anthony groaned. i asked what was wrong.

i'm bored of you wiping me.

bored of me? you should be bored of mom.

but mom does it better.


ANTHONY (exasperated)
dad. i've been bored of you wiping me since after the first time you did it.

well. i do apologize that you find my company while cleansing your feces smeared buttocks so unappealing. how insensitive of me to not be more engaging during the wondrous opportunity you are affording me. please accept my most humble apology.

if you're thinking a child who is five should be wiping his own ass, i'm of the school of thought that no one should be left to that task until they think a job poorly done is a problem. anyone who doesn't mind a less than perfect outcome, in my eyes, is not ready for the task. and yes, i do appreciate that under this definition we all know people in their thirties who, technically, should still be wiped be a parent.

HYGIENE (permalink) 11.11.2011
alex came into pee moments after i stepped out of the shower. we said our good mornings and each went about our ablutions. instead of leaving after washing and drying his hands, he leaned against the sink and watched me, with great curiosity, rub gel into my hair. after a few moments he studiously asked, "why do you put glue in your hair?" without looking away from my task i matter of factly replied, "because that is what you do to broken things alex."

if you gave me three months to come up with a better answer than my from the hip quip, i'm sure i could not.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 10.04.2011
keep your eyes straight ahead. but if you gotta look, at least take turns.
i chaperoned a field trip alex's class took to the zoo. shortly before lunch, the teacher instructed the kids to use the restroom. just after, she asked if i would oversee the boys room break ensuring no mayhem broke out.

the spacious and surprisingly clean bathroom offered five urinals and four stalls. the kids quickly raced to spots along the wall and started doing their business. alex and a few others held back choosing not to fight for a spot. as bladders went limp the first set of kids raced for the sinks. i repeatedly scanned the scene from urinals to sinks making sure no water wars, pee or tap, broke out. kids filed past me by the door laughing and goofing as you'd expect. the urinals were handling their last customers, alex being one of them. as i glanced that way i noticed alex looking to his left past an open urinal and watching the boy two spaces down urinating. i eyed this to see if what was happening was an acceptable passing glance or a problematic studied gaze. given the stare held for more than two seconds, we were most definitely facing the latter kind of ogle. while re-checking the boys at the sinks, i made a mental note to visit with alex about such matters of etiquette. as i glanced back to the wall of urinators, alex was now looking straight ahead and the red-headed boy alex had been observing at my last check was now turned to the right taking in what was going on in alex's bit of porcelain.

it seems i either need to have two talks or recognize this is a business as usual for this age group.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 04.04.2011
pretty in pink
we have an electric toothbrush. everyone but marty uses it. everyone who does use it has their own brush head that snaps onto the handle. when you buy a pack of the brushes they come with these little colored rings that slip over the base of each brush so you can tell them apart. inevitably, i always get stuck with the pink marker. it is both embarrassing and appalling how much can be gleaned about my life by that little hot pink ring of plastic.

HYGIENE (permalink) 03.02.2011
blackheads, hairy moles, and panty lines
the kids had an extraordinary number of snow days this year (one more and i think marty would have made a house-call on the superintendent). on the last afternoon of the last snow day they had, marty took the kids swimming. in the bustle of getting out the door, marty didn't have time to address her adjusted winter time shaving routine. while at the pool bella swam underwater to marty. when she, bella, came up she leaned into marty and whispered in her ear.

mom, you have some hairs sticking out ... down there.

i'm sure i do bella.

BELLA (still whispering)
but what if someone sees them?

MARTY (whispering back)
i have the benefit that most people here aren't swimming at my crotch in swim googles bella.

we don't discuss often enough the crazy good parts of getting older, the number one of them being, caring less about what others think. in fact, i think our care level decreases in direct proportion to the growth of our number of wayward hairs. the jaw-dropping intelligence of the human body does not end in the womb or after puberty or after childbirth. it's smart to the end.

additionally, i remember a former boss of mine once telling me that a big breakthrough moment in her life was when she realized not only weren't people talking about her, they weren't even thinking about her. that woman taught me many amazing lessons and i attribute a great quantity of my professional experience to things she taught me in her small office in our large cooperation.

HYGIENE (permalink) 02.09.2011
our home's green initiatives have gone brown.
and for any daft enough to think i couldn't keep the stool train on the tracks another day, allow me to present...

between marty and their teachers my children have been instilled with maniacal notions about energy conservation. they unplug the microwave after using it (b/c of the digital clock). they turn the light out on me when i'm working in the basement after calling down a feeble and unhearable, "is anyone down there?" (even though i was taught as a kid that turning lights on and off through the day was more costly than letting one run continuously). and some of them don't change clothes as often as they maybe should as evidenced by aleo's lonely one pair of underwear next to bella's stack of eleven on laundry night (i'm not entirely convinced his refusal to change bloomers has anything to do with saving the planet).

as annoying as it is to have to re-plug in the microwave with each use, or to have to stop what i'm doing to go up the stairs to turn the basement light back on, or to get a face-full of alex's unwashed briefs in round of roughhousing, their one and only initiative i'm declaring war on is how seldom anyone in this house flushes the toilet. the policy began innocently enough as the common-ish brown goes down, yellow is mellow. while this approach was not my preference, i learned to deal in the name of the team. but somewhere the rule underwent a sinister mutation and the policy now appears to be if we don't have to rush the person who just moved their bowels to the hospital, there is no need to flush the commode. if you're unable to imagine the cumulative effects of such a practice, allow me to help.

when i was in college and lived in the dorms, my floor had a feud with another all-male floor in the building. i have no idea what started it or why it persisted but on random intervals marked by boredom and angst, pranks would be directed at the enemy floor. after all these years i only remember one. we were the victims. what happened was in the night several people, i'd wager between five and seven, from our nemesis floor came down and took a dump in one of our bathrooms, in one of our toilets. the thing that marked it memorable was they never wiped (there was no toilet paper at least) and they never flushed. they just defecated. again and again. come morning what was left was a pristine bowl with a settled mass of brown matter in the bottom half. the contrast against the white porcelain was mesmerizing and thought provoking like contemporary art. as a gaggle of us stood around this unexpected marvel in morning, we surely resembled the uncertain chimps finding the obelisk in 2001 only we were in towels and holding plastic bins of toiletries. one of us reached forward and pushed the flusher. the rest of us were so entranced no one could say "don't do that!" fast enough. so it was done. but i imagine it had to be done (what else could be done?). a mess ensued. a mess so nasty and vile and inspired that we, young as we were, felt actual sadness and empathy for the poor worker who would be assigned the chore for an unreasonable minimum wage.

this is what my house is like. it's like i'm living with a bunch of frat pledges who have been forbidden to flush their waste. and i'm the janitor.

and need i remind you, we are fortunate to have a toilet that could flush paris hilton's toy canine down with a half flush.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 02.08.2011
protecting those who can't handle the truth.
regarding yesterdays post about poop and pooping, just like in real life, when it comes to poop and pooping, there's more.

for any surprised that marty and i still participate in our children's ablutions, we have tried turning them loose, but it wasn't good. and marty and i are in agreement that we're willing to wipe asses longer than we perhaps should be expected to if it saves us from stain-treating brown skids out of clothes and from furniture and off ceilings. for dodging these household chores and keeping our family's feces in the bathroom, we're willing to shoulder this grim, preemptive practice.

if you find my excuse weak, i'd like to invite you to come spend some time with our animated youngest. perhaps you could join the litany of one-time, college-age babysitters who have deemed him more work than organic chemistry, and this when he isn't hiding feces on his person or in his clothes. add a smear of rank and contagious excrement to the anfer-equation and the tables would tilt, irrevocably, in his favor. the consequence of which could cross state and possibly national borders. so you should not be questioning our choice, you should be thanking us for making it, hard and unappealing as it is.

HYGIENE, KIDS (permalink) 08.26.2010
getting there.
we're potty training anthony in preparation of him starting school in the next few weeks. this means we hear funny things get shouted in the house. funny things like ...


following this call you'll see marty alertly moving towards the noise. on this particular occasion, she charged around the corner to find anthony standing in front of the toilet peering and pointing into the bowl. when he saw marty coming he excitedly re-announced that he had pooped. as she approached she saw a small turd on the floor between his legs as well as a chocolate smear on the back of his calf (presumably where the floor turd grazed his skin on the way down).

marty pessimistically assumed this dropping on the floor was what anthony was celebrating but as she got to him she spied resting in the bottom of the bowl an artifact that looked like it was left by my college roommate and not our little blonde human. what was in the commode was huge and surely explained why this pebble-sized cudgel on the floor went so unnoticed (as well as the smear on the leg). when you're dealing with bm's of this magnitude, a little shrapnel like that is just the cost of doing business.

KIDS, PARENTING, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.03.2010
i know plenty of folks who could benefit from anthony-like candor.
bella was messing with anthony and he got upset. marty entered the scene and told anthony that if he didn't like what bella was doing he could tell her so. with this counsel, anthony turned to bella and said "bewah, you are breaking my spirit!"

if marty can do that with a three year old just imagine what she could achieve with someone who actually cared if they were sitting in their own feces.

