In which we are not hired as writers of small talk

#1:  here is a note to the universe: don’t ask me how wedding planning is coming. I realize you’re trying to make small talk, but it’s boring to me and it’s even my own wedding. Also? Not a lot has happened since we last had this conversation 2-3 weeks ago. Meh.

#2:  oh, I forgot to ask
how is your wedding planning coming?

#1:  rrrr

#2:  (except I know– you have a venue and you have a date to look for dresses)

#1:  rrrrrright

#2:  If things were going poorly, I’m sure you could use the question as an excuse to vent. so the fact that you find such questions dull is a good thing!

Maybe you could respond that wedding planning is dull, but do you know how big a toddler’s poop can get? (as big as an adult’s, according to [redacted] and my own recent personal experience with toddler poop)

#1: hahahah
I can talk about horse poop….

#2:  I bet horse poop is more interesting than toddler poop
but not as interesting as owl poop
owl poop is the best
well, owl pellets are the best

#1:  yes, that is owl barf

#2:  which is sort of like poop
but you know, different

#1:  owl barf is fascinating

#2:  it serves a similar purpose to poop without actually being poop

#1:  “ugghhh, I ate too much bones.”

#2:  but the actual response is probably, “It’s going fine. Nothing exciting happening, which is a good thing. How’s that toddler of yours?”
“Any interesting poops lately?”
“I hear that toddler poo is just fascinating.”
“mmm hmm.”
“Is that so?”

#1:  have you ever compared toddler poop and horse poop? how do you feel about owls? we should be hired as small talk writers
Here’s my answer: the toddler grows up, and the horse needs its poop picked up for life

#2:  horse poop probably smells better

#1:  quite possibly. They’re all vegetarians.

#2:  do vegetarians have better smelling poop?

#1:  I’m not sure. But at least you can get used to the smell of horses — they eat only a few things, all horses all the time, eat the same few things.

What are your deep thoughts on poop?  (Also, I know I should have put a poo-related pun there instead of “deep”… any suggestions?  pressing thoughts?)

20 Responses to “In which we are not hired as writers of small talk”

  1. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Ironically, I actually *did* make small talk about poo yesterday with one of my coauthors after we finished up with our regular business. (He has an infant and was saying he was able to predict her poops, and I was all, have you thought about trying elimination communication?)

  2. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    My nephew has poops that are out of this world. Like as big as his arm. He has to come get his parents to look before he flushes because the toilet has overflowed so many times.

    Sorry, just had to share.

  3. Linda Says:

    Well, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Clever how you worked that into a post about small talk. He, he, he! I have nothing to say about toddler poop since I have no experience with it. (Thankfully!) I don’t mind horse poop except when I accidentally step in a lot of it. Actually, though, I’d rather step in horse poop than have the horse step on my foot. I think my little toe in my right foot is permanently deformed from that happening last summer.

  4. bogart Says:

    Ooh, I didn’t know you were planning a wedding — how exciting. Best wishes!

    Haha, poop. We have a nearby state park and there were official signs posted about the importance of scooping dog poop because of its impact on the watershed (I admit I am doubtful given the prevalence of deer, etc., but OK) and the irritation to walkers/runners who step in it (no doubt there), and the sign’s “catchy” lead in was, “Know what’s grosser than dog poop? Stepping in it.” But someone had drawn an arrow from the question to an alternative answer and written in, “Horse poop!” (Equestrians also use the park. See above dubiosity re: proportional impact of dog poop on watershed.)

    As someone who has experiential expertise in dealing with both I was sorely tempted to take this as an invitation to (further) edit the sign by submitting a comparison in essay format. I mean, sure, the horses beat the dogs quantitatively, but I’d argue that qualitatively, the dogs beat the horses hands down.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Dog poop is THE WORST. First of all, it’s EVERYWHERE, and it’s sneaky, and it’s carnivore poop, and… just, NO. ick ick ick! Actually dog *owners* are the worst!

    • Leah Says:

      As an ecologist, I will say that dog poop does impact the watershed. So does chicken poop and people letting leaves go down the storm drain. Oh, and people overfertilizing their lawn! That’s a big issue with the watershed.

      The reason why dog poop is more of an issue than deer poop is the load. If there are tons of extra deer in the park (say, if people feed them — a common issue with geese, actually), that poop does become an extra load of fertilizer on the watershed. In many areas, there are a LOT of dogs that walk around. I dare say a popular park, even in a nature area, sees more dogs than deer. All that extra poop can add up.

      Also, as someone who has worked at a nature area, it’s astounding how many people think they don’t have to pick up because poop is natural. Maybe if your dog is running way into the middle of the woods, but having tons of dogs poop on/along the trail isn’t natural.

      • bogart Says:

        Right, right, and I get it — even if (perhaps especially if) the deer are pooping in the woods, the poop is additive — adding dog poop to the watershed is still hurtful. Though I will note that where I live, deer are much, much more prevalent now than they have been in recent history (say, the past 50 years), a trend that seems quite long in the making; see , so it’s not correct, either, to say “it’s always been so” (plus we’ve got a lot more other things, including humans and pavement, messing up the watershed as compared to earlier years).

        (I was out walking through our suburban neighborhood in the recent snow and saw — I am not exaggerating for effect — 22 deer *at one time*. 18 ran across the road in front of me, and 4 others were standing off to one side. Now I know the snow has them struggling and perhaps gathering together in larger groups than usual but — a group of 22 deer where I live is simply preposterous. And yet.

        (With that as context — I don’t know the science behind it, and do understand that net, its effect is negative, but there is part of me that wonders to what extent agitating about the effect of dog poop on the watershed is like worrying about driving our cars less to reduce air pollution, rather than focusing our attention on larger sources of that problem. And yet, I do try to walk/bike/ride the bus when it’s plausibly practical to do so.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        My problem isn’t dog poop in the watershed. It’s dog poop EVERYWHERE. Dog owners are the worst.

  5. The frugal ecologist Says:

    Congrats on wedding planning! I am helping a friend with hers now & I find it fun. I would probably be one of those annoying people asking how yours is going every 3 weeks…

    Re poop. With a baby & a dog I could talk about poop for a long time. Though I usually try not to :)

  6. becca Says:

    NPR’s news story teaser from yesterday “Ebola poo, what to do?”. Really NPR? Really???!?
    Cow poop > horse poop > dog poop > toddler poop > pig shit. Really, you can’t use a cute word for the excrement of pigs. *shudder*

  7. SP Says:

    Love that the parts of the comments on the post about weddings were not acknowledged, but poop was promptly replied about. :) I get that there is probably one of you more interested in poop, and one of you more interested in weddings, but I still like it.

    I haaaaated talking about my wedding as small talk. The things people feel entitled to comment on (“oh you say you want that, but wait until it gets closer!” Um,no.) I was so glad when we were married and I could say it was great, then never had to discuss with near-strangers again. Do you really freaking care what my colors are? REALLY?! I don’t even care.

    No comments from me on poop, because i don’t have kids and so poop can remain in its proper position my life – in the bathroom and largely unspoken of?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Actually, I don’t think either of us are particularly interested in either. But small talk isn’t supposed to be particularly interesting.

    • Leah Says:

      Agreed on the wedding part! Our “big day” was awesome, and I did a lot of work and planning, but I didn’t want to discuss it endlessly. I also got sick of all the veiled judgment. So, I just didn’t talk about it. I try to do the same with my baby, for the most part.

      to #1, best wishes! I hope your day goes wonderfully.

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