Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Public Poop Perpetrator

Since taking a break from working, I started to get into meditation and podcasts.  I had to give the meditation a break after a three day series of attempted meditation that lead to unexpected 4 hour + naps...  So podcasts it is!!   One of my favorite podcasts is "Mystery Show' where this lady, Starlee Kine, goes around trying to solve everyday mysteries, like how  how did this intricate belt buckle end up on the side of the road...  People will email her questions or topics to look into and they she will start researching and interviewing people and put together a podcast to go over what she finds and she always finds some sort of solution.

I have also gotten back into hiking.  On Saturday, Trevor and I went down to the river for my favorite hike on a little spit of land between the Delaware River and the canal (for this hike, I remembered to change out of my slippers and wear actual sneakers ;).  There is a bike path on the little spit of land as well as a peaceful little trail that cuts backs and forth through the woods closer to the river.  This is the trail where we usually see bald eagles and beavers.  Today we saw neither, but we did see a grown a$$ man taking a dump in the middle of a the trail at the point where it cuts through an open meadow... To be fair... I did not actually "see" this, but I did see all the circumstantial evidence...

After hiking through the wooded area of the trail Trevor and I were right about to walk into the wide open meadow area where the wooded hike connects back with the bike path when Trevor abruptly turns around and in an urgent, quiet-for-Trevor, voice he exclaims "Turn around!! There is a girl taking a piss on the trail!"  Yikes.  I do as I am told (having hoped someone would do me the same favor if I were the one squatting) and we double back 10-20 yards or so and wait until she is done and hope she walks the other way...  We are at a spot on the trail where the wooded trail is really close to the paved bike path trail.  We see a man walk by on the bike path a few moments later.

"Was that the 'woman' you saw taking a piss?!, cause that 'woman' definitely had a full beard and that was definitely a dude"...

A perplexed Trevor sorts through his memory; the wheels are really turning in his academic brain... that man was wearing a very similar coat to the 'girl' he saw.. but the perpetrator he saw was squatting "like a woman would"; and he was pretty sure he saw "liquid" coming out.

After waiting a few moments until the male walker-by is out of the picture and long enough that the "girl" (if she exists separately from the walker-by) would have been done her business... we proceed to exit the trail through the meadow where the alleged urination occurred.  And as any good researchers would; we stop to look for evidence... where is the puddle?... no puddles but... "oh sh*t!" There is no piss but there is a huge pile of poop right off the side of the trail; right in the open; right in the heavily trafficked area where the bike path meets the wooded hike, in broad daylight, on a sunny warm Saturday in March... where some strange man just took a huge dump... and did not even wipe.

I could not stop thinking about this man all day. Is he a local?  Was he not worried he would see someone he knew taking a dump out in the open?  If he is not from around here, why was he on this trail all by himself, not wearing hiking clothes?  And why the heck did he take a poop outside, in the middle of a busy area on a sunny day when there were obviously people all around?  Was he drunk? Why was he drunk so early? And why was he drunk on this trail?  Was he sick?  Did he have diarrhea?  Did he not know he was going to get sick?  Or does he have some sort of mental illness where he doesn't know or doesn't care how socially unacceptable it is to do something like that?  Or does he not  'give a sh*t' what he does and just trying to make a statement? Where was he going?  Is he comfortable walking around having taken a dump and not having wiped his butt?  Why couldn't he have walked deeper into the woods and find a more hidden place to poop?  Why didn't he at least try to cover up his poop with leaves or sticks?  Was he embarrassed of this?  or proud? Was he going to come back later and pick it up?

If Starlee Kine was still producing Mystery Show podcasts, I would definitely write this one in...

If anyone else has ever pooped not in a toilet... if so, what were the circumstances?  what the heck were you thinking?!

Later that night we met up with a couple friends and a cop was at their house.  The cop was our friends' friend and he happened to be a cop in our town where we saw this poop perpetrator.  The cop was telling stories about all the silly things that people in town have called the cops about.  He says he gets a lot of calls about people saying a baby bird fell out of the nest and could the police please come help it.

