• The greatest poo story ever told

    by Cathy Speck

    Yes, you read that title correctly. This story is about poo. And you will like it, I promise. Money back guarantee!

    Before I get into the dirty doody details of the story, I need to explain some things that might, at this time, seem to be inane. But again, I promise, these details will enhance the enjoyment factor of this poo story. or your money back, no questions asked!

    Okay, I jumped the gun no, I don’t like guns, don’t have any, and I can’t jump anymore. What a waste of typo-ing. Ricky baba loo is calling to “Splain, Cathy, ‘splain!” I’m trying there’s just so much to ‘splain before the story starts.

    For those of you who don’t know me, or don’t know “my story,” I have ALS, and you can read about this fatal neurodegenerative disease at www.cathydyingasliving.com
    * * * * *

    The Greatest Poo Story Ever Told (the original title) or The Longest Poo Story Ever Told

    By Cathy Speck

    As many of you know, I am known as “The Queen ” at the Davis Food Co-op, where I was employed as the Safety Director/Queen. I still work as much as I can, but I’m no longer in charge of Safety. These days I prefer to be called “Queen of Happiness” at the Co-op.

    And, as most of you know, I wear a fanny pack, but, (not butt) not on my fanny.

    Coincidentally, in Britain, “fanny” means “vagina.” Perhaps I am imitating the Queen of England by wearing my fanny pack on my British fanny area.

    My fanny pack has three compartments: the one closest to my skin, or should I say my shorts, contains cash, ATM card, ID card, business cards, phone numbers and everything else I need in my day-to-day life. It is, however, a small compartment. The middle one, which is much larger, holds all of my snacks for the day, i.e. pumpkin seeds, candy corn, Hot Tamales, broken up pieces of black licorice, and an occasional nut or two (No, not that kind of nut. I have no nuts in my fanny area). The very front pouch is the smallest of all. In there, I keep my watch, which I can’t wear on my wrists because of my wrist braces, and a small white plastic pill container for my daily medications.

    Still with me? Okie dokie, on to some more details. My lovely wife Linda Duval and I lost our dear dog/companion Bellie on Feb. 27 of this year. She died totally unexpectedly and we were devastated. Knowing that we didn’t have sufficient time to grieve due to life’s circumstances, we rescued a puppy from the SPCA. She has an atrocious underbite, and her body is crooked and wobbly-looking – a face only two mommies could love. Yet, somehow, this makes all 13 pounds of her even more adorable.

    Her full name is Mazie the Amazing Monkey-face Grrrl pug /poodle /terrier Princess. She is a princess for many reasons, the main one being that she loves to perch upon my decorated walker as if she were a princess nodding to her admirers as we roll past them.

    She is now about seven or eight months old, and is not yet fully trained. She is a service dog in training and, in accordance with federal and ADA regulations, is allowed to be with me anywhere I go. This is the law; you can Google it. For those of you who don’t know, service animals are not required to wear any identification, cannot be asked to demonstrate their service, and the disabled person cannot be asked what their disability is. Basically there are three things that a business owner, or whomever, can do. One is ask, “Is this a service animal?” Two is ask, “What service does this animal provide?” Three, if the animal misbehaves, e.g., defecates or urinates in the store, the business can demand that the animal be taken outside.

    At this point, I’m sure you may be wondering why this story doesn’t seem funny yet. Hang on. We’re getting there. Here we go: Besides my delightfully decorated walker, I also have a recumbent tricycle that is festively adorned with pink flamingos, whirlygigs, a Lion King squeaker thing on the handlebars, a clown horn, parrot flags, tiki flags, and, well, it basically looks like a three-wheeled wacky float in a parade.

    A couple weeks ago, Linda had a horrendous migraine, with vomiting included in the suffering package. In between puking and painful sighs, she asked me to take Mazie for a walk or to play at the puppy park. My legs really didn’t feel like walking, so I decided to take Mazie for a trike ride.

    I was wearing flip flops, running shorts with no pockets, and a tank top, and of course my arm braces, my knee brace, and my neck brace. And of course, I was also wearing my fanny pack, and I tucked a small plastic “poopie bag” under the strap of my fanny pack.

    Mazie rides in the back basket behind my seat and is more like the Queen instead of the Princess, and I am the mere Court Jester. As we ride down the street, people smile and wave and laugh, and we literally stop traffic. This makes me feel good, (but not if traffic accidents occur) as it seems to help others be happy. Of course, Mazie loves the attention, but I don’t care much about getting attention. Haha.

