where to store your meat

rotisserie meat

So I’ve tried writing about serious topics here, and gotten very little response. I’ve included a bit of whimsy, and that attracted some dialogue and then some.

To be fair, what’s one to say in response to not very anonymous? That Shakespeare didn’t really write the plays? Please. If you really believe that, you and I are already on opposing teams. Or more recently, I wrote about press freedom in something rotten in Hungary. What stirring commentary might that trigger? That you really like censorship? Actually, that might be an challenging point to attempt to make.

Lisa Galaviz has been doing some important yet unappreciated work when it comes to Quantum Weirdness. She knows how to forget her blog voice for a post or two and alienate her readers. I could learn a lot from her.

When it comes to my teablog, I have a voice that I’ve developed. I have a feeling for what I do well there. Here? Not so much. I know what I like to write. Some things have come pouring out of me onto the screen, while others were a bit more laboured. That part I have some say in. On the other hand, what resonates with others is completely beyond me.

But the things I’ve gotten the most mileage out of had to do with defecation. And dogs. Oh, and vomiting. Bringing those together might possibly be blogging gold for me. Well, I already wrote about the second and third in chocolate spewing forth. If I wanted to play it safe, I’d keep writing variations of that.

I was reading Amy Durant‘s blog earlier (you might know her as @lucysfootball) and she was going on and on about a stomach bug in I think it’s fairly likely I’m either dying or pregnant with a magic dream tractor baby. It reminded me of something that happened recently in France, and it includes at least one of my target topics. Maybe two if you’re generous.

Don’t particularly like eating chicken, but I was persuaded to have some of the rotisserie variety that’s pictured above. It was New Year’s Day, and few places were open. I made an exception. Just this once. And the result?

Was up half the night wishing that chicken had been cooked at just a bit higher temperature. Or that I hadn’t eaten it. Not too much to ask was it? Well, apparently it was. Who cares, right? Everyone gets ill at some point. And what’s the big deal about losing a bit of sleep?

I completely agree with all of that. Nonetheless, while walking through the streets the next day, here’s what I saw:

windscreen meat

In case it’s unclear what that is, that’s a hunk of meat on the front window of some Frenchman’s vehicle. At this point, I began to wonder about food storage in this beautiful country.

chocolate spewing forth

Mud cake with chocolate sprinkles by Leon Brooks

Had a very interesting conversation with Andreas Heinekroon, Elizabeth Francois, and Jim W (if you’ve been here since the beginning, he’s the one who was unknowingly lured into trolling the comments of this blog by Lisa Galaviz) about chocolate being poisonous.

Apparently everyone was aware that chocolate was poisonous for dogs, but Andreas informed us that it was also poisonous for humans. Only in massive quantities it must be said, but it’s true nevertheless. In case you’re wondering, it’s 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs) of chocolate for the average human. As long as you eat less than that, you should be ok.

But for dogs it’s a different story, and for some dog breeds chocolate is particularly dangerous. For whatever reason, the Dachshund is a dog for whom chocolate is especially dangerous. You know, I’m not sure if that’s even true. I’ve heard it over the years from so many sources that I’ve just always taken in at face value.

See I have a history with these little weiner dogs. My grandmother had one when I was really small. My parents got one when everyone left home and they could enjoy co-habitating with dog rather than sons. We know quite a lot about the dog that is the Dachshund.

Which leads me to my story. When I was in school, I had a friend who had her own Dachshund called ‘Peterson‘.* Like so many of his breed, this little guy lived for mealtimes. His feeding schedule was strictly adhered to and, as a result of his daydreaming only about eating, he quite literally inhaled his food. I’m rather certain that if you inquired, he’d have informed you that the amount of food he was getting was not nearly enough.

I don’t remember how it happened exactly, but there was a bag of Ghirardelli chocolate in the pantry, and Peterson knew it. My suspicion has always been that he’d planned to make his move for weeks if not months. Someone inadvertently left the pantry door open, everyone was going about their business, and suddenly it was discovered that the package of chocolate was now an empty plastic bag. Peterson‘s mom and I reacted instantaneously. We both knew how dangerous chocolate was for this breed and that time was of the essence.

We scooped him up and rushed him into the bathtub. Even though it had only been a few minutes since he scarfed down this huge bag of chocolate, he was already looking a bit queasy. This was not going to be nice. Actually, it was going to be the opposite of nice.

I’m going to refrain from making any bulimia jokes, but I want it to state for the record that I showed a modicum of reserve. If that chocolate started to digest, it was going to be really dangerous for that miniature dog. We had to make him regurgitate and we had to do it fast.

If there was a more graceful way to go about this than sticking your finger down his throat, well then I wish you’d been there to tell us. We could’ve really used that precious information right about then. But without an alternative, it was a bit of fingertip down the gullet.

