Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘hygiene

“Backwash” Body Soap Selling Poorly

leave a comment »

shampoo bottleRochester, NY, May 29 – Procter and Gamble executives expressed disappointment this week when initial sales figures fro their new Backwash body soap proved negligible.

Company analysts had expected the product to sell relatively well on the strength of the product’s novelty and a campaign targeting the coveted 25-35-year-old demographic. However, the campaign seems to have little effect, and retailers are reporting only a handful of sales throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions.

The Backwash campaign highlights the product’s enzymes, which are suspended in a special formulation containing certain proteins such as amylase, which breaks down a set of common but complex organic molecules. The body wash produces a thicker, frothier foam when water is scarce, a contrast with other shampoos and soaps that froth best with a higher minimum level of moisture. The dry frothing was a feature that the company had hoped would translate into a selling point, emphasizing the water-saving advantages that Procter & Gamble calculated would appeal to the ecologically-minded Millennial demographic.

“We don’t yet know exactly where we went wrong,” said brand manager Abel Spitz. “The focus groups were pretty clear on the fact that this body wash’s features were promising, and that the design and color of the packaging was eye-catching and bright. We had a fabulous slogan for the ad campaign, so it’s going to take some more granular data analysis to get to the bottom of this.” The “Spray It, Don’t Say It” campaign launched in February, with ads on billboards, in print media, online, and a sprinkle of spots on network TV.

Spitz hopes his other brands make up for the losses generated by the Backwash failure. He also oversees a whitening toothpaste called Tartar Sauce and a nasal decongestant called Gland Opening. Even if they do well, says Spitz, “this one is hard to swallow.”

 

Also see PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Sewer-Dwelling Slugs Ask What The Hell You’ve Been Eating

leave a comment »

slugsHoboken, NJ – Mlug and Glorph, gastropods that inhabit the municipal sewage system, expressed concern today over the disturbing contents of your fecal outputs.

The pair, which are part of a larger group of sewer slugs subsisting on decaying human excretions and other liquid waste, were nonplussed by changes in the composition and texture of their environment where your residential plumbing feeds into the city system. They remarked that nowhere else had they encountered such a dismaying indication of a diet gone wrong.

“We’ve been around the block a few times,” said Glorph, with an unusual literalism, “and both of us have seen some nasty [expletive]. But neither of us has ever seen anything like this,” he said, gesturing toward what appeared to be the remains of barbecue-flavor Doritos eaten simultaneously with overripe bananas and vinaigrette.

“That’s nothing compared to Wednesday,” added Mlug, who described the scene at the same location not two days ago. “What was it, toothpaste? With hedge trimmings? And maraschino cherries, like fifty of them?” Glorph nodded his confirmation.

The slugs also expressed concern for your welfare, noting that it was not healthy for a human digestive system to handle so much butter at once, and certainly not in conjunction with cream cheese eaten straight from the container. They also distanced themselves from association with what could only be what was left of a peanut-butter-and-bacon sandwich on spelt bread, and garlic-mushroom ice cream.

“We don’t really want to know what’s going on outside those pipes,” said Mlug, “but at the same time we’ve developed this morbid fascination that won’t let us stop thinking about it,” he confessed.

“I guess that’s not surprising,” noted Glorph. “If you are what you eat, well, how can we [expletive]-for brains be expected to ponder anything else?”

Written by Thag

January 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

De Blasio’s First Move: Shoot-To-Kill Dog Owners Who Fail To Clean Up

with one comment

dog poopNew York (AP) – New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has announced that his first move as Mayor on the first of January will be to empower New York City Police and concerned citizens to shoot the owners of dogs that leave excrement on the ground and neglect to clean it up within minutes.

De Blasio called a press conference this morning to publicize his intention and to give New Yorkers notice of the impending policy change. Until now, dog owners and walkers have been subject to fines of up to $500 for the violation, but de Blasio asserted that he has received unending complaints from residents of all five boroughs that canine fecal matter can still regularly be found adorning various parts of the city. He hopes to gain City Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Urine Connoisseurs Insulted at Comparison to American Beer

with 3 comments

All it's missing is a label with a cool font.

