a very special memory...for valentine's day

cracked & expired, 2003 -- by chad

I woke up this morning a few minutes before KGO started blaring out of my clock radio. I've been listening to that station in the morning lately, simply because it's annoyingly repetitive, with lots of annoying commercials, and of course, traffic and weather every ten minutes. Their "Kaaay Geeee Ohhhh...News-talk Eight-Tennnnnn" jingle is sufficient enough to prod me out of bed for my morning shu-shu so I can start my day (if you're wondering what a "shu-shu" is, I'll explain later in this post). In my groggy state, right before getting up I instinctively reached over to say good morning and kiss...the empty spot in my bed next to me. Cobwebs clearing and reality setting in, I rolled onto my back and sighed.


Suddenly, I remembered it was Valentines Day.


I got out of bed, cursed myself for falling asleep in my contact lenses, and tried navigate my way to the bedroom door. After stubbing my toe on my dresser en route to the bathroom (triplefuck), I came to the conclusion I didn't want to speak to - or see - anybody, at all, for the entire day. I turned off my phone, made some green tea, and wrapped myself in total, blissful, therapeutic isolation. Some serious thinking, meditation, and soul-searching was in order, and I didn't feel like talking about anything to my friends. Besides, they've heard enough of that already, and I just get tired of kvetching sometimes.

That's what blogs are for, right?

Adding to my general malaise was the rainy weather, which validated my decision not to leave the house and work on one of the websites I'm building for my friend Gioioa's hypnotherapy practice. Leftover stir-fry for breakfast soon proved to be a mistake, which was announced by the uncomfortable rumbling that began deep in my abdomen, followed by sharp pains in my stomach.

Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, I just should have stayed in bed.

When down and out, writing and photography keep me focused and level-headed on the bumpy and often widly unpredictable road of life. Not only that, they help me keep my sense of humor when I just don't feel like laughing, and grateful when things DO go well for me every now and then. Vowing not to let any of this get me down, I grabbed a fountain pen and some looseleaf notebook paper, and decided to write a Valentine's Day essay. This salmonella-intensified rant shortly followed:

How I Feel About Valentine's Day

by Chad Fox

Fuck this shit.

I put the pen down, studied it for a minute, and decided it was done; it was about as succinct as I could possibly be.

However, in honor of Valentine's day, I'll express how I currently feel about this holiday by sharing with everyone an intimate part of my childhood.

It'll tie it all together. Trust me on this.

At this time, you're probably curious as to what a "shu-shu" is. When I was a kid, I used to call urinating "ta-ta" and defecation "pootz." I have no idea why, but it worked for me back in the early seventies until around 1997 or so, when my mom took me aside and said, "Chad, you're 27. You don't need to announce it anymore."

One sunny morning when I was about 6, I randomly asked my mother, as she stood at the kitchen sink, what she called ta-ta when she was a kid. You see, I was always full of these bizarre, random questions, and my mom eventually learned to just answer them and not ask why...it was just easier that way.

"Um, shu-shu. Aunt Sharon and I called it shu-shu," said my mom.

"Why did you call it shu-shu?" I asked, starting to smirk, yet utterly puzzled as to what the hell that could have meant.

"That's the sound it made when it came out."

I pondered for a second, decided it made perfect sense, and started to giggle; I had heard the shu-shu noise many times before from behind the bathroom door. Of course, I had made a mental note: "This is what it sounds like when girls go ta-ta out their gaginas." It's was definitely different, and somewhat scary. All I knew is my penie didn't make that odd hissing noise when I ta-ta'd.

I pressed on. "What about pootz?"

"We called that ka-ka."

I fell on the kitchen floor laughing. Ka-ka! Tee-hee-hee! What a funny word! Nothing made me laugh like a little poop talk. Hell, it still does. I almost shu-shued in my pants in a Spencer Gifts at Serramonte Shopping Center about 5 years ago because some kid kept following me around with a whoopie cushion. He kept making the pootz noises, and I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. It was just so funny...who knows why. Goddamn kid. I laughed even harder when his mom smacked him on the ass and started shouting at him in Tagalog. It's also one of the reasons why I prefer Serramonte to any other mall. You just don't see stuff like that at Stonestown.

I digress, enough of that crap. Back to 1976:

"Ka-ka! I like that!" I said, still laughing.

