The Poop-Shirt Coffee-Fire Incedent

pooped todayDad, I have poop on my shirt.

What? Poop?

My seven-year-old did indeed have poop on his shirt. His poop. Something horrible happened in the bathroom. As the only conscious adult in the house, it was my responsibility to deal with it. Never mind the fact that I had only been up long enough to start the coffeemaker.

I don’t want to go into specifics here, but my kid was “not acting responsibly” in the bathroom. It happens from time to time. I can’t wrap my head around it, but for some reason he will randomly ass out in the bathroom: spit on the mirror, smear toothpaste on the towel, etc. As punishment, he has to clean up the mess.

So we had a little talk. Then I grabbed the little basket of bathroom cleaning supplies, and handed it to him.

He knew the drill.

I plodded back downstairs, contemplating my obvious failures as a parent.

The coffee was brewed. I poured a cup. But before I could sample the precious brown nectar of life, I became overwhelmed with a smell. It was not the smell of poop. It was not the smell of coffee. It was the smell of bleach.

Dread wrapped it’s icy fingers around my heart. I should very definitely not be smelling bleach.

The bathroom-cleaning-punishment-basket is supposed to be relatively safe. But someone (I won’t go into any names here, but they are married to me) had removed the safe-for-kids-to-use cleaner from the caddy and replaced it with a bleach-based chemical weapon.

I am in no way blaming my lovely wife for this. I am the one who handed my kid bleach. And OH MY GOD how he used it.

My lovely wife recently purchased two bathroom rug thingamabobs. The first is a bathmat sort of rug that sits in front of the sink. It soaks up stray toothpaste. The second is a “U” shaped device that slips around the base of the toilet. It soaks up other things. But today, both of these new bathroom rug items were soaking up bleach.

Given that the washing machine was already running a load poop-shirt laundry, I did my best to rinse the rugs out in the sink. While I rinsed, I reflected on the sad fact that I STILL had no coffee in my system, and I was undoubtedly the WORST father in the world. And what in the name of all that is holy was that SOUND? A popping and hissing sound: it was loud enough to be heard over the washing machine, the faucet and the voices in my head.

And why did I smell burning plastic?

Because my coffee maker was on fire, that’s why.

Really. It was going to be one of THOSE kinds of days.

Yes, my Cuisinart coffeemaker was sitting there with a full pot of freshly-brewed coffee on the hotplate and smoke pouring out from all sides of the machine. The noise I heard was the electrical fire raging inside.

If you are looking for an small appliance that might destroy your home and kill you with fire, let me suggest the Cuisinart Classic 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker.

I called Cuisinart let them know that their product had gone all Jihad on me, and they were most apologetic. They even went so far as to offer me a replacement. I politely declined. A second incendiary device? No thank you.

It’s like my mom always said – “Try to kill me with fire once, shame on you. Try to kill me with fire twice, shame on me.”

Watch Me Stab You With A Giant Needle

giant needleI wore shoes for 4 hours in December. I can’t remember the last time I took a shower without involving duct-tape. All because of a lousy staph infection.

But wait. I digress. Let me take a giant, lurching step backwards. Back to January of last year. Whilst wearing fancy, leather dress shoes, I took a step off a loading dock and into a parking lot. This was not an accident. I was merely taking a shortcut out of a client’s plant.

When I landed, I crushed a nerve in my foot. I wasn’t aware of it at the time. The only thoughts in my mind were
1) My foot just exploded
2) My client is still watching me walk away
3) I will try not to curl up in Mr. Client’s parking lot and scream like a little girl.

Fast forward about 6 weeks. My wife was sick of me limping around the house like Quasimodo and demanded that I seek medical attention.

The doctor took a quick look at my foot and diagnosed it as a “Morton’s neuroma.” This must be Latin for “watch me stab you with a giant needle” because that’s exactly what he did. He fucking stuck a fucking needle into my fucking foot RIGHT where it hurt the fucking most. He stuck it through the back of my foot, in between my toe knuckles, and directly into the nerve. He then repeated the process twice more!!

So there I was flopping around on the gurney like a beached carp, and Doctor Pain has the audacity to say, “Come back if that doesn’t help.” News flash, Needle-Boy – it didn’t help.

I saw him again. Then I saw a specialist. Then another specialist. And yet another specialist. All of these people insisted in driving needles full of cortisone through the back of my foot and into my nerve. (Actually, one guy started between my toes and shoved the needle in that way, but the end result was the same.)

So FINALLY, after nearly a year of this acupuncture from Hell, an orthopedist told me that the only way I was going to get relief was to have the nerve cut out of my foot. I suspect this was due to the fact the poor nerve had been penetrated more times than Ricky Martin in a Puerto Rican prison, but I didn’t press the issue.

The surgery was to be minor. The recovery time was to be a couple of days. An incision was made in the top of my foot starting between the toes and going back a couple of inches toward my ankle. The foot bones were spread apart, and Captain Cutlery then cut down to the fat layer just above the skin on the bottom of my foot. He clipped off the offending nerve and fed it to the dog.

Two days later, I was sick. Not only did I feel diseased, I had a huge infected mess where my foot used to be. I went to the ER. They told me I had a staph infection.

“No,” I cried, “Anything but my staff!”

I got big drugs. I went back to the Orthopedist. And do you know what he did? Do you have any idea what that sadist did.? Without warning, without medication, he REOPENED THE INCISION. The incision that went nearly all the way through my foot. Ya. THAT incision. Then (I swear I am not making this up) he packed it full of gauze.

And here I thought that the whole needle-in-the-inflamed-nerve-trick was the worst pain ever. Nuh uh. This pain beat that by a country mile.

Try this at home kids. Cut a deep hole in your foot and scrape the sides with gauze. Hurts, don’t it? Now go tell Mom that your brother did this to you. Fun, huh?!

And so began my current odyssey of pain. For about three weeks, I saw the doctor every couple of days. He’d pull the bloody, puss-filled strip of gauze out of my foot-hole and jam in another one. (Did I mention this hurt? Did I? Because it did. It goddamn hurt.)

After a while, I think the doc just got tired of looking at me. He handed me a pair of tweezers and a jar of sterile gauze, and told me repack my own festering foot-hole at home…twice a day.

And so I do. Every morning and every evening I pull out a nasty length of gauze from my foot. Then I push in a fresh one. Its like that game Operation. Remember the one? You’d take out the funny-bone. But if you bumped the sides of the “patient,” his nose would light up. It do the same thing, except I also swear a lot. A couple of times, I’ve even managed to puke too. Fun for the whole family.

Self-treatment has been a learning experience. I’ve learned that I can hurt myself bad enough to actually barf. I learned that bones are actually kind of slippery. And most important of all, I learned to never ever ever, no matter what, let isopropyl alcohol touch exposed nerves.

Oh ya, the duct tape thing – I can’t get the hole wet. So I either tape a plastic bag around my foot, or just wrap the whole thing in duct tape. That stuff works for EVERYTHING.