Archive for the ‘gross’ Category

Anyone can say poop and be funny

January 6, 2014

Image from: The Poo Prejudice | The Arid Land Homesteaders League

Image from: The Poo Prejudice | The Arid Land Homesteaders League

My partner @opsimaths found this gem, and not since last year’s poop transplants have I seen such a strong science/poop crossover story.  But language is so interesting.  When is it better, or more useful, to use “excrement” for “waste”, “poop” for “fecal matter”, “take care of business” for “excretion”?

Click through to see various bloggers’ treatments, and check out a much more extensive list of poop names here.

My thought, though, is that writers have to deal with poop carefully.  A poll from PoopReport suggests that 92% of respondents are not ambivalent toward poop.  Whether they think it’s funny or gross, there exists quite of bit of language that especially invokes the yin or the yang of animalian digestive tract waste products.

A theatrical director and good friend of mine told me once that “Anyone can say poop and be funny”.  This was in the context of trying to stop using it to get quick laughs.  When an audience laughs at poop when you say it, it usually has nothing to do with you being a special snowflake comic genius.  Instead, it usually has to do with the universality of people’s responsiveness to poop: anyone can say poop and it will be “funny”.

This is surely an oversimplification, as is any reduction of “two sides of a thing” to that of an explicit dichotomy, or yinyang.  I’d love to have the time to write some longer creative pieces that try to explore the ideas of waste/poop each in a funny/repulsive light, but I’ll put some rough experiments in the comments.  I encourage you to experiment as well, here or in the safety of a smaller or larger audience.

Poop strong.

HSMF 2013 was gross (the fun kind)

July 12, 2013

July 4th weekend means grilling, fireworks, and drinking.  That’s if you don’t go to High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA.  If you do, then July 4th weekend means hyperbolic, superlative-laden band descriptions, over 100 hours of music and musicianship that actually earns such praise, camping adventures, the best festival food around, and some of the most beautiful California scenery there is.

I’m talking about High Sierra Music Festival, and this is my seventh time attending.  This is not the kind of festival that you wait for the lineup to sign up for:

“Are you going to High Sierra?”  


“But who’s playing?”  

“I dunno–it doesn’t matter.  We just go.”

This year was no exception, and the lineup was phenomenal.  Notably, I’ve marked (at the link) which shows I went to and I’d highly recommend that you check out those (and other) bands.

Robert Plant has still got major pipes.  The Revivalists have some serious gusto.  The Hot 8 Brass Band knows how to party.  Primus rocked the house.  Mike Dillon Band made punk trombone make sense.  Thievery Corporation can make anyone move to the beat.  And Lee Fields & The Expressions know the magic of soul.

Not only is there music–there’s food.  Amazing food.  Ghanaian, Southern BBQ, Organic, Raw, Blended, Fried, Iced, Brewed–you name it.  Everyone of them had a tasty dish to sustain us through the weekend.  And then there are vendors.  Sandals, clothes, wraps, skirts, henna, massages, you name it.  And then were these sunglasses who made 20x what they asked for on Kickstarter.

But what are the major things to take away from this year’s High Sierra?  This is the key list of “do’s” that will make for, in the future, a great HSMF 2014:

  • Bring tarps.  Ground cover isn’t important, but shade is.  Camping in the right spot (Hillsides) will let you string them up for a shade complex above your communal area
  • Bring rope.  See above.
  • Plan on eating some festival food.  It’s just too good to pass up.  In other words, if you’re going to bring prepared food, or campsite food, it’s just not realistic that you’ll eat every meal from your personal stores.  Having said that, I really could eat the bean salad we brought like every day of the week.
  • Bring a shovel.  If you’re planning to camp at Hillsides (which you should) you’re going to want to do some terraforming.  Life at 15-20% grade is doable–45% is not.  But also: leave no trace!  You can figure out how to balance those things out for yourself.
  • Camp at Hillsides.  Did I mention this already?  Shady Grove used to have a stage, and the Meadow fills up on Wednesday afternoon with the early arrivals.  Hillsides is appropriately private, but with enough neighbors to ground you and a legitimate view of the Main Stage experience, right from your home away from home.
  • Drink water.  It gets hot up in the valley, there.  Water is free from spigots all over the fairgrounds so bring at least _one_ water bottle and just don’t forget to keep filling it up.
  • Bring clothes / sleeping gear to keep you (very) warm. It gets cold up there at night: much colder than you would expect given the highs that can be achieved during the day.
  • Walkie Talkie’s are a plus.  Cell service is poor up there and I doubt you can keep the battery charged for four days without awkwardly stealing power from the side of the Funk’n Jam House or sitting in your hot car for an hour.
  • Bring a Solar USB Charger.  Do this for genius status.
  • Keep your cell phone off.  Do this to unplug for four days.  Takes some serious commitment, but it’s totally worth it if you trust in the world outside the festival handling their junk without you for a weekend.  Totally acceptable to either (a) stay connected to help friends and family (b) indulge in the delusion that you’re the center of everyone’s universe.  Totally unacceptable to stay connected to read your personalized Big Lots! email ads or Facebook updates from people not at the festival.  Go see some music!
  • Set up your tent at home to check for gotchas.  I broke this sacred rule of camping this year and forgot that my tent poles were packed separately.  MAJOR CHOKE!
  • Get a quick-drying, super-light towel and/or yoga-mat from REI.  These are way smaller than a cotton towel and will help you out for the 6 hours of daily yoga.
  • Bring a table.  Coolers have a top–yes–but they are meant to be opened.  I plan do finally do ourselves a favor next year by bringing a folding table.  Then again, i also said this last time…
  • Make a plane and keep your promises.  We’re procrastinators, me and my friends.  We totally kick ass at packing 3 days or less before a week long camping trip in the woods and dirt and being wildly successful.  If you’re not like us, make sure to take the time, make a spreadsheet, and figure out what you’re going to bring in time to find out if you have it.  
  • Pace yourself.  There’s a lot of excitement at High Sierra.  Make sure you’re not forcing yourself to be on high-alert energy-level for four days without a break.  There are _lots_ of places to take a peaceful break at the festival–that’s kind of a thing it does better than any other, partly to do with it’s small size and partly to do with everyone’s great attitude.  Which leads me to the last, but most important thing to remember:
  • Don’t be un-festival.  It’s as simple as it sounds.  Don’t be the guy hurrying people on with their showers.  Don’t be the guy who tells that guy to chill out in the wrong tone.  Don’t be the one to yell at a little kid for spraying water on you without asking (but do remind them to ask next time after you say thank you).  Don’t be smug.  Don’t judge.  Don’t laugh at someone without laughing at yourself at the same time.  And definitely don’t be the one calling everybody on their un-festival crap.  Be compassionate–Don’t be un-festival.  Be good to the festival, and the festival will be good to you.