All it’s missing is a label with a cool font.

Washington, DC (AP) – People for the Imbibing of Strange Substances (PISS), a coalition of citizens devoted to the appreciation of drinking urine, expressed outrage today that the liquid they enjoy has been used to indicate inferior-tasting American beer.

At a rally on the Washington Mall this afternoon, several hundred PISS activists chanted slogans protesting the unflattering association and calling for greater awareness of how much better urine tastes than most American beer. “It’s just not right to compare it with Bud Light!” shouted the crowd, referring to a particularly low-quality product made by the Anheuser-Busch company.

“We understand that not everyone appreciates the taste of urine,” said PISS director Mick Turitian. “As with many of the finer things, it’s an acquired taste. But to go ahead and put urine in the same class as American beer, well, that’s just beyond the pale – and I don’t mean ale.”

Turitian said that in Europe, where quality beer is essentially a given, he would be disappointed, but not offended, to have an inferior grade be compared to his favorite beverage. In some cases he conceded it might even be a compliment. “But there’s no way to justify saying Miller Lite” – he paused to spit – “tastes like piss. Piss tastes a hundred times better than Miller Lite could ever hope to.”

Yuri Terr, 34, of Richmond, Virginia, also attending the rally, said the only way to get people to stop making such unfair analogies was to raise public awareness of the issue. “The beverage companies spend billions of dollars on marketing and advertising, to get people to buy their products based on image, and obviously not on taste,” he explained. “Once enough people are aware how unjust the association is, peer pressure can be brought to bear on those who, wittingly or not, put urine and American beer in the same sentence.”

The demonstrators brought samples of their favorite drink to offer passers by, but few, if any, of the onlookers accepted. A block away, a convenience store was doing a brisk business selling cases of Budweiser, Michelob and Coors.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, where pissing people off is all in a day’s work.

Written by Thag

April 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Lice: ‘Indiana Preschool Infested with Children’

with 3 comments

lice combTerre Haute, Indiana (AP) – Lice at the Kiddie Carousel Day Care are complaining that the facility, on South Seventh Street, is infested with human children. Children are a risk factor in the forcible uprooting and premature death of millions of lice every year.

The two-legged, immature humans provide an initially welcoming environment for lice. But often, once the insect population has been lulled into complacency, the surroundings suddenly become hostile. Baths of harsh chemicals often occur just when the lice population has begun to thrive, and sweeps of the child’s scalp area indiscriminately carry off young and old alike when the dreaded Comb passes through.

The International Taskforce on Cootie Hosting, or ITCH, has documented at least seven hundred thousand cases of child infestation in North America this year alone, representing an increase of eight percent over last year, which in turn grew from eight percent the year before. According to government statistics, although the number of human children has remained steady in North America during that time, an increase has been noted in the number of the hazardous human spawn inhabiting sites that lice once found more friendly.

ITCH has documented a general increase in dangerous conditions for lice. Famine and wars in Africa have reduced the number of available hosts in certain areas, although the most recent data point to stagnant growth in the African cephalic environment to begin with, as the hair of the African human tends to be less suitable to habitation by lice. But violent conflict in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan have wrought havoc with the consistency of available residences.

The situation is not nearly as dire as it was seven hundred years ago, when the Black Plague swept through Europe and severely reduced the human population. Rival arthropod species seemed poised to assert dominance over the parasitic world, but a steady rebound in the number of humans on the continent, coupled with the displacement of bubonic plague hosts, assured the ascendance of head lice for centuries after.

In fact the lice future has never looked rosier, according to a new report by SUCK, the Society of Users of Chitin Knees. The SUCK report notes an overall global increase in human population, which will provide many more heads for lice to inhabit, and global warming means more of the planet will be hospitable to the insects, which survive longer in warmer environments if they become detached from the scalps of their hosts.

But the lice at Kiddie Carousel are still worried, as the presence of the deadly combs and topical treatments have been detected, according to rampant rumors among the lice.

Can YOU think of a more hostile environment?

Can YOU think of a more hostile environment?

