Thursday, December 20, 2007


One of the fun things about our friends in the medical profession is their ability to regale us with Funny Case Histories. As an example, a few weeks ago our friend Marc - a pediatrician - shared a story of Toilet Training Gone Wrong.

Well, not wrong, per se. Just strange. And amusing.

It seems that the parents of one of Marc’s patients had utilized the approach of Faecal Anthropomorphication in the course of toilet training their child. Giving dookie a human face, so to speak. It’s a tactic that was used with great success on South Park with the infamous Mr. Hankie.

To wit: Instead of referring to the child’s excrement using cold, impersonal, neutral descriptors such as “poopie,” “poo,” “doodie,” “cockie,” “Number Two,” “Big Jobs,” or even the prosaic “shit,” they gave it a Name. Herman, they called it.

“Sweetie, do you have to make Herman?” they’d say.

Perverse as this may seem, it was effective. Toilet training proceeded without a hitch, and eventually a Herman in the Pants became a rara avis.

Until one fateful day, when Junior came down with a case of the Trots. The Hershey Squirts. Bubbly Bowels. And after seeing the results, the kid came unglued.

“Mommy! Daddy! Something’s wrong! Herman melted!!!”

[Note: Herman’s name has been changed in order to protect the identity of the family involved.]

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