gross in my nose: a gogyohka

June 1, 2010

originally posted as “drip” on a discussion on gogyohka junction, it merits being labeled as gross:

i lean my head
to the other side
and the dam of mucous
slowly pours
to free a new nostril

feel free to respond with your own gogyohka, a meter-less, rhyme-less, five-line form more crisply summarized on the front page of the junction, about your recent or past or future nasal drip experiences.  the raw nostrils, the sore throat, the gurgling cough.  it’s always the cold season, so let it out before you have to blow it out on a tissue.

gross in your body : part 2

May 5, 2010

when i look inside
i see my own sea de jaune
in its special sacks

the balloons stretched large
with a hydrous merriment
to slow my thought flow

pop. leaking into
the thick oaken barrel in
which they hung gently

gross under your finger nails : beat

October 1, 2009

what have you found understand you’r fingernails lately?
surely not a tennis-ball.  surely not a shopping mall.


dull glitter (skin flakes)

dried mucous-balls of inhaled dirt

that nethersmell

darkness (in patches along the edge of your finger)

those all make sense.  but surely not  hope, or freedom, or wonder.
just something completely disgusting.  although it isn’t.  it will always be you or them under your fingernails.

or clay.  or maybe the adhesive from the back of a sticker, like a price sticker on a can of beans.

gross on your skin: a dialogue

September 30, 2009

the names of the participants in this dialogue have been changed to protect the innocent.

(3:49:09 PM) frames: i love scabs
(3:49:15 PM) gravy: yeah, right?
(3:49:29 PM) frames: just picking them
(3:49:31 PM) frames: mmmmmmm
(3:49:51 PM) gravy: i know some friends of mine who aren’t me who like eating some of them. it’s like recycling
(3:49:56 PM) gravy: sometimes
(3:49:59 PM) gravy: i mean never
(3:50:00 PM) gravy: right?
(3:50:18 PM) frames: i eat most things that come off of me
(3:50:18 PM) gravy: they are really strong though, and sometimes hard to bite through. fun to play with
(3:50:24 PM) gravy: i’ve heard
(3:50:31 PM) frames: from whom?
(3:50:38 PM) frames: your mom?
(3:50:44 PM) gravy: possibly another personality of mine
(3:50:56 PM) gravy: it must have been leaked into my waking consciousness
(3:51:02 PM) gravy: probably for a very important reason
(3:51:08 PM) frames: wait!?
(3:51:10 PM) frames: you’re gravy the slut
(3:51:13 PM) frames: i had no idea
(3:51:15 PM) frames: shit
(3:51:21 PM) gravy: yeah baby
(3:51:26 PM) gravy: suck my tit
(3:51:47 PM) frames: gravy the slut the monoboobed
(3:52:27 PM) gravy: indeed
(3:52:42 PM) gravy: this is why we need a blog. fuck plate. people want to hear this shit.

and now they can

enough is enough : gross in my tummy : a freeform exercise

August 23, 2009

as I sit in my day ol underwear about to gall asleep, I tweet about cookies making my stomach sleepy instead of posting here about the awful gurgle I feel just wear my asaphogus (spleeling?) meet the top of my stomach? no way. welcome back. please respond with an or all grossness in your tummies.

I have a little tummy
it’s quiet and it’s slow
but when it’s full of chewed-stuff
to poo-town’s where I’ll go

all forms welcome. you’ll hear better from me when I’m not murdered by cookies.

pee on your leg: not anymore!

April 16, 2009

thank you, matty: david sedaris, everybody!

extra, extra! read all about it! whale sharks poop too!

March 30, 2009

thanks for not telling me in person.

boogers in my nose: a study in dodoitsu

March 5, 2009

when i pick with my fingers
i will often wipe them off
inadvertently, you see,
on my pants pocket

while trying to find a way to express myself about one of my favorite past-times, nose picking, i felt like the 17 syllables of the haiku just weren’t enough to capture what i had to say.  so, i turn now to the dodoitsu , another japanese poetry form that has a similarly simple set of rules:

  • 4 lines
  • 7 syllables on the first three lines, and 5 on the last

no need to rhyme, no need for meter.  just simple, haiku-etic expression with the luxury of 9 extra syllables.  what else can you fit in with 9 extra syllables?  “Often concerning love or work, and usually comical,” i guess a better example, and more cathartic, might be <5 minute internet perusal pause> what i would have written before reading the wikipedia article on ‘lobotomy’.  you’re going to have to search for that one yourself.

aaaaaanyway, poop is funnier than boogers.  oh!:

confucius say: go to bed
with itchy butt wake up with
smelly finger.  i say: nose
picker, choose wisely