I thought for a minute about telling the cop about the poop perpetrator, but I felt a bit bad that we had not called the cops at that exact moment... If people around here call the cops about birds falling out of their nests, we definitely should have called the cops about a grown adult taking a poop in the middle of a public park. A part of me wants to give the pooper the benefit of the doubt that he was sick or it was an emergency and that he is severely embarrassed and regretful of what he has done; and a part of me wants to believe that in the middle of the night he will sneak back onto the trail and clean up after himself.  But a part of me also thinks about what the cop's response would be if I tell him our story...   like any detective he will probably first ask me what the perpetrator looked like...  Nothing too out of the ordinary: a tallish, thin, white guy with a knit cap and a full, but neatly trimmed dark brown beard...   Then the cop might just write down the description and tell the rest of his cop buddies to keep an eye out for a tall, skinny, brown-haired, bearded white guy....  and Trevor just does not need that kind of harassment!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Out of the Cave

I am starting the transition away from a work from home environment... eventually I am planning to have a work at work environment, but for now I am focusing on just getting out of the house regularly and having a more well-balanced life.

This New Yorker article about working from home is sadly true...

When you work from home, you turn into a mush of a person... I could not keep track of showering, changing clothes, putting on matching clothes, putting on make up, doing hair, eating.... it is not that I did not do these things... it is just that I did them so inconsistently and infrequently that I could not ever keep track of when was the last time I did what, and when is the next time I should do what; and without anyone around to judge me... I would just forget...  It is disgusting, I know.... Judge me... and then maybe I will change...

Last week was my first week off work.  After starting off the week strong (I watched "Office Space" for inspiration, shipped my work computer gear back to California, went for a beautiful bike ride along the Delaware River, met my mom for lunch in Asbury Park, cleaned up the entire house, renewed my passport, paid the bills)... I ended the week rather lazy.  I slept till about noon, then fell asleep again watching a Ken Burns documentary on the Prohibition, then ate some food, went right back to the warm spot on the couch and started reading Trevor Noah's book "Born a Crime"... I then got mad at myself for not leaving the house all day.  Although, in my defense, it was a little bit chilly... but the sun was still shining and I had the car... I should have taken advantage of that.

I decided to check out the local library.  I looked at their website and luckily they are still open, although they close soon; within the next half hour.  So I grabbed my purse and scurry on over.

To my shame, I arrive at the library and realize I still have my slippers on...  I did not change into real shoes... Having lived 90% of the last 3 years in my robe and slippies, I am obviously unaccustomed to the habit of changing into real outdoor shoes and leaving the house.  Luckily my slippers semi-resemble actual shoes (and at least have a hard-ish bottom) and with no time to go home and change, I keep going... do not look down.

I sign up for a library card and check out a book on local hikes...  Inspired by my newfound motivation and still semi-disgusted with myself for sleeping all day, I decide to take advantage of the last hour and a half of sunshine, overcome my fear of hiking alone, and go for a nice little nature walk down by the river... by myself.

I get down to the river, park the car... realize I still have my damn slippies on!  But, whatever, I already walked all over the dirty library covered in stranger kids germs, what is a little mud and goose poop gonna hurt?  Plus it's dry and the ground is cold and hard so they won't get too dirty... and if I go home and change first I will miss all the remaining daylight... I keep going.

I get about 20 minutes out watching the ground meticulously to make sure I do not step in dog poop, when I suddenly hear a large crack; like a tree branch snapping.... and, being the daughter of a former FBI agent and child assault prevention teacher that I am, my mind immediately interprets the situation as I am being followed and am about to be assaulted (eyes, pinkies, shins).... but when I turn around I am met by a ghost cloud....  a strong white wind below dark purple gray clouds coming my way.... with what the?

Apparently it is supposed to blizzard-style SNOW today!

I run back to the car in 15 minutes or so (still in my slippers now covered in snow), pick up Trevor, then drive home to get back in my pajamas, change out of my slippers into a fresh pair of warm socks, and hit up my sanctuary warm spot on the couch.  Tomorrow I will try again...