Friday, October 3, 2014

The Mount Rushmore of Gross

There is a phrase trying to make the rounds on bloggy-blog jibber-jabber: "Who's on your Mount Rushmore?"

The phrase is meant to start conversations/spark faux controversies by taking a longer list of notable items or people and boiling them down to your four favorites, to match the number of faces on Mount Rushmore. These four people or things then, are "etched in stone" and attached to your name for perpetuity. So don't think about changing your mind, because, to use the parlance of our youth, there are "no tradebacks."  Of course, when you invariably leave off an important something or someone from your list, you have to be prepared for the barrage of criticism that follows, because people are out there who actually care about your NBA Mount Rushmore. "HOW can you leave Lebron James off of your NBA Mount Rushmore?"

The key with the Mount Rushmore analogy is to make it pseudo-controversial by adding one "off the board" in, "You may not believe this but I can make a case for Franklin Pierce in my Mount Rushmore of US Presidents. Click here to see why!" (That person may or may not understand the redundancy.)

People then get offended, some violently so, over the reputation damage of the perceived slights. "So you're putting Franklin Pierce on your Mount Rushmore of Presidents, who ya leavin' off? James Polk? Cause he presided over the California Gold Rush, y'know." And back and forth we go until someone realizes that there already is a Mount Rushmore of Presidents, somewhere in South Dakota.

It gets worse..."OK, I see Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Gateway Arch, but where is Mount Rushmore? HOW can you leave Mount Rushmore off of your Mount Rushmore of American tourist attractions?"

Whatever. I don't care enough about anything to make my own Mount Rushmore of important stuff and then have to defend it so vehemently. So instead here comes "The Mount Rushmore of Gross." If your kids do grosser things, you win. I won't argue with you. My kids aren't old enough to wipe boogers on the wall beside their bed (they still eat them instead), so there's a chance for you to win this thing...

1. Poop. Not exactly breaking ground here, but the surprising thing about fecal matter is, once you've got all your kids potty trained--and we're still waiting here for one--you think you're about done with poop. Wrong. If I had to do it over again, I'd never potty train my kids, since none of the trainees actually stops to wipe their own butts. (Or flush.) The results are disastrous to the insides of their underpants. Our only saving grace is that Child Services doesn't do random house calls, because odds are they'd see something brown somewhere they shouldn't. These types of people usually show up on the news, with heavily masked workers extricating cats from the house. Note to Child Services: Please don't show up to our house unannounced. I also have a hidden but very real fear of showing up to an important business meeting with visible poop stains on my shirt and/or my hands. Please somebody make a kid-friendly video or PSA advising the younger set how to WIPE their ASS. This could replace Dog With a Blog on Disney Channel.

2. Pop Tarts in the bed. We bring this one on ourselves by having Draconian rules like no TV in the kitchen and only one iPad per household, which we all SHARE. If we just would loosen up and give everyone in the house a tablet, they could eat crackers, peanut butter, Pop Tarts, licorice, fruit snacks, and tacos in their own beds. Or, we could put a TV in the kitchen. Or we could enforce the
"no eating anywhere but the kitchen" rule, but unless we have armed guards at each entrance, that will never work. It doesn't matter how tired, worn out, fed up with life or sick you feel, when you lie in your own bed on a bunch of potato chip crumbs and a quarter-eaten Pop Tart, you fly out and angrily swipe all that crap onto the floor and promise you're giving one of your kids up for adoption as soon as you clean the floor. Easy solution, more accessible screen time in more places.

3. Three-week-old milk in a cup. The gross younger sibling of #2, there are no faces quite like the ones you make when you bravely open a cup you found under someone's bed, if only so you can literally throw it into the dishwasher and shut the door before whatever is in there jumps out at you and stinks you up. The more curdled milk the better. Sometimes so curdled it's solid.

4. A hair in a pool of toothpaste on the sink. This combines two great does hair get wherever it gets, and what happens to all the toothpaste between the middle of the tube to the top. As a kid, I never had the proper co-ordination techniques to get any toothpaste from the tube after two uses, so I assumed my kids didn't either. Either I was wrong, or they found a mallet, smashing the tube open so that heaping piles and gobs of toothpaste land everywhere. I've no answer for the hair question. But just as I'll spend 15 minutes in the shower if need be to get a hair off of a bar of soap before I begin, I will spend zero time trying to pull a hair out of a toothpaste lagoon, instead finding easily 5 paper towels and wiping the whole counter until there's barely a counter left, while screaming and hissing how this could have happened, then being genuinely shocked and appalled when it happens tomorrow.

I doubt anyone is waiting around to sculpt an unflushed toilet, a broken Pop Tart, a soon-to-be-trashed sippy cup , and a giant hair into a rock formation. Instead let's imagine four faces...not the stoic, reverent faces on the real Rushmore, but... a scrunched up, disapproving face of someone who has just smelled poop, the face of sheer anger of he who lies on a bed of potato chip crumbs at 12:30 AM, the timid, dreadful look of horror of someone opening a stray cup, and the confused, desperate countenance of the person assigned to clean the sink, hair and all.

That's the Mount Rushmore of gross. Now let's have yours.

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