Denise McDonald Dorman

Archive for the ‘Life Observations’ Category

Yes, I Am 12…and Not in Dog Years

In Comedy, Dave Dorman, Denise Dorman, Humor, Life Observations, Practical Jokes, Pranks, Wall Street Journal, WriteBrain Media on January 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I‘ll admit it. I’m not the most sophisticated when it comes to humor. Frankly, I am 12.

Oh, I can grasp and laugh at Dennis Miller’s obscure metaphors 90% of the time–admittedly with a little help from Wikipedia. I revel in the clever comedy stylings of Christopher GuestMonty Python and The League of Gentlemen…but it’s the really immature stuff that sucker punches me. Blazing Saddles. Kathy Griffin. Pee Wee Herman.

What does it say about me that I can’t sit in a board meeting and hear the word “titillate” without smirking? When someone lets go of a squeaker in church, I’m a goner. I’ll admit, I even snuck in a quote about farting when the Wall Street Journal interviewed me a few years back. While I haven’t researched this carefully, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume I’m the very first.

Yes, I am 12.

This has made parenting a six-year-old boy an enormous challenge for me. My “pause laughter” button has never materialized. I spontaneously erupt at his every precocious declaration and sound effect. This is doing neither me, my husband nor my son any favors. I might as well be telegraphing, “Want to avoid disciplinary action? Just make that well-timed comment or fart sound!”

I’m so lucky to have a mature partner in this parenting endeavor–my husband Dave. That’s right. The comic book artist is the mature one in this dynamic duo. Who’d have thunk it? Like my BFF, the brilliant prankster Christina Bouvier whom I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Dave has somehow trained his facial muscles to hide his gut reaction. This comes in handy on occasions like last Friday, when our son informed us in his wide-eyed innocence that “cows have gutters.” Dave’s a true poker face.

Here’s just one example: Once upon a time not long ago, Dave and I stood together in a long checkout line at Lowe’s. Deep within the bowels of my hobo bag, I had forgotten about my new key chain…the one with the cursing man sound chip fob. I never meant to actually use it in public. It was one of those impulse buys I intended to use on Bouvier. It seems my wallet shifted inside of there and jammed the key fob’s talk button. “You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! You’re an A-hole! Eff you, Eff you, Eff you!” the key chain chirped incessantly…and loudly. People in other checkout lines were staring me down. My purse was plagued with Tourette’s Syndrome, yet Dave didn’t bat an eye.

One day my son will be 12, and we will be equals.

 

I’m NOT One of the Top 50 Mommy Bloggers…But Who’s Counting?!?

In Chinese, Dave Dorman, Entertainment, Fortune Cookies, Life Observations, Pop Culture, Practical Jokes, Pranks, WriteBrain Media on November 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm

So today they announced the Top 50 Mommy Bloggers. Apparently I haven’t done enough drinking and bribing with the judges.  That’s okay. I appreciate all of you, my gentle snowflakes. Each and every one of you.

A little Facebook exchange today reminded me to share with you one of my favorite practical jokes. I executed this operation when I was first getting to know Dave’s family. I had just moved to Shalimar, Florida and it was right around the holidays. Dave’s brother Jeff, sister-in-law Vicky, niece Stephanie and nephew John came down to celebrate with us and Dave’s father, USAF Lieutenant Colonel Jack Dorman.  Dave’s niece Stephanie and I hit the mall for some Christmas shopping and happened upon one of my favorite practical joke prop stores of all time (cue up the choir of angels): Spencer’s Gifts.

While perusing Spencer’s, I discovered the most delicious x-rated fortune cookies. As luck would have it (no pun intended), the whole family was going to Dave’s favorite Chinese restaurant that very evening. Stephanie and I were just buzzing with anticipation.

We arrived at the Chinese restaurant and ever-so-casually pulled the server aside and asked her to serve our fortune cookies. I don’t know about your family, but our tradition is that everyone reads their fortune aloud at the end of the meal. Like many ugly Americans, when little ears aren’t present, we end the fortune with the words “in bed” or “between the sheets.” This particular night, we all held off on that tradition to be more appropriate in a public place.

