Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Line, I Crossed Her

IntriguedThere was a movie trailer out a while ago that featured a scene where the indomitable Maura Tierney faced off against a grungy toddler and asked, "Is that chocolate on your face or poop? Is that poop?" Then, of course, she swiped a thumb across his cheek, licked it, and declared, "Chocolate! Get out of here." Just goes to show you, some days you get lucky.

If I remember correctly the movie didn't do terribly well but the trailer ran on continuous loop for a while and that joke was featured every time. We laughed because it spoke to us of our own actions but it went too far. Oh, yes, we'd licked a tissue and daubed at the face of a mildly dusty cherub once or twice but taste test potential poop? Well, I never!


I used to spend a lot of time around kids. Now I put in my time but on a more selective basis. I do, though, still have occasion to mop up the odd spill or rub off enough grime to get down to the true child underneath. It is now and always has been a very rare thing for me to resort to the lick-your-thumb-and-wipe method. I can't remember the last time I did that without apologizing to the person before I made contact. Hell, I even apologize to dogs when I wipe off their eye goo or swipe dirt-flecked spittle from their jowls. Just because it's necessary doesn't make it dignified or even welcome.

The other night I may have crossed over into Maura Tierney territory.

I was chatting with Sara at her dining table while RMo made their dinner. Ed and Bu were messing around and begging and eventually scored a chance to lick the deliciously greasy cutting board after the meat was plated. A minute later Sara looked more closely at Bu and asked, "Robert? Did you spill something on the dog?" We all peered at the dog in question more closely. He seemed flushed, perhaps wet, uninjured, though. I reached out and wiped my hand across his big, flat head. OK, so he was definitely wet but the liquid had no color. I smelled my hand. I couldn't smell anything. Right there is where everything could have ended and we could have lived full and happy lives despite the mystery.


Honestly I didn't even take a second to think over the consequences. I know better! He's a dog, he'd been lurking by the turtle tank, he has full access to more than one toilet bowl, there are cats in the house (not to mention a small terrier visiting). He could have gotten his head sprinkled by any number of stomach-turning substances. Without hesitation, though, I licked my hand. Salty! Must be duck fat! Wonder how he got it on top of his head!

Whew. Some days you get lucky.


  1. OMG, you are FAR more brave than i am. seriously. questionable fluids and semisolids squick me the hell out.

  2. had me wondering there ... nice save! And Laura, thx for squick, forgot about that word and it's fab and useful one ...

  3. lol i read that as duck "fart" LMAO!

  4. The idea of me wiping a duck fart off the dog's head is killing me. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. And where would we get a duck in Brooklyn? Is that even legal?