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Friday, March 25, 2011

A Gross Contest

The other day my Twitter friend @WashingtonTina commented that her blog, which featured this video

hadn't received the commentary she'd been expecting.  As a faithful blogger and reader of my friends' and followers' blogs I had to see what the fuss was about.

Watching the video dredged up a childhood memory that left a lifelong impression.  WTina and I tweeted about it and decided to leave it to you, our faithful readers, to decide which of the 3 stepping-in-it scenarios are the grossest.

Here's my entry, sadly without pictures -- I leave it to your fertile imaginations to conjure up pictures and odor.

I was a child of 6 or 7, playing barefoot in front of our Jersey row house at 402 Buttonwood Street.  It was early evening in late June or early July, after school was out for summer.  I was playing with my siblings, running up and down the street, dodging the Japanese barberry and uplifted blocks of sidewalk. The buttonwood trees between the sidewalk and street, huge in diameter and height, peeling bark always an amusement, had enormous roots that pushed up the sidewalks and made little rollers for our scooters.

No scooters were involved this balmy evening, however, as we played hide and seek.  My sister failed to find me (she was too lazy to look behind the biggest tree, just 3 trees up from our front porch).  I came out from behind the tree, all "nee-ner, nee-ner, you couldn't find me" in that childish sing-song voice, feeling full of myself for winning, when *squish*...I stepped in it.  Dog shit.  Fresh, soft, stinking to high heaven.  Ickily soft and rank between my toes.  I squealed like a pig and cried for help.  My mother offered the 1964 version of HTFU* and reminded me to be in before sunset or I'd be grounded.

I sobbed and sobbed, feeling abandoned and helpless to remove the offensive substance without touching it and make it feel worse than it already did.  I cried again piteously for help, to no avail. The gross feel and horrible stench overwhelmed me, and all I could do was cry.  The most awful thing imaginable!

 My neighbor, Grandpa Danitz, who'd escaped the Holocaust and was blunt yet endearingly sweet, hobbled onto his porch (he was our next-door neighbor) and asked in his thick Polish accent what was wrong.  I tried to put on a brave face as I told him of my quandary.  He told me to find a stick and scrape it off.

Ah, such a simple solution!  Grandpa Danitz became my hero in that moment.  I looked, saw dozens of small branches around me, and used 3 or 4 to scrape off as much crap as I could. Then I walked on my heel around Mrs. Woodward's house on the end of the row to the alley, then to the back yard, where I washed off my foot enough to go into the house just before it was completely dark.  My mother, preoccupied with my 3 younger siblings, was glad to see that I'd figured it out.  I scrubbed my foot until my toes looked like flesh-colored raisins.

I didn't go barefoot outdoors for a long time.

So, dear readers, which story grosses you out the most?  Post your thoughts, memories and votes in the comments below.  WashingTina and I are eager to know what you think.

*HTFU explanation here:


  1. I can't compete! At least I had on shoes...you win, I concede. Great story...and thanks for linking up.

  2. Thanks for inspiring and pushing me. I almost didn't do this...and I learned how to embed YouTube videos, so future blogging will be more interesting and less diary-like.

    No shoes were sacrificed, either. Whew.