“There’s an ass for every seat” — one of my Dad’s favorite lines (not that he made it up, but he sure USED the hell out of it!) — came back to me as I was cleaning out the litterbox this AM (4 indoor cats, not that it’s any of YOUR fuckin’ bidness!). I did the quick math — almost every day since I was 7 years old (gee, that’s 51 years, Dick!) I’ve been cleaning out a litterbox or three; now that’s one collective big mound o’ shite right there!
Like most middle-aged men who have some vague modicum of “Puritan Work Ethic” SOMEWHERE in what’s left of their psyche (and if you were born of depression-era parents, you’re GONNA have some of that PWE in your brain-soup, no matter HOW hard you try to drink it into quiet oblivion!), I do question my relative “worth” as a contributor in society (as does Peggy, about a dozen times/week!).
Bam — it occurred to me in a flash of cat piss-smell induced clarity that, for pretty much my entire slacker life, I’ve been cleaning up the shit of others; now THAT’s gotta be worth something, right?!
The 51-year litterbox cleaning run has most certainly been my “Raison D’etre”, but I would be remiss if I didn’t factor in the 3-4 years of cleaning out 3 horse stalls and one cow stall weekly (Mom went through the “Green Acres” phase when I was ~6-10 years old; yours truly got to shovel a stadium-full of equine and bovine shite from 1962 through 1966).
And we always had a dog too — before swinging a leg over the riding mower, highball in one hand and Marlboro in the other, Dad would bestow the critical task of “mine-sweeping” the yard on little Dick — woe is me if I DARED to miss/ignore a SINGLE morsel of dog poop!
If I DID, a precisely-applied brogue to the butt brought me back to my reality — “Now you get to clean that mess o’ shite from that mower deck & blade, Boy — not NOW, but RIGHT NOW!” Many was the night that I prayed to the imaginary “Big Man Upstairs” for a move to The Concrete Jungle, where lawn mowers were as rare as 15 year old virgins; alas, t’wusn’t to be…
Other than lifetime litterbox duty, I thought I was “in the clear” after moving out of the house (at 18 years old, but that’s a whole ‘NUTHER Oprah; stay tuned for THAT Wayback Visit); Mom & Dad did a “The Clampetts” and moved down South in ’76, and I had myself figgered for a lifetime of NO dogs, horses, cows, and any OTHER damned creature that I’d have to shovel shit behind; not so FAST, boy!
For reasons unknown to this VERY day, I moved from The Garbage State myownself after graduating Magna Cum Lager from Rutgers in ’78 — right down to within an HOUR of my parents! “Whatever you DO, don’t throw me in that briar patch, Brer Fox!” As luck would have it, Dad landed up with colon cancer, which he of course LIVED THROUGH (further proof-positive that only the GOOD die YOUNG!) — the recipient of a fine colostomy bag which he wore on his right hip for another 10 years of living.
Enter “The Shite Meister” yet again! Why? Because by then, Dad was too old to properly “tend to that THING” on his hip, and Mom would categorically NOT even acknowledge its very PRESENCE, being the proper Boston Society Girl that she was. Sooooooooooo…after a few futile months of trying to teach the old man how to take care of his “appliance”, all the while having their entire house smell like a pig sty because he couldn’t/wouldn’t do so, the burden of twice weekly maintenance fell on MY shoulders (figuratively-speaking, of course).
Which brings up another point — ANY man that has to change another person’s SHIT BAG with any degree of regularity gets a “bye” in the “I never have to prove my manhood in ANY other way, even if I live to be 152” club. Never EVER thought that *I* could do such a thing; and frankly, I didn’t do it alone — my good pal Jacques Daniels was right there with me!
Out I would drive, twice/week — one hour each way — to change that “thing”. And lemme tell ya’ something ELSE — there ain’t a whole big line o’ folks waiting to change out colostomy bags on smelly, nasty, foul-mouthed old men in Smalltown USA — I don’t care HOW much money you offer up!
So just call me The Shite Meister — I’ll answer to THAT! Now ‘scuse me — my 24 pound Man-Coon just launched a 7 inch mudsnake in the litterbox — I gots me some WORK to do!