HYGIENE, KIDS (permalink) 02.24.2010
it's kinda like the old wall to floor urinals of the 50's
alex prefers to pee in the bathtub. and i don't mean just when he's getting a bath. i mean all the time.

this may almost certainly be attributed to the long, luxurious stints his sister spends on the toilet reading chapter books. truth is you have a three in five chance of finding her perched on the commode when you enter our home's only bathroom. and it seems it happens with enough frequency alex has decided to not fight the fight and just use the tub as a matter of course. so, when he enters the bath he stops short of the toilet (wether it is occupied or not), turns towards the tub, throws the curtain to the side, pulls his pants down, hangs his business over the tub's edge and lets loose.

and hear this (as alex would say), when he's done and before he turns to wash his hands, he reaches up and briefly turns on the shower sending a quick burst of water into the tub to send any residual signs of his visit down the drain. it's his flush.

i've yet to use his move. when i find bella camped out i shoo her away telling her she has had more than her share of time on our family's only pot. that said, i will admit, watching the way alex handles his affairs with such panache and flair has made me consider joining his camp on more than one occasion.

HYGIENE (permalink) 07.06.2009
all that was missing was a finger-drawn picture in the steamed-over mirror
marty just stepped out of the shower. i was there and ready to go in next. alex just had his morning pee. marty bent over to dry her legs. alex was standing behind her. i saw his eyes lock onto her backside. they widened. marty stood up, snapped her hair back over her head and walked out of the room. alex called to her, "mom! mom! come back here. you have floss stuck on your butt." when he saw her continue walking he bolted after her.

from around the corner i faintly heard marty tell alex that what he saw wasn't floss. the boy wasn't having it.

the conversation developing in the next room made me think of the scene from planes, trains and automobiles where steve martin and john candy shared a bed together. in the morning the two characters awoke snuggled into one another and martin's character asked candy's character where his hand was. candy replied that it was between two pillows and martin told him, shriekingly, that those weren't pillows.

this felt like that. only with the potential of being way more disgusting. given this, i stepped into my shower before marty's explanation got too scientific (ex-biology teacher and all). i was afraid if i waited too long, her anatomically accurate account would scar me more than it would alex who sports the significant benefit of not knowing what all the words mean. that and i didn't want to wreck my perky morning grin brought on by the cruel imagining of marty in the next room trying to sidestep an early morning menstruation lesson to her six year old son while wearing only a bra and an alleged piece of floss stuck to her naked rear. in the world of motherhood, that's called a day-breaker before you're even down the stairs.

it's good to be back. i've missed talking at you.

HYGIENE (permalink) 04.22.2009
i guess
some latent observations about yesterday's post dealing with male grooming:
i guess i may be the last guy walking around who didn't know that male grooming is better known as manscaping.

i guess it's only fitting that the girl who cuts my hair be the one to tell me that.

i guess i shouldn't have been surprised when i googled manscape that a word like 'boyzillion' would appear in the results.

i guess i should have remembered sooner that when bookpimp got married, as a wedding gift to his wife, he got his back waxed. when the hair lady looked at his naked backside she explained that what he paid her wasn't enough to do the whole thing and asked if he wanted to pay more or wax less. the wife was still touched that her man got a large rectangle of hair removed in her honor.

i guess i should have known an images search on the term manscape would have produced something as depressing as this.

i guess after seeing that photo my advice to hair-conscious men everywhere would be stop shaving and start running.

HYGIENE (permalink) 04.21.2009
shortly before i stopped being a corporate whore, i had an unusual-ish lunch. two things made it odd. first off, i went with five guys, colleagues, i didn't know all that well, only one of which would have even rated as an acquaintance (i usually eat lunch alone or with one or two people i like pretty well). the second curiosity was the conversation itself. it dealt with, of all things, male grooming. when the topic was first floated, and it was not raised by me because such matters aren't even on my radar, i scanned the table thinking in a group of people who push ones and zeros around for a living this subject might have a life-span of 36 seconds. but as i studied the five expressions i didn't see disdain and disinterest but instead mild intrigue and readiness. i almost yelled at the whole lot of them saying they can either like network gaming parties or shaving their genitals but not both.

seeing the subject had legs i turned my attentions to the conversation's sponsor. you groom? down there? unabashedly he said he did. he then asked me. you don't? at all? unabashedly i said i didn't. he asked me why i cut the hair on my head. i said because it would be unprofessional not to. he asked why i shaved my face. i admitted that even though i was still as of yet unable to grow cheek hair if i could i would still shave because i felt face pelts were also unprofessional. he then started asking about marty. and if she shaved and groomed. i said she did but certainly not at my demand. and frankly, i could care less if she did or not. the whole table groaned loudly and recoiled like slugs to salt. what's the big deal i asked. are they afraid of a natural woman? it seems they were afraid of the potential. a few of them had seen movies and were witness to what was in fact possible.

seeing i was getting nowhere with the first guy, i sought support from the rest of the table. one by one i asked them if they owned a male epilady or some such device and one by one they confessed they did, my acquaintance included. i saved my sure bet for last, a contractor straight from the india homeland, arranged marriage country and all. he said to me in the most classic and quintessential accent, "i am sorry troy, but i am unable to help you here." even the indian guy was sitting on the closed-lid toilet, with his knees flayed apart, tweezing groin hairs with his free time. does he know how to tie a slip-knot? has he read the the count of monte christo? can he spin a pencil in crazy ways on his hand? no, but he doesn't have a body hair on the outside of the elastic leg band of his underwear. how admirable is that? as weak as it may appear, that last guy really took the wind out of my sails and in the end, i quit the fight. there were too many of them and they proved immune to any powers of persuasion i thought i may have had. sad to find myself spending time with such a lot, i became morose.

perhaps my despondency drove the guy who started the whole preening debate to share the following story about a friend of his who was uber-manic about his hair removal. it seems this guy's appearance was a real house of cards given his hirsute genes and required more routine care than a fertilized lawn in portland. after he moved in with a girl he'd been dating, he was finding it difficult to find enough private time to keep the hedges at bay. he was having to go to work late or come home for lunch to get his primping time in (sheesh!). one day his girlfriend wasn't feeling well and left work early. after walking in the door and setting her keys and purse down she heard something coming from the bedroom. she moved to the door, listened for a moment and then opened it. she saw her boyfriend lying on the floor, on his back, naked, and with his legs pulled over his head. he had an electronic thing in his hand but she didn't have time to make out what it was or what he was doing with it before he sprang forward into a sitting position, and started yelling at her through bugged-out eyes to get out of the room. she slammed the door shut and stood there with one hand still on the knob and the other covering her mouth. some minutes later he came out of the room fully clothed and aside from a huffiness about him, acting like nothing had happened. seeing that he wasn't going to volunteer an explanation she asked him what he was doing in there. he exploded saying it was none of her business and she should learn to knock on closed doors before entering rooms (her own bedroom included it seems). he never told her he was shaving the hair from between his buttocks and she never recovered from not being told that he was shaving the hair from between his buttocks so they broke up shortly after the incident. if i recall the story correctly, she let him keep the apartment.

i rebounded from the evil outing by imagining the guy in the story was the guy pushing the topic at my lunch table (he was reasonably hirsute). i had to do that because that meal happened four years ago and i still hold an image of a slightly overweight naked guy rolling around on plush carpeting contorting a braun razor in his hand fighting for the last, perfect angle. typically, i'm the stamper of such imagery and not the one having uninvited images pressed into the walls of my brain. call me a sore loser.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.24.2009
water dictatorship.
when showering with another person there is an imminent battle for position. your success in this battle is key to how much you will enjoy your shower. lose the battle for position and instead of basking beneath sixty, hot, riveting jets you'll find yourself shivering in the back of the tub settling for a paltry mist ricocheting off the other person's heated frame. what sucks in my case is i'm getting bested in this battle by a two year old who doesn't even reach my waist.

the first few times anthony appeared outside the shower, pulled the curtain aside, and excitedly pointed in saying DA! DA! i was stoked that the little man wanted to hang out with his papa. i'd lean out of the tub and ask him if he wanted to get in. this was met with an exuberant yes. i'd unsnap and pull off whatever clothes he was wearing. then he'd bow his legs a bit and i'd rip the velcro tabs of his diaper causing it to drop heavily to the ground. as soon as it hit the floor he'd throw his very chubby, very white leg up on the side and pull the rest of his also chubby and also white body over the edge. as soon as he had boots on porcelain he'd confidently march forward, directly to the pole position to stand beneath the shower's jets. the cat-bird's seat. then he'd just stand there, head bowed reverently (which was pretty much what i was doing before he arrived). if you lean in above him to, say, wash soap or shampoo from out of your eyes and in doing so interrupt his water empire he will, without lifting his head, grunt and groan and push on your thigh relegating you to the back of the tub and out of his space.

this experience has led me to believe a house cannot support two shower fetishist who both want to just stand under a stream of piping hot water for twenty minute stretches, twice a day. one chilly winter morning, i recall standing above anthony, looking down on his thin, blonde crown of hair. i stuck my tongue out at him, but did so only momentarily and not because i was afraid he'd see me but because i found when i did that my tongue, like the rest of my body, got cold and shivery there in the back of the tub.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 02.13.2009
i wouldn't flush that if i were you
when i was in college i spent one year in a dorm. the name of the dorm was hudson hall. i lived on spencer floor. our mascot was a smiling spermatozoa holding a beer and since there were a bunch of us and a bunch of them (sperm) we were known as the spermies. so in full we were the hudson hall, spencer spermies. life rarely gets more predictable than this.