"I know you do, honey." The unspoken words that followed were, "God love ya." That's the midwestern version of "Bless your heart," like they say in the south when they really think you're a complete tard.

"Did Uncle Tom call it ka-ka too?" I giggled. Ka-ka too. This was some funny-ass shit.

"No, actually," my mom suddenly remembered, "your uncle Tom called it "lu-lu" and "vissie" but Aunt Sharon and I thought that was too babyish."

Now, this was just too much. I laughed so hard a fart escaped from my behind, which only made me laugh - and fart - even louder and harder. My mom started laughing too, (presumably with her little tard and not at me) and yet another happy, poop-humor, Cleveland Heights childhood memory was formed.

Years later, I was thinking about this particular exchange, and decided that the names my mother, my uncle, and I used to describe our bathroom activities sounded a lot like they could be the names of three old Coupe deVille driving, blue-haired couples from South Euclid, Ohio, who live in condos on some cul-de-sac in Coral Gables, Florida.

You know, Pootz and Tata Lieberman, Kaka and Shushu Levine, and of course, Lulu and Vissie Castorini, who moved up from Murray Hill 55 years ago. A bunch of old Cuyahoga County farts in Florida. Talking about their ailments, waxy yellow buildup, constipation, and what they saw on The Oprah that day.

So there you have it. Morning heartache. Toe-stubbing. Salmonella. Ka-ka. Shu-shu. Poop humor. Farting. Ailments. Constipation. Oprah. Valentine's Day. Told ya I'd tie it all together, and I even got to make fun of South Euclid. People from Cleveland Heights are allowed to do that, much to the chagrin of the South Euclideans (a little lame northeast Ohio HTML humor).

Moral of the story: Valentines Day, in my opinion, is a stupid bowl of shitballs in pissbroth. That may change at some point, but for now, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. But do you want to know the best thing about all of this?

Writing all of this poopykakapeepee talk just gave me my first smile of the day. Maybe, just maybe...it won't be my last. And that...is what this blog is for. Not only a place to personally rant, but also for making me smile when I just don't fucking feel like it sometimes.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. May your pootz, ta-ta, ka-ka, and shu-shu all bring you joy...and regularity.

Always remember: You become pretty when you draw near love. That's actually one of the most profound things I've ever heard.

(illustration courtesy engrish.com)



At 13:38, Blogger teh l4m3 said...

Ah, the beauty that is engrish.com...Always Cracks Up my Titlis...

lolz teh l4m3
Basic Cable Hair Salon!

At 17:47, Blogger Josie said...

Happy V Day Chad. May the sun always shine on ya. :)

I celebrated it with a good fren as we watched young adolescent couples exchanging gifts in a cafe. Oh well, here's to friendship love. Cheers!

At 00:58, Anonymous Xangarian said...

It's just another day when smiles come a lil later than it should be. Like constipation, you know you'll get the relief once it is out. LOL

Good day and good smile~!

At 04:40, Blogger Mariana said...

I love you, Chad, and all of my babies are belong to you. :D

At 05:11, Blogger Blue said...

Mmmmmmm, shit balls in pissbroth, my favorite after school snack! I feel you on V-day. Damn holiday created by Hallmark. Happy Single Awareness Day! If you forgot you were alone, leave it to this day to slap you in the face with the reality of it! I say we just act like a bunch of monkey's and fling ka-ka at all the happy couples! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

At 06:40, Anonymous Brian said...

To bring your story even more full circle . . .

A friend from Cleveland who nows lives in San Fran bequeathed the term "pootz" to us, which he defined as anything or anyone particularly ugly or repulsive. As in, "Uh, I didn't even know drag queens could have cellulite. This bar is completely pootz."

pootz: adj. 1. slang Ugly, disgusting. [from Middle American pootz, meaning to defecate]

At 06:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pootz on Valentine's Day.

A big one, too.

At 12:27, Blogger Michael said...

But Chinatown is fun.


At 18:55, Blogger Dantallion said...

Hmmm.I feel a little behind on the creativity curve. We just used the typical numbers system:

1 = ta-ta
2 = pootz
3 = the runs

I guess something about odd numbers makes seems fluidic. I dunno.

At 13:28, Blogger Michael said...

You were lucky to have fun words like that. My mother forced me to say "toot" instead of "fart", which was too vulgar and worldly. It was also decidedly unmasculine. I begain leading a double life of saying "toot" at home and "fart" in school.


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