Tag Archives: Shock

Things I Never Thought I’d Do Or Recognize Being Done: Part 71 Of Well, A Lot

No. 71: My neighbor was washing her toilet in the front yard.

No, the shocking thing wasn’t that she was able to lift her entire toilet out of her home, carry it outside and still have it in good enough shape that she bothered to wash it out with a hose. The shocking thing was that I immediately recognized what she was doing even as I was far away, but walking toward her.

Because it wasn’t a giant, ceramic throne. It was a tiny, red plastic piece that looked just about the right size for a two-year-old butt.

Yeah, that kind of toilet, dudes.

Her youngest, a boy, is about at the end of his potty training and she wanted to make sure the toilet and receptacle inside didn’t come to define the house smell.

I immediately recognized what she was doing because I had done it so many times my self. Normally, you will wash out the training toilet inside.


However, there are occasions or young dudes who are a bit more. . . enthusiastic . . . about using the training toilet. And these little dudes tend to leave a more. . . indelible . . . mark once they’ve passed.*

On those occasions, you’re going to need a bit more than a gentle rinse in a, hopefully clean, toilet bowl while wearing disposable rubber gloves. You’re going to need a power washing.

Even from down the street while you’re wrestling with a Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, it’s impossible to miss that bright-red shape. Once you’ve dealt with it yourself, of course.

Being a stay-at-home dad, I came face to face with that sort of incident much more often than I ever thought I would. The thing that also surprised me was that she was doing said power washing in the front yard. I had thought I was the only one who ever did that.

Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, and I stopped to chat for a little while. Well, more of a commiseration than a chat, but you get the idea.

Funny thing: While she was embarrassed to be cleaning the training toilet in the front yard, her boy, the proximate cause of said cleaning? He was running around, smiling and happy as can be. He couldn’t wait to show me what he’d done. Or at least describe it in detail.

No. 72: Listen with great interest as a young boy describes a massive poop. And then congratulate him.

Parenthood changes you, dudes. It really does.

Footnotes & Errata

*That wasn’t intended as a punne, or play on words, but come on. That was pretty good, dudes.

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Internet Trolls: Blech

Trolls have moved out from under the bridge and into your computer.

Not those kinds of trolls, exactly. Although, I suppose that, under the skin, they pretty much are the same.

Mythological trolls are horrible, vicious, psychotic narcissists which delight in harassing travelers who have the temerity to actually walk along on public paths leading over a bridge. Internet trolls are pretty much like that, except replace bridge with comment section and walk along public paths with exist.

An internet troll is someone who delights in the anonymity of the internet trolls, like their mythological counterparts, are horrible creatures who take delight in suffering.internet to tease, harass, humiliate, argue with, denigrate, abuse, make fun of anyone at all they happen to run across. An internet troll is someone who would go on a message board for survivors of sexual abuse and start talking about rape fantasies, or post pictures of bondage erotica where participants look unwilling.

They are, in short, asshats of the first order.

And, it turns out, my off-hand description of an internet troll actually has some basis in fact. 

The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).

It is hard to underplay the results: The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What’s more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.

So, yes, it seems that internet trolls are willing to manipulate and deceive others, believe it is their right to harass anyone they choose, lack remorse and empathy and are sadists who take pleasure in the suffering of others.

Yeah. That sounds about right. Fortunately, we haven’t been witness to many of these types around here. I mean, I did get a piece of hate mail that cast aspersions on my ancestry and physical composition, but I saw that more, well, just a jerk.

The thing about trolls is they like to stick around and see the results of their vicious behavior. The sadder thing is that these trolls actually glory in calling themselves trolls, they proclaim it and, it was this very sense of self-satisfaction that led the researchers to many of those they polled to create the study.

The researchers even constructed their own survey instrument, which they dubbed the Global Assessment of Internet Trolling, or GAIT, containing the following items:

I have sent people to shock websites for the lulz.

I like to troll people in forums or the comments section of websites.

I enjoy griefing other players in multiplayer games.

The more beautiful and pure a thing is, the more satisfying it is to corrupt.

Yes, some people actually say they agree with such statements. And again, doing so was correlated with sadism in its various forms, with psychopathy, and with Machiavellianism. Overall, the authors found that the relationship between sadism and trolling was the strongest, and that indeed, sadists appear to troll because they find it pleasurable. “Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others,” they wrote. “Sadists just want to have fun … and the Internet is their playground!”

Horrifying, but true. The only sure remedy to this sort of behavior is to make sure you “Don’t feed the trolls.” That is, don’t react to their miserable behavior. If you don’t react, they don’t get the response they need to feel good about themselves.

It’s sad, really, that these people can’t find something constructive to do with all their energy.

This kind of behavior is why it’s so important that we parents work hard to establish and encourage empathy and compassion in our little dudes and dudettes. Greed and selfishness comes easy. We’ve got to work to understand and support the other.

What do you say? Let’s stomp out the trolls.

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Pointing And Laughing, Surely?

I’m a big fan of the local Y’s. For those who haven’t been keeping track lately, the YMCA now is known simply as the Y. Not sure why the big rebranding effort is underway, but there it is.

Of course, none of that has absolutely anything to do with what I’m talking about, but, you know, going off on tangents is pretty much my standard operating procedure. Sorry.

Back on track.

Oddly, it’s the track I’d like to talk to you dudes about. It seems there’s a pretty sleezy sort of creep running around in our local Y’s outdoor track.

People who use the outdoor track at the Harris YMCA in south Charlotte area dealing with a flasher problem again.

Members told management at the YMCA branch. . .  that they spotted a flasher Monday at the track. YMCA officials sent e-mails to members later, informing them of the problem.

This after two other incidents of flashing took place over the summer.

It’s just sad, really. To think that there are some people who are so sad and so broken they think they have to go out and shock people with their (semi) naked body in order to get some sort of strange sexual thrill.

The newspaper from which I took the above item recommends that people using the track do so only during the day and also run with someone else.

Sure those might be preventative efforts, in that they would probably prevent anything worse from happening, but what about doing something that would prevent even the flashing from occurring again.

Hence the suggestion for pointing and laughing. Surely that would discourage someone.

If the point of the man flashing his private bits at the unsuspecting is to shock, then getting pointed at and laughed at by the people he’d tried to shock might set him back a bit. Surely?

There’s nothing wrong with pointing out when someone has stepped over the line. This guy? So far over the line that it’s not even a memory.

Be careful. Be safe. Be aware.

And get ready to laugh this guy into handcuffs. Or back into his cave. Whichever comes first.

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