i worked most nights and drove home to see a girlfriend on weekends so was not very connected to my dorm-mates aside from a few that lived immediately around me. it seems in dorm-life different floors have squabbles and grudge matches. one floor did not like my floor very much. i don't think i had anything to do with this, not because of my good choices or bright spirit but because i wasn't around much. one night 7 to 10 guys from this other floor came down to our floor one after the other and emptied their bowels into one of our bathroom toilets. they never flushed, making deposits only. they didn't even use toilet paper (somehow). they just left a large porcelain cauldron of feces. by morning the matter had dissolved and settled, caving in on itself to form a flat and pristine looking object. i imagine through the night it was like a time-lapse study of how our world was formed over time only instead of needing billions of years, this model was architected between 3am and 8am.

in the morning a small group of boys from my floor stood outside the stall door wearing towels and bath robes, holding plastic bins of soap and shampoo. they talked quietly, but mostly looked in the stall. the number of comparisons between this small band of young men and the chimps in 2001 space odyssey were significant. first they all stood around deeply pondering the white structure. they struggled with where it came from, how it was made and what its purpose was. then one reached out and touched it. the result of that touch (in this case a flush) caused mass hysteria and they all shrieked and jumped and ran maniacally into one another trying to escape the resultant mayhem.

the reason this distantly-filed image has resurfaced in my mind is my children are currently employing the strategy of that innovative hudson hall floor by refusing to flush our family toilet. my childrens' technique is less sophisticated though in that they will put toilet paper and toothbrushes and play cars in the bowl. but like the boys in my story, they won't flush. i heard bella instruct the others that unless someone goes poo, this toilet is not to be flushed. i stepped forward to ask if five pees could equal one poo. i was told they cannot. and dismissed.

HYGIENE (permalink) 01.21.2009
and light broke over the mountaintop and everyone saw that it would be a good day
i fished my first thing out of the toilet for reuse. it was a pair of tweezers. i saved them for two reasons. first, i didn't think i could successfully flush them down and secondly, we use tweezers a lot in this house. unfortunately, we don't use them for fun things like shaping my chest hair into a bold triangular mass like nic cage had in valley girl (although, if i had more than seven chest hairs spanning my chest, we just might be doing that). we instead use tweezers for splinter extraction and dangly skin removal and dropped screw (in toy) retrieval.

losing a pair of tweezers to the toilet was inevitable because of the way alex uses them while going pee. you see, alex is a nail fetishist. he loves clipping and pruning and detailing his nails. marty or i haven't clipped his nails in over a year. i'm sure 6 in 10 korean nail places would hire him tomorrow if i'd allow it. a couple times a month you'll find alex standing before the toilet, his batman underwear pushed down around his ankles, his wispy thighs leaning against the bowl's rim supporting his weight, his bladder long since emptied, even that lingering hanger-on drop has fallen or dissipated from his penis. he is lost in what he's doing. all his focus is directed at a single fingernail. all of this energy is put towards manipulating the too-large and hard-to-hold clippers to make that next cut just right. when he's shaped and cleaned his last nail he looks up and slowly reorients to his surroundings, coming out of the temporary fog he was standing within.

having watched his ritual more than once it is easy to know it would take just one lapse in thought to loose the clippers or tweezers to the bottom of the bowl. on the positive side, it's impressive it hasn't happened before now. on the down side, in the best of scenarios, you know you have at least one tiny bladder's worth of urine waiting to coat the fallen instrument when it does go in the drink. the most encouraging part of this story is after he asked me to help and after he showed me what happened and after my face sagged at the sight and after i showed him how to fish them out with a bent coat hanger and after we washed them in the sink, alex turned to me and said that he though about just flushing the toilet but knew that was a bad choice and came and got me instead. if that isn't a happy ending to a very long chapter, they just don't exist.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 10.09.2008
what you've come to expect
in tumult of everyman season it has been days, possibly even weeks, since i've been able to talk about pee, poop, choking up or bodily excretions of any sort. so, recognizing this, lets get it on.

last weekend we went camping. alex used a true outhouse for the very first time. and i'm not talking about one of those city-park, johnny-on-the-spot deluxe models but a full-fledged, hole in the ground, shanty outhouse. marty walked him in and he slid up on the seat. seconds later his face screwed up and desperately looked to marty exclaiming, "ohhhh mom! what is that horrible smell?" marty gave him the dope. alex lifted a cheek and looked down the well, staring right into hades itself. after that, alex moved his bowels in record time.

on the walk back to the campsite, alex asked how outhouses were made. marty detailed the obvious process. you dig a hole. you make a seat with an opening. and then you cover all that with a wooden shack. alex had great concern for the person who dug the hole. he feared it may have been a one-way trip. while i would have ran with that, marty explained how they probably have a system to get the human out of the hole before it's all put to use.

the next day alex scurried up to me saying he had to go. i knew there where real brick and mortar accommodations with running water a few miles away. i borrowed a bike and carrier from one of our camping mates and raced alex to these nicer facilities. after selecting a stall he stopped at the commode and pointed at two (clean) squares of toilet paper floating in the water and said this one was ucky and he'd need to find another. it's nice to see he's inherited my uncompromising and unmovable demand for standards. although the 50's dad in me was tempted to throw him back in the bike and make him use the satan-toilet again.

meanwhile, back in our neighborhood, alex's two primary playmates were eating mushrooms they found in the front yard of one of their homes. after learning of this trespass, their mothers called the doctor and were instructed to give the boys the throw-up medicine. after a quick run to the store, the two boys spent the next few hours of their saturday sitting together on a front porch puking into buckets in some grotesque community production of stand by me. unsurprisingly, alex was sorry to have missed this unique moment with his friends.

and then after returning home, bella called out in the night to report an accident in her bed. it was the classic thought i was going to pass gas and got more than i expected sort of episode. marty cleaned her up and changed her sheets. two hours later it happened again. while marty was cleaning up round two i approached bella while she was on the toilet. she looked up to me beaming with elation. when i asked why she was so happy she said mother never made her go to school if she might poop her pants.

and lastly, while standing in the tub for his bath last night anthony peed at his own will. i don't know who was happier, his parents or him.

i think that should get you all up to speed on life in my home. as you can see, it's just business as usual.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 09.22.2008
instead of dessert
it started with a post-dinner, pre-bath diaper change. of the number two variety. in some regards this (pre-bath) is the ideal time to change a diaper, but in others (post-dinner) it is the absolute worst.

i stomached my way through the turgid mess just like you'd expect from an involved father of three. i tossed the diaper in the bin, stood anthony up and pointed him to the bathroom and his running shower. but instead of turning left as he should of, his naked buttocks turned right, went into my room and slammed the door. it seems he was interested in an impromptu round of hide and seek. i checked the water in the bathroom and then went to my bedroom door. just as i started pushing it open i heard his tiny voice excitedly call out "poopf! poopf!" as i've discussed previously, poopf means one of two things; book or poop. i cautiously swung the door open hoping anthony would be holding a raised book to me. no book.

the good news is that human feces is essentially the same color as natural-stained oak wood flooring. but this is one of those rare situations where the bad news is the same as the good news. wooden floors in old homes are chock-full of seams and crevices and cracks. while the residual cudgel blended nicely with the floor's color as i scooped up what i could, i knew there would be a later price.

after picking the freshly-fallen toddler-fudge off the floor i agitatedly picked anthony up by the armpits and carried him to the bathroom holding him out in front of me like he might shoot a fecal dart at my chest. i stood him in the pedestal sink and told him to hold still. i pulled a fresh wipe out, wrapped it around my fingers and turned him so i could clean up the fun that remained before placing him in the tub. i learned something about the human buttocks in the next ten seconds. when someone is standing their butt cheeks are much more firmly clamped together than when they are laid out flat. so much so that if you try to run a delicate towlette through the small crease it will tear and rip leaving the end-user unprotected. thus, when my fingers re-emerged from that hidden crevasse, that is exactly what i saw, my fingers and not the thin, cloth material i had covering my fingers. i never knew this detail about the human body before. and i'd like to say the world was a less scary place when that was the case.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 07.25.2008
may direct your attention to the bathroom where alex will astound you by ...
bella and alex shared a bath last night. when this happens they usually ask to play in the water for a bit which i'm glad to allow because it provides me with a few extra minutes to ready myself for battle. i left the room telling them they had ten minutes to play and then i'd be back to wash them. upon walking by the bathroom at the six minute mark i heard bella ask alex to hand her his scrotum. i paused in the hallway considering an intervention but concluded that alex would not be able to fulfill this peculiar request. and if he could, i didn't wish to be in the room when it happened.

