Saturday, March 26, 2011

WE TAKE REQUESTS: Via frequent commenter Meghan:
So, as some of you may know, I work with kids with learning disabilities. I have one 9-year-old boy right now who is struggling to be motivated to get any work done. The only currency we've found is gross stories. That is, he completes one task and someone on staff has to tell him a gross story, he goes back to work and is rewarded with another gross story, etc. I have a small staff and we've all pretty much exhausted the stories we can tell, as I'm obviously not going to tell him the gross stuff I saw or endured as a result of drinking too much or anything like that. We've told him stories of vomit, pants-wetting, run-ins with cockroaches, dead squirrels stuck in the chimney, and bloody mishaps involving sharp objects.  
Is there any way the thing-throwing community can contribute some similarly-themed stories that would be appropriate for a 9-year-old male non-relative? 


  1. I can't think of a story right now, but I can't wait to read what everyone else comes up with!

  2. Andrea11:42 AM

    Well, we had a clogged drain.  My husband went to try and clear it.  He snaked the drain from the kitchen sink, hit the clog, and could not dislodge it.  He then went to the basement to try and snake it from the other end.  He again hit the clog and could not dislodge.  Frustrated, he reeled back in the snake.  As he pulled it out, he realized the clog was attached to the end of the snake.  As he started to look at it more closely, he realized that something was kind of staring back at him.  The remains of a much decomposed rat were now impaled on the snake and staring back at him.

    I now insist that the seat always be down on the toilet, in case any other varmit make it further through the pipes of the house.

    Picture available upon request.

  3. Meghan11:52 AM

    Thanks in advance, you guys! Andrea, that's just the kind of story he'll love.

  4. spacewoman11:57 AM

    Best camp counselor talent show act ever: All the guys stood in a row on the stage while the theme from 2010 played.  They passed a bag of Doritos from man to man, and everyone ate a handful.  Then they each whipped out a toothbrush, and everyone vigorously brushed his teeth.  Next, a cup: Each guy took a turn spitting his Dorito toothpaste spit into the cup.  Last guy in the line drank it.

    Now *that* is what I call a magical learning moment.

  5. Who remembers the "What's grosser than gross?" *jokes* (for lack of a better term) from many a year ago?  The ones I remember:

    What's grosser than gross?  eating spaghetti when your little brother announces he's missing his worm collection.

    What's grosser than gross?  eating corn flakes when your sister says she's missing her scab collection

  6. A friend of mine had a twelve pound teratoma—a tumor that grows differentiated cells where they don't belong—so basically she had a basketball-sized tumor that had teeth and hair and brain tissue inside of it.

    This is less gross but still gives me the willies: my fiance was in a bad car accident ten years ago, and every now and then a piece of gravel or glass that was embedded in his arm from the road rash decides to pop out through his skin. Ten years later!

  7. Heather K12:46 PM

    My dad once burnt a hole through his fingernail while welding.  So it looked like a fingernail but had a big singed hole in the middle of his thumbnail that oozed pussy gunk and smelled really bad for about a month while it healed.

    My father also now has a witch finger because while moving some big heavy thing with a metal frame it dropped and managed to slice off the meaty part of the pad of his middle finger.  So now his finger is trinagle shaped and kind of flat and totally freaky on halloween.

    Also he never once cried during these events.

  8. GoldnI2:29 PM

    Last year at my friend's Passover Seder, after lots of drinking, someone dared one of the non-Jews who was there to drink the gefilte fish jelly straight out of the jar.  I realize this isn't much of a story, but I almost threw up just watching it.

  9. spacewoman2:56 PM

    Non-Jew isaac pretty much throws up if you say the words "gefilte fish."

  10. Christy in Philly3:33 PM

    I find both the gross story as incentive concept and these actual gross stories to be distressing.

    I'm all for using what works to motivate a kid but these seems kind of warped.

  11. Meghan4:44 PM

    If you knew the kid, this would actually be the least of your worries.

  12. Hannah Lee5:50 PM

    <p><span><span>When I was a kid, we lived in a old farmhouse, and field mice pretty commonly made their way inside.<span>  </span></span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span>One day I was home alone with my little sister, and we saw a mouse run down the hall.<span>  </span>We decided to try to catch it and release it outside, so we chased it down the hall into the living room, where it hid behind the sofa.</span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>We cornered it by each standing on one end of the sofa with a bucket and a spatula (for guiding the mouse into the buckets).<span>  </span>And a cookie sheet resting on the coffee table so we could quickly cover the bucket once the mouse was inside.<span>  </span></span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>Then we slowly pushed the sofa away from the wall. A sleeper sofa….with a heavy mechanism that was low to the ground.<span>  </span>When we got the sofa about 1’ away from the wall, we looked down to find the little mouse, perfectly still.<span>  </span></span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>Because it was flat as a pancake after being squished dead by the sofa.<span>    </span></span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    <span>My sister and I screamed, dropped our buckets and ran,<span>  </span>hiding in the kitchen waiting for my older brother to come clean it up because we were too grossed out (and feeling guilty we had killed it)<span>  </span>And for years afterward, I always felt a little creepy every time I sat on that sofa.</span></p>