I’d give anything to recall the entire fortune-reading-aloud segment, but all that I can really remember is Dave’s brother Jeff reading, “Tight butts drive me nuts…?!?” as he looked up quizzically with a half-smile on his face. Everyone raced to open their fortune cookies and read them. Dave got really pissed and declared to the server, “What kind of fortune cookies are you serving here?!?” and then he saw it: the tears of laughter rolling down mine and Stephanie’s faces. Once again, he was the victim of my horseplay.

If pranks don’t come naturally to you, I recommend that you, too, peruse Spencer’s Gifts. The props there are downright inspirational. And when you pull your prank, please share it with me here or email me at denise@writebrainmedia.com. I can always use a good laugh.

Nature v. Nurture: The Apple That Didn’t Drop Far From the Tree

In Entertainment, Life Observations, WriteBrain Media on November 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Gentle Readers,

Most of you following me know that I’m married to a famed artist and illustrator, Dave Dorman. However, unless you grew up with me, you likely aren’t aware that I, too, was a gifted artist in my youth. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a mentor like Dave to explain to me that there was “gold in them thar mines…” or real career opportunities for artists and illustrators.  Today Dave goes to grade schools, high schools and colleges and lectures students on career opportunities for the arts. I just wasn’t that savvy.  I knew no one who did art, outside of my art teachers, and there was  no way in hell I was going to suffer that level of abuse.  (Well, I did do a 3-year stint as a Sunday School teacher and was pretty good at it, but I digress).  With the residue from too much ’70s Woodward & Bernstein influence, I ventured forth into a “safer” creative field–writing.

So jump ahead a few decades, and here Dave and I are with a six-year-old son who is clearly showing artistic ability – freakishly so – and we are occasionally flabbergasted by his burgeoning talent. Yesterday was just such an example. Our son turned six this week, and we watched him draw this image below freehand, with no reference to copy. It was simply drawn from his memory. The character he drew, Cosmo from Nickelodeon’s The Fairly OddParents, was perfect in detail, according to Dave, who is well familiar with the character.  I cannot bear to watch that painful show, so I’m no expert. So here it is. Judge for yourself if this looks like the art of a six-year-old:

Dave Dorman's Son Shows Artistic Talent at Age Six

Left to his own devices, our son will choose to sit down and draw rather than watch TV or play videogames. While we praise his efforts, we haven’t given him any formal art training. Dave has insisted we give him the freedom to find his own “voice” in his art. Dave was in his early 20s when he found his voice, and that has worked out well so far, so I’m thinking this is the best approach.  But what do I know? What do you think?

As always, thanks for reading.

Denise

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Depraved Fun with Dictionary.Com

In Life Observations on September 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

It happens to all of us — over time, that patina of newness and your partner’s eager puppy unceasing attention to your every utterance fades to black. You’ll know just when it happens – that moment when they forget to check first if you’re showering, and just flush the toilet at will, scalding you in your soaped up birthday suit…or that moment when it takes an act of Congress to get your partner’s attention over the din of the TV (in my husband’s case, shows like “Japanese Iron  Chef”) or the Sunday paper. My creative BFF Christina Bouvier has taught me her stealthy ninja secret to interrupting Dave’s TV coma. She has used this technique on her husband with a high degree of success. In her case, he gets sucked into old Twilight Zone episodes, or anything on the SyFy Channel (btw, the most brutally ridiculous brand name change in the history of TV – it should have remained SciFi Channel, imho. Are we supposed to pronounce this “Siffy”? WTF?!?).

So, if you’re looking to suck your husband’s…wait for it…attention…from the vortex of bad TV, here’s a great online tool to make it happen:

Go to Dictionary.com and find the most titillating term – perhaps at your house, it’s titillating? Anyhow, Bouvier usually types in “vagina” or “penis.” On Dictionary.com, there’s an audio option, so she just keeps hitting that audio button, over and over again–ad nauseum–as the robotic voice says “Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!” Eventually her hubby breaks his eye lock on the flat screen and looks up at her with disgust from Twilight Zone. The victory is all hers.

Kids, try this at home, and let me know how well it works for you!

Stainless & Granite: The Unenlightened Think It’s the New Black in Kitchen Design

In Life Observations on September 7, 2010 at 4:09 am

In some households, the cacophony of couch potatoes screaming at the flat screen might smack of football season. At our house, it means I’m watching my favorite new porn: HGTV’s House Hunters, or its skinnier, richer and even bee-yotchier sister, House Hunters International.