KIDS, HEALTH, HYGIENE (permalink) 02.19.2008
genetics only take you so far
monday morning i popped the top to my deodorant and found a gash through the typically smooth, glisteny surface. upon inspecting it closer the mar appeared to have been made by two small teeth. it would seem anthony is broadening his culinary horizons.

anthony has proven to be a bit of a problem for marty and i. with the first two children we just let them put into their mouths whatever they felt compelled to and let them learn first hand the reasons not all things are meant to be eaten. the first time i saw anthony play with a bar of wet soap in the tub, it wasn't long before he raised it to his mouth and took a bite off the corner. i quietly watched his face wrench up waited for the waxy chunk to drop out of his opened mouth. but instead of pushing the morsel out he lifted the bar back to his mouth and took another bite. i hope he's not a cusser because it looks like the classic punishment ain't going to have much teeth with him.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 02.07.2008
all before morning coffee
lately marty has been sending anthony in to wake me in the morning. reason is he is better at it than anyone else in the house. in trying to get me to play with him he hits me about the face, perches himself on top of my head hoping i'll try to make him fall and/or buries my face with books, toys and clothes. yesterday he woke me by trying to force a plastic car into my mouth. very effective that. i groggily sat up, patted him on the head and moved to the bathroom.

i mindlessly turned the shower on and walked to my office giving the hot water a chance to start its day. anthony waddled behind me at each stop hoping i'd toss him in the air or read him the book he held in his hand. as i leaned over my desk typing my password i felt something on my foot and looked down to see an arc of pee coming from beneath his unbuttoned onesie and landing on the top of my foot. he looked up at me proud and smiling. from my up-high view i didn't notice that he was diaper-less. my mind tried to remember if before cramming the matchbox in my mouth if he had sat on top of my head that morning. i couldn't be sure. while still watching the stream i let go a throaty "AAAAAAHHHHHHGGGGG!" hearing my exclamation marty innocently called from downstairs, "is anthony peeing?"

on the good side, i couldn't have been in a better place in my day to get pissed on. i was already naked and the running shower should have reached a steamy state by now. when i finished washing my foot five times (and my head twice just in case), i pulled the curtain back to find alex standing in the bathroom. his pants were around his knees and he was fumbling with the front of his underwear.

hey dad! look at this?

what am i looking at alex?

i can pull my penis out of this hole in my underwear.

well yes you can. and it's only 8:12 in the morning.

do you want to try to pull my penis out of my underwear?

not today pal. i gotta get ready for work.

standing in the kitchen, i quickly ate a bran muffin, got dressed and headed down to take the kids to school. as i descended the stairs alex was standing in the foyer with his pants, again, at his knees and showing his new trick to the rest of the family.

look mom. look della. i can take my penis out of my underwear through this hole.

(the girls bend and crouch to see the action)

i see that alex. now can you put your coat on for me.

no. wait. one minute mom. do you want to do it?

no. i don't need to do it alex.

della? do you want to do it?


no. bella doesn't need to do it either. please put your coat on alex. you're going to be late.

i wish i had a penis. (bella said in her saddest voice)

while not as noteworthy, this day held like surprises for me throughout. but i absorbed them all with a broad grin thinking at least these humans weren't smilingly dousing me in fresh urine, nor were they offering to let me bend and contort their penis through a too-small and not-straight-enough passage in their jockey briefs. you can't keep a man with this outlook down. it just can't be done.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 11.27.2007
why one is the messiest number
alex is peeing standing up. in watching him feel his way through this transition, one side of me wants to step in and counsel him on how he could do things better. another side of me sees how little i've come in 35 years of peeing upright. my own lack of progress keeps me both quiet and humble. truth told, there is really only one mistake he routinely commits that i never do and that is resting his penis on the rim of the bowl while he goes. of course the only reason i never do this is because my stuff doesn't reach the bowl. if it did, i'm sure i would take, and i don't think i'm alone here, the occasional break from hefting my phallus through the daily and arduous affair and just let it laze about on the cold porcelain while it does its deed.

people who own them and women who are married/living with them know of the variety of potential urinary misfires. i liken their haphazardness to those strobe light balls at dance clubs that randomly shoot multi-colored lights out of a spinning orb? when urination goes wrong it is a bit like that. but, instead of light they shoot fluid and instead of different colors they shoot variant types of streams (i.e. hissers, splitters, arc-ers). it's hard to get on a kid about this because it happens to grown men as well. when it occurs the best i can do is tell him to shake it, or whip it, or hit it, or tug it. while the approach seems mildly unscientific, it is the best we've got. reason is, penis flakiness happens with such pure unpredictability it's virtually impossible to study proper. so when it occurs your mind simply reacts and thus the shake, whip, hit and tug approach.

at a dinner party last weekend i mentioned our home's new kid-trauma to a fellow father. he has two older boys and asked if my son and i had yet crossed streams. i looked at him a little askew wondering if he forgot what a piddling four-year old was like because at the moment if i'm in the same room with him when he sets up, it is a mistake or an oversight on my part because i need a doorjamb between me and him until his reaction time is a little more in the sub-second range. i told the guy i hadn't yet had the pleasure. he looked at me nodding slyly and said "it's pretty cool the first time you cross streams with your boy. it's pretty damn cool."

something that makes all the random sprays and mystery puddles worthwhile is one of alex's more unique rituals. when he's done, he reaches to his left grabs some toilet paper, dabs the tip of his penis, drops the square in the water, pulls his pants up, runs his mits under the water, dries them on a towel and proudly exits the bathroom. what makes his routine unorthodox is that he doesn't tear the toilet paper square off of the roll before pulling it over to blot his penis, meaning that the next person to use the bathroom finds the toilet paper elegantly draped from the wall holder and into the bottom of the commode. you just gotta hope you've arrived on the scene before the toilet water has leached its way up the paper strand and into the full roll. admittedly, if the moisture does reach the source and i'm the first on the scene, i'm going to quietly make my way out of the house and ask the neighbors to use their facilities so i don't have to be the one to swap out the soggy roll in our home's only bathroom.

TRAVEL, HYGIENE, KIDS (permalink) 08.16.2007
i was having the weirdest dream

what follows are the first four things i heard coming out of my first night's sleep after my weekend away:
  1. oh anthony! you wiped poop on your dad.
  2. troy don't move. there's poop on your back.
  3. hold still or you're going to get it everywhere.
  4. oh crap anthony! you got it on the sheets too!
am i the only one to find it mildly interesting that marty expresses more dismay by discovering feces on her linens than on her husband. i mean she has at least two sets of sheets. sheesh.

if there is a good part to this story it is i wasn't actually awake through this and the commentary was only hazily registering with me. it wasn't until marty brought it up later that night that i turned to her asking, "you mean that really happened. shit." quite succinct on multiple levels.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 08.08.2007
it's a good argument for male bikini region grooming as well
the first compelling argument i've heard against sleeping naked:

there is a man. he is sleeping naked. his three year old daughter, having stirred from her slumber, foggily walks into his room in the middle of the night. she moves to his side of the bed. to hoist herself up, she reaches up grabbing a fistful of sheet in one hand and a fistful of her father's pubic hair in the other. she pulls mightily.

most anti-nude arguments deal with the scaring or scarring of children. they lack merit. a handful, even a three year old handful, of short-hairs viciously ripped from their root is merit, big ole wail-in-the-night merit.

editorial clarification: this man was not me.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 07.13.2007
you're going to need another piece of chalk
two nights ago i was getting the kids ready for bed. bella was sitting on the toilet with a book spread on her lap, anthony was scooting around the bathroom floor playing with the closet door and alex was naked and about to get his teeth brushed. as i was working over the sink putting paste on the toothbrush alex called out "aaahhhh. anthony has my penis." i wheeled to see anthony with an outstretched arm sitting right in front of alex. he had pinched, quite heartily, the uncircumcised foreskin of alex's penis between his fingers and was pulling it towards the ground. i took a moment to react because i was astounded at how far anthony was able to stretch alex's miniature member. alex's shrieking turned to hysterical laughter and he started chanting "anthony has my penis! anthony has my penis!" to which i said "ANTHONY! let go of your brother's penis!" to which bella very sadly said "i wish i had a penis." when i yelled at anthony he let go and looked at me, smiling. i turned and sensed the score keeper in my brain writing the words LET GO OF YOUR BROTHER'S PENIS in neat letters on a chalkboard and then placing a single hash mark to the left of it. while this accounting was going on alex started gleefully singing his song again "anthony has my penis! anthony has my penis!" to which i again shouted "ANTHONY! i said let go of your brother's penis!" this bought me a second hash mark.

last night marty had to attend a neighborhood meeting which put me in sole charge of dinner and pre-bed prep. this exact situation is the reason the phrase "got his ass handed to him" was ever invented. truthfully, these evenings can go a couple of ways but most often you hear a lot of "you always let us watch tv when mom isn't here" or "when is mom coming home" or "that's not what mom would do". last night actually went ok. i brought dinner home with me removing one of the obstacles. after dinner we walked down the street where in the summertime there is always a legion of little humans running around half naked while parents sit on stoops sipping wine. on this particular night the kids scored some of those glow in the dark bracelets like you see at amusement parks and carnivals. i let them run wild until they started to get shiny and then ushered them home for baths and bed. we walked in the door and i told them to all strip and head upstairs while i got drinks. i was at the kitchen sink when alex called me. when i looked up he was standing in the foyer totally naked with his neon green bracelet placed around his penis and scrotum. while i took this scene in he innocently asked "daddy, do you know where anthony is?"