One of us was holding Peterson over the tub while the other aimed his frontside like a garden hose toward the drain. Am sure that’s as graphic as I need to get. Suffice it to say there seemed to be twice the volume of the original bag of chocolate that came back out of his little body. As if he were defecating out of the wrong orifice (and I said I wouldn’t get graphic-shame on me).

Felt a bit like we were at a college beer party and someone had had too much to drink. But at the same time when our adrenaline wore off it was also a wonderful feeling to know that our quick response probably saved Peterson‘s charmed life.

Because ultimately that’s what it was. A saying I learned recently that is pertinent: ‘Better an empty house than a bad tenant’.

(*some names have been altered to protect the innocent…actually, just one name)

you’ve got stool

Postbox in Weimar (don't have a photo of a Munich postbox)

It all started this last summer. There were a few mentions of it in the local paper, but you could tell they didn’t want to say too much. Give too many details. Their concern regarding copycat incidents was understandable. You don’t want to give people ideas.

Someone in the Munich area has been sending more than the mail in local postboxes. The Deutsche Post has discovered faeces in their bright yellow receptacles. First they thought it was dog waste, but they’ve looked into the matter, and it turns out that this is manmade.

Here, I’ll let you read what I found about this in English: Crappy correspondence confounds Munich.

As they say in the article, ‘…the errant stool…has caused thousands of dollars in damage and much aggravation.’ This one’s almost writing itself.

Why on earth am I even telling you about all this? You’re trying to eat your breakfast or whatever and you open up what up until now has been a relatively refined and thought-provoking blog, and what’s he talking about? Poop in the chute? The postman always wipes twice?

Well, that reserved blogging is behind us. If you read the article to the end you’ll see that they’re offering a €4,000 reward. I’ll be able to buy all the Bavarian Weißwurst I want with that kind of dosh.

Here’s where you come in. You’ve watched those Profiler shows, right? Where they come up with a motive and zero in on the killer? Yes, that kind. But here there’s no murder. It’s property damage. Rather than ‘you’ve got mail’ it’s ‘you’ve got poop’ (thanks @piisalie  in Oklahoma City). This is serious stuff.

I need you to help me come up with a profile. What sort of person would shove his own excrement back into such a tight space? Maybe it started as a prank, and it was just too much fun. Which begs the question: Who would find such a thing fun? These are Profiler questions-pay attention folks.

So now it’s up to you. I’ve been very impressed with the player participation on this non-teablog thus far. From Jim w (@blogginglily) the nicest troll to ever muck up an early blogpost and trailblazer1‘s excellent research skills in finding out more about Benedetto Cotrugli and Double-Entry Bookkeeping, all the way through to Lisa Galaviz introducing us to the wonders of truckballs (http://southern4x4.com/images/Truck%20Nutz.jpg).

You readers are an eclectic and industrious lot. Now? Let’s go catch us the perpetrator of all this Poop Mail.

updated version:

Ok, I’m going to build a composite based on your excellent profiling skills (I’ll work from the last ones backwards):

If he’s been eating carrots or sweet corn, we’re going to know about it. Not sure about what I’d actually be looking for if I staked out a supermarket…individuals buying sweet corn? Or carrots? That seems like a stretch, but otherwise…uh…an interesting lead Lisa.

From what inkstainedpaws has deduced, he’s a mentally ill adolescent. Ok, looks like we’re getting somewhere. If he’s buying sweet corn or carrots, we’ve almost got him cornered.

Our good friend Lewin has also gone down the digestive tract of leads, as it were. Once the Bavarian authorities let me near the evidence, we’ll be well on our way. lucysfootball offered her assistance, I magnanimously said I’d share my Weißwurst, but we’ve heard nothing else from the dear lady. She clearly has no idea how delicious the Weißwurst is. Come on lucysfootball. We could use your valuable hands-on attention.

Some of you were rather proficient at this whole Profiler thing. Patrick doubts the perpetrator’s using his own fecal material, and is sure the guys making a point about modern society’s filth. Why he’d drive an upmarket vehicle, I don’t know. But on the other hand, why not? Clean-shaven, married, once-divorced financial market worker. Wow…it’s like we’ve already caught the bastard. Thanks Patrick. Hope you like Weißwurst. Hope no CSU functionaries actually read this. Their notorious good sense of humour will probably fail in this situation.

Canzonett makes a good point that this is most definitely a man, as Lewin does later. No one seriously thinks this is a lady. If it is, in fact, a woman, she’s been crazy like a fox. And blogginglily quite logically believes that this can all be attributed to anger with the sewage/waste department. An unpaid bill or some sort of unbelievable slight on him that the city services have unknowingly committed.

All of you should start preparing the celebrations. This fellow is most definitely getting nervous as we close in on him.