Today was House Hunters International’s HGTV marathon. (I guess they don’t think my ass is big enough already, so they’re adding several hours to my non-aerobic activity). Imagine my delight and surprise when interviewing world-renowned artist Scott Hampton for Dave Dorman’s & my podcast, “It’s Comic Book Day” (free on iTunes, folks!) and discovering that he, too, shares my addiction. Scott summed it up best: Who knew you could buy a chateau in the south of France for a mere $500,000?!?”

I’ve learned much from observing – and cursing out – these clueless home buyers. Are you selling a home in the near future? Take careful note. The new rules for staging homes can be summarized in a couple of bullet points:

#1. People today are way too stupid to notice the true and lovely bones of a home and the potential of its land. They will NOT see past the paint palette or wallpaper that somehow offends their precious sensibilities, so keep that wall cover neutral, folks! Just take your paint cues from some old Pottery Barn catalog (don’t worry, the catalog can be from 10 years ago and the design won’t have evolved at all) and be sure to fill a giant, useless and extravagantly expensive clear vase (say it like you’re from Connecticut and pronounce it “vaahhhzzz”) with useless balls that look like Martha Stewart rolled up some brown old grape vines after her Kobe beef herd shat on them. Wall colors can be khaki, ecru and egg shell. Don’t get too imaginative. Wall art must always be framed in black.

#2. The home could have a crumbling foundation and the most labyrynthine layout, but so long as that kitchen boasts “stainless steel appliances and granite countertops,” that home is…to quote our moronic ex-Illinois Guv Blago…”Effing GOLDEN!!!”

Every single time I see some uninformed couple walk into a kitchen and gush over stainless and granite, I scream at the TV. I’m confident Dave jests when he tells me I learned English from “longshoremen,” whatever that means. Surely Tony Robbins is intricately involved in some conspiracy…like the kitchen design lobbyists got to him, and the next brainwashing session he held down at his Fiji compound was dedicated to selling future home buyers on bad 1998 kitchen decor. Do these people just really not know what a pain in the ass it is to keep fingerprints off of stainless?!? Or how easily stainless steel appliances dent?!? Or how dated these kitchens are going to look in no time?!?

When I think of these house hunters, I can’t help but think of the lyric from The Police’s most excellent album, Synchronicity: “Packed like lemmings into shiny, metal boxes…contestants in a suicidal race.” But these house hunting lemmings are all converging toward one giant design suicide. From everything I’ve witnessed over countless episodes, home buyer individuality is deader than Paris Hilton’s welcome mat at LasVegas Wynn Properties.

All this talk of The Police has made me, in my true A.D.D. fashion, think of the hottest Baby Boomer on the planet, Sting. He should have at least a cameo role on my favorite vampire porn, True Blood. Don’t you agree?

Why Denise Dorman is So Anal About Grammar…

In Life Observations on September 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I‘m in this hyper-private mastermind group, so I can’t say much under threat of my own demise, but one of my favorite cohorts just offered up this beauty, fresh off of Twitter:

Grammar is Important. Capitalization is the difference between “Helping your Uncle Jack off a horse” and “helping your uncle jack off a horse.”

That was sheer brilliance. That might be in one of my favorite books, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.” Yep. I’m the dork who bought that book.

Witness Jeff Deck, and a couple of his college friends, who have spent the last year traveling around the United States fixing grammatically incorrect signs from Hoboken to Hot Springs. I am their biggest fan. While my BFFs lie in bed at night fantasizing about True Blood hotties like Joe Manganiello, I lie in bed fantasizing about making my mark on the world’s typos with a giant Sharpie. Even restaurant menus cannot escape my eagle eye for Parmasan v. Parmesan and Riesling v. Reisling. Musicians listen to a concert and hear that one wrong note that we mere mortals cannot identify. That’s how I read…everything.

I once dated someone who sent me romantic poetry via email. Since he had never done anything like this before, I was puzzled by the email and simply had no idea of its context or social cue. It was truly my adult Asperger’s moment. I emailed it back with grammatical corrections, only to be mortified that this love poem was written solely for me. D’oh! (That was the first of many nails in the coffin for that relationship.)