HYGIENE (permalink) 06.22.2007
you think the shirt looks uncomfortable, you should try on my boxers
residing in saint louis in the summer months is comparable to living inside a combustion engine doing 120mph on the autobahn. and if you weren't bred and born in the region, your body is simply not equipped to gracefully handle the climate. i sweat so much here it's unfair to even call it sweating because a distinct property of sweating is that it is intermittent. when your body constantly exudes fluids it is really more an act of leaking, which is what i call what i do in saint louis, leak. as for the leak-season, it starts in mid-june and ends in late-september. the native residents don't really get why outsiders leak so, in part because they themselves never leave the city (for reasons i don't yet understand) so they don't realize there are environments in this nation and on this planet that have less than ninety percent humidity.

recently i was working with a colleague in my office. when we were done talking i left and biked home for lunch. the moment i walked in the door marty reminded me of something i forgot. so i jumped back on the bike and made the five minute trek back to my office, ran upstairs and logged onto my computer to get what i needed. after a moment the same colleague i was working with earlier walked back into my office to ask me a question. she paused at my desk staring at me oddly. i, in a distracted state, asked what she needed. she posed her question and i answered it. i noticed she remained standing there and i turned to find her staring at me wordlessly. when she realized i was looking back at her she lowered her gaze, turned and left.

dismissing her oddness, i resumed my own work. i felt a drop of sweat roll down my temple. i swiped it with the sleeve of my shirt. in doing so i realized that the material of my oxford was completely soaked through, like see-through soaked through. as i flitted the shirt around trying to cool off and air out it occurred to me that this woman was probably seriously perplexed that she was in my office moments earlier and i was fine and when she returned twenty minutes later i was drenched in sweat. she of course didn't realize that i made not one but two half mile sprints on my bike in the 94 degree, mid-day swelter. and because she didn't know this i now work with a woman who secretly fears the leader of her project team is free-basing heroin behind the closed door of his office.

what she's forgetting is that missouri is the nation's leading producer of crystal meth, not heroin.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.04.2007
fortunately his finger is relatively clean
some guys like butts. some like hair. others are into eyes. i myself am a calf man. baby anthony, well, he's a bit of a nostril lover. not the nose. not the bridge. not the cute and curled upper lips that attach to the nose. the nostril itself, from the rim and in.

because of this, watching a new person hold anthony is a bit of a spectacle because they don't know of his affinity. they don't know that at some point in their holding him his eyes will drift up to their face whereupon he will stare at them intently. the holder, they take this as adoration and typically melt at his round, cheeky gaze.

ohhhh. look at baby anthony. i think he likes me.

in a few moments anthony will raise an unsteady hand towards their face.

oh. baby's going to give me some loving. are you wondering who's holding you?

in time his hand finds their face, patting it and moving around in uncertain and mostly uncontrolled motions until he finds their nose. his little fingers grasp the tip and then pause. next he will run a single finger across the bridge and down the sides. and then to one of the openings where his finger travels around the edge. watching this always reminds me of how women, sultry women, alluringly circle a finger around the rim of a tall wine glass. the actions look doting, loving even. the same is true of anthony's preliminary nostril massage.

does the baby got my nose? should i get the baby's nose? i'm gonna get the baby's nose. here i come. here i come. got it! i got baby's nose.

it is sometimes at this perfect moment that anthony delves his index finger deep into the holder's nostril. i'm talking about burying it somewhere past the second nuckle and thanks to some cartilage we all seem to have not quite to the third. this will cause even a veteran mother to jolt in the chair and instinctively move him to an arm's length.

ok. i think it's time to go back to your mamma.

we in the family know this is always in the cards and have learned to deflect these nasal assaults save one maneuver and this is only because we all have to sleep at some point. in my years of life i've been raised from slumber by a number of unappealing methods; cold water dumped on me, kicked in the leg, hit about the head, even by being tested for lactation but the most hated technique is having a tiny index finger with a tiny jagged nail on its end rammed up my nose. and for sure when your eyes bolt open the first thing you see is anthony inches from your face studiously overseeing the procedure.

and speaking of nostrils, alexander somehow got a piece of cooked linguini stuck up his yesterday. we considered sending anthony in but alex knows his game and won't let him near his nose. fortunately i've learned that a near sure-fire way of getting little objects out of little kids noses (bella once had a piece of cooked rice in hers) is a combination of rough-housing and tickling. i can't tell you if it will get shot outward or sucked inward, but one way or another that unfortunate cudgel is coming out.

and in regard to my interest in women's calves, it's not like i enjoy eating peanut butter off them or shaving strangers' legs, there's just something scintillating about a tawny muscled and nicely proportioned calf on a lady.

boy, it sure is good to be back. i missed you.

HYGIENE (permalink) 03.30.2007
those aren't butterflies, hershey kisses and shiny nickels in that bag
i was in a conversation with someone who expressed shock that i didn't have my work-shirts professionally laundered and pressed. i expressed equal disbelief they could. when asked why i would ever bother with such a pedestrian task when an affordable option was available my response was quick and short; i have no interest in a bunch of random humans touching my shit.

and let's say that through years of counseling we were able to bring about a total re-alignment of my thinking so the mere notion no longer made the back of my throat itch, another problem exist. i have no interest in other peoples' stuff even touching my stuff, especially when the other peoples' stuff is sometimes their bacon-stained, tighty-whiteys. i know what goes on at the dry cleaners. i've seen the leased bmw's slice into the saturday morning parking lots. people aren't just dropping off their pinstriped oxfords and starched khakis. i see bursting santa-claus like nylon sacks getting hoisted onto the counter with a grunt, the drawstring straining to keep the soured garments (and stench) contained. while i don't claim to know exactly what is in those bags i can claim to know i want nothing to do with any of it.

FRIENDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.20.2007
whatever the trespass, i capitulate. i capitulate fully.
do you remember me talking about juju?
it began when i came into work with a zit, bookguy promptly and expectedly said something along the lines of 'nice zit'. two days later he had a festering carbuncle on the tip of his nose four times the size and three shades darker than my own. this trend oddly continued, meaning anytime one of us would harangue the other over something we knew they would be insecure about, mother wrath would deliver a much worse malady upon the offender. we termed this phenomenon as juju, bad juju specifically. the juju proved so reliable we actually reached a point of maturity, if even maturity through fear of consequence. if you had a blemish you could see the other staring at it, the rolodex of insults spinning in their brain but knowing they wouldn't pluck a card out lest they suffer a retort from the juju god.
i thought i was on my best behavior in utah. i swear. but by the looks of the blemish that has taken over the region above my left eyebrow it appears the ju-ju gods believe i took an aluminum bat to bookguy while he slept.

it began in the form of a small bump shortly after our return. then it started to show its teeth, growing in diameter, height AND darkness. saturday night i eyed it in the mirror, turning my head from left to right seeing how it looked from various angles. all told it remained quite innocuous but i let the fact that people were coming for brunch in the morning cloud my judgement and i threw down. two minutes in i knew the right move was to cut my losses but i had made some ground. eight minutes later i was waving the white flag, in this case a balled-up kleenex. i not only lost the war but took quite a thumping in the battle as well.

the next morning i studied the zone. there was no way to call it anything other than bleak. but i shook it off, i'm a grown man. what do i care if it looks like someone spot-welded a red bouncy ball to my forehead? i'm bigger than all that mess. in the midst of my self-pep-talk, i heard a knock at the front door and responded. it was a close friend of marty's. as she stepped into the foyer she made big, wild eyes and brightly said "ohhhh! what happened there?" and waggled a finger around the bouncy ball. i bashfully lowered my eyes and said i think i beat my friend with a bat while he slept.

FAMILY, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.14.2007
you can squeeze it all you want, just don't get it wet.
bella has this funny habit when she finishes a roll of toilet paper she takes the cardboard tube off the holder and drops it into the bathtub. seems minor but when i shower in the morning i just reach in past the curtain and turn on the hot water to let it warm up. then moments later when i step in, i see this water-logged spool soaking in the middle of the tub. from this i've come to learn i don't like touching wet cardboard (probably the most predictable thing i've ever learned about myself) which means i leave it there for someone else, which in our house can also be pronounced 'marty', to deal with later in the day/week.

i asked bella why she threw the roll in the tub and not in the waste basket. she shrugged her shoulders and said 'no reason'. i asked her if she would stop doing this and she unaffectedly said 'sure'. a week or two would go by sans shower surprise when one morning there it is, again rolling around against the spray of the shower jets. after thinking on it some, it occurred to me that i just assumed bella was the one doing it and that i've never actually seen her make the maneuver. this may explain why they keep showing up. with my luck marty is the one doing it in protest of our decade-long battle over wether the toilet paper should come out from the top or bottom of the hanging roll. she and i have persevered through children, financial crises and other significant life changes yet an agreement on how to hang the toilet paper in our home's only bathroom eludes us. looking at this in print, i'm seeing how petty the matter is, but what are you going to do when you're married to someone as stubborn and convicted as marty. i will confess though, if she is behind this secret and this is her tactic of choice in settling our feud, she just may come out on top this time.

HEALTH, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.07.2007
HEY RON! call me once you've van der putten your damn clothes back on.

what the associated press had to say about this happening:
The first clothing-free workout session at a Dutch gym went ahead as planned in Heteren, eastern Netherlands, Sunday March 4, 2007, and participants and observers said it met expectations. Around a dozen middle-aged and elderly men braved the glare of nearly twice that number of journalists, including reporters, photographers and at least five television teams, to fulfill their dream of exercising naked. 'There are things that you like to do, and for a nudist, it just feels better to do them with your clothes off,' said Ron van der Putten, left, who drove for more than an hour to take part in the first session, dubbed 'Nudifit'. 'You feel more free.' (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
and what troy had to say:
i'd watch titantic, shop at walgreens and hang a poster of keanu in my office before i'd follow that guy on the exer-bike.

