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Poo in a box July 27, 2007

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

Darlings, let me apologise in advance for what, even by my facile, puerile standards, will be my most ludicrously facile and puerile post to date. It’s all gone very toilet-and-genitals around here of late – and the tradition ain’t abating yet – but I promise to write on the essence of being any month now.

My body is broken. To such a point that I’ve even had recourse to the medical profession. The doctor asked politely if I was suffering from stress and even though I like to think I have much the hardest fate in all humanity, I would have been hard pushed to call my maximum-sleep, minimum-work lifestyle stressful. “Mm, nöö,” I answered, unstressedly. She listed other factors likely to have contributed to my body’s breakdown. It was all in the acids, you see. “And what might have got my acids up?” I asked, reclining my chair just to prove how unstressed I was. “Alcohol, nicotine, coffee,” she rattled off, clearly not for the first time. I frowned to pretend I was only faintly acquainted with all of those evils and worried that she didn’t even bother to ask if I partook.

The ear’s currently the guilty organ. Similar grief before, when I ended up being prescribed vaginal cream. So I know it’s not to be taken lightly. Plus it’s been a week of pure social joy. The wonderful, beautiful, kind, modest, engaging, altruistic, thoughtful, divine AND, even more heavenlily, SMOKING Annie was in town with her pal, Emma, who is all those things but DOESN’T BLOG, for god’s sake, though she might be pesterable into it, you never know, so I had to get the ailment sorted so I could hear what they were saying and not have to spend the whole time catching my ear-goo. And, as the social gods were smiling on us, Mike held an utterly brilliant get-together which featured, if my Alzheimer’s allows, all these super-bloggers: Ben Perry, BerlinBites, Bowleserised, John Borland, Peasant Glasses and Zis German Life, plus a whole load of other non-blogging weirdos, so I just needed my faculties.

The doctor gushed an oceanful of warm water into my ears, which, I’m sorry to say, is actually better than sex. Took readings with instruments that would have looked space-age in 1975. Tested me for allergies by holding a substance a foot from my knee and then swinging a divining rod between the two and nodding with satisfaction that I was allergic to everything. Asked if my ears itched. (They do.) Asked how long I’d had this cold. (Oh. You know. A while.) And then asked that tricky question about what time of day the symptoms were worst, which I can never remember, so I always say a resounding yes to whichever she suggests first once she’s bored of my dim-foreigner silence. (Yes, half four in the morning!)

“Well, we’ll do a dipsy-dosy test and then come back in two weeks.” The receptionist seemed to be in charge of the dipsy-dosy test. I followed her around the surgery like a particularly servile dog and then realised I was to be sent on my way with instructions and containers to do the test at home. The instruction sheet had helpfully been crossed at all the bits I can’t ignore. Then she opened a neat little cardboard box with two sealable tupperware test-tubes inside. “Put your poo in here up to this level, then seal it inside the bigger test-tube and then send it off in the box.”

The odd thing is that poo-post is free.



1. Pino - July 27, 2007

:D I did the same test 2 months ago. I never got the results: probably I don’t have salmonella. It doesn’t surprise me, because I went to the doctor with diarrhea just to have a couple of days off and go to Amsterdam for a job interview :D

2. annie - July 27, 2007

Hahahaha! I didn’t know that bit of the story. I did notice that German toilets have a little kind of platform inside the bowl though.

Aw… you’re too kind. Great to see you, and all the lovely bloggers. Why oh why must I come back? I want to stay!

3. Arabella - July 27, 2007

Be very careful when you write the address, won’t you? Imagine the bewilderment if not.

4. narrowback - July 28, 2007

well I’ll surely be looking at any mail received from germany with a slightly suspicious eye from now on

5. Appy Linguist - July 28, 2007

You have to get it in a test-tube? Sounds “vial”!

6. Karl-Marx-Straße - July 28, 2007

Does that mean you’re sending the poo to a blind person (as it’s free)? I hope their guide labrador opens it and not the blind medical technician.

7. bowleserised - July 28, 2007

Poo post is free! Is it international too? That’s great news, as there are several world leaders out there who deserve some poo in the post.

8. Ed Ward - July 28, 2007

Lord, I had to do that when I applied for my red card, the card you have to have to work in gastronomy. Twice. And then get it back to the Gesundheitsamt, whose hours are cleverly arranged so that no person who waits or tends bar can possibly get there. My second time they’d just locked the doors, so I banged on the glass and waved my tube. Fortunately, they unlocked the doors; dunno what I’d have done the rest of the day with a poo-tube in my pocket. Putting it in the mail would’ve been far more civilized, although I’m definitely washing my hands after opening the mail now.

9. Karl-Marx-Straße - July 28, 2007

Luckily they don’t bother checking your poo any more if you want to work with food (not in Berlin anyway). You just have to listen to someone telling you not to scratch the insides of your arse and then immediately start tearing up, say, raw fish for sushi without having washed your hands and nails inbetween. Then you get your red card, and that’ll be 50 Euro please. Less hassle for you, Ed, but maybe not so good for those of us eating that sushi.

I think that Bib’s poo only gets transported for free as he’s a private patient.

10. MountPenguin - July 29, 2007

Aha, this is a good opportunity to divest myself of a nugget of information I learnt last Wednesday at the vets, namely that cats have little sacs arount their botty parts which apparently lend their doodoos a specific eau du chat. And said sacs do on very rare occasions – such as when ones cat is repeatedly licking itself in a non-appropriate manner – require emptying. Fortunately a trained veteranary person will perform this task for the modest fee of €5.11 (though I don’t think they send anything anywhere).

11. Karl-Marx-Straße - July 29, 2007

Did the neighbours complain? Who else would notice that your cat is acting inappropriately?

