Never ask a 7-year-old what to write

By: Joe Weaver - Contributing columnist

Sometimes, as people, we have to bring up topics that are unpleasant. Some are socially unacceptable, some are borderline profane, and some are, well, just better off unspoken.

We struggle with how to approach the subject in certain company as we need to discuss something delicate, but don’t quite know how to do so in a tasteful manner. Of course, in today’s media, not much is verboten and we are subjected to an endless stream of the type of talk we only would conduct behind closed doors. Nothing is off limits. Nothing is sacred. I told myself I would never stoop to that level, that this column would always take the high road and keep it out of the gutter. This week, I hold that promise. We are not going into the gutter. We are going right into the toilet.

That’s right folks, we are going behind the closed doors of the restroom, the WC, the john, and the can. We are going right up to the porcelain throne and bringing to light the pet peeves and the peccadilloes of the lavatory. I don’t expect a lot of you to keep reading. That’s okay. On the next page of the paper is a great recipe for Watergate salad and you can read that instead. I think there might be a full page ad for the local Ford dealership in one of the papers, just go look at that for a few minutes. We’ll be here talking about, well, you know, while you shop for a new Mustang.

The activity which we will try to tiptoe around is what everyone does when their digestive system is done with a delicious meal and there are no nutrients left for the body to take. The remainder has to go somewhere and we all know where that is. There are plenty of names for it, some of which cannot be mentioned in a family newspaper. This week’s column topic was provided by a 7-year-old boy. When I asked him what he would like to read about in a newspaper, his first idea was something that rhymes with “loop.” I told him I didn’t think I could say that in the newspaper. He didn’t care and his second suggestion was something along the same lines, but generally accompanies a high fever and cramps. I thought his first suggestion was more, well, solid, so I decided that would be the one to choose.

I imagine I should have not promised a 7-year-old that I would write whatever he wanted in the paper. I had thought he would have chosen something like Pokémon or fire trucks or Star Wars — but I was wrong. Surely, I could have predicted this. I was a 7-year-old boy many moons ago and these kinds of jokes and comments were hilarious to me. His 5-year-old sister, when asked if I should have asked her for a suggestion instead, simply said “puppies.”

I wasn’t sure really where to begin. I am of a generation where we don’t talk about things like this publicly. My wife reminded me of a children’s book from about 20 or so years ago called “Everybody Poops.” It shows cartoon people and animals of different sizes and such disposing of their personal waste. It’s done about as tastefully as it could be done, and it’s brief and to the point. There are not a lot of minced words when talking about that. You just kinda say what you have to say and move on. I figured that would be my “out.” I could just tell the kid that there was already a book about it and be done with it. There’s no reason for a newspaper column about it when there was already a book. That did not work.

I guess I am gonna have to talk about Number Two. Well, kid, you asked for it, so here it goes.

Kid, I’m gonna tell you this one time, so listen good. You wanted this in the newspaper, so here it is.

Everybody poops. Really. That’s no crap.

Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.

Joe Weaver

Contributing columnist