Tuesday, November 8, 2011


“She lived down by the stables, and all the horsemen knew ‘er.”

As an educator,  specifically a teacher of The Smart Kids*, I spend a good part of my day thinking about thinking.  The Educationese word for this is metacognition.  If any of you were persistent enough to actually read all the stuff in that link, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, it’s getting deep in here.”  I totally understand. That thought crosses my mind a lot. I’ve noticed that my new role as Equine Waste Removal Technician gives my mind loads of time to wander.  This may or may not be a good thing, but I do enjoy it.
For example:  Have you ever thought about how many words there are for Number Two?  Let’s brainstorm a few:
Doo-doo, doody, dung, dump, dreck.  Plop, poop, poopy, poo.  Kaka, crap, crud.  Shit, shite, scat, sewage and “stuff.” Turd. Load.  Your basic BM.  I stopped counting at 47, but there’s a website, aptly titled The Poop Thesaurus, **  that lists over a hundred, and that’s only for the human variety.
Time to face the feces, folks.  Everyone poops.   Somebody even wrote a book about it.***

Now that I live on a horse farm, scoopage of the poopage is an integral part of my existence.  Now, I usually don’t spend lots of time actually thinking about manure, but I do find myself surrounded by copious quantities of pasture pralines on a daily basis, so it’s no wonder they started metamorphosing into metaphors.
For some reason I don’t fully understand, we primates think feces are funny.  Anyone who has ever made the mistake of trying to tease the monkeys at the zoo knows this. Monkeys and apes don’t mess around when insulted. They will gleefully fling their feces at you without a second thought, and if you’re smart, you’ll move out of the way. Human-type primates do this in a less literal way, and, like the proverbial frog in the saucepan, we often don’t react until it’s already hit the fan. 
We use excremental**** metaphors as social commentary. We also use them to punctuate our positions,  to add emphasis to our errors. 
I’ve discovered that there is a rather complicated etiquette to this.  For example, when we drop the casserole, we don’t say “bullshit.”  We reserve that for blatant falsehoods.  “Horseshit” refers to useless nonsense and non sequitur.  “Tough shit” is  what the hot-shit CEO tells you when you inform him that his edicts from on high just aren’t working, and “eat shit” is what you say under your breath when said CEO isn’t listening.
Never underestimate the power of poop! Because of poop, I have lost ten pounds of fat and put on a whole lot of muscle.  It’s done even greater wonders for my mental health.
I love the fact that when the bullshit from the batshit-crazy politicians and the horseshit from the hot-shit Powers that Be gets too deep, I can go out to my peaceful barn with its wonderful horses and shovel the real thing.  And when I’m finished, there’s no question that it’s a job well done.  I mean, it's not exactly rocket science.  There's either poop on the ground or there isn't.  
I love spending time outdoors where I don’t have to answer to any “No Roadapple Left Behind” laws. I love spending time where  “batshit” is merely something that is good for the garden.
So there you have it, folks. My life is full of shit, and I’ve never been happier.  Really. 
*For those cocky enough to think this is a cushy job,  I have ten fourth graders and a classroom with a really good lock. I dare you to let me shut you in there for an hour or so. 

**Don’t look at me that way. I didn’t write the thing.
***And it’s freekin’ brilliant, I might add. I highly recommend it for anyone who reads to toddlers on a regular basis, and even those who don’t.
****Is that even a word? If it wasn’t before, it is now.

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