12. bowleserised - July 29, 2007

I think they explode if you don’t do anything about it.

13. pleite - July 29, 2007

B., exploding cat-bits! And that could be a good twist. It appears it’s free only if you’re privately insured, or if the recipient is blind. I don’t know any blind politicians other than David Blunkett, and he’s rather passé and his rise, even if he did fuck things up, is actually rather admirable. Not just blind but growing up in abject poverty.

Karl, you mean I’ve got posh poo? Or at least am entitled to posh poo-post? How marvellous. It’s the closest I’m ever going to get to being an aristocrat. I don’t know if poo-inspection is a redoubt of the blind, though. When I was a youngster, I know blind folk were favoured as switchboard-operators. The switchboard-operator in my first workplace was blind. A fearsome boozer and he got in trouble for phoning the expensive phone-porn lines. And on the subject of neighbours, must tell you about the latest complaint. Two friends and us round the table eating dinner, making the noise of four people eating dinner and conversing. We may even have laughed. At 9pm, the neighbour who, thank the fates, is ugly, came to complain about the noise. He even began his complaint with a sigh.

Penguin, oh gosh, cat-business. I think this ear-lark has revealed my utter squeamishness. I don’t know if my transaction is going to cost more than €5.11. I expect it will, even if the postage is free because I’m so posh.

(By the way, Karl and Penguin, are you both on Mike’s Stammtisch mailing list? If not, do get put on it (and any other willing Berliners) as I am always full of guilt after an occasion when I notice folk’s absence and remember I haven’t forwarded the mail this time round.)

Ed, I’m very glad you didn’t have to carry poo round in your pocket all day. Imagine if you’d been stopped for jay-walking. Carrying poo is probably a crime here, after all.

Appy, it was, it was. I was so freaked by having to scoop my own poo – sorry, this blog has reached rock bottom – that I offered the Russian 100 euros to complete the transaction on my behalf. (Well, not the WHOLE transaction, if ya hear what I’m sayin’.) Anyway, it’s done now. I shall refuse all future dipsy-dosy tests.

Narrowback, be very cautious indeed, especially if it’s in a rather neat and tidy cardboard box that you might easily think is a CD. Imagine the potential for disappointment!

Arabella, bloody good point. Thankfully, the poo-people have seen the potential for disaster and addressed the boxes in advance. Still, there is scope for sheer devilment as you have to write the return address yourself. I have chosen to write my own, but if I had a sworn enemy, I could presumably have arranged for it to be sent to him in the case of some irregularity with my package.

Annie, I repeat, it was pure sex seeing you. And, yes, I thought it best to spare you that detail of the story as we sipped away and you tucked into your food. (Our loo doesn’t have the ledge, more’s the pity.) By the way, Morcheln (on the Vietnamese menu) is ‘morel’ in English, apparently. Some mushroom or other. (The Russian, a mushroom-expert, says a poor-quality one.)

Pino, you naughty boy, but do you mean I have had to go through the trauma of engaging with substances I never wanted to engage with and that they might not even have the politeness to tell me what’s wrong with me?

14. Arabella - July 29, 2007

BiB – what is it with neighbours over there? What – do they denounce you to the Noisy Naughty Neighbour Police? Daft apeths.

15. Karl-Marx-Straße - July 29, 2007

“Daft apeths”. Were you one of my primary school teachers? (Only if you follow that up with “I’ll wring their necks” half-under your breath).

16. MountPenguin - July 29, 2007

KMS, if you must know, he was licking his little pinky bit rather vigourously (which is unusual behaviour when you bear in mind the attachments were removed many years ago) and it was looking rather red and sore, so off to the vets it was.

bowleserised, not sure what the consequences of non-emptying would be; but the predecessor model did become chronically constipated once, which was rather dramatic. (Top vet tip: whipped cream, thankfully to be applied orally).

17. pleite - July 30, 2007

Penguin, you remind me that I am happy to be allergic to everything, especially if that everything comes from the animal kingdom. I quite like cats and dogs, but I’m sure my parental love would wear off the second I had to take them to the vet. Though perhaps not. But, alas, asthma. Which smoking is good for, of course. Anyway, I’ve given up this evening.

Karl, I hope you were prompt to remind the teacher that neck-wringing was very much a thing of the past as far as the law went. And then you might have told him that even a little slap wasn’t allowed any more. And now I am having visions of a musical and you both breaking out into song and dance and skipping down the street. Oh god, even chimney-sweeps have got into my head now.

Arabella, they haven’t actually called the filth, no, I mean, the fuzz, no… oh god, my musical has moved from the chimney-sweep era to an episode of The Bill. “Iss ‘ard bein’ a copper, Even if you do it proper”… but I think I’d almost rather the police, who, you never know, might be reasonable and sympathetic, especially if they’d been called out to investigate the crime of voice-use, and, being, I imagine burly and beuniformed, would be at least 9000 times visually more pleasing than the sighing, ugly twerp from next door.

18. MountPenguin - July 30, 2007

Actually, I heard one can get private health insurance for pets. Might be worth asking if they dish out pre-paid envelopes… have to get rid of the stuff somehow…

19. pleite - July 30, 2007

When I stayed with a family in Russia and I would wake up and find that before I had a bath or shower, I had to remove the cat’s shit from the tub, I decided the best disposal solution was down the loo. Thankfully, it only happened once or twice, but it was pretty awful. I have struck working-with-the-infirm off my list of potential alternative ‘careers’.

20. На танцующих утят… « BiB - September 2, 2007

[…] these came together to form the unmistakable stench of cat-piss (though, luckily, my fetishistic quack (sorry to self-link) hasn’t managed to repair my ears and nose (but is now holding out for me […]

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