  13. Maggie6:33 PM

    A college roommate told me this story:

    When they were little, her family had hamsters.  One day, they couldn't find one of the hamsters and looked and looked, but never found it.  A few months later, her mom was sitting on their living room couch and thought that the back cushions on the couch felt they were missing stuffing. They pulled them off the couch and found their hamster.  It was dead, decomposing and almost as big as a house cat.  It had eaten all the stuffing in the back of their couch.

  14. spacewoman7:20 PM

    Aaaand the prize goes to Maggie!

  15. lisased7:59 PM

    When they were 5 and 3, my brothers climbed up on the kitchen counter to get a glass out of the cabinet. Older brother knocked the younger brother off the counter, and he landed on the door of the open dishwasher, biting his tongue in half. Mom had to locate his tongue, ice it down, and bring it to the hospital, where the doctors sewed it back on.

  16. lisased7:59 PM

    It's like an urban legend for rats.

  17. Jen (from Texas)9:58 PM

    What an inventive way to motivate a kid (I am an elem school counselor)!

    When I was 15 my family took an awesome European vacation.  Somewhere in the middle of the trip we were in Geneva, Switzerland, and I had a big lunch righ on Lake Geneva.  Our tour guide, the wife of one of my dad's business associates, insisted on taking us on a drive up a nearby mountain for the view.  The mountain happened to be in France.

    We drove up the mountain at (what felt like) breakneck speed on a seriously windy road (think ribbon candy).  We got out, looked around, then flew back down the same road.  I was not feeling too great by now, as my very heavy lunch was not settling well with all the curves in the road.  We were at the border crossing, and I couldn't wait another minute.  I jumped out of the car and ran to the sidewalk looking for a grassy area, but I didn't quite make it.  I vomited several times and then looked up to see a rather horrified looking Swiss border guard (or maybe he was French?) looking down at his formerly shiny black boots, now covered in gross.  I stammered out an apology and ran back to the car, but it ahd been ushered through the crossing while I was sick.  My family, my tour guide, and my passport had crossed the border and I was stuck on the other side.  I heard a horn, looked up, and saw the car right across the border, so I ran across the border (!) and jumped back in the car, and we took off.  It is entirely possible I am on some sort of wanted fugitive list in France or Switzerland for illegally crossing the border after vandalizing a guard's footwear.  And that is the story of how I once vomited in two countries at once.

  18. Marsha1:39 AM

    Could someone please explain to me why I felt the need to read every single comment in this thread at 12:30am? Because I'd really like to know.

  19. Shari1:59 AM

    When I was in college, my then boyfriend, now husband, was lucky enough to have a dishwasher.  Unfortunately, one day we opened it to load, and found a mouse staring back at us.  We figured that the best idea was to run the dishwasher and the mouse would drown.  We didn't factor in the spinny arm thing that sprays the water into our thought process.  When the cycle ended, we didn't find one drowned mouse - it was all chopped up into little pieces, and fur was stuck to everything.  

  20. Anonymous5:46 AM

    Our large family had regular somewhat formal dinners at an established time every day. Everybody knew the rules of behavior, politeness, and so forth. It was a chance for our parents to learn what each kid had going on. Discipline in our family was sort of strict and closely controlled. Except for my youngest brother, who could do no wrong. We all treated him like our own little present from God. 

    One day my mother prepared sauerkraut and sausages and probably potatoes. She exactly wasn't the best cook but no matter what we thought of it we were trained never to play with our food. But there we were all seven us sitting around the table. My youngest brother draped some of the sauerkraut over his hand and put his hand with the sauerkraut on it under the table where we couldn't see it. He chose his moment to make sure to draw everybody's attention to himself by pretending to work up a huge sneeze

    "Ah ...ah ... ah .... AH ... AH ... AH ... CHEW !!!!" 

    Then he lifted his hand up to his nose with the strings of sauerkraut draped over his hand that looked exactly like strands of snot blown out of his nose. 

    It took us all a moment to realize we had been put on.

    Had any of us other kids done anything like that we would have been disciplined, so none of us would even think of such a thing. But he alone could be so gross at the table, play with his food, and get away with it. 

