David Sedaris & The Mean Green Fighting Machine

Last night I climbed into bed with David Sedaris. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But then my sister Mood Ring Momma joined me. She brought along Jennifer Weiner. What to some would be a happy, if odd, foursome, I was spent from the day and a fine at-home party and so turned off the light and went to sleep. This week’s activities have been no less time-consuming and mundane than last week’s and I needed my beauty sleep before church in the morning. But then I woke up at 3:30 this morning giggling, mentally reviewing yesterday’s events. I didn’t actually know it was 3:30, I was just guessing by the light shining through a little shade-less window in my bedroom. Mood Ring had just been to the bathroom so my laughter didn’t wake her up; she helped me review the events which made me laugh even harder.

So, anyway, yesterday I was giving my father a pedicure in the kitchen, MCV and the Radish were skewering pork, onion, and apricot kebabs, Thing 2 was checking his computer game, and Things 1 and 3 were lounging on the sofa, books in hand. The nephews were downstairs. A regular Rockwellian scene minus the husbands. All was quiet above deck except for the whooshing of the electric foot bath. And it was into this idyllic silence that my nephew Cheese Fighter intoned, “There’s poop on the stairs.”

Earlier, he and all the cousins had been roughhousing on the carpeted stairwell leading my parents’ first floor TV room. Cheese Fighter said this matter of factly, no hint of alarm, his voice not even rising a note, let alone an octave.

When the laughter died down, someone was brave enough to inquire:

“Is there really poop on the stairs?”

“Yep.” Cheese Fighter replied. His brother verified this, likewise not alarmed. But now that we had confirmation, adult inspection was required. Each parent mentally scrolled down the list of her children and duly queried each offspring, resulting in a chorus of inevitable “Not me”s.

“Maybe it was the cat,” Cheese Fighter said.

“We don’t have a cat,” Grandma Radish replied.

“Oh. Right.”

The most likely culprit was the four year old nephew. I happen to know that underneath his hand-me-down Lilly Pulitzer shorts he was not wearing any underwear. Also, he had just eaten a bowl of cherries and had been wrestling with the cousins on the stairs. Heaving a sigh, MCV laid down her kebab and gamely trooped downstairs.

Dear Lord,” she exclaimed from down the stairs, confirming the veracity of the claim. It was this young mother exasperation of her’s that made me laugh so hard in the middle of the night.

Again, riotous laughter upstairs. Ever the inquisitor, she demanded an answer, “Who did this?”

Coming up the stairs for carpet cleaner and a roll of paper towel, MCV defiantly said, “Well, I just checked G3’s bottom and there’s no poop. Plus, it looks like someone stepped in it. Everyone check your feet.” The last bit was said with a certain smugness.

All of the children were barefoot so this announcement produced shrieks as soles were frantically scoured for signs of poop. Nothing doing. The mystery continued, MCV still maintaining, as she scrubbed the carpet, that her four year old was innocent.

It was then that I turned my attention to my Thing 2, who claimed to have just bathed. He was sitting at the counter 3 feet from me, wearing shorts. His hair looked freshly washed. On his knee was a dark green smudge.

“How do we know it was poop?” I asked.

“Oh it was poop alright.” MCV replied, heading down the hall to the powder room to wash her hands.

“And you,” I said to Thing 2, “how is it that you have bathed and missed an entire swatch of dirt on your knee?”

“Oh that. That’s grass.”

“How do you know it’s grass?” I persisted, following a hunch.

“Because it’s green.”

“Poop can be green,” we all said.

“Here, let me smell it.” Thing 3 said (can you believe? Dear Lord, indeed.)

By then Thing 2 had arisen from his chair and taken a good gander at his knee. “Holy crap!”* he said, jumping off his chair and running to the bathroom to remove the offending matter. A fresh round of guffaws ensued. Nothing could be grosser to a tween than a poop schmear on their skin.

I finished When You Are Engulfed in Flames today at the beach but Mood Ring is still engrossed in Good in Bed. It’s almost anticlimactic by comparison. As my sisters and nephews piled in the fancy pants mini-van to head for home this afternoon, I could only wonder if next weekend’s Tommy Bahama Tropical Fest on the Fifth will be as much fun. Well, maybe, if Mr. Understanding tells his pork chop story. But I’m a little dubious.

*He really said this.



Filed under Family, Life, Mature, Misunderstandings, Reading, Star Gazing

16 responses to “David Sedaris & The Mean Green Fighting Machine

  1. Mood Ring Mama

    For the record, the 4-yr old Pooper accused the non-existent cat (Cheese Fighter did not come up with this theory). Cheese Fighter, in fact, was quickly exonerated b/c he left a hefty load of evidence unflushed in the main bathroom. For the one millionth time.