    Anyway, I decided we would ride to College Park, which is relatively close to our home, and is on the way to an errand I wanted to do. I had a coupon for Rite Aid, which Linda and I call Stoopid Aid for many reasons, for five dollars off various wrist braces, knee braces, etc. Both my arm braces are pretty tattered and my arms are shrinking, so the braces are too big. My right leg is also getting thinner, so my knee brace is too big. So, here was the perfect opportunity to give Stoopid Aid another chance to gain our favorable opinion.

    Mazie and I were having so much fun riding around and making people smile that I decided we would first go to Stoopid Aid and then to the park. We arrived at Stoopid Aid and Mazie got out of her basket and I asked her if she wanted to “go potty outside.” (She understands that.) As she was sniffing around and looking for a place to perch her bottom, I got my cane out of the basket (the cane is collapsible and was under the pillow that makes Mazie’s ride so luxurious). I then locked up the trike and asked Mazie if she was ready to go in the store. She looked at me as if to say, “Well, I guess so because I’m not really comfortable with my pooping environment here.”

    Normally, I don’t use my cane outside. Since I couldn’t carry my walker on my tricycle, which also meant Mazie couldn’t be the Princess on my walker, I had to use the cane with my right hand and hold Mazie’s leash (which is attached to Mazie) with my left hand. We’re quite the amusing pair, if only to ourselves. So, off we went into Stoopid Aid for our quick errand. (Well, mine really. Mazie, would not have chosen this errand).

    Immediately upon passing through the sliding glass doors of Stoopid Aid a manager-looking woman approached me and gruffly said, “I can’t have you in here with your dog unless it’s a service dog.” She was not smiling. Her body language was that of a brick wall. I replied pleasantly, “She is a service dog,” and I smiled. Mazie, in her friendly manner, jumped up to say “hi” to the Stoopid Aid lady.

    She (not Mazie) glared at me, and said nothing. So I said, “She barks when I fall down.” The mean Stoopid Aid lady just looked away and marched off. So I picked up the hand basket, and was now carrying the hand basket and the leash with my left hand, and using my cane with my right hand. I began looking for the aisle that would have the braces that I needed. Since I work in a store and I know how to look for things, I very quickly found the aisle that should have had my braces. I was perusing the products when I noticed that the mean Stoopid Aid lady was following me while pretending to arrange products on the shelves. She did not ask if she could help me find something. Every other “disabled ” aid was in that aisle except the braces that I needed. So I brilliantly decided to go to the aisle that contained First Aid items.

    By this time, the mean Stoopid Aid lady had stopped following me, but I heard her telling another blue-vested staff member to keep an eye on me. He was kind of standing at the end of the aisle while I was looking for the braces. Again, no one asked if I needed assistance. Eventually I found them, but there was quite a variety, so I was having trouble matching the items with the coupons that I had.

    Since I was so engrossed with the braces, I was not paying attention to Mazie. I found six items that I believed were appropriate for the coupon and put them in my hand basket. I was still holding her leash with my left hand, but had put the hand basket on the floor in front of the braces. I felt kind of a tug on the leash and looked to my left, only to see Mazie in her pooping pose, you know squatting to do her doody.

    I quietly, in a whispering yell, said, “Mazie, don’t! Don’t!” I dropped my cane and started yanking on Mazie’s leash, but I was not fast enough. Mazie had left two solid tootsie roll shaped poops on the floor. They were solid, not mushy, but there were little twigs, pieces of things, non-food items, in them. (I was able to notice all of this in a matter of two seconds). I pulled on her leash again and she started trying to poop again, but clearly was in distress. So I tried to pull the poop out of her with my left hand, which is, of course clumsy, and weakened with only my fingers not covered by the brace.

    As I tried to pull the poo coming out of her little butt, she screamed a piercing scream that was heard ’round the world. I heard someone exclaim, “What was that?!” Then I heard the looming clerk, who was at the end of the aisle, but not looking at me, say, “Oh, it was probably just that dog.”

    I panicked, then remembered that I had smartly tucked the poopy bag on my fanny pack strap. I reached for it thinking I could pick up the poop before anybody saw it, but the bag was gone. What was I going to do?! What could I possibly do? The painful poo was still hanging out of Mazie’s painful pooter, and my cane and the basket were still on the floor. So I picked up the hardened poo with my right hand and picked up Mazie with my left hand, but now what? I couldn’t walk to escape this nightmare I had created. And although it was probably only a matter of seconds, it felt like hours.