I once patronized a local dry cleaner, owned and operated by a lovely Asian couple for whom English was a second language. I really liked them, especially since the owner went to NIU–my alma mater–for graphic design. I was infuriated one day when I discovered they had paid hard-earned money for a giant sign on their front window, 3 feet x 6 feet, announcing: “Snirts: 75 cents.” I walked right in, past the line of astonished patrons, grabbed the marker off of their counter, and went to town, turning “Snirts” into “Shirts.” I was too busy fulfilling my fantasy, no, make that my destiny, to notice that I might be perceived by the wildly curious line of suits and middle-aged moms as, say, eccentric. I was merely correcting an unspeakable, giant bowl of WRONG and helping out some friends.

You could say I’m a little over the top when it comes to grammar and punctuation. When fresh college grads send me their resumes, I always point out, gently, that my last name is Dorman, not Doorman, and “perhaps if you’re pointing out your attention to detail, that typo might come under your purview.” Do you think that’s a little too harsh? Not me! I enjoy deflowering the “I’m-too-precious-to-criticize” bubble surrounding today’s Gen Zs. My biggest pet peeve? When people use “it’s” instead of “its.” That one sends me nonlinear.

Now I’ll share my own gaffe, but I refuse to own it. My well-intentioned spell check on my iPhone was the culprit for this big boner. I have a client named Idit for whom I have enormous respect and admiration. I flew in to Jersey to meet with her. I sent her a message and hit the send button a nanosecond too quickly – with the salutation of “Dear Idiot.” For me and my personal brand of grammatical exceptionalism, that moment was as deflating as a Pulitzer Prize winner getting busted for plagiarism. Idit was too polite to acknowledge it, but I’ll admit, her projects have benefited from “The Big Boner Discount” ever since.

The Bree Van de Kamp of Butt Crack Maintenance

In Life Observations on June 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Per usual, my phone conversation this morning with BFF Christina Bouvier devolved into talk of bodily functions. Today’s topic: the proper way to wipe one’s ass.

There is no more hotly contested debate in our home than the one my hubby and I have over wet butt wipes. Dave is against them. I am for them. My argument–and it’s a sound one–is that no one uses dry toilet paper to wipe the ass of a baby.  Why on earth should that change when we become adults and there’s even more ass crack real estate to divide and conquer?

Dave’s biggest gripe is that I have influenced our son, who flat-out refuses to poop away from home unless he knows that wet wipes are awaiting him. This sends Dave non-linear. I say hey, it’s not like he’s asking for wipes moistened in unicorn tears! Pick your battles! (I have the same issue about pooping away from home, but that’s because my ass knows when it’s sitting on its own toilet. I’m not alone in this– traveler’s constipation is the #1 complaint amongst my friends. Every girl’s-only vacation, this gets discussed ad nauseum.)

My friend Julcia confided one day that her neighbor is the true Bree Van De Kamp of Butt Crack Maintenance. Julcia’s neighbor gives her ass the Silkwood Treatment every time she poops, literally spraying rubbing alcohol onto her toilet paper. I find people’s quirks downright fascinating. The quirkier, the better. Her MacBeth-like obsession is giving “Out, damned spot!” a whole new perspective.

The FREAK in the Hot Tub

In Life Observations on June 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm

One magical summer during college, BFFs Christina Bouvier, Dee Meister and I really took advantage of our memberships at a local health club. It quickly became our second home. Our routine was a vigorous game of racquetball followed by the hot tub, and finally, the ultimate cool down: a dip in the Olympic-sized pool. Since this pool was renowned for its very showy competitive divers, it didn’t take much coaxing for me to do my dramatic Nadia Comaneci gymnast march across the lower diving board, reach the end, pause, pinch my nose with one hand and do a gigantic, splashy white trash cannonball. Even the lifeguard would look away, snickering.

Oddly enough, the hot tub was co-ed, located in an awkwardly shared space between the men’s & women’s locker rooms.  For a woman alone, this was not a safe place to be. Whoever came up with this brainchild must have been the person behind naming the Fifth Third Bank. If the hot tub was occupied by some strange guy, we simply walked past it and proceeded straight to the pool.

