Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Poop Again!


Earlier this year Trudy Grafton, principle of an Indiana Elementary School, called an assembly to address the third, fourth, and fifth grade students. Unlike previous assemblies, this one was not accompanied by a plea to stay off drugs or a sales pitch by the local Jostens rep concerning 5th grade class rings. Instead Principle Grafton informed the student body that someone had seen fit to smear large amounts of fecal matter on the walls of the restroom.

During her address, she referred to said excrement as “sh*t” which ignited a firestorm amongst the parents. In short order, the school board issued a statement assuring the public that the incident was being dealt with and Grafton penned an open letter apologizing for “using the explicative term for excrement.” For now it appears that the board will allow the principle to retain her job and although she has several years of administrative experience this is her first year as principle at that particular school.
Personally, I believe that firing this woman would be a tragedy. Just imagine it is your first year running a new school and on top of the endless parade of behavior issues and staff conflicts you now have to deal with poo hieroglyphics in the 4th grade boy’s bathroom. While I cannot condone a principle cursing at a school assembly, I can certainly sympathize. Unless she makes this into a tradition, let the woman do her job.

What the board should really be concerned with is that a student on the cusp of middle school completed a bowel movement, looked at their own feces, and thought “I should smear this on every non-porous surface I can find.”  While artistic turd redistribution is not unheard of in certain situations (prison, the DMV, chemical toilets at Ozzfest) it has traditionally been implemented as a sign of derision, often in protest of inhuman conditions. With that in mind, I suppose we cannot rule out the possibility that Timmy was simply making a political statement about the bureaucratic process suffocating our nation’s public school system.

This story reminds me of an incident that occurred near our office about a year ago. A portable outdoor toilet had been placed in a nearby alley, presumably to service the work crews renovating a nearby building. After several months, a few employees walking down the alley encountered what could only be described as a gastrointestinal crime scene. There, abandoned in the alleyway just feet from the chemical john, was a pair of men’s pants complete with soiled underwear.

It appeared that the garment’s owner had misjudged the severity of his situation and had become the victim of a premature deployment. Faced with the prospect of either putting his compromised trousers back into action or wandering the street half-naked, he apparently chose the latter. So there they sat for several months as a memorial to whatever it was he ingested the day before. Eventually Waste Management collected them or he decided that they were salvageable because they eventually disappeared.

Now far be it from me to pass judgment on someone in such dire straits, but as a veteran of several intestinal emergencies I am proud to say that I have never left a man behind. What does your diet consist of that you can be within ten feet of salvation and still be unable to go the distance? I cannot imagine the disappointment. It must be akin to falling on the last twenty-five feet of a full marathon…..and then pooping your pants.    

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