  2. Raftbuddy

    That is hysterical and well worth 3 am laughter. I am just hoping that he earns the name “Stair Pooper” in the blog. Joining “Cheese Fighter”, that would be quite a twosome!!

  3. Tom

    When those big, beautiful Bing cherries are in season- There will be poop.

    You know you’ve got to be careful with this story. It will be woven into your family history, and trotted out every time you guys get together. The kid could become warped.

  4. MCV

    As his mother, I greatly prefer G3 to StairPooper. After reading the blog, DV is sure that it was not our child. Also, why in the world does Thing 2 have Lily Pulitzer shorts? After a summer of wear they look like they came from Target? With all that said, it is pretty funny in retrospect.

  5. MCV

    Sorry, it should be a statement not a question: “After a summer of wear they look like they came from Target.”

  6. The thing that was so funny is I am convinced that the child did not know he had done it. He was merry making like everyone else. He laughed at Thing 2. His face could not have been more innocent.

  7. 425Heidi

    You wrote that out perfectly! I felt like I was there. Very funny! Gabe is so used to the dog poop around the house what’s a little poop on the stairs? How do you know Teddy didn’t leave it? Or MRM or the princess herself? What is your alibi?

  8. What about the dog? Did anyone blame the dog? Where was Hero at the estimated time of the crime?

    While I’m entertained and amused by the poop-mystery, the most notable thing about this post, in my view, was the fact that MK gave her Dad a pedicure? Good lord. You would never catch me within a mile of Moparman’s feet!!!

    BTW, ever read King Lear? MK, I don’t believe you share an of Goneril’s traits. She would have never given the King a pedicure.

  9. Heidi:

    Before Moodring Mama had Hero and she was looking for a dog, she said – in reference to Ernie – she didn’t want a Shih Tzu because she couldn’t “handle the pooping.” Tee hee.

  10. Mood Ring Momma

    Teddy was exonerated b/c he was blissfully asleep in a crib. The dog was exonerated b/c he was about 80 miles away. MRM and Ex-Pat were, as you might expect, enjoying cocktails in the living room and had not ventured downstairs at all that day – – but good question, I admit. The funniest thing is that MCV refuses to believe that Stair Pooper was G3. Perhaps MCV so staunchly defends G3 b/c she did it, and therefore knows he didn’t!!!

  11. MCV

    I was busy making the freaking dinner so it was most certainly NOT me. While Expat did have a cocktail in hand, she was also performing the pedicure. MRM was the only one lounging with a beverage.
    Leezer–you are quite right. She is brave to perform the pedicure. I swear sparks were flying.

  12. Raftbuddy

    I completely forget to mention how funny I found the daughter/father pedicure. I also had no idea that Lilly Pulitzer made boys clothes- you guys are quite fashionable. The things I learn! Cocktails, pedicures, stair-pooping, and the summer has just begun!!

  13. Princess Stuck in China

    I quite agree: it was the pedicure, followed closely by Thing 2 in LP shorts, that struck me the most curious about the whole affair.
    Thing 2 does not seem like an LP kind of guy. Is he prepping (no pun intended) for his time on Nantucket?
    What color did you paint your father\’s toenails? Are you just taking job experience when and where you can get it? The competition is pretty fierce here in the iron rice bowl. I\’d stick with the writing!

  14. I was wondering how long it would take someone to point out the pedicure. Call it a labor of love. Even Jesus gave pedicures and think how nasty the feet were 2000 years ago!

    The Lily Pulitzers were old, from 6 years ago – they were hand-me-downs from a family photo taken by Banana Jo that is still my favorite. Mainly because I was 25 lbs. lighter. But the lime green shorts had gators on them and were cute on a 5 year old boy!

  15. gamamãe

    T- 3 days till packers show up. Have been on sorting/jogando binge – after I get home everyday from 3 day jumping competition I agreed to 2 weeks ago. I digress…Came across a photo of Mr. Harvard, your eldest thing, and friend and fellow spelling bee competitor, taken at spelling competition in SP. Her hair was not long of enough for LOL. How many moons ago was that?? Banana Jo spoke at spelling bee friend/competitors´parents despedida!!As of next week, no one in that picture will be in Brasil any longer!

  16. expat princess


    Whoa, Nelly! There’s nothing like a little distraction from moving, even a fun one, from ratcheting up the anxiety. What are you thinking, girl? We will have lots to fofocar about!!!! We all want to go back ….

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