A vocal contingent denies the rumors, calling into question the evidence for the comb and shampoo phenomena, as well as any indication of silicone spray. The skeptics note that all the fear-mongering stifles the productivity and growth of the population, and deem the rumors “pediculous.” Moreover, they argue, any such threat, even if imminent, lies beyond the capability of the lice community to address.

At press time, a louse with dyed, otherworldly-shaped orange hair was seen departing the preschool in a tiny helicopter marked “Trump.”

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

Written by Thag

December 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Domino’s Perplexed By Poor Sales of Pizza Suppositories

leave a comment »

Domino's logoAnn Arbor, MI (AP) – Fast-food giant Domino’s Pizza, confronted with anemic sales of its new pizza suppositories, has put further marketing efforts for the product on hold, according to a statement from the company’s corporate headquarters.

Following a lengthy promotional campaign, the Italian food chain finally released its line of “Up Yours” pizza suppositories, hoping to tap into the growing need for ever-more-efficient food delivery in a busy era. With Up Yours, Domino’s hoped to appeal to rushed parents and hurried workers who lack the time to properly ingest and digest even typical fast food. Its “Taste is waste” slogan leveraged the company’s reputation for providing a less-than-stellar culinary experience; a 2009 survey of consumer taste preferences among national chains by Brand Keys, Domino’s tied with Chuck E. Cheese’s for last place.

The advertising push followed an intensive program to get buy-in from the chain’s more than 5,000 franchise holders, but that stage of the program took several months longer than expected because headquarters found it difficult to convince the franchisees to get behind the initiative, according to Seymour Butz, an analyst at Sphincter Industries who studies the fast food industry.

“The franchisees were worried about bottlenecks in supply and production,” said Butz, who also noted that trial runs of that production exposed lax adherence to quality standards. Although the company addressed those concerns, problems continued to emerge even as the release date approached.

Any resemblance to the actual product is entirely, outrageously funny.

Any resemblance to the actual product is entirely, outrageously funny.

Domino’s was forced to push back the start of the promotional campaign to fix those emerging issues, and the executives were apparently satisfied that they had managed to wipe away the sticky problems by softening its position on franchisee contribution. Advertising began in January, and the first Up Yours suppositories were offered in Kansas, Texas and Arkansas. Hopeful initial data from the “In Testin'” phase prompted the further roll-out of the products up and down the eastern seaboard and Illinois.

But sales logs, initially positive, proved disappointing, and continued to contract through the spring and summer, skidding almost entirely to a halt by August. The board pinned its hopes on the September “Backside to School” advertising blitz, aiming to appeal to more regular customers, but decided that if October sales showed no major improvement they would be forced to cancel production. Despite an $18 million investment in equipment, materials and marketing, the company’s bottom line has suffered, limiting Domino’s to a second-quarter profit only slightly higher than the same period last year.

Hopes had been high until then, as a program in the same spirit by a different fast food player had shown its potential. In 2009 White Castle announced that it was “eliminating the middle man” by liquefying its burgers and spraying them directly on the insides of toilet bowls. White Castle sales figures had not appreciably suffered as a result, and Domino’s executives apparently felt that their marketing acumen could make such an approach profitable.

This is not the first abortive Domino’s marketing program. In 1992 and 1993, high-profile lawsuits charged the company with recklessness in guaranteeing home delivery within 30 minutes of an order’s placement; two fatalities had resulted from Domino’s delivery men’s driving. Of particular interest to the plaintiff was a provision calling for the public beheading of drivers who failed to reach their destinations within the allotted time. The company settled both cases, but agreed to eliminate the punitive measures for late deliveries, which had garnered initial popularity and a contract to televise the beheadings.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, where, on principle, we do not post pictures of our lunch. Count yourself lucky.

Written by Thag

December 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Toilet Bowl Fed Up with All the Crap It Takes

with 5 comments

Your toilet bowl held a rally today to air its objections to all the crap it takes from you.

Who needs to be told this, exactly?

Initial police estimates put the attendance at approximately two hundred, including the floor and wall tiles that frequently find themselves in the path of a misdirected stream of toxic substances. For about an hour and a half the rally attendees held signs and chanted slogans calling for more humane treatment, and were addressed by prominent residents of your bathroom.

