Reign In Poop

A hunka, hunka, burnin' shite[Ed. Note: Apologies to Slayer for the title] Oh dear. It was one of those days you can’t even dream about let alone ever imagine happening, but yesterday, Wife, myself & Gremlin were out for a walk when Gremlin wanted to walk through the Arboretum. Being good parents we decided to let her engage herself in a communing with nature and all things botanical. Unbeknownst to us there was a horror lurking every step of the way as we entered the Arboretum. The entire San Francisco Botanical Gardens was covered in poop!

Gremlin wanted to walk across the grass which is where we discovered said poop. We aren’t talking a little pile here or there, but it literally covered the grassy area looking like someone had taken a giant lawn aerator and poked it all over the lawn leaving cylinders of dirt on top only bigger [you all know what I’m talking about right?]

One thing that I’ve learned in life is that when you study botanical sciences growing up you inevitably have to study poop for a bit. There’s a lot you can learn from it so the teachers tell you and you might even find the odd teacher that picks up and dissects a piece in his/her hand to show you what the animal ate and therefore what animal it came from.

I am not a scatologicaly aligned bio-scientist so I could merely peer at the stuff while trying to avoid stepping in it, which was difficult because it was as I said before everywhere. As Wife and Gremlin aren’t very fond of the game, guess that poop! I decided to ask on the way out to whom did said poop belong [for some reason when asking questions about poop I find it hard not to use a rather affected British accent.] I have to thank the lady working the front where we showed our ID’s to prove that we lived in San Francisco to allow us free entrance to said botanical gardens.

As it turns out all of the poop drowning the grasses of the Arboretum came from a flock of Canadian Geese which call the Arboretum home. Needless to say that it was rather surprising to discover that it was bird poop all over the gardens which left me to think that I am glad Canadian Geese aren’t low flyers when I’m driving. Although when calculating the terminal velocity of poop from a Canadian Goose unladening itself there might be problems with any cars driving in the path. The bird poop is phenomenally huge to say the least and as it turns out upon further research [from a distance of course] I discovered that there are health risks associated with, well, interaction between the geese and said poop. I found the following information:

Canada geese feces can be hazardous to people’s health, but usually only when inhaled or ingested. Walking past geese feces, or even lounging near them on the beach is likely safe for healthy people. However, the elderly, children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women are particularly susceptible to health risks posed by parasites that inhabit Canada geese feces. At even higher risk are those with weak immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy recipients, and recent organ donors and recipients. Similarly, people with gastrointestinal (GI) problems, such as ulcers and irritable bowel disease, are also at increased risk, since they, too, cannot easily combat parasites from Canada geese feces.

Well good thing none of us thought about inhaling or ingesting bird poop seeing as it’s on none of our bucket lists, but still it does cause a few health risks and to that end I have to wonder what the staff [or staph?] of the Arboretum is going to do about it. I’ll have to contact them now and see what they say, but I just wanted you all to be aware of the problem if you were wondering what all the poop was about there.

For your utter horror and amusement I offer the following video:

Does A Raccoon Sh*t At The Zoo?

Friday was all about the lack of seagulls so it seems fitting to talk about raccoons today. We made a trip to the zoo over the weekend and while we didn’t see any raccoons, not even in cages there was evidence of them everywhere in the zoo by the small piles of raccoon crap that was everywhere.

How do I know it came from a raccoon? They’re everywhere in San Francisco, I’ve even seen them at night in the financial district. I’ve had a family of them living in my backyard that I used to feed sometimes when they’d come out in the evenings. I know feeding raccoons isn’t the smartest thing to do, but because I’ve been around a lot of them I know what their feces look like. Some of you might remember my article on the horrid sounds of raccoon sex I had written before.

Now when I said they were everywhere at the zoo, I mean everywhere once you’ve given up your ticket and gotten in. I’m actually oddly surprised that no one’s written about this before because unless you know what you’re looking at you may not notice which was obvious by all the flattened patties as we were walking around the zoo.

Actually, the children’s playground was pretty clean as is the entrance where you buy your tickets so the SF Zoo must know that there is tons of raccoon crap since raccoons don’t have any fear of sand or children’s play toys. On the other hand feral cats would use the sand in the area like a giant litter box. I know this because I had a sandbox in my backyard when I was a kid and ended up having to change it over to a large planter box because the cats were using it as a litter box. But I digress…

Walking the zoo you have to be especially careful when walking from the sea lion exhibit to the kangaroo and wallaby exhibits. The reason is that the trees planted there drop acorns that help to disguise the raccoon poop making it harder to avoid stepping in it. I actually saw a little kid trip and fall and luckily didn’t face plant into a steaming pile, but his hand did hit it giving him some lubrication to his fall and boom — face plant. His parents were more concerned at first with the raccoon crap all over their son than whether or not he had actually gotten hurt. Luckily we had some wet ones they were giving out free at the children’s zoo, so I came to their rescue and told them what it was. I’m sure the zoo officials got an earful on their way out, especially after I told them that it’s all over the place and you have to watch out for it.

