This is not about the old 7-Up mascot.
I have a friend. A great friend. A weird friend. A great and weird friend. A friend so great and weird that she once suggested we get a pet rat because:
My friend Carlie was once in 5th grade. She was a tween– a particularly strange species that is almost teen, but still secretly plays with toys. The female tween creature can generally be identified by her excessive amount of glitter, her high pitched screeching at the mentioning of a pop icon, and her outlandish and uncontrolled color alterations to the eye region (through the use of the make-ups).
Both boy and girl tweens are highly perplexed by the other gender. Boys don’t understand girls and girls don’t understand boys– all they know is that there is something oddly fascinating about their counterparts, but they just can’t put their finger on it, not yet at least. This, combined with their debilitating physical awkwardness and emerging hormones, leads to strange and irregular interactions between the two genders, interactions that are fascinating to us regular human beings and make tween sightings an exciting occasion.
That being said, Carlie, being a tween, did not really know the proper ways to interact with the male species as a normal human being would, nor did the rest of her girl posse. So when conflict arose with the rival boy posse, hilarity ensued.
What was this conflict? Apparently there was a “cool spot” to stand at the school Carlie attended. I’m not sure what made it cool, perhaps a water fountain or a crack in the pavement that resembled JC Chasez. Regardless, this spot was cool and just about everyone wanted to stand there.
It was Carlie and her girl posse that were the inhabitants of this cool spot. They were the queen bees, the top guns, the coolest of the cool, the big tweens on campus. Life was good at the cool spot and every day the gals would stand there and have a really great time.
But something terrible happened. One day, the rival boy posse seized the beloved cool spot from Carlie and her friends and claimed it as their own. The girls were no longer allowed and the boys flaunted the ownership of their new hangout.
The girls were enraged. Seething. Inconsolable. How dare the boys seize their spot and displace them to some dilapidated part of the playground! Reprehensible! Surely, there was some kind of protection from such flagrant thievery, from such abuses to amicable indigenous peoples. Should they tell the principal? That wouldn’t do- they would take the matter into their own hands. The girls would not let this injustice go without retribution. They would get their spot back and the boys would pay.
Serious measures had to be taken as soon as possible in order to regain their ownership of the coveted cool spot. Had I been in the same situation, being the very civil and urbane child I was, I would have probably just thrown some rocks, kneed some balls, or spit a lot. But it was not I, it was Carlie and her friends, and they were a very shrewd and calculated bunch. Instead of an impulsive direct attack, they plotted an elaborate plan that would:
A. Make the boys leave
B. Avoid direct confrontation
Fighting the boys would be a messy affair. So instead of that, wouldn’t it be easier if the boys left on their own, if they decided that the cool spot was no longer appealing and just got up and left? The cool spot without the cool is just the spot. And who wants that? No one.
But how to make the cool spot seem uncool? Well, duh. That’s an easy question to answer: Make it seem like a homeless person is living there. Yes, this is the idea the girls came up with. Homeless people are just about as uncool as helmets. It was the natural solution that all normal people would think of.
Now that they had their foolproof plan, they just had to bring it into fruition and set up a convincing homeless scene. Bringing the right hobo-looking possessions was of the utmost importance.
Yes. Carlie was to bring the poop. What better way to fabricate a homeless person’s place of residence than by placing a piece of poop on the ground? Poop was the icing on the cake. Poop was the irrefutable evidence. Poop was the way to ensure the boys would never come back. Nevah evah. Poop_Was_The_Answer.
(Of course she wouldn’t bring human feces. That would be disgusting. Carlie would merely collect some of her dog’s poop and bring that to school.)
The next day came. Carli was prepared. She had followed Spark around, waited for his moment, collected his business, and stuck it in a shoebox. But when she got to school with her shoebox of poop, none of the other girls had brought their hobo props! IDIOTS!
Carlie was disappointed in her friends, but there was no time to dwell on that. The boys were standing in the cool spot, and fiery flames of anger were burning inside all of the girls. Their strategic, non-confrontational plan went out the window. This was war.
They marched right up to the boys and demanded their spot back. But the boys would not budge. Yelling. More Yelling. Fists of anger. Yelling. Mean name calling. Yelling. SCREAMING. CURSING. FINGER WAVING. Things were getting out of hand. The situation was escalating.
(Girls are represented by blue and boys are represented by pink. FEMINISM.)
Carlie felt the cardboard in her hands. She knew she had a very, very powerful weapon– a weapon that could end this silliness immediately. Much like the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, the poop was a weapon that could bring peace, but only at the cost of much destruction. Using this poop would bring about tremendous consequences, and once she unleashed it, there would be no turning back. She had to think long and hard about it, and made her choice:
I’m a little hazy on the detail of what happened afterwards. I guess the boys ran away and very quickly relinquished the cool spot. Perhaps the girls ran away as well, seeing that the madness of war had turned their friend into a poop threatening monster. Carli was tattled on and her mom received a phone call from the school that was probably hilarious, a little embarrassing, but mostly weird.
Carli didn’t get in much trouble. There was no real concern that she would turn out to be some crazed, poop-hurling adult. As you can see below in my chart, Carli’s actions were only a level two on the parental concern scale.
These days Carlie has put down the shoebox of poo, and instead picked up the old science books. She has just taken the MCATs and is on her way to becoming the best doctor evah.
And someday, after she saves the life of some patient in some difficult surgery, I’ll gently put my hand on the shoulder of that patient and say, “Hey there, you know that doctor that just saved your life over there?”
She will nod and I’ll point to Carlie, and we’ll both look at her with much admiration and gratitude.
Then I’ll look at the patient very sincerely in the eyes, and she’ll think I’m about to say something inspiring, but instead I’ll just say:
“She used to go to school with a box of dog turds.”
At first she’ll look at me weirdly and wonder, “Who are you?” But then she’ll think, “Dog turd? In a shoebox? Ew.”