If I Titled This Accurately, You’d Never Read It

The “lab” part may have been in question, but not the retriever. Tia was well known for dunking her head and even swimming to the bottom of a diving well to fetch things. One could argue that rather than retrieving, she is hiding her face in shame in preparation for the following story.

A thousand years ago, my wife of countless decades and I were in the delicate dance of courtship.  We were already crazy about each other, but getting to know one another’s parents was still a work in progress.  Her parents first met me on a trip to our college campus, and had been under-impressed with my story of my roomate’s cat.  Ray - the cat not the roomate - was known to bury his turds so thoroughly in the litter box, that he would end up exhuming them by accident.  Not aware of what he had found, Ray would start juggling the litter-coated nugget back and forth, eventually batting it across the floor in a spirited display of feline soccer prowess.

Her parents, polite people who didn’t want to hurt their daughter’s feelings, stood there nodding and  saying things like “Oh my!” and “What a talented little cat that must be!”  My girlfriend stood off to the side, wringing her hands and hoping that I would shut the hell up before I made them think I was any more of an idiot than I had already proven myself to be.  Finally, when I was at last out of things to say that didn’t involve cat doo doo, we all went out for a nice dinner.  The meal was uneventful, and my girlfriend was thrilled at the relative silence of all of us chewing and talking about how nice the salad bar was.  I can only imagine the stoney silence as her parents drove home that night, each quietly hoping their daughter would wake up and drop that oddball before she got too serious about him.

The weeks flew by and my girlfriend’s parents got used to me to a point.  The relationship was plugging along, and everyone was relatively comfortable.  Certainly we wished to keep it that way.

During those years, my girlfriend and I had a dog.  Technically, I had the dog, since she had graduated by then and was living at home and actually working, while I was still at college living in an off-campus student ghetto.  The dog was a sort-of black lab.  Her nose was a little too pointy, and she wasn’t quite the right proportions to be an actual lab, but she was closer to being a lab than anything else.  We named her Tia, not after the Spanish word for “aunt”, but after the Jamaican coffee liqueur, Tia Maria.  The people who owned brown and black dogs around campus had already stolen the good booze-related dog names, including Guinness and Kahlua.  Anyway, the dog lived with me off-campus with my roomates and neighbors along with their various dogs, including Timber, Buddy, Buzz and Ziggy (those were the dogs, not the roomates).

Our living arrangements were typical of the era.   The dogs lived as barely-domesticated in the neighborhood, scavenging the yards and alleys, eating like cartoon goats.  Dogs and roomates lived in a constant state of flea bombings and unexpected vet bills.  One dog had eaten an entire bag of garbage and needed surgery to extract the Hefty Two-Ply from its lower G.I. system.  Another had chipped his tooth chasing a thrown brick which took an unfortunate hop.  Still another needed a capful of peroxide to induce vomiting to help his owner recover a quarter ounce of a prized product, which he then sold to unsuspecting customers, as if it had never been in the stomach of a spaniel-mix.   Dogs, huh?

On one particular visit to my future in-laws, my girlfriend and I were walking Tia out on her parent’s lawn.  Her parents were not out there, but were likely to come strolling out of the house at any time.  My future sister-in-law was there, making small talk with us, while Tia sniffed around the yard, looking for a good place to drop a deuce.  Always trying to maintain my future son-in-law status, I was prepared to scoop up any nuggets that Tia was going to drop on the fescue.  She assumed the position, and I scurried over to have the load off the grass as quickly as possible.  As I crouched near her, I was not entirely surprised to see that her dump appeared to be composed of something other than 100% processed kibble.  Upon further inspection, it appeared to be some sort of translucent plastic or latex.  Just as the light bulb of recognition flickered on, Tia decided she was done and trotted off to another part of the yard, her tail happily wagging.  An undigested condom hung out of her butt and was wagging in the opposite sequence of her tail.

Petrified that my future in-laws would come out of the house at any minute, I chased the oblivious Tia trying in vain to catch the dog-dootie covered rubber.  My girlfriend and her sister proved their worth by watching from another part of the lawn and laughing as I crouch-ran across the grass, trying to time my grasps with the conflicting swings of the tail and the rubber.  Tia, ever playful despite an obvious eating disorder, decided that she enjoyed the game and managed to keep herself just out of reach.

I was finally able to get her coralled and pull the offending Trojan out of her dumper before my future in-laws could come out of the house.  I stood there for a brief moment of victory until I realized what I was holding, then quickly dropped it in the bag I held.   I was more than a little eager to get myself to the nearest sink for 30 minutes of scalding handwashing.

Taken years after the infamous condom-passing incident, this pic shows Tia diving off the bulkhead into the Barnegat Bay. Later that year, we moved across the country. She became fairly well known for her unauthorized roving of the streets of downtown Eugene, Oregon and swimming in the Willamette.