FAMILY, HYGIENE (permalink) 12.05.2006
here's a large towel. you can sleep wherever someone else isn't.
before we had children, when accommodating out of town guests marty and i would straighten and clean our home. now that we have children, all we look to do is remove any visible blood, feces or urine from our kids. that said, if we see a bodily excrement sprayed or wiped on a wall or piece of furniture we will attempt to clean/remove/hide it. although, i don't do ceilings. so if an illness, natural event or blood-sport marred something i can't reach on my tippy toes, it's getting left for the visitor's imagination.

and i assure you this is one scenario where the mind's creativity won't surpass or even come close to our life's reality.

i promise.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 11.17.2006
leaving other people's dna in my wake since year 2000
bella clips her own fingernails. toenails too. has been for well over a year now. she's quite adept at contorting her hands and feet in all sorts of crazed poses to get just the right cut. the thing i love most though is how meticulous she is about cleaning up. as clippings drop she plucks them from her thigh or shirt and adds them to a small pile of prior victims. and, if a shard jettisons through the air she tracks it with eagle-like awareness and then retrieves it, even getting up to recover the runaway if necessary.

another thing about bella is she's an improver. she often devises methods for doing things faster, smarter. at some point bella deduced that instead of handling every nail piece individually, it would be quicker to hold her foot or hand over some sort of container. this way, the debris, aside from the occasional shooter, would fall right in thus saving her a step. while you would think we could all celebrate such a handsome improvement i was quick to identify a slight flaw in her process. her receptacle of choice is my work shoe.

now it's not that bella is inconsiderate. when done, she carefully picks up the wingtip and empties it into a nearby trash can. after the initial pour, she'll peer into the dark recess of the shoe with squinty eyes. if she detects any hangers on she'll give it another tip and shake, possibly even clanging it against the side of the bin. when satisfied, she returns the shoe to it's home beneath my dresser.

this leads to a second issue in bella's workflow. if she's in the middle of her grooming and neighbor-molly sticks her head in our door calling for her, the clippers get immediately dropped and the shoe left in place as bella hurriedly scrambles down the staircase excitedly calling "coming molly. i'm coming." then at some later point in the day marty will walk by, see the shoe in the hallway, pick it up, quietly curse me and haphazardly toss the footwear in the direction of my dresser.

the next morning i will slide my socked and unaware foot into the loafer moments before dashing down the stairs to usher the younglings to school and then myself to work. i may notice something straight away but in the a.m. fervor don't take enough heed to do anything beyond wiggle my toes or shift my foot around. it isn't until hours later when i'm sitting in my office discussing some mundane matter with a colleague that it again occurs to me something is amiss. it is here that i roll my chair back, remove the shoe and tip it over. as i watch the translucent pieces of human waste tumble through the air before disappearing into the dull-colored carpet my mind screams "noooohhh!" i turn to look at the face of my alarmed co-worker. it is clear they feel are too near someone with an exotic disease that makes their toenails brittle and crumbly. and my condition appears so dire i can't even wait until i get home to attend to my illness privately and on top of all of this, am inconsiderate enough to just cast my withered body pieces all willy-nilly about the workplace.

have i mentioned that bella will also on occasion trim her own hair. that particular habit has 'night in jail' written all over it.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 10.19.2006
i can't handle the truth
i was in the breakfast room reading the paper. bella was in the living room pretend-reading a nancy drew. she called from the couch asking if i would bring her a glass of water. i walked a plastic cup into her, she took it, raised it and then paused before drinking:

dad, did you get this water from the sink or the fridge?

i got it from the sink.

oh good. that means i won't get diarrhea.

it was at this precise moment that i stopped asking questions about things in my home. questions like why is our brita pitcher disassembled on the kitchen counter in more pieces than i even knew it had. or why did my daughter just say that our purified water supply would induce diarrhea? i didn't ask because i've learned, slowly and finally, that i'm simply not prepared for the answers that will come.

HYGIENE (permalink) 08.03.2006
you think you got what it takes?
i have settled on a new hair person. needless to say i didn't have a great amount of luck cold-calling barbers around town. the issues were numerous, the frustrations even more-so. it sucks to learn something you already know; replacing a master-craftsmen isn't easy.

for once i've been rewarded for blathering on incessantly about something that only i cared about. after reading, or at least getting tired of reading, about me go on and on and on about the departed hair-savant, larry evilsizor, this girl emailed me, asking for a shot at the title. surprised and curious i responded, asking what i could expect from her service.

she promptly replied saying it was the typical salon scenario; appointment-based, cut, wash and style. i like knowing i can get in the chair on the quick, the cut was obvious, the wash i was a little nervous about for reasons i'll explain, and the style, well styling my hair is like raking cement so i'd be kind and spare her that frustration.

regarding the wash i emailed her with a possible issue; it was an absolute certainty that i would moan, groan and make other such utterances while getting my hair washed and would this cause a problem. she simply asked if they were good or bad noises to which i simply answered 'yes'.

last week while reclined in the heaven chair getting washed, i commented how this was the most intimate relationship i had with anyone outside of my family. i added, this would be the case until i'm no longer able to duck the glove-check my doctor threatened me with at my last visit three years ago. i've been shockingly healthy since that conversation. i advised the hair girl that she will probably hold this unique troy-distinction for some time in that i'm waiting for technology to get to the point where they can discern the state of my rectum while sitting on the other side of the room. although, my children would claim to have already mastered that unlikely feat.

HYGIENE (permalink) 07.06.2006
it's like a snow globe, only with random dna instead of snow
here's the worst thing you could ever do to me.

make me live in a mcdonalds playland for a week.

without soap.


although that last part might make it the worst thing you could ever do to yourself too having to see my naked pieces press against and fall through the play mesh and random holes in the colorful habitrail for kids.

FRIENDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.12.2006
is it my fault i'm mystified by normal hair?
the family went camping this last weekend. one of the mornings i passed another fella in our party and commented on how impressed i was that he'd already showered. he said he hadn't and asked what made me think he had. my eyes drifted to his hair in that it looked wet and shiny. he noticed my gaze and ran his hand through it telling me that it was just oily and he needed to go wash it.

sorry dude. my bad.

this mis-speak seemed to make its way back to the camp because later his wife engaged me:

so troy, how long does it take for your hair to look un-showered?

as long as it takes for mcdonalds fries to start looking as if they're rotting.

and, how long is that?

i don't know, they're still watching them.

HYGIENE (permalink) 01.06.2006
talk to me in july
i haven't had to wipe up as much pee as usual lately, thank you.

i wish i could say marty was talking to alexander when she said that but she wasn't, she was talking to me. yeah, that's right, i got THE TALK. the one virtually any man is going to get after they begin co-habitating with a lady-friend.

it was suggested that i sit down when i pee, like my friend chris. when chris first announced that he always sat to urinate when at home or friends, i was intrigued, but apparently not as intrigued as marty. little did i know she concocted a five year strategy to get me to do the same. it's so sad really because she's been architecting this move for years only to have its execution marred by the most minor of details; she pulled the trigger as we moved into the fall/winter season. the only reason i'm able to lower my cozy warm skin on the icy cold seat of our toilet once a day is for fear of soiling my pants, bookpimp style. sorry dear, but if it's any consolation there ain't no love in this world i could make such a chilling sacrifice for.

HYGIENE (permalink) 12.16.2005
they are probably cleaner than our children
i've previously mentioned how marty treats ziploc baggies in our home. they get the same respect and delicate care as our finest dinnerware. this has always been her fight, never mine. anytime i would see a soiled and stained baggie on the counter, i'd leave it for her. this was understood.

last night i washed my first ziploc baggie.

i didn't want to do it. the whole time i was asking myself, aloud, why are you doing this troy? problem was i had just cleaned the kitchen and it was immaculate, save for this one sad-ass, large-size freezer bag on the counter. i couldn't leave it. i tried. i've left them hundreds of times before without the slightest of pangs. i even started walking out of the kitchen but made the mistake of looking back only to see this crumpled blight on my pristine countertop's landscape. it was here that i slowly turned and walked back to the sink. i held it up by a corner examining it before gingerly turning it inside out so i could wash my first ziploc baggie.

this is a sad day in the world of troy. sad because troy has begun washing his garbage.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 10.14.2005
there's a reason why i'm in there so long
something difficult to do in my home; keep the roll of toilet paper hanging next to the commode dry.

and, it's wet for different reasons than the roll at the shell gas station down the street is wet ... or at least that's what i'm repeatedly saying aloud as i'm sitting on the john delicately pulling the moist plies of paper apart so i can use them.

as for why i haven't engaged the issue more aggressively; i've never felt more fresh or pampered.

HYGIENE (permalink) 06.08.2005
troy, i am your father

for most who look at this picture, what stands between them and hair like this is a catastrophic and/or life-changing event. for me the only thing between me and this is my barber.

HYGIENE, SOCIETY (permalink) 03.22.2005
pay up you chump-rookie
last month my momz was in the newspaper. you see, there's recently been a syphilis outbreak in saint louis and when stuff like that goes down, people give my mom a shout because she's all over knowing the score about broken and malfunctioning genitals.

in the articles my mom referred to some 'sex-oriented social events' that took place late last year which were thought to be the source of the city's current dilemma. one thing that people will never be able to say about me is that the phrase 'sex-oriented social event' didn't grab my attention. so when mom was over for bella's birthday party i asked about her comments.

let's just say i got 20 bucks that says my mom has uttered the phrase 'spanksgiving' and your mom has not.

PERSONAL, HYGIENE (permalink) 01.03.2005
a seldom used metric for measuring happiness
i wore the same pair of pants 12 days in a row.

that's just another way of saying, the break was good.