    I took the hardened poo and put it in the very front pouch of my fanny pack. Since I was so stressed, my hands had been sweating, and I now had poo smeared on both my hands. I figured out the best thing to do was to hold Mazie up in my left arm with her poo dangling and walk out of the store with my cane, but I didn’t want to get poop all over my cane handle, so I put Mazie back down on the floor and wiped my hands all over her, trying to get the poop off my hands. Poor Mazie. Stoopid me.

    I picked her back up. She was still whimpering from the attached poo. I picked up my cane and pushed my basket full of items against the bottom shelf so that no one would trip on it. I then stealthily hobbled out of the store hoping no one thought I was some sort of fake cripple who was shoplifting.

    Squirming and whimpering, Mazie miraculously stayed tucked under my left arm. After we slid through the exit doors, we turned to the left where there are no windows looking out of the store. As I set Mazie down on a small patch of plants and dirt, I was trying not to fall over. I dropped my cane and got down on my hands and knees, and Mazie positioned herself to squeeze out the remaining, painful poo. She couldn’t do (doo doo) it, and the expression on her furry face was so, so sad and she seemed so scared. What to do?

    I cradled her under my left arm, and with my right hand, pulled on the poo firmly, with gentle, loving- kindness. She cried out again, but I finally freed her bottom of the painful, persistent poo. It was full of weeds and twigs that must have gotten stuck in her adorable little rectum.

    We both calmed down. I started to wipe my hands off on her again. Then, realizing the futility of that, I tried to clean my hands on some of the leafy plants nearby. Of course, I had to stand up with my cane and dispose of the poo. I used a large leaf to pick up the poo then nonchalantly tossed it into the trashcan outside of the store.

    After all of this drama, I was still determined to buy my braces and use my coupon.

    Mazie just looked up at me like I was the evil stepmother. I tied her (well, the leash) to a small tree, told her everything would be okay, and that “Mama Cathy will be right back.”

    I took my debit card out of my fanny pack and held on to the edges with my left hand. Then with my right hand on my cane, in a dignified manner, walked back into the store. I understandably forgot to look for those handy dandy sanitizer wipes most stores have near the entrance.

    I caned myself to my hand basket, which had not been moved, and put my debit card into the basket on top of my braces and coupons. I picked the hand basket up with my left hand trying as much as possible to not dirty the handle. I approached the cashier who was not smiling at me. She scanned all the items, I swiped my debit card, and I was shocked at the prices. Oh yes, of course, my coupon. She looked at my coupon, clearly puzzled, and said, “I can’t take this.” Turns out, my coupon was for CVS, not Stoopid Aid.

    I told the cashier that I didn’t want to buy them, and she looked really peeved. She then looked me in the eye and stated, “You’re gonna need them anyway.” I thought to myself, “whatever,” and bought all the stoopid stuff and exited the store.

    Shaking my head at the irony of it all, I released Mazie, folded up my cane, put it under the pillow, plopped Mazie on top of the pillow, hung the bag of stoopid braces on my handle bars, and peddled home. We skipped going to the park.

    As soon as Mazie and I stepped into our apartment, I gave her a bath a very thorough bath. Mazie ran around the apartment like a crazed dingo. I made sure the door to our bedroom where Linda was still resting was closed. Next, I took the poo out of the small front pouch of my fanny pack and flushed it down the toilet. I emptied my fanny pack of everything, and soaked and sanitized my fanny pack, and hung it outside on the patio to dry. And lastly, and certainly not least, I showered and sanitized every exposed part of my body, and anything else I touched.

    When Mazie and I eventually relaxed on the futon, I started chuckling about the whole ordeal, and I began thinking what a funny story this would be to tell.

    Awhile later, Linda awoke from her migraine nightmare and came into the living room to try to sit upright for awhile. Of course Mazie wiggled over to lick her “hello.” Linda noticing that Mazie was still a bit wet and smelled fresh and clean, and commented, ”Looks like somebody had a bath. How nice! ”

    Then she spotted my fanny pack hanging outside on the patio. She tilted her still hurting head a bit and asked, “Why’s your fanny hanging out on the patio?”

    With a slight hint of a smile I replied, “I’ll tell you later.”

    • I loved this story and I don’t even like animals. I am amazed you were able to control your composure and get all this done and exit the store not once but twice and all with the wrong coupon. I hope you went to CVS and bought all the stuff with the coupon and then went back to Stoopid aid and returned everything after a good sanitizing.

    • I want to punch the Stoopid clerk in the neck!

    • Where did you say you wear your fanny pack? Only you could have an adventure like this.Funny.

      • Trish Timothy.

      • July 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm
      • Reply

      I am on the ground laughing. I hate to laugh at handicap stories, but no one can tell a story like you do. thanks for sharing, I think.

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