The Limits Of The "Poop = Funny" Equation

« January 2008 »

Memo to O.J. Wandrisco: YOU ARE DUMB.

I can't quite leave 2007 behind yet. There are a few fucking wackos I never got to before the calendar rolled over. Wackos who desperately deserve the specific kind of attention I dish out.

And speaking of dishing out, what the fuck is the deal with youth ministries? There are the ones that host Halo tournaments in the hopes that shooting their fellow man in the face will bring teenagers closer to Jesus. And there are the ones that think you can lead your fellow teens to Jesus by explaining to them that there's another book, besides the Book of Secrets, that truly is a National Treasure (2). A technique that is equally ineffective, but funny, when applied using Blair Witch (2).

And then there's the ones that think eating poop is the way to go.

Not actual poop, which is... comforting, I guess? It is true that when I hear about underage girls eating a mixture of chocolate pudding and jelly beans out of adult-sized diapers, I think about Jesus. More accurately, I think, "Jesus H. Motherfucking Christ on a pogo stick, what the hell is wrong with people?" Which, while a theologically rich sentence, is probably not what the Mt. Lebanon Young Life club, and its director, O.J. Wandrisco, had in mind.

In a startling coincidence, I had the exact same thought when I learned about fourteen-year-old boys putting on diapers and bonnets, sitting on girls' laps, and racing to finish a baby bottle full of soda. And while I cannot confirm that a pogo stick was specifically invoked, my sentiment seemed to be shared, in a general sense, by the 14-year-old's mother, who contacted authorities and revealed the Young Life club's wacky hijinks to the rest of the world.

You know, when I was growing up, I was frequently warned about groups who might use peer pressure to get me to participate in activities that I might otherwise consider weird or harmful. But those were more innocent times, times when it was deemed unnecessary to warn children about simulated scat-eating, diaper-fetishes, or doing anything a guy named O.J. says is a good idea.

So, does O.J. have a convenient explanation? Sort of. Apparently, eating poop is a great icebreaker. "The skits are designed for one reason and one reason only -- for kids to have fun. It's not a dirty joke. The skits are to break down the walls and let them have fun. It was just a shot at humor."

I suppose sitting one someone's lap while wearing nothing but a diaper does break down certain barriers to conversation. It's a shared experience. But since it's the kind of shared experience you never want to admit to anyone ever again, nor be reminded of lest you wake at three in the morning screaming "HUGGIES!", I can only assume it's an icebreaker within the youth ministry meetings, and a shameful secret everywhere else. Which is a smidge culty for my comfort zone.

There's only one thing better than a local youth minister going rogue and encouraging his young charges to eat fake poop. And that's when the youth minister is part of a national organization from whose collection of activities and icebreakers he got the idea. Unfortunately, if any such activites were present on the Young Life national website, they're gone now. Although the "What Is Young Life?" page is adorned with three freckle-faced youths holding apples in their mouths. Which is, I presume, meant to imply successful bobbing, and not some kind of gleeful, anachronistic presentation of long pig.

In closing, I would just like to take this description of Young Life camping trips off of their website out of context, in order to better tie it in with the idea of getting back into Jesus... with Depends. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"There’s no shortage of excitement, and no one day is like another. Every day, you’ll be surprised with what happens next."

Surprise is definitely one of the emotions you'll experience. That's for damn sure.