The Australian Federal Government has made the mistake of sending my male staff a bowel cancer screening test kit. Apparently they will be doing this more frequently in the future and in theory it's a great idea that may well save thousands of lives. As soon as someone turns fifty the government sends them a birthday present of a screening kit, and then when they are fifty five they get another one. My staff are particularly grateful for these gifts on their birthday because it's the only one they get, having long ago decided not to buy each other presents, but to have a nice meal out instead. So these days they just wrap the bowel cancer screening kit in nice paper tied with a ribbon and give it to each other, feigning delight and surprise as they unwrap it.
The process of completing the test is quite delightful. The kit contains two little floating mats, two screw topped plastic canisters with a sort of sugar frosting in the bottom, a couple of things that look like posh toothpicks, one red one and one blue one, two sticky labels and a padded envelope addressed to The Poomaster General, (or some such title), POO Box 5018 in Heidelburg, Victoria.
The human pooper lays one of the little floating mats in the toilet bowl, takes careful aim and then poops on it, but not too much because that would sink the mat and then you'd really be in trouble. Then one grabs one of the posh toothpicks and pokes it into the bush chocolate, digging around in it for a while to ensure that you have a good sample. Next you take the toothpick and shove it (hurriedly) into one of the test tubes, screwing the lid on as quickly as possible. The sample is then placed in the fridge (hopefully a long way from my vegetables), until the pooper repeats the whole thing with the other little floating mat and toothpick the next day.
My male staff says that the Poomaster General really should include a gasmask in the kit he sends out. I have found that male humans are not good with things that come out of their bodies. Bush chocolate, bush lemonade, and bush pizzas (vomit to the uninitiated) leave the toughest, butchest, hairiest males quivering wrecks. Female humans are much better with that sort of thing. In fact they seem to revel in it, especially if it's coming out of a baby human. The brat will be praised for pooping or piddling, or sometimes even puking. "Whoops-a-daisy, up she comes. There's a good boy." As it throws up four litres of half digested milk down her new black trouser suit.
Anyway, the last time my male staff sent in his sample he was so paranoid about posting it in the letter box and having it "go off" in the Australian summer heat that He asked the nice lady behind the post office counter if she would mind keeping it in the staff room fridge next to her sandwiches until the postman came to collect the mail. Unfortunately she was in a rather contrary mood that day and refused to cooperate, so my male staff had to dash home for an insulated cool bag and some of those frozen bricks that normal people put perishables in when they do their shopping. He packed his poo samples up in the cool bag, went back to town and sat next to the post box until an our later the postie turned up to collect the mail, whereupon my male staff unpacked his sample, leapt to his feet waving it (thankfully inside it's padded envelope) under the postman's nose, saying "This is my bowel screening sample please keep it cool. Maybe you could put it on the front seat next to you and turn the air-con nozzle onto it." Having decided (wrongly in my opinion) that my male staff was not dangerously insane, the postman snatched the envelope from him, stuffed it into his sack with the rest of his mail, flung it carelessly into the back of his van and drove off, leaving my male staff fuming on the pavement, contemplating writing a severe letter of complaint to the Customer Relations Department of the Post Office about the treatment of his poo.
So traumatised by all this was my male staff that this year when he received another test kit he refused to go through the whole unpleasant procedure, instead substituting two of my perfectly formed pellets of bush chocolate, each one impaled at the end of one of the posh toothpicks like a tiny cocktail sausage. They were duly posted off to the Poomaster General and within two weeks he'd received the results. The letter said "We are pleased to inform you that the result of your bowel cancer scan was negative. However we were surprised to find such a high percentage of hay in your fecal sample and you might want to cut down a bit on the basil too.
April Fools' Day was fun this year. Badger and I spent a couple of hours gathering up the discarded coloured foil wrappers of those little Cadbury Easter eggs, the contents of which had been guzzled by my staff. We then carefully wrapped some of our top quality bush chocolate and left them laying in strategic spots around the house. It wasn't long before my female staff discovered one with a delighted cry of "Oh look Darling. we missed an Easter egg. And look, here's another." She handed one to my male staff and in a companionable silence they unwrapped them and popped them happily into their mouths. How satisfying it was to watch their expression change. "Blech! Said my male staff. "Tastes like carob." Mind you it didn't stop them eating them.
Why are humans so obsessed with their own poo? Why can't they take an interest is something nicer? Feet for example.