Placards reading, “Cut the Crap!” and “No More Colons, Period!” festooned the facilities as the bathroom fixtures and ceramic cheered speeches by the toilet paper holder, the overstuffed trash bin and the toilet bowl itself.

The toilet bowl’s chief complaints included your complete lack of consideration for the fixture’s preferences in every arena: from the seat-left-down-or-up question to your clear fondness for Mexican cuisine. The latter might be bearable, said the toilet to a rousing response from the audience, if you had an acceptable scent of air freshener. “As it is,” lamented the toilet, “on top of the stench we then have to choke on the overpowering odor of lilac or jasmine or something.” A chorus of boos echoed through the chamber.

The bowl cited other indignities during the rally, notably your demonstrated disregard for stains on the inside of the bowl; it was apparently last brushed thoroughly sometime during the early months of the Obama administration, when your mom was coming to visit.

(Not the actual snake)

The bowl went on to accuse you of recklessness, if not outright malice, citing multiple instances of inappropriate materials getting flushed down. On one occasion, said the bowl, someone attempted to dispose of an entire deck of playing cards wadded up into a single mass. Inevitably, this led to use of a plunger, a humiliating experience for toilet bowls; to make matters worse, the plunger failed to dislodge the blockage, and a plumber was called in to subject the toilet to the further disgrace of having a plumbing snake shoved into it to remove the foreign matter.

The other speakers affirmed the toilet bowl’s litany of grievances, and added several more: the infrequency with which the trash can is emptied; the splatters on the mirror that never get wiped up; the dust bunnies and hairballs accumulating behind the door; and a hand towel that has not been changed in living memory.

The emerging movement to protest the conditions in your bathroom comes on the heels of a similar outpouring of complaints from other parts of your domicile. In May, your kitchen appliances went on strike to protest the fact that you never clean them. They were soon joined by the kitchen sink, which has not seen its own bottom through the accumulated dirty dishes since February.

Then, in July, your car windows wrote “Clean Me” on themselves in a growing layer of dust, and a pigeon-guano-covered shingle threw itself from the roof.

The bathroom fixtures are cautiously optimistic regarding improvement in their treatment. “After the kitchen protest a roommate moved in who does dishes more frequently, so we think there’s the possibility of our actions changing things,” the toilet bowl told a reporter after the rally. “In the end, we just hope somebody gives a crap about us. I mean, that’s all they give right now, but…you know what I mean.”

Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook and we will not leave our used plunger in your bed.

Written by Thag

August 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm

If You Squeeze the Toothpaste Hard Enough, You’ll Hear a Scream. Mine.

with 4 comments

Written by Thag

July 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm

“Hitler Was a Vegetarian” and Other Really Really Convincing Arguments

with 6 comments

Written by Thag

June 4, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Learning to Be a Potty Pooper

leave a comment »

Written by Thag

June 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I’m Sure You Always Associate Dental Patients with Cretins

leave a comment »

Written by Thag

May 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm

We Have a Special Today on Dirt-Covered Sandwiches

leave a comment »

Written by Thag

April 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm

…and When You Finish Wiping, Please Slit Your Wrists

with 2 comments

Written by Thag

March 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

The Kind of Flakes Kellogg’s Won’t Try to Sell. We Hope.

with 7 comments

Written by Thag

March 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Classic Thag, September 2010: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Wake Me Before Six

with 5 comments

Originally posted September 13, 2010

"Hi, I'm John, the talking toilet. Miss me? You bet you did!"

Since the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the US military has received so much media coverage in recent weeks, months and years, I thought it germane to note that we, too, have a policy by that name, and that perhaps other parents might want to post the elements of this policy around the house for the offspring to review, then ignore at will.

Because that’s what they do. They would not be independent beings if they blindly performed every little task we ordered them to. They would not generate such vicarious pleasure if obedience and proper behavior were to be expected. If they actually cleaned up after themselves after, say, missing the toilet in such a way that the mechanics of the incident remain scientifically inexplicable, we would not notice. It must be thus.