But here’s the thing: I’m the original freak magnet. If something bizarre and socially awkward is going to happen, the likelihood of it happening with me present is statistically and inordinately high. My colleagues theorize that I have a friendly face, and this somehow attracts it.  I think it goes beyond that. It’s some sort of aura I give off unwittingly: Freaks are Welcome Here. If there are 10 people in the frozen foods aisle and I’m the one with my ass sticking out of the freezer whilst inspecting the fish sticks, it will be my shoulder that gets tapped by a stranger asking the time of day, or which aisle houses the anti-itch creme. One day as I paid for my gasoline, a cashier proceeded to tell me about her abortion. I just nodded politely, a deer-in-the-headlights captive audience desperately in need of an exit strategy. Perhaps I missed my calling as a therapist, since people find the need to seek me out and assault me with their life’s non sequitirs.

Back to the health club. On this given day, BFFs Bouvier, Meister and I were all sitting around the perimeter of the hot tub, soaking our legs from the knees down. A Speedo’d man in his thirties entered the hot tub, and proceeded to go underwater in the middle of our threesome, holding himself in a tightly wound little ball. Bouvier, Meister and I all exchanged our WTF look, pretending to converse as though nothing were amiss. A minute went by, and we all started getting highly anxious. What the hell was this Man from Atlantis doing? And why?  And even more worrisome, did he require our assistance?

After some spirited debate, Meister came up with the best solution: “Let’s all hold our breath, and when we can no longer hold our breath, we will grab this guy and pull him out of the water.” Agreed. Brilliant. The three of us sat there, our cheeks puffed out like Louie Armstrong, reddening until we could no longer stand it. Bouvier was the last to exhale. We three stood up simultaneously to go into the water together and rescue this ass clown. He suddenly burst forth out of the water violently, like an angry, sebaceous cyst being popped. Although startled to the point of perhaps leaving a few drops of yellow water behind, we avoided making eye contact with this guy and continued walking past him and out of the hot tub, as though exiting was our original intention.

To this day, we remain perplexed by this incident. Every year, I check the Guinness Book of World Records. Thus far, the person with the record for holding his breath under water bears no resemblance to our guy. I’m just chalking it up to yet another stranger who felt comfortable letting his freak flag fly proudly in my presence.

When I’m President: Change You CAN Believe

In Life Observations on June 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

So Friday night was our secret society (S.H.I.T.S. meeting). Let me tell you, there’s no world problem that cannot be resolved when 5 smart women start shooting the shit.

Misty, my favorite Texan, had already emailed her idea for solving the oil spill to some link on BP’s Web site. Helen Thomas made her hideous, anti-Semitic comment that very day, so of course, we “went there” as wily women will do when they’re drinking vodka and offended. Misty declared, “You can’t even drink her pretty” in that southern drawl of hers, coupled with her slowly emerging, snarky grin. A debate ensued as to whether the Velveeta & Rotelle melted cheese dip would constipate us (hey, it is cheese, and cheese constipates) or create juice in the caboose (hey, it is chemically-produced cheese). Next up, I offered my expansive opinions on how to properly run the U.S. government, which I am stating here, although they’re much more abridged without vodka involved. Here’s my platform, and if you like it, elect me president next time out, okay?

#1. The Gold Standard will be reinstated. Our money will have actual value beyond the paper it’s printed on.

#2. Gays will be allowed to legally marry. I can’t BELIEVE this hasn’t happened already.

#3. Anchor babies will be outlawed.

#4. No one can serve more than 2 terms in Congress. Ever. Career politicans are outlawed.

#5. Lobbyists will be outlawed. If ever there was stronger case of the fox in the henhouse, it’s our system allowing lobbying.

#6. The flat tax of 30% will be enforced for a period of 4 years, and then we will evaluate the results.

#7. Marijuana will be legalized and taxed heavily to wipe out the deficit.

#8. Drilling will begin in Alaska’s Anwar immediately.

#9. The San Joaquin Valley will have their irrigation restored and that stupid smelt fish will be placed with velvet gloves into an aquarium somewhere to reproduce to its heart’s content.

#10.  Roe v. Wade won’t be overturned, but late-term abortion and abortion beyond 4 weeks of pregnancy will be outlawed.