  21. The Pathetic Earthling7:27 AM

    I've got two:

    20 odd years ago, I was driving on Interstate 5 around Buttonwillow, the light was getting low and there was a haze in the air.  Now, that part of California gets maybe 6 inches of rain a year, but the occasional summer shower.  It was a hot day and I noticed a light drizzle on my windshield.  I thought, oh how great, I'll put my arm out and enjoy a little of the rain.  I went along for half a mile of this with my arm out of the car.  Got a couple of funny looks and then decided to wipe my face with some fresh water.  Except, it wasn't water, it was thousand and thousands of gnats splattering on my windshield and arm.  And now over my face.

    More recently, I was out hiking and I saw a rubber balloon hanging from a bit of barbed wire fence.  Now, I'm pretty aggressive about picking up bits of trash when I hike, even to the point of carrying a plastic sack or two so I can fill up.  Anyway, I sometimes don't worry about stuff that small, but I reached for it to pull it off -- hmmm, I though, why is this balloon filled with blood.. oh, not a balloon at all -- squirrel entrails, no doubt from a hawk's afternoon snack.

  22. Meghan7:58 AM

    Because we all want to be rewarded with gross stories!

  23. I was living overseas and thought I would be helpful to my host family and put away some groceries.  I opened the freezer and smiling back at me was a skinned donkey head.  That was the day I learned to say, "I don't eat meat." 

  24. You couldn't pay me enough to drink the brine, but gefilte fish and the other kosher staples that appeared every year around Passover were like little bonuses for having Jewish room mates.  Best part was they didn't really seem to _like_ the stuff, so when the week was out it was all mine. 

  25. I have a lot of these stories, I think.  I certainly have a limitless capacity for making them up.  Likely my sense of what is and is not age-appropriate is under-developed. 

    I'm not sure it has the "rat-on-the-snake-n-rooter" punch line that you're looking for, but here's the first that springs mind:

    One summer I was living with my cousins' family while I worked an internship at a small town paper.  In a 10x10 outbuilding on their property there was a freezer full of chickens, turkeys, cornish hens, slabs of ribs, and other cuts of meat that my aunt had bought at clearance prices and saved for future use.  In the middle of August, when mid-day heat was in the high 90s and low 100s, the compressor on the deep freeze went out.  Over the next few days, the meat inside first slowly, and then more and more quickly, went bad.  By the time the smell alerted us and we figured what had happened everything in the freezer, between 150-250lbs of meat, had gone completely rancid.  The freezer was broken, the meat was hot and rotten, and there was nothing to do but throw it all away.  When we opened the lid of the freezer to begin dealing with the problem we suddenly had so many flies beating against the windows of the outbuilding that it sounded like a strong afternoon rain.  It probably only took 20 minutes to unload the freezer into wheelbarrows and roll the spoiled meat away to be incinerated, and another 20 minutes to scrub out the freezer and outbuilding with bleach, but it seemed like hours and hours and hours.  The smell -- or the idea of it, maybe -- clung to me for days.

  26. Emily3:23 PM

    "I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life." --Chunk, Goonies.

  27. kenedy jane11:12 PM

    Sadly, my sister and brother experienced something like this in real life.  They went to see The Exorcist a couple of months after it opened (1974 maybe?).  Well, remember the green McDonald's milkshakes?  Some brilliant kids in the balcony took several of those to the movie and dumped them over the balcony to duplicate what Regan was doing on the screen.

  28. mikeski4:54 PM

    About 8 years ago, my then 6 year old son was tossing a magnetic metal ball while lying down.  Sure enough, it dropped into his mouht and he swallowed it.  Frantic calls to the doctor.  Should come out in 3-5 days, but you gotta make sure, 'cause otherwise it may have lodged somewhere in his GI tract.  In other words, you gotta literally check that shit out. 

    Mom uses a pencil and pokes at it - no good.  I get the dishwashing gloves and spend the next 5 days squeezing his feces between my fingers, making sure it had passed.  When it did, all of the shiny metallic covering was gone.

    When he was a baby, I went to give him a bath.  The water's running and I'm holding him over the tub, and he starts to poop.  I did a quick mental calculation and realized that waiting for it to hit the tub and clean all that up would be more work guessed it, catching it with my bare hand.  He finished up, I scrubbed my hand, and life went on.

  29. Travis7:46 PM

    I was about 12 years old, playing hockey on the street with my friends when one of them lines up a slapshot while I'm coming to check him from behind. His stick hits me square in the forehead. I immediately put my hand over it like you do anytime you get hit with something, but within seconds I feel blood start to trickle from between my eyes and down my face. When I remove my hand, blood starts gushing from my forehead like a firehose. Literally a sprinkler of blood, horror movie style. A ride to the hospital from my drunk neighbor (me covering my forehead to stop the bleeding, him covering one eye to remain on the road) and 4 stitches later... my parents return from their evening walk in disbelief at what could happen in 45minutes.