Like many stories from ancient history, it’s hard not to wonder “what if?”.  What if my father-in-law-to-be had wandered out of the house in time to see the dog and her protrusion?  It might have spelled an entirely different path for my life.  I might have bid a hasty farewell to my girlfriend and never seen her again.  Then again, my future father-in-law might have just shrugged and gone back into the house, and I would have ended up right where I am after all.  Most people would say that having philosophical thoughts about a topic such as this is both disturbing and pointless – but if I was like most people, what would be the appeal of this blog?

I owe a strange debt of gratitude to Angie Z. of Childhood Relived, who through no fault of her own, got into a comment stream with me about a totally different subject, which somehow took a scatological turn.  She in no way could have forseen that safe sex would somehow cross-pollinate this gem of a story and make it even worse.  Those among you who have been engaged in comment streams here on WordPress can probably understand.  Those of you who ignore the comments might want to reconsider- some of us do our best work there – potty talk and all.  If you click on Angie’s blog link above, you can see her funny writing, and make sure to stick around for the comments section after.  Follow her blog as you do mine, become a better person, do it now!

70 responses

  1. What was the original title? A Tale of Two Turds? I would have still clicked because I love me some turd stories and I really loved these turd stories. I liked the dogs being described as cartoon goats because I totally could envision one eating a tin can.

    • I’m fairly sure they did eat tin cans and pieces of furniture.

      The guy whose dog ate his hashish went onto law school. He’s probably a legislator or something by now.

      As I wrote in Angie Z.’s comment stream, I wish I would have named my blog dogcrapsafesex, but it’s too late now.

  2. Hilarious story….glad you didn’t name it something else, I may not have read it.
    Knowing your wonderful parents I am sure that when they met your lovely wife, then girlfriend, she was immediately part of the family and would be embraced even if she
    had a ferret named vagina whose food of a choice was some sort of diarrhetic that caused her to leave a constant trail of “loose” feces wherever she went. And I am also sure that once your in-laws got to know you they loved you!

  3. Both disturbing and pointless! And, OK, funny as all hell- if hell could be considered funny. I think you could write about a car crash and make me see the humor in it. Hell, you could write about HELL and make me see the humor in it.

    • I appreciate your praise, in any case.

      You’ve brought up some interesting concepts. I’m wondering if I could write about humor and make it sound like hell. Certainly I could make writing about humor into something hellish, but that’s my cross to bear.

  4. When my brother was dating his wife she brought “Lovey” a poodle over our house and it ate my turtle. It’s no surprise that I was screaming and crying in the church at their wedding, not to mention hanging from the back of my brother’s tux like a monkey. Yes, I was 5 but I didn’t like her or Lovey!

  5. Just so that we can dot the i’s and cross the t’s so to speak, could you just confirm that after retrieving the offending article from Tia’s butt, you did then go back and clear up the poop she had left on the lawn? You didn’t clarify that, and it’s bugging me. Thanks.

    • Sorry to leave that i undotted. I had actually written that I had scooped the poop, but it kind of dderailed the flow, so I deleted that part, hopign as I did so, that it would not detract from Vanessa Chapman’s reading pleasure. Obviously i dropped the ball there.

  6. Perfect story for these dog-days of summer…I love stories about humiliation involving animals, poop, animal poop, contraceptive devices, and future in-laws.

    “A howling good story…”

  7. Hilarious! What I especially liked was that you found it necessary to describe the extruded condom as “undigested.” And what was your thought process, if any, when you actually did the removal? That is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard.

    • The most disgusting thing you’ve ever heard?! Really?! I’ve topped that act multiple times. I’m a parent and a grandparent after all. I’ve also had a few grisly times in the world of the healthcare profession.

      Good point on the “undigested” adjective. I actually looked at that for a minute when writing it and considered whether it made any sense, but chose to leave it there, because I moved on to some other point of grammar or vocabularty.

      I’ll just cling to your “Hilarious” appraisal.

      • Yeah, I suppose diaper duty and the health care industry could sort of build up your tolerance. And my calling the piece disgusting is a compliment.

        But I really do think that “undigested” was a masterly touch. The fact that condoms are fundamentally undigestible and that it had already obviously demonstrated it’s undigestibilty strictly speaking make it unnecessary to you to remind the reader that the condom had not been digested. But pointing it out only confirms the hilarity/horror of the situation.

  8. Did you ever wonder whether Tia was trying to smuggle some hashish or other drugs in a condom? Your household had at least one proven hash-swallowing dog, and you probably never know with what kinds of people did your and your roommates dogs were hanging out with in those yards and alleys…

  9. Having had a lab for a long time ( she passed only recently) I can relate to the strange things they pass. I haven’t however had the honour of this particular package. I would say you’re fortunate the future in laws missed that one.

  10. This was fucking hilarious. Excuse my pagan language. But I had no idea with where you were going with this at first. How this scenario hasn’t been in a movie is beyond me. Part of me is glad they didn’t catch you. But man, this blog post would be a whole different story if they did.