#11. If you give up a child for adoption, you MUST submit your medical issues and updates to a private site so that the adoptee will have access to his/her medical information.

#12. We will provide zero aid to anyone until our own deficit is eliminated. We will borrow zero money from anyone and be beholden to no one.

#13. I will develop a reality TV program where American Idol -meets-energy-independence, showing the top 10 competitors developing their inventions. Whomever wins gets$25 million.

#14. Anyone on welfare or unemployment will punch a time card for 40 hours per week and be either picking up litter on the side of the road or improving roads. After 6 months, welfare will no longer be available to them.

#15. No one gets a driver’s license before age 18. After age 70, you need to be retested EVERY YEAR to ensure hearing,vision and cognitive abilities are up to snuff.

#16. Every person serves 2 years in the U.S. military.

#17. Social Security will go away.

#18. The “No Child Left Behind” program will be seriously reevaluated.

#19. A crisis plan will be in place (by that, I mean a REAL one, not just on paper) with very specific actions and equipment assigned for hurricanes, earthquakes, mud slides, fires or oil spills wiping out entire regions. If a governor sees a need, as Bobby Jindal did with the sand berms, he will be granted the authority to take action as needed to mitigate damage.

#20. Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to drop someone because of their illness. They must offer a plan to those with pre-existing conditions, even if it means a higher deductible for those people.

#21. Health insurance will be to available beyond state lines.

#22. Tort reform WILL happen.

#23. When I say proceedings are transparent, I will mean it. TV cameras WILL be allowed in. The public WILL be allowed to read a bill 7 days prior to the vote.

#24. Medicare will be outlawed. People will be allowed to retain their own private insurance after age 65.

#25. The device they unveiled on 60 Minutes a while back, which emits such an unbearable heat, you cannot walk toward it, will be set up on our borders. No one will get past it. Until that device is implemented, that border will be a wall of national guard troops. I don’t care how many it takes.

#26. NAMBLA will be outlawed. Period.

#27. Small businesses will be granted tax BREAKS like crazy until we reach a level where I see the economy and the stock market stabilizing.

#28. The Muppets will be reinstated on Saturday night TV.

So there you have it. This is my platform. Love it, hate it or ignore it. When I’m president, this is the change you can expect. At least you’ll know it up front.

Our Version of a Secret Society: The S.H.I.T.S.

In Life Observations on June 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

One night I was on Ooovoo.com, doing a live Webcast on the topic of  “What I’d Do Differently” with 5 other women. My business phone rang in the background, so I ducked out of the Webcam shot for a moment to answer it. Reporting in were my Kotex Mafia, BFF Christina Bouvier, and our old Texan tennis drinkin’ buddy, Misty. They two of them had been imbibing–which is usually when they came up with these rock solid ideas–and decided we needed to start our own secret society.  In the meantime, my image online looked like the opening graphic to The Brady Bunch, with my talking head missing in action.

I ducked back into the Webcam shot, while still trying to speak to them out the side of my mouth like a ventriloquist. The electronic feedback gave me away,  disrupting the Webcast. In 30 seconds’ time, I helped them “brand” the club, which is what I do regularly for clients, so the hard part was done. I christened us the S.H.I.T.S.  (Shenanigans, Hijinks, Immaturity and Tomfoolery Society).  It was official. (I was never asked again to do a Webcast with that group of 5 woman, so my disappearing act must have created some discord.)

The first S.H.I.T. Tuesday meeting was just us…three kindred spirits. We jammed out to a competitive game of Rock Band and we wrote our S.H.I.T. S. Magna Carta.  That evening, as part of her hazing, Misty shared a personally embarrassing story. It certainly made me rethink any desire I once might have had to take up running. You see, Misty runs long distance every morning before sun up. Invariably, this agitates her bowels like gym shoes in a dryer. One morning she was just two houses away from home when she realized she could no longer hold it. She pulled one ass cheek of her silky micro running shorts aside and let that steaming missile drop like a WWII bomb over Dresden. Within a day, her husband was reporting that the neighborhood was abuzz with rumors of a potential coyote, wolf or bear who left its calling card in the neighbor’s front lawn.

So…lesson learned. If  my flat feet are preventing me from plopping biohazardous material in my neighbors’ yards, it’s likely for the best.