HYGIENE (permalink) 10.28.2004
this popcorn never tasted so ... peculiar.
there is a light blue box in the butter tray of my refrigerator that has the words 'vaginal ring' on it. it had some other stuff on there too but i was pretty lost in determining if having this item on my dairy shelf is a good or bad thing for me.

PERSONAL, WEB, HYGIENE, FRIENDS (permalink) 10.05.2004
purposefully narcoleptic
to say i have a few things on my plate this month would be like saying my high school chum big dog was just kinda mean to people he dealt with at drive-through windows.

if you don't know big dog you'll just have to take my word for it when i tell you he has, without question, consumed more human dna through fast food products than any other person ever has or ever will. while the thought of this may horrify you, it should not. what should wake you in the night though is the comfort-level he had in knowing he was consuming just about anything the 16 year-old working that night could eject, pull or scrape from his body and then conceal within big dog's order. forever stamped in my brain is a vision of big dog in the driver's seat of a car working on a too-large bite of burger while shrugging his shoulders at me.

but, back to me. in october, i'm trying to build two complete web sites AS WELL AS preparing for the everyman unveiling. now this is not to say i won't post, it's just to say what i do post my be less coherent than usual. and for the dozen or so people who don't think my writing is understandable to begin with, sadly, you're just extra-screwed this month.

but before giving up on me completely, let me share an odd detail about myself. did you ever see the episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where dr fever and venus had to drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol for a state trooper? the police official was attempting to demonstrate the ill effects liquor had on the human mind and more importantly, human response time. in the show, the more johnny fever drank, the quicker he'd become, leaving the trooper quite dour. this is how i am with sleep. the less i get the better i perform which leaves my wife quite dour because she is very much not like this. although i guess my deal is the opposite of the johnny fever example because the more he had the better he got so it's kind of backwards because for me it's the less i get the better i become, but you get the meaning.

ok. i just reread this post and i may be wrong about this whole improving while fatigued thing.

but, as i always tell my children, lucidity is overrated.

PERSONAL, FRIENDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 10.01.2004
i'm telling you, you HAVE to use garden shears, it's the only way
larry evilsizor's barbershop : march, 1991 - september, 2004

he will be greatly missed.

SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 07.01.2004
i think you will find my rates quite reasonable.
i am starting a business. i'm going to be a Nula. to answer your next question, a Nula is a naked doula. and, if you don't know what a doula is, it is someone who helps a woman have a baby.

why does the doula have to be naked? well, simply because the woman having the baby is naked, or should be naked at least. and why should this naked woman have to be surrounded by a bunch of folks who are dressed. i strongly believe everyone in a delivery room should be naked and this is my contribution to this missive. i will show up at anyone's delivery, undress in the bathroom, walk out and say "now let's have us a baby" while rubbing my hands together excitedly. this is the service i will provide.

and lucky for me i have two friends days from having a baby. guess that do-it-yourself brazilian waxing kit isn't going to go to waste after all. only question is will jenn or tracy get to see the goods first.

SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.29.2004
all i want for christmas
i recently heard a commercial advertising a new product, the totally silent tampon wrapper or as they put it 'you would need bionic hearing to know this tampon was being opened.'

3 seconds after hearing this i thought ...
'oh lord, you've got to be kidding me. what next?'

42 seconds after hearing this i thought ...
'but wait a minute. is this akin to plopping in the toilet. i know some people can't drop their payload if others are in earshot and do things like hold it to the point of discomfiture or padding the water with a few squares in attempt to absorb the sound (and we all know that's only about a 50-50). is announcing to others in the room that your endometrial lining has begun sloughing from your uterine walls equally embarrassing? i can see wanting to avoid advertising that.'

2 minutes after hearing this i thought ...
'i just don't know. in some respects it seems like it would be a far more embarrassing admission but i've never gone through with it so cannot say. must begin asking women if menstruation is embarassing.'

2 hours after hearing this ...
'i wish i had something that required a totally silent thing that someone needed bionic hearing to hear me using.'

1 day after.
'i never get any cool stuff.'

scientific footnote: i have always likened the sloughing of the endometrial lining to large shards of an iceberg sliding into the water even though i know that the female version must be a much more gelatinous affair but i just can't come up with a better comparison. and, don't get me wrong, i'm thankful each and every day for not having a better something to visualize this against.

STORYTIME, SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.04.2004
just another bonding moment from the norman rockwell collection
while playing outside at the neighbors house, bella ran up to me and said she had to go pee. "so go pee" i told her. she promptly whipped down her pants, squatted and proceeded to urinate in the grass pretty much right where she was standing when she asked the question.

some of you may think that the odd part of this story is that i not only encourage but actually instruct my child to drop trow and whiz in someone else's lawn, but it is not. nor is it in the detail that one of the boys playing with us, a four year old, ran up behind bella, laid down on the ground desperately trying to see the pee come out. i'm watching this little guy watching my daughter and thought, man this kid is a freakshow.

ten minutes later freakshow-boy announces his own need to urinate. his mom, like me, told him to go ahead and go. so he pulled the bottom of his shirt up to his neck, pinching it under his chin. he then pushed his pants and underwear down to his ankles and jutted his groin out in front of him as if he were trying to form the letter C for some seseme street skit. now for those of you out there certain this nearly naked pose is the weird part of my story, slow down. the weird part is not his body's pose, but what he did with his hands during the stance ... using both hands, he made a diamond shape around his penis/genitals, framing them while he peed. as i'm taking this whole vision in, i spied bella squatting a few feet from him studying the heck out of this dude's urination technique. i considered yelling at her to leave the freak alone while he peed but was myself too transfixed for such petty administration. so we both, father and daughter, watched the 4 year old from next door empty his bladder into the front yard of his home.

in closing, i can't even tell you how much i'm looking forward to my next work day where i can casually stroll to the bathroom, cram my polo shirt up under my chin, lower my pants and boxers to my ankles, jut my doughy paunch forward, letter-C-style, and aim for the urinal which will be an impressive four feet away. the only real question left will be if others in the bathroom will lay on the ground (ala freakshow) or simply squat (ala bella) to observe, what i'm sure they will all agree is, a mesmerizing vision to behold.

HYGIENE (permalink) 08.21.2003
price is irrelevant. emotion is irrelevant. there is a point where all is irrelevant.
it has come to my attention that the most particular of my friends is struggling through a dilemma.

it would seem his wife dropped her shiny new clie palm pilot in a public toilet. he and i thought the same thing, 'oh suck, now i've got to buy another pda'. she thought something entirely different though, something along the lines of 'how am i ever going to dry off my pda now that i just fished it out of the toilet'.

i leave you with a message i know to be fact; all things are disposable given the proper conditions.

HYGIENE (permalink) 06.27.2003
now, i wonder where that came from?
odd places i've seen stray pubic hairs in the not-too-distant past:

1. in alex's diaper at his 1-week pediatric exam. the doc checked to make sure it wasn't attached before confessing that had it been, we may have a problem.

2. sticking out of the play-doh as it passed through a fun factory's shape maker. the shape of the moment was a simple square.

3. on my work laptop's computer keyboard.

and on the last item it was the client i was meeting with who brought it to my attention. he didn't say anything, he just waggled a long index finger above the letters R and T where it sat. 'oopsey-daisy, wonder where that come from?' and, to say you don't quite know what to do with it once you're holding it in the air pinched between your thumb and forefinger, highlighting it's curlycue shape, would be a vast understatement. if it were an obvious head hair you'd just lightly shoo or blow it off the desk and onto the floor, but i know how i'd feel if someone started floating stray groin hairs around my work area all willy-nilly. so i did the only respectable thing i could think of (at 8:15 in the morning at least) and daintily picked it up, studied it momentarily and deposited it into my shirt pocket. i'm a staunch believer in conducting low-impact business meetings.

after leaving this appointment i spent a moment hoping the guy knew i was simply trying to be respectful of his space and that i was not a collector of random short hairs. although, i can say, should anyone have such a hobby or collection, i would have interest in seeing it.

HYGIENE (permalink) 04.02.2003
and for your information, my right cheek looks the same
i was part of a conversation with someone recently (i can't remember who) where they were asking/wondering what one's skin would look like if it hadn't been abused by the sun for however long they have been abusing it by the sun. the listener told the curious one to drop their pants and look at their ass-skin in a mirror because this is most likely their last frontier free of skin-damage.

having done this easy-enough test i found that if i were to mimic the skin on my left cheek over my entire body, i would have many more tiny, pointed pimples than i presently do. i'd also have a stray and wispy hair about every four square inches. so my sun worship is back on. in fact, i may need to upgrade my tanning bed privileges given this new window into the world of 'what-could-be'.

HYGIENE (permalink) 03.24.2003
telling you why is not part of my job description
a girl i used to work with once sat in our office and audibly pondered why her dog kept tearing up her underwear. "why would a dog want to mess with someone's dirty underwear, i mean how gross is that?"

i don't know what's worse; that i know why or that she doesn't.