  11. So true. I think I do some of my best writing in the comment section and make connections that just don’t always happen from the post alone. At least I think I provide good comment. Someone should come up with an award for that. :-)

    • It’s kind of ironic. When I want to write a comment, I don’t want to read all of the ones which were already written, but if I write one early in the game, I want to see what everyone after me says.

      For the record, you give great comment.

      I think the wonderful thing about comments it is that they show A) The commentor actually read the post and B) The commentor’s mind is in gear, even if it’s travelling on a slightly different path than the author.

  12. Totally stressed out about upcoming exams and cranky as , I feel truly sorry for my poor housemates but this really made me laugh :) My favourite condom story is one where my brother ended up convinced my ex was beating me up. We had just started going out and where in that vomit inducing phase of having to be together all the time. With only one lecture left we decided to sneak back to mine and take advantage of the empty apartment. Afterwards I pulled on sweatpants and thick socks ( why pay for heating when you can just walk around in thermal gear ) and went to make tea.
    I heard my phone ringing from my bedroom and didnt pay much attention until I heard him yelling “It’s your Mom..payback time” Earlier in the week I had had great fun “teasing” him while he struggled to sound normal on the phone to his Dad. Panic set in and dropping the cups I made a dash for my room only to slip on the condom wrapper that had been left by the bed my damn socks providing zero grip I skidded across the room and smacked my nose off my wardrobe causing it to pump blood. The still ringing phone abandoned my ex ran for ice chocking back tears of laughter while I yelled at him for making me fall and LAUGHING ( hey you try being reasonable when your streaming blood) . With all the commotion neither of us noticed the door open until my brother dropped the box of books I asked him for and yelled “WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY SISTER!!”

  13. Magnificent. I’m in awe. Not only an epic story in poo but you told it beautifully. It brought tears to my eyes, tears as if I just sliced off the end of an onion, gave it to my dog to eat, who then pooped it out.

    As it happens, my epic poo story involves my college boyfriend’s dog eating a nylon leash and pooping it on a walk. He then took off for an approaching walker as I tried to stab the leash with a stick to pry it off of his butt. When he tried to run past me, the thing actually swiped my leg. On other occasions, he pooped out my underwear in the backyard. They were whole and perfectly formed into nuggets. I could’ve rinsed and wore them again if I was crazy.

    None of this compares to your story. This all hits at so many levels of wretchedness.

    • It’s interesting you brought the subject of underwear nuggets up. I’m pretty sure that’s how Hanes Her Way will be packaging undies next season.

      I clicked on your poop link, but it was more about your managerie of critters.

      Freakin dogs, eh?

  14. First off, I want to thank you. I am starting a diet today and it’s only 6 am and after reading this story, I’m confident I won’t be eating at all the rest of the day.

    Second, I was thinking of getting a dog again, but now, not so much.

    Also, my brother’s black lab, Franny, was temporarily living with us this summer and he told me the things she’s eaten. They include: hotel soaps with the wrapper still on them, a dozen colored Easter eggs, including part of the egg carton, and loads of cow poops from the neighboring pasture (and something else cow-related that I’m not sure I can even type out here)

    Lastly, we were having a BBQ and this unbelievable stench filled the air, I started choking, my eyes were burning. I looked around to see if someone had set a field of manure on fire. Nope, Franny just farted.

    • If the farts arent sufficiently fowl, my dog will go find something very dead and roll in it. (Just a little fetid cherry on top of your diet help).

      We lovingly refer to our current lab as “our last dog”. We’re supposed to be empty nesters, but the dog keeps us from the title. When we go away, we have to board her, because otherwise she gets nervous that we’ll never come back and has “the runs” on the lightest, newest carpet available. (For the life of me, I don’t understand the logic of reacting to abandonment by crapping all over the place. You’d think she’d want to get maximum nutrition out of that food because she might be going without for a few weeks). The price of the stupid kennel makes our cash outlay for the getaway weekend about the same as if we stayed at the 4 Seasons instead of the Motel 6.

      • I really do think dogs are worse than kids. Well, in terms of not being able to travel and leave them behind. I planned a trip to the beach yesterday with my brother and about 3 hours into it, he said, “I really need to go back home and check on the dogs.” He was already imagining them tearing into the house and crapping on everything in sight. He’s a prisoner of his own home now.

        • We’ve all got our crosses to bear, I suppose.

          We’re able to barricade my dog from most of the “good” parts of ther house with doors and kiddie gates and furniture. She’s somewhat disabled anyway, so she can’t get into too much trouble destroying things, but she can still crap like a champ!

  15. We have been unable to maintain pets of any kind in this house. I couldn’t deal with the puppy. Hubby’s allergies kicked in with the cat. The gecko died. TechSupport has managed to kill goldfish. No one can kill goldfish! And he also lost a cyber wolf on Minecraft. Some of us were not meant to be pet owners. So glad you and Tia have some great stories.

    Did you ever tell your wife’s father bout this story?

    Thanks for visiting me a Byro’s place today! ;-)

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