Friday, March 18, 2011

Pet “Pee”ves!!

So after a long break from my Blog… I am jumping back in with a totally random topic I MUST get off my chest.

The subject matter… The Problems with Public Washrooms.

Ok, my family members and a few very close friends may already be aware of my numerous issues with public washrooms, but allow me my rant and perhaps learn a thing or two about me in the process. I have listed these feelings in no particular order.

#1 – Toilets that are not properly affixed to the floor.

Seriously Ladies, you know what I am talking about. You get in to the stall, and sit down, only to realize that you are listing to Starboard. Something is definitely not right. You clench all your thigh muscles for all your worth and try to relieve yourself. How are you supposed to feel relieved with all that clenching? Seriously.

#2 – Toilet Seats that are not properly affixed to the toilet.

Once again, you come rushing into the loo with every thought of relief, only to sit and have the seat itself slip to Port or Starboard… and suddenly you are most definitely touching the icy cold porcelain with your bare skin. Then you have that fleeting image of little germ/bacteria soldiers spying their chance to start their march onto your unprotected skin… and ewwww. Seriously, Germ Armies. They are hard to wash off your upper thigh when you are in a public place.

#3 – Stalls that are made for midgets who carry no baggage.

Ok, I realize that I am personally pushing the 6ft mark for height, and I fact have the longest femurs of anyone I know… including a 6’4 colleague. When I sit on the toilet, I do not want to have to sit in a compromising position just so my knees aren’t jammed into the door. Also, when I am turning to close the door with my purse and my shopping, why is it necessary for me to precariously straddle the toilet in order to get the door closed? Not to mention accidentally setting off the auto flush function while straddling the open bowl just to get the door closed (see point #4).

#4 – Automatic Flushers

I understand intellectually the beauty of the automatic flushing sensor. I mentioned the Germ Army earlier, and I guarantee they live on the flusher… but have you had it automatically flush while still in the middle of the act? It is not good. In fact, I find it extremely stressful. Germ Army riding on a tsunami. Yuck.

#5 – Toilet Paper

OK, I can’t talk about toilet pet peeves without discussing the paper. I would like to challenge Murphy’s law that every 20th public toilet you use (I am speaking for women here), is always out of paper? And if you are lucky enough to have a neighbor next door who is willing to share under the door… why do they give you 4 squares of paper!!! WHO USES 4 SQUARES? Hippies!! And Eco Friendly crazies!! Give me a wad and let me choose how much I want. I guess that is not the bathroom’s fault.

#6 – The Handwashing Experience

So I will close with the hand wash. Hopefully the last thing you do in this bathroom. So you approach the sink with some haste with visions of bacteria soldiers dancing their way up your arms. You lean up casually against the counter to reach the soap only to realize you have now soaked up all the counter water onto your pants/skirt. It kinda looks like you may have peed yourself, but the there is a film of soapy gunk there too. Delightful. Not only that, you discover that the soap is empty and the water is pretty much the temperature of a glacial fed river. Nothing says cleaning like glacier water!! Either way, maybe the germ soldiers all caught hypothermia and died. There is more than one way to finish off a germ army!!

I realize other people have other bathroom pet peeves, often relating to fellow patrons. I also have these negative feelings, but they are reserved for a later blog.

Glad I got these feelings off my chest. I will try not to be so graphic next time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dispelling and Creating the Myth of the JKB

For those of you who are looking for a scientific explanation of Japanese Kamikaze Bees, allow me to redirect you at this time. I have no biological evidence of Japanese Kamikaze Bees... however, I would like to share with you that there is a species of hornets called Asian Giant Hornets. They are pretty bad ass - and I am a full on Spheksophobic (ie. I fear wasps and hornets). I am pretty sure I would pee myself should I ever encounter an Asian Giant Hornet - however I might get a Personal Best Triathlon time should I be pursued by one of these bad boys while riding a bike, or running a foot race.

Anyway, although the internet seems generally unfamiliar with this species of bee, allow me to share with you my personal experience with these wild creatures.

On a beautiful summer day at "Ye Old Swimmin' Hole", I was swimming with my best friend Colleen. Our boyfriends were adventuring in the woods nearby and my faithful, non swimming dog was basking in the sunshine. It was at that time, Pookie (the dog), began wildly leaping in the air and gnashing her teeth at a fuzzy, buzzy enemy - the Japanese Kamikaze Bees.

Side Note - I have a degree in History. It is not a very solid degree... not to say that History is not solid, but rather, my efforts in Academia was questionable. Nevertheless, I remembered at that moment, my lessons in World War II and the Japanese Airforce Pilots who would fly suicide missions against the Allies at the time. These pilots would volunteer to crash their planes into various targets in order to eliminate the competition. There was also a prevailing theory during the War that it was, in fact, probably better to die than to be taken captive... therefore, many wounded planes would simply crash into enemy lines/tanks/troops in order to prevent capture (and probably a more torturous death). For the record... this Blog is also not specifically intended to be a history lesson, or any political commentary - if you would like to learn more about World War II or Kamikaze Units, please research this topic at your local library - or even hit up the internet for more information.

Back to the story...

Pookie was a kind and gentle hound dog. She wouldn't hurt a fly if it flew into her mouth. She would, however, kills hornets, wasps and bees. She hunted like a cat... reclining lazily in the sun, until the unsuspecting buzzer would fly close enough for her to chomp it from its airborne state. She would leap majestically, and with a snap, terminate that buzzing beast in one fell swoop. Occasionally, she would get a sting in the face before the buzzer would die, but even with multiple stings, Pookie was relentless.

So, back to the bees. The bees on this summer day were merely going about their bee business... molesting flowers and making that bzzzzzz... that buzzy, buzzy, make my neck crawl, and my phobia heighten, buzz. Jerks. And Pookie, my faithful hound was dispatching them as quick as she could.

Well... these bees started sending out their bee signals to their friends. These were the big, fat, fuzzy cartoon bees. Really endearing in a book, but not so much when I accidentally step into a flock of them in a flower patch. Incidentally, did you know that a group of bees is called a BIKE!!?? How bizarre to a bee-phobic triathlete!!

Anyhoo, as the Emergency Bee Signals were sent out... the bees began arriving at our location, flying in their leisurely honeybee way... and Pookie was snatching them out of the air. She dispatched of at least 7 before I started wondering who put the call out for Bees on a suicide mission. These big bees did not stand a chance against my athletic canine. Their teddy bear bodies were piling up at her feet. These bees were on a suicide mission, and I was starting to feel bad for them. In my head, my not so killer, not so swimmer dog was starting a genocide against a race of bees. Unfortunately, my phobia kept me firmly planted in the water up to my eyeballs to prevent the possibility of stings, buzzes and brushes with bees.

It was rather suddenly that I realized that the suicide mission bees were about to be backed up by the entire Air force. Right out a slow motion, military movie montage... so came the bike of bees... and Pookie realized her time was up. With one last snap and twist in the air, my hydrophobic dog retreated into "Ye Old Swimming Hole" with her fearless leader. Me.

For the record, we were in fact skinny dipping at the time.

By the time the boys returned... we were still up to our eyeballs in water... fearing the imminent return of the fearsome bees.

Pookie had long since swum across the river to the safety of the other side.

And we had coined the term, Japanese Kamikaze Bees.