SOCIETY, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.07.2003
my green nipples mean you should buy me dinner
ok, this one here's for all the ladies out there. i'm going to let you in on a little secret. ready. ok. here goes. there is no such thing as blue balls. never has been. you know how i know. well, a couple of reasons. first, i own a set and they've been through all kinds of trauma and abuse and they have never, ever taken on such a jaundiced hue. second, i've seen every In Search Of ever made and nimoy never tackled this mythic beast which pretty much confirms the veracity of the whole deal for me.

now we know all kinds of guys are going to come crawling out of the morass saying i'm wrong and that they've had them or their cousin had them or this guy up in canada got em once and how they were wicked terrible and ached so. it's bullshit. don't believe a word of it. it is a male-wide conspiracy to dupe women into granting favors of the flesh that they may otherwise be disinclined to provide. i mean believe me, i've been tormented, turned down, and left in quite a state by an inordinate number of ladies all over the planet and my sack has never gone through such permutations.

now here's the deal, should a guy try to work this con on you, ask them what the remedy is. when they say it is to get some relief, bust one or flush the tanks, tell them that they are probably more qualified to address the issue than yourself and they should go to the john or behind the bushes and handle their bidnez. because, you see, even if there was such an affliction no one ever said that a woman had to be the one to extract the demons. hell, i know a doctor that will give you a a prostate massage to the point of climax. send them there and see if the mere thought of a gloved hand two feet up their ass corrects their mood.

and since i believe in being thorough, let's say the above tactic doesn't take. tell the guy you'll help him out but that you are a little trepidatious given the colony of warts on your hands, the chancre sores in your mouth and the odoriferous yellow-green discharge your girlfriend said you should have checked out by a professional. if they're still game after that, run. run like hell. don't stop, don't look back. just run.

HYGIENE (permalink) 02.10.2003
paging mr. cool toothbrush
my household is keeping the oral b folks in business since bella discovered the host of cool things that can be done with a toothbrush. you'd never guess what a versatile tool it was. but to my point, someone i know owns and uses some juiced kind of electric toothbrush that has an auto-timer and other amenities on it. i'm looking for you. clues as to your identity.
  1. you stayed at my home in the last year and a half.
  2. on one such visit you touted the advantages of your shiny, automated mouth tool. and, if i recall, you may have been doing that while bella was using my toothbrush to apply diaper rash medicine to her perpetually moist teddy bear.
  3. you did not specifically mention how this implement could be used for alternate, possibly sexual purposes, but i was thinking it.
if you are this person, please shoot me a note with the brand and model of this device. i would be forever grateful.

and, for those thinking that this is a bad plan and that i will now simply be repeatedly replacing a more expensive toothbrush, i'm way more anal about my gizmos than i am about my $1.39 pieces of plastic. i know it's sometimes hard to see the logic behind my actions but i assure you there is a tangible reasoning beneath the murk.

HYGIENE, PERSONAL (permalink) 12.04.2002
at least it wasn't the floss
bella's new favorite saying is 'my toy'. everything she can see, touch or conceive is her toy. when we were taking a shower the other day she pointed at my penis and said 'my toy'. i explained that i was very confident that that was not her toy, mostly because it was my toy, my favorite toy in fact. she thought on this for a moment before smacking my toy with a toothbrush, another of her toys and reclaiming it as her toy.

the best parenting advice i ever received came from my father-in-law; "you just gotta be smarter than your kids". i try to live this and thought quickly at this moment and decided to remove the curiousity, so i turned around before continuing my ablutions. i then heard another softer 'my toy' seconds before feeling the toothbrush attempt to pierce my rear crevice. let's just say my surprise could have snapped that brittle plastic in half.

when recounting this drama to marty she asked which toothbrush she had. all i could say with confidence is that she didn't have mine.

now oddly, my whole family brushes their teeth with the same toothbrush, mine.

HYGIENE (permalink) 09.20.2002
it wasn't me
the downtown tower i work in is, thankfully, very regimented about their bathrooms and because of this they are consistently very clean and well supplied. to maintain this standard they send cleaning guys around three to four times a day. i often pass by them while attending to my own three to four times a day duties and am always intrigued by the mechanical process in which they perform this task.

their methods are precise and systematic. if you remove the chore at hand one may call it some modern form of interpretive dance. that is until the shockingly jolly fellow walks along the galley of toilets and begins his repetitive review. he slaps the first door open, peers in, checks the toilet paper, wipes the seat, all good. he slaps the second door open, peers in, checks the toilet paper, wipes the seat, all good. he slaps the third door open, peers in and stumbles backward shielding the lower part of his face with his forearm and exclaims "oh, for the love of christ!"

so much for high art.

HYGIENE (permalink) 07.25.2002
i lost ten pounds in the first week
we?ve all heard about them. the more scholarly may have even read about them. but a scant number of us have actually experienced the fabled and legendary no-wiper. but a few, a golden few of us have seen the light and been taught the ways of the consistent and regular sans-wiper, which is technically a una-wiper but the first one is obligatory, even if unnecessary.

as bookguy?s padowan, he one day took me by the hand, sat me down and bestowed on me the secret to his quiet success. it is in Kellogg's original and all-bran cereal, the all-bran muffins specifically he said in a serious voice. why the muffins you may ask, as did i. bookguy explained the benefits of the muffins portability as well as the proper portioning. he went on to reveal how this minor change to his dietary routine has earned him hours of productive time and has freed him of the laborious task of righting his plumbing and/or providing lengthy explanations to the owners of borrowed plumbing.

so now you may go and also make your business a quick business. and as to whether or not i will be posting the recipe in the what i?m eating section of, what do you think this is, a proctology service. i suggest reading the box as i did, but don?t plan on doing it from where you may want to because you will not have time given this newfound philosophy which some liken to religion. you?ll have to do your reading from the comfortable confines of ,say, your study or bedroom.

and, if you do not know what i?m talking about, you?re beyond my abilities to heal. i can only take you so far. the rest of the journey is yours to make, this journey especially.

HYGIENE (permalink) 03.22.2002
please don't do that while i'm doing this
while filling my cup with water from the drinking fountain yesterday at work, i heard a toilet flush in the bathroom next to me. as i listened to that i watched the water pressure from the spigot i was using droop to nothing and then chug its way back to form a few moments later. i'?m perfectly comfortable saying i would very much like to see a little more disconnectedness with my drinking water and an unseen person's bowel movement.

HYGIENE (permalink) 02.06.2002
i need a body-sized kotex, with wings
recently while filling up the car at this archaic gas station i ran inside to pay in that they had not yet discovered credit card readers at the pump. it would seem the smoke-free environment had also eluded this establishment in that a white cloud billowed out the front door like i was on the set of ron howard's backdraft. after returning to the car, marty asked me if i had partaken in a carton of cigarettes or just hung out in the mouth of someone who had.

it was at this precise moment that a synapse in my brain registered a connection between carrying that memento out of the gas station and the special-heinous bathroom situation at my office building i spoke of earlier in the week (post super bowl vapors). the question is, am i transporting, on my person, the flatulatory swill of half the guys on my floor? i mean are these colonesque particles forever fused into my apparel and epidermis, because i can assure you they are forever etched into my mind.

and, before you belittle my neurosis please understand that these aren?t your typical pencil-necks. these are men who move towards the bathroom with a confident conviction, proudly cradling a folded newspaper under their arm and loudly cracking it straight while in the stall.

but the funk. for the sake of debate, let?s agree i am wearing it and it goes where i go and i?m unaware because my sensitive nasal receptors have been obliterated by the nefarious atoms which are almost visible to the naked eye given their extra volatile payload. do you think someone is going to alert me to this obvious problem? how do you tell someone that it doesn?t necessarily smell like they stepped in something but that instead something pretty damn wicked stepped on them, twice, and squished and slid their feces-painted foot all over their person and that a conventional shower will not even begin to eradicate the foulness that has been imprinted on their soul and that even if you were to get into outbreak-like measures you?d be getting closer to a fix but still not in the ballpark and that you would most likely require some government issue exfoliater hidden in the vaults beneath the pentagon to begin correcting the irreparable damage certainly caused by whatever tattooed its aroma on you because at this very moment you not only have the stench of the ten people you came in direct contact with but you also are the proud possessor of rectal mites from the ten people each of those ten people had prior contact with and did i mention that you currently have about nine minutes to live.

i would not be comfortable telling a stranger this. bookguy sure, a stranger, no.

SOCIETY, HYGIENE (permalink) 04.26.2001
Can I get this haz-mat suit in a mauve?
I?ve noticed an evolution in the food industry?s policy on plastic gloves. When initially implemented this prophylactic measure protected consumers from any contaminants the server may have been exposed to. Now their primary function seems to provide a protective barrier between the wearer and the public at large. Back in the day, you?d see employees swap these gloves out with surgeon like ethics, donning a fresh pair with each new customer or task. As of late I get the impression, they go on in the morning and are discarded out the car window on the way home.

This morning I watched a gloved waitperson pause from her chore of preparing turkey sandwiches for the lunch rush, to ring me out at her register. In this side-mission she handled my beverage, the cash register, the cash I gave her as well as the change she returned only to resume her prior burden of piling mounds of shaved turkey on cheese-laden buns with the same gloved hand. The only thing I?m certain to have left that transaction germ-free was her epidermis. Now don?t get me wrong, as I?ve alluded to in the past, I would more than consider sporting a form-fitting body suit made of the sheerest, yet non-permeable material possible, so I don?t blame them, I simply take issue in that I am not one of them.

SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 02.10.2001
Please don't touch me
I have always been very particular about both who/what I touch and what/who touches me. I eat pizza and fries with a fork, pour movie popcorn in my mouth and hit hand dryers in the bathroom with my clothed elbow. Now I know why, I'm just protecting one of my most valuable organs. Still not convinced, let Dr. Stevie have a crack in our second installment of his maneater column Prolapsed.

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