Tag Archives: First World problems

Just what should one do upon discovering human remains in a garbage can?

I was going through the garbage cans this morning, searching for items that shouldn’t be, but had been, thrown out.

I found a 100-300mm zoom lens, two books, an action figure, three chocolates (still sealed in foil), and the left ventricle portion of a human heart.*

It was at that moment, holding the dripping, still warm heart fragment in my hand, that I realized I had, in my preoccupied state, accidentally stumbled into my neighbors’ backyard and their garbage can.

How awkward.

I suppose the obvious question now is, what was I doing going through the garbage at all?

The Missus and I, in our never-ending, losing struggle to keep a house riddled with toddlers clean, have resorted to bringing in a cleaning service every other week to keep the counter-tops mostly visible.

Unfortunately, the cleaning agents have a habit of seeing the house, letting rip a huge wail of despair, and then, in a sort of catatonic state, scooping everything and anything not nailed down into the garbage.

Including things that shouldn’t be in there. Like a 100-300mm zoom lens for an SLR camera.

So after their visit, and before the garbage goes out to the curb, I have to dig through the heavy, sodden bags to extract anything I don’t want ending up in the landfill.

Did I mention there are a lot of dirty diapers in the garbage too?

This is what instigated my furtive search this morning.

I expect you have another pressing question now that I really ought to answer:

What so occupied my thoughts that I unintentionally ended up in my neighbors’ backyard?

A fair question. Many things, really. The shooting pain in my chest, the numbness in my left arm, the approaching spring-time yowls of the neighborhood feral cats disrupting my sleep.

I hate those cats with a passion.

There were many other items weighing heavily upon me this morning, but I won’t bore you with the details. Believe it or not, I am preoccupied by a lot of things.

Add to that list the awkwardness of discovering nearly half of a human heart, with what appears to be gnaw marks around the edges, in my neighbors’ garbage.

I mean, come on, you don’t just go round to the front door, knock on it, and when they answer, offer them the offending partial organ and say, “I was preoccupied and accidentally ended up rooting through your garbage and found this.”

If your neighbor knocked on your door in similar circumstances, would you believe the garbage-rooting to be an accident?

I wouldn’t.

There’s also the sticky question of how the heart got there.

I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, but to get at it, I’d have to admit I’d been shoulder-deep in their refuse.

It’s just not proper.

The only thing worse is being caught standing over your neighbors’ garbage can with a chuck of human heart oozing in your hands.

What if they hadn’t put it there? Now they’d think you were secreting your unmentionable detritus into their garbage, perhaps with the intention of making them look bad to the other neighbors.

Or the police.

That is exactly the circumstance that popped into my head as I stood over the dark, rotting-flesh-odored bag in their bin.

What if they caught me, quite literally, red-handed?

So I returned the heart to the bag and carefully wiped my hands before peeking over the fence and then, seeing the coast clear, returned home.

With the zoom lens. It was a really expensive one.

But now I have that nagging question hanging over me that will make me feel awkward and uncomfortable around my neighbors every time I encounter them:

Did they see me rooting around in their garbage?

I think the best course of action is to pretend the whole thing never happened.

Don’t think I’ll ask them to babysit any time soon, though.

* I have, in fact, found all but one of these listed items in my garbage. I will leave it to your imagination which item was added to the list as an act of creative license.


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First World Problems – Not Being Able To Bet On Honey Boo Boo’s Cage Matches

Are there any First World problems more annoying than an inability to bet on toddler fights online?

I don’t think so.

Sure, people always trot out the multi-flush, low flow toilets as a biggie, but that’s still less aggravating than being unable to slap down fifty simoleons on 100:1 longshot Honey Boo Boo in a no-holds barred playpen fight.

And let’s face it, even if she loses, we win.

“Toddler fighting?” the more naive among you are asking.

Yes, toddler fighting.

Toddler fighting, as defined by Wikipedia*, is a blood sport in which toddlers are made to fight.

Well, I say ‘made’, but as anyone who has owned or raised a toddler can tell you, the creatures are inherently vicious and naturally inclined to do battle with one another as well as anyone else foolish enough to move within their cutely diminutive but oft deadly reach.

The sport goes back to the beginnings of recorded history, and probably even further back than that. But for the purposes of this article, I am ignoring the rich and varied oral histories that can be found within every culture on this planet.

Ming Dynasty records detail horrific tournaments pitting tyke against tyke. Staged inside a roped ring of ivory, Ming vases, at the time considered reasonably inexpensive, were a favored weapon.

Also commonly used? Dirty silk diapers.