So does a raccoon sh*t at the zoo? Yes and they do it everywhere.

Now on to the sea gulls. You’ll find plenty of them at the zoo and they are like a mafia crime family. All the food areas at the zoo need to have some notice about this as I see someone get hit every time. My daughter dropped a bagel and bang, there was sea gull casually walking up to it and didn’t even back away when i picked it up. I tore a piece off after I gave the bagel back to my daughter and the sea gull walked casually along with us as we started our walk. I suppose he was not yet a made man in the sea gull mafia family yet so he had to play it cool.

Eventually I tossed him his crumb so he got his vig and walked off. This was one of the nice encounters with a sea gull at the zoo. My wife once ordered a burger and didn’t hold it in close to her body and once again, bang the sea gull took it right out of her hand. Incidentally, if this happens to you don’t bother going back and telling the people that you were just attacked by a sea gull as they will just tell you that you should have been more careful. I can see it happen before it does and it’s usually the people with food on trays who like to hold the tray out in front of them or hold their food up around shoulder height. Why they do this, I don’t know, but the zoo should have some signs warning them like the sign warning people of flying gorilla poop when you’re leaning over the fence staring at the gorillas.

Don’t leave any open food out at the zoo because a sea gull will swoop down for a quick smash and grab. The sea gull mafia is ruthless and I have even seen them fly into the middle of a group of people at a table and steal food. I think the lesser squirrel mafia of the zoo is in cahoots with the sea gulls as I saw a family who left their cart outside the petting zoo with an open bag of chips come out to find the squirrels had swarmed into the open bag and were running off with the contents.

So in short, Zoo, food, sea gulls, squirrels, watch your back.


I Have No Need For Glow In The Dark Pee Or Poop!

As many of you are aware, we have a daughter who is autistic so things move a bit slower. She’s coming along quite well with many things, but potty training is the last step. We’ve gotten into serious mode with potty training. There are lots of schools of thought with this from the free elimination parents who watch and then notice what’s going on and hold their kids over a bucket to eliminate and never allow diapers. That’s a bit extreme for us, so we’re taking a bit safer, albeit more expensive route.

With our therapists we have gotten her to learn to sit on the toilet for five minutes straight and moved onto five minutes straight with her pants pulled down. Now we’ve switched over to panties instead of diapers for most of the day and every 30 minutes go through the potty training routine. We’ve had only a few accidents and have managed to only get one stained chair out of it, but I think I can handle that.

A friend of ours suggested that perhaps she would get the idea more if we had a Betsey Wetsey type doll. My wife and has been looking left and right for one and they’re in the $25-$30 range. This seems a bit much for something we don’t even know if it will work. None of these dolls by the way come with a toilet to sit on. That of course, costs extra.

So wife, daughter and I are at target today and we discover a doll that even when you’re potty training a kid and are used to getting vile human produced substances all over your body this was a bit too much for either of us. It’s not really a potty training doll, but it’s a doll to teach your little girl how to change diapers because of course, it’s their job to do it right? [ducks quickly, I’M NOT SELLING IT!] This is a doll that comes with a little somewhat hard plastic diaper that is somehow control by artificial intelligence by the doll to tell the diaper to show that it has peed, pooped, or both. How does this happen? Well, I don’t know the code someone had to write to make this happen, but the end result is that the diaper has a yellow and a brown led in it that glows to indicate whether you have a number one or number two.

Yes, you ready that write. This is a doll who’s poop and pee are so nuclear that it makes the diaper glow with light. Luckily the lights will go off after a certain time and you can put the diaper back on your atomic baby doll which would add to the mix of having to explain to your daughter why the poop and pee just disappeared and why that doesn’t happen with normal babies. My comment which wouldn’t go over very well would be, because Mommy and Daddy bought you a radioactive doll who’s poop and pee glows to wake you up in the middle of the night from it’s flashing diaper so that you know to change the diaper that the poop and pee actually just disappear from which means you can ignore it because it will go away all by itself. Wow, that was a bit of a mouthful.

Apparently I just read that you actually have to wipe a hard plastic wipe across the diaper and not the baby to make the lights go off which isn’t exactly the right way to change a diaper either, but I guess they really don’t want to teach anyone something they could use later in life. I can tell you from the number of diapers I’ve change that while less than my wonderful and lovely wife, this ain’t how you change a baby.

Hopefully we will find one of these little peeing dolls to show our daughter how the process works because I don’t want her to one day ask me why her poop and pee doesn’t glow like her dolly’s