That does not stop us from expecting the best from them at all times. I am pleased to present, therefore, Thag’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy:

Don’t ask:
1. For a snack unless you are prepared to accept an apple or carrot.
2. The same goddamn question again and again and again.
3. For pizza for every single meal.
4. To stay home from school. Not happening.
5. For more clothes. You have more than enough.
6. Why that person is so fat, unless you do so in a very, very soft voice. So soft that not even I will hear you.
7. For dessert until everyone else has also finished eating.
8. Me to help you find something unless you have looked ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.
9. For a band-aid unless it’s for a band-aid-appropriate injury. The following injuries do not qualify: Invisible scratches; bruises; mosquito bites; soreness; nonexistent wounds.
10. For anything we have already told you you will not get, in the hope that we will forget that we revoked that privilege as a result of something you did.
11. Any question at all to which you already know the answer, but are just looking for the security of getting the response you expected. You will not like the response you get, so don’t ask it.

Don’t Tell:
1. On your siblings unless they are doing something dangerous.
2. Anyone they’re fat.
3. Me you weren’t doing anything when I clearly saw you or heard you engage in an activity I’ve told you at least four billion times, in the last three days alone, not to do.
4. Me you couldn’t hear me when you simply weren’t listening.
5. Your innocent younger siblings anything other than the unvarnished truth. Or your older siblings. Or your parents. Or anyone.
6. Your mother you’ll be back home at five unless you really WILL be back home at five, which means leaving your friend’s house a good bit BEFORE five to ensure that you get home on time.
7. Me to do your laundry because you have no clean clothes. In our society, we have this concept called “respect” that calls for making requests, not demands, especially when demands will make me simply say, “No.” You will find this mode of communication extremely helpful with anyone who holds any power whatsoever over you.
8. Your friends that your father has a secret identity as a superhero. Even if true, it only invites unwanted attention and makes my life more difficult. Goes-Eight-Months-At-A-Time-Without-Showering-Man cannot perform his duties with all that distraction.
9. Solicitors at the door or on the phone that we are available.
10. Me you’re not hungry right after I prepared you the food for which you just asked. Tough.
11. Me you won’t when I insist you will, or vice versa.
12. Me something happened accidentally when it happened because you were touching or playing with something not yours.
13. Me about anything less urgent than life-threatening danger before 6 in the morning, and even then, it might depend whose life.

Other policy elements shall be issued from time to time; please note them and internalize them. Other parents are naturally welcome to develop their own policies, as well as to suggest additions or amendments to the one delineated above. Just not before six in the morning.

Written by Thag

February 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Do Not Feed the Lavatory Animals

with 3 comments

Good morning and welcome aboard Incontinental Airlines Flight Number One to Biard, France (Airport code PIS). Urine for a pleasant flight today. I’m Captain “Lefty” Ureter, and assisting me are copilots Phil Bladder and Kidney Stone.

Our flight time today will be approximately five hours and twenty minutes, and will include the in-flight movie Pishin Impossible, starring the inimictible Peer Graves. Our route will take us over northern France, which this time of year is flush with greenery.

Shortly after takeoff our sewerdesses will begin offering beverage cart service, so please do not block the aisles, especially those leading to the restrooms. For your convenience, Incontinental Airlines has begun installing innovative technology to make the emergency oxygen apparatus double as a urine bag in case a passenger begins to diaperventilate.

On today’s flight we have something special: a delegation of the Republican Potty. These men are whizzes at what they do, especially the head of the group, Yuri Nalyssis. He’s sitting in row seven, and would love to speak with – oh, excuse me, you’re in eight? You’re in eight? Is that right?

Please stay tuned for the safety presentation by the sewerds and sewerdesses. After that we will await the OK from micturition control.

Uh oh. Ladies and gentlemen, please stay in your seats. We may have a leak…

Written by Thag

February 24, 2012 at 12:28 am

You Want Factoids? I’ll Give You Factoids

with 2 comments

Written by Thag

February 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm

And the Lord, Said, “Let There Be Lice.” And It Was Icky.

with 4 comments

Not that I speak from experience or anything. Not at all.

