My grandfather turned 94 this year. He’s in good health except for wobbly knees and he is still pretty sharp mentally. Like most people his age, he has become obsessed with one thing: poop. How many poops, how often, and how much. He keeps track of his poop by writing “BM” on his calendar. MoC would rather not think about it, let alone discuss it. So my grandfather’s obsession, his poop calendar and his desire to have in-depth discussions about his bowel movements drive my mother a little crazy.
And because it drives her a little crazy, I try to torment her with poop stories. But she’s MoC and she isn’t to be trifled with – she fights back. We’ve had a running poop war for about two years now.
Last week she called and left a message on my answering machine.
MoC: I have two things to tell you. First, I was out at dad’s today and I had to poop, but I didn’t want to do it there, so I came home. Let me tell you, I almost didn’t make it up the stairs. And number two …
But that’s when I cracked up laughing and couldn’t listen to the rest of the message. What made it even funnier was that it wasn’t intentional. “And number two” indeed.
I called her and explained that our poop war was private and that leaving a poop message was not cool. “What if I have a date? What if my date doesn’t know I poop and then she hears that message?”
Yesterday MoC and I had breakfast and then made our usual Wal-Mart run. She gets a motorized cart to ride and I tag along behind. The only problem is that the carts make this high-pitched beeping sound when they reverse. It’s at a decibel that just pierces my brain, so MoC usually doesn’t do it. Yesterday, I leaned down and whispered, “I think I might fart.”
MoC: Well for God’s sake, stay behind me!
Me: I’m worried that it might be a noisy one.
MoC: Okay, then, you stay behind me and I’ll back up – the beeping should cover the sound.
Of course that gave us the giggles (which is really pretty easy to do). Later we went back to her house and she helped me study. I made yet another set of flashcards to help with the cabling specifications. After about 30 minutes MoC said, “This is boring. I need a break.” She went to the bathroom and I got another coke and a few minutes later she returned and suffered through more boredom to help me.
Then we decided to go have lunch. We went to a little Mexican restaurant and at the end of our meal, I said, “I have to pee, but I might poop, too. I like pooping in strange places.” Which is a total lie, so MoC just smirked at me. When I returned I said, “Do you think I pooped?”
She looked up and said, “No. You just peed.”
Me: How did you know?
MoC: I can tell by your eyes that you didn’t poop.
Me: What? They’re still dark brown?
After lunch, I got my books and started toward the door. As I was walking, MoC started sing-songing “Poop, poop de boop. Poop, I have to poop poop poop. Second time today!”
MoC: Before we went to lunch, when I took a break. I pooped.
Me: Why didn’t you tell me?? Now I’m going to have to poop again to catch up.
I went down to my car and I noticed that the hood release lever/cable was on the floorboard, so I tried to wedge it back into place. I messed with it for a few minutes and when I looked up, MoC was standing on the balcony.
MoC: Is everything okay?
Me: Yes, I was just putting the hood release … wait a minute. I thought you …? (I didn’t finish the sentence because her neighbors were outside and I wouldn’t embarrass her by saying she had to poop. I reserve that for my blog).
MoC: I did!
Me: Oh my God, already? That was fast!
MoC: No, I mean, I still do, but I saw you didn’t leave …
I went home and called her later.
MoC (sigh): It was a false alarm.
Me: Oh, no!
MoC: I’m pretty sure I will in the next two hours, though.
Me: Will you call me when you do? I want to mark it on the calendar.
And just this morning:
Me: Um, can I call you back in a few minutes?
MoC: You have to poop, don’t you?
This isn’t a poop story. We were talking about how hard it is to make her mad.
Me: I’m too lazy to work that hard.
MoC: I’m just easy going. Wasn’t there a song about being easy?
(I let that go. I don’t always torment her.)
Me: Yes, easy like Sunday morning. And hey, it’s Sunday morning.
MoC: Wasn’t that … I don’t know … Carradine? Keith Carradine?
Me: Ummm. No. It was Lionel Ritchie.
MoC: Are you sure?
Me: Yes. I used to get them confused all the time and then one time, I said I thought it was Keith Carradine and everyone laughed at me. It was so embarrassing that I never forgot again.
MoC: Did you really confuse them?
Now you’ve got the straight poop on MoC. And Keith Carradine.