Mistress of the Mix for Friday: Welcome To The ShitShow – The Mystery of the Super Pooper

Step on up, ladies and gentlemen, you're a VIP ticket holder to the amazing shit show! Once you've entered, you won't be able to turn away from the mesmerizing tales of crap and woe that wait for you beyond. Join me one and all for my true story of the crappiest weekend on record. The magnificent shit show of all shit shows.

It was one day B.C. (Before Carr), and I had four dogs in the house. Two were my own, the other two (Mia and Lukas) belonged to friends who were each on vacation. One of the canines - I'm still not absolutely sure which one - experienced some gastrointestinal distress on a level that left me unhinged and sent family members fleeing far and wide.

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Valerie Ing
Valerie Ing has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for 14 years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She and her husband are parents to a couple of college students and a pair of West Highland Terriers, and Valerie can’t imagine life without them or music. The Mistress of the Mix wakes up every day with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
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15 Responses

  1. Bruce Vojtecky says:

    This was good, left me laughing, only because I have been there.
    When I worked locker room at the high schools in Redding during wrestling tournaments it wasn’t a poop show but a vomit show. In order to get their weight down before their match wrestlers would lose that weight by upchucking in the locker room.

  2. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    My mother ran the Redding draft board from the 1950s until it closed in the early 70s. It was in the downtown post office – to the right, through the door, up the stairs on the second floor. At lunchtime, the office was closed and locked for an hour.

    During the Vietnam era the office often was besieged by protest – some organized, some less so. Now and then my mother and her co-worker would come back from lunch to find that someone they dubbed The Mad Crapper had left his calling card (so to speak) on their doorstep. The janitor who had to clean it up was far less amused than they were.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      I imagine downtown Redding shop owners have similar stories since we read all too frequently of owners being greeted with calling cards when they arrive to open up.

    • Valerie Ing Valerie Ing says:

      I would love to have my own janitor!!!

  3. Oh, Val.

    If there were a writing contest to see how many ways one could describe excrement in one story, you’d win.

    If there were a contest to see who had the shittiest week – maybe even month, or months – sadly, you might win that one, too. I’m so sorry!

    Here’s to the end of the shitshows in your life.

    And here’s to you, dear Val, wonderful writer you are, and your willingness to share your stories – even the ones about supremely shitty situations – and making us laugh – with you, of course. Thank you, Val!
    xo d

    p.s. (And here’s a first. I had to look up whether shitshow was one or two words: Turns out it’s one. That’s our urban definition word for the day. You’re welcome. )

    • Valerie Ing Valerie Ing says:

      Thank you, I had fun writing this one. It was pretty therapeutic! And please…correct my first paragraph and remove the spaces!!!!

  4. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    I always feel a little guilty when I laugh at someone’s pain, but laugh I did–to tears.

    Only after reading the piece a second time did it strike me that this wasn’t just funny. Nope, this was one dang artful piece of writing.

  5. AJ AJ says:

    Oh, I can rest easy now. I’ve learned how to spell shitshow!!
    I can’t even imagine what it was like to live through that week-end, Val . . . the bottom line being, this is EXACTLY why I don’t have pets of ANY kind (not even fish!!). The only poop I could ever clean up without gagging myself to death was my own children’s diapers. Never could figure that one out.
    To repeat myself: I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE!!

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      I’m the same way. As babies get older, the diapers get ranker, but it’s never bothered me with kids or grandkids. Manure of browsers and grazers doesn’t bug me at all, either.

      Carnivores and omnivores—like dogs and human adults—are another matter.


      In all human cultures, such feces evoke a sense of disgust. It suggests an evolutionary basis based on higher survival rates of ancestors that were disgusted by feces and thus lived to reproduce, while those who weren’t disgusted suffered more exposure to pathogens. Disgust is the proximate mechanism of avoidance. Best to keep away from that shit—it can kill you.

      Bacteria: cholera, E coli,salmonella, shigella
      Viral: rotavirus, norovirus, hepatitis A and E
      Parasites: giardia, cryptosporidium, pinworms, ascariasis, tapeworms

      It also makes biological sense that we aren’t as put off by baby poop—natural selection favoring the survival of offspring whose parents weren’t as disgusted by the task of taking care of their poopy infants/toddlers.

  6. Claudia Brousseau says:

    Val, so sorry for your horrible weekend, and I’m oh so glad Lukas was not the doer of it all. Just think how happy he was when I showed up and took him home.

    Please remember, BREATHE, BREATHE. BREATHE – but better to be outside, even in the smoke!

    • Valerie Ing Valerie Ing says:

      You mean “Doo-er!” Sweet Lukas, I’m glad he was ruled out as the mystery pooper. I’m 93.28% sure it was Casper.

  7. Candace C says:

    Wow, what a shitty column. Wink, wink.

  8. Ned Estill says:

    Playlist suggestion- Faith No More “Cuckoo For Caca”

  9. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    I’m glad Hal got a laugh out of this column. It made me gag a few times.

    I prefer “Shit Creek” by the Bad Livers to “Shit Creek” by Old Crow Medicine Show. Totally different songs.

    “We live on Shit Creek…..the shit stays about a foot deep.”


  10. JoAnn Raines says:

    This was SO cleverly written, Val. Nice, nice jobb! 🙂

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