Written by Thag

January 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm

There Might also Be Some Used Vegetables in There, for All We Know

leave a comment »

Written by Thag

January 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm

It Averages Out to About 3 Proper Baths Per Year

with 2 comments

Written by Thag

January 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

For Some Reason We Don’t Have this Problem When We Serve Chocolate

with 6 comments

Written by Thag

January 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

It’s Time to Put Grandma in an Assisted Dying Facility

with 3 comments

Let’s not beat around the bush. Grandma isn’t getting any younger, and she’s no longer the independent woman we once knew. It’s time to make her remaining time on Earth easier by putting her in an Assisted Dying facility.

I hate the term “nursing home” just as much as you do, Jared. It’s far too euphemistic a phrase for a place that slowly sucks the will to live out of a person by immersing him or her in an environment characterized primarily by decaying minds and bodies. We should just call a spade a spade – and I do not refer here to the pinochle and bridge games with which Grandma will occupy her afternoons until the endless, grinding routine drives her into depression, malnutrition and death.

We know Grandma has a hard time getting around ever since she broke her hip, and she needs help just to do basic housekeeping. Well, at an assisted dying facility, they have staff dedicated to those tasks just to drive home the point that the residents have outlived any usefulness and might as well croak.

There’s also the matter of her hygiene and medical care. I admire Grandma’s mental acuity as much as the next member of this family, but we must honestly confront the question: can we rely on Grandma to take the right pills at the right times, and watch out for undesirable interaction between medications? And what about foods that make the medication regimen trickier? Would we ever forgive ourselves if she were to make a mistake, or forget she’d already taken that day’s dose, and wrought unspeakable havoc on her already failing metabolism? I doubt any one of us does not see the merit in having someone else watch over her, patronizingly doting on a fiercely independent spirit as if she’s a bumbling preschooler, to the point that Grandma no longer sees life as worth living.

Truth is, Grandma’s been lucky. She hasn’t suffered from incontinence as much as most people her age. So she won’t even have to worry, initially, about needing an attendant to change her and wipe her, what with her restricted mobility and all. But that time will come, and we don’t want our dear Grandma to be left lacking where other seniors have to experience the indignity of surrendering personal hygiene to a condescending, able-bodied assistant who habitually uses locutions such as, “Oh, are we ready to have our diaper changed?”

It’s settled, then. Wanda, you and I should sit Grandma down and try to convince her this is the only realistic option. We have to stress how tough it is on us, having to devote so much time and energy to her care, time we should be using to take care of our own families and needs. She needs to see reason – that we cannot by ourselves make her wish to expedite her exit from this world. We need her cooperation.

That way, instead of squabbling over her estate, we can preemptively spend it on her stay at the assisted dying facility.

Written by Thag

January 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm

It’s Never Too Repulsive for Your Baby

with 4 comments

Written by Thag

December 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm

How to Shower Like a Ten-Year-Old

with 5 comments

1. Do not respond to the first three parental admonitions to go shower.

2. Upon hearing the agitated, exasperated fourth admonition, react with indignation at the tone, as if the first three never occurred. Attempt to prolong discussion of the tone/listening issue as much as possible.

3. When issue is exhausted, or when parental threats indicate, sullenly acquiesce to following parental instructions, stomping in protest all the way toward bedroom.

4. Take least direct route toward ostensible destination, finding as many distractions along the way as possible. Ideally, this will involve provoking a younger sibling into a fight or extended play.

5. Following the fifth admonishment and rising parental anger, pretend to suddenly remember that you were on your way to shower, and proceed again toward bedroom.

6. Find book/toy/other diversion in bedroom.

7. At parental inquiries as to progress, ignore as long as possible until you have no choice but to nonchalantly respond, “Not yet.”

8. Do not permit parent to complete the consequent scolding before disappearing out of earshot behind closed bathroom door.

9. Find intra-bathroom activities to occupy the time, such as making faces in the mirror and stacking various toiletries.

10. In response to parental inquiry as to the lack of water running, feign deafness.

11. Streak back to bedroom to find post-shower clothing item that you “forgot”.

12. Return to bathroom and resume face-making operations.

13. Wait for parental frustration to plateau before actually getting into shower and turning on the water.

13a. If shower has removable spray nozzle, spend at least eight minutes admiring how the spray travels along or against various bathroom surfaces.

14. Perform perfunctory cleaning routine. Be sure to neglect obvious body parts such as ears and face.

15. Resume face-making activities.

16. Wait for third parental inquiry as to progress before opening bathroom door.

17. Innocently proceed to bedroom as if all along, parental instructions were followed assiduously.

18. Dump dirty clothes and wet towel on floor of bedroom; leave for three days or until parental reaction sets in, whichever is later.

Written by Thag

November 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Classic Thag: August 2010

with 4 comments

I think the codons actually spell out "chocolate."

Originally posted August 30, 2010:

You’ve been living in this house for a number of years, lady and gentlemen. Your mother is quite intelligent, so I thought perhaps you had inherited that trait from her, along with your existential love for chocolate. Alas, I see now that unlike most physical dispositions, comprehension of certain social and household norms is not encoded in nucleic acid sequences.

I regret that it has become necessary to compile this list, a list of rules I thought so self-evident. Oh well. Let’s hope you can extrapolate from this list to other situations. Notice I am not holding my breath.

1. When your diaper is being changed, keep your hands away from the poop. Really now; how hard is this concept to grasp? I’m here to clean you up, not to spread the yuck elsewhere. You’ll notice from the infinite number of previous diaper-changing occasions that not once did I use a bare hand, so I have no idea where you got that idea from.

2. Gravity is a constant. There is no need to test it repeatedly with the same or different objects. It is the same today as it was yesterday, the day before, and the first time you discovered that things fall when released. I, too, appreciate watching something fall a great distance and smashing with flair many stories below, but in this house there shall be no dropping of toys or books, let alone watermelons, one, two or even three floors down the central stairwell. Though we admit watermelons would be über cool from that height.

Shirt or napkin?

3. Shirts ≠ napkins.

4. The tush is soft for a good reason: you’re supposed to sit in your chair until you finish eating.

5. A finger to the lips means to stop talking at once, not to slightly lower the volume of your talking. It is now officially your turn to get the baby back to sleep, thank you very much.

6. Water stays in the bathtub or shower. Do not act so surprised that water ends up on the bathroom floor when you use the shower nozzle as a toy.

7. If you need help wiping, or pulling your clothes back up after using the toilet, calling your mother or me to help will suffice. Hobbling through the house with your pants around your ankles actually makes it harder.

8. Boogers go in tissues, not on walls. Not on furniture. Not on clothes. Not, heaven help us, on hand towels.

9. Missing the toilet happens sometimes, even to females, especially those still training. Cleaning up, however, does not consist of placing some toilet paper over the urine and forgetting about it.

10. “Helping” does not mean “doing what I want and hoping it will be useful.” “Helping” means “doing what I ask you to do.”

11. When you have friends over, propriety calls for you to play with them, not complain that they smell. As if you’re one to talk.

12. When your sibling has a friend over, you do not have an inalienable right to join the fun. The same goes for when grandma comes over and takes your sibling to the park: that is not a good time to take your bicycle to the park, considering that you’ve barely touched your bicycle all summer, and all of a sudden you want to ride it to where they happen to be going.

13. Spilling something means immediately trying to clean it up, not watching the liquid make its way toward and over the edge of the table.

Your basketball game *stinks*.

14. The hamper’s position at the opposite end of the room from your bed is not an invitation to shoot hoops with your dirty laundry. Make a pile on your bed of the clothes you’ve removed, then carry them to the hamper once you’ve donned your pajamas. The rule is quite broad: inside the house there is no throwing of anything. Ever. No, not even that.

15. Just because you can’t see us, never assume we cannot see you. And even if we can’t we still know what you’re doing. We’ve been your age. Any shenanigans you’ve attempted, so have we. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to put one over on your folks, and although you do get up ridiculously and obscenely early except on school days, that won’t do it. Just behave, dammit.

I do hope this forestalls any more unpleasantness. And yes, I know you’re mocking me over there. That’s fine; I’m the one who controls who gets dessert.

Written by Thag

October 27, 2011 at 9:15 am