The records detailing cleanup after these matches are nearly as horrific.

Egyptian hieroglyphics depict epic combat between what is either two toddlers wearing lavish headdresses, or an individual suffering from dwarfism and a creature with the body of a very small lion and the head of an inexplicably ginormous eagle.

He's sad because his toddler is losing.

Nero watches on, slightly bored, as toddlers tear first his mother, then themselves, apart

Documents that survived the fires of Rome describe a lavish festival of golden diapers, silken blankies, and brass knuckles.

Nero championed the festival during his reign, making it a holiday across the Empire. Under his patronage, the annual event culminated in a spectacular death match in the Colosseum.

In some cases, the Revolutionary courts in France settled legal disputes between families by having their young children fight, the winner in the ring also being the winner in the courthouse.

Even as recently as the 1920s and 30s, toddler fighting bit and clawed its way into cultural references. The famous Diaper Noir novel Tooth and Nail, Baby, featuring the main character known only as the Contiguous Forty-Eight States Op, is the first (and possibly only) modern novel to describe the gory, brutal conditions of battle.

The warehouse stank of stale beer and cheap cigarettes. A string of naked bulbs hung over the ring, casting dim, indistinct shadows as they swayed, angry and restless, like the crowd of spectators hungering for their feast.

A pacifier, tattered and torn, lay in the center of the ring. And then my attention was drawn to the corners, as a flurry of movement introduced the fighters.

Le Tantrum, the heavy favorite, coming in at 32 pounds and all of it muscle, already had her teeth out in a furious rictus of white. Even from where I sat, I could see the fingernails, clipped into sharp points.

In the other corner, the challenger, a local favorite. The crowd was chanting his name, which matched his preferred fighting style. Over and over, like a phonograph with a scratch:

“Brasse Papillon! Brasse Papillon! Brasse Papillon!”

It was heady. It was seductive. It made me reach for my hip flask as I fought back the bile.

Indeed, these were barbaric times.

I am sure, if the Diminutive Combat, as toddler fighting is sometimes called, were legal, it would be strictly regulated.

But it is not legal.

Fortunately, the organizers of these fights are not inhumane. Voluntarily, with no legal requirement to do so, the parent-coaches bravely opted for heavy self-regulation.

As a result, maiming and deaths amongst spectators has dropped precipitously since those rules and regulations went into effect.

But this has not diminished the fallout that surrounds the sport; it has not stemmed the flow of hype and misinformation, the misguided fear that all toddlers are dangerous, cruel animals.

I mean, they are, but with the right upbringing (love, affection, regular feeding and watering, and the occasional hug), they can be held in check.

But no, that isn’t enough to stop some from jerking their knees in reaction.

Many communities ban toddlers entirely, forcing families to choose between euthanizing their babies or shipping them overseas to boarding schools until the age of five.

Ridiculous. No matter how frothing-at-the-mouth rabid a toddler is, he or she cannot climb over a six-foot chain link fence topped with razor wire. There is no need to exile them until their cognitive reasoning develops to the point they can control their impulses.

Even the revelation that some big name, mainstream athletes have placed bets, hosted matches, and even raised toddlers has done nothing to remove the stigma associated with having a small child in your home.

Don’t believe me? Find a toddler, and try taking him or her with you to a restaurant.

Watch the waitress for an almost imperceptible sagging of the shoulders when she sees the child.

See if you get any dirty glares from the other patrons.

Still not enough? Then take that toddler to a midnight movie premiere. I recommend The Hobbit, Part I when it comes out.

While a more nuanced view of toddlers within local government would increase the value my chain link fence company stocks, all of this brings me back to my First World problem.

Since toddler fighting isn’t legal, I can’t openly bet on the fights.

Since the breeding programs that feed this sport have been driven underground, I cannot research the pedigree of the combatants and therefore make more educated bets.

Even online betting on matches in countries where toddler fighting is legal are blocked at the local, state, and federal level.

And when you boil it down, that’s the problem.

Not the toddlers.

Not the matches.

Not the financial loss.

It’s the intrusive government rules and regulations preventing a cultural phenomenon from thriving.

Shame on you, local, state, and federal governments. And religious and child welfare organizations that goad them on.

Shame on you.

* When the entry hasn’t been removed by Big Tantrum interests to cloak the very existence of this controversial sport, that is. If you can’t find the entry, I encourage you to re-create it from the information here. I cannot, as my IP address is permanently blocked by the kowtowers and capitulators at the Wikimedia Foundation.

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Posted by on 5 September 2012 in Noir


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