Sunday, October 10, 2010


Midwest Potato now has a Facebook page! I think the way it works is if you click on on the like button to the left, any Midwest Potato updates will show up in your feed. Either that, or by clicking on the link you agree to allow my voice to start transmitting instantly to the chip in your head, which might come out to about the same thing. Getting you to "like" Midwest Potato is the first step on my road to World Domination. I'm a little fuzzy on what steps #2 through #9,999 will be, but step #10,000 is definitely going to be getting a cleaning person. I can't be on top of the world with a bathroom that smells like a port-a-potty on Mile 23 of the Chicago Marathon. 

Stella self-portrait
Stella loves port-a-potties by the way, and if we see one when we are out and about will step in to take a look around, almost as if it's a tourist attraction. She's especially happy when there's dozens of port-a-potties clustered together, as for a festival or other big event, and insists on touring each one. Every girl's got a goal, and Stella's goal, apparently, is to maximize her exposure to the widest possible variety of fecal bacteria. She's somewhat of an expert in this area and I'm thinking she could give walking tours of local port-a-potties. ("In this excellent example of the construction-site style facility, note how the robin's-egg blue exterior complements the slate-gray interior and how the small mirror on the back side of the door invites the user to linger and savor the heady aroma.")

Stella has great affection for public bathrooms in general and asks questions about the purpose of each fixture. In the airport in Washington DC this past week, we were in the bathroom and Stella exclaimed, "Oh Mama! What is this? I've never seen something like this before!" from inside the stall, and my heart dropped. Any completely new thing that you see inside a Washington DC public restroom stall is bound to be illegal, incredibly unsanitary, or have to do with lobbying, although I guess that last category is redundant. Fortunately, the object of Stella's curiosity turned out to be one of those pull-down shelves for purses that was hanging off the wall in an unusual way. In a similar vein, back in the hotel bathroom, David called out to me, "What's this big brown thing on the floor in here?" and I had to resist the impulse to walk out the door of the hotel room and vanish for the next couple days, being sure to take my complimentary copy of USA Today with me, but the mystery object turned out to be part of the extremely complex set of hotel bed linens, which involved about 12 sheets in earth tones and 37 pillows. The bed in the hotel room was a size the hotel called "serf," which is basically a skinny double. I had never heard of this size so I googled it just now and let me tell you, when you google "serf bed" you get some interesting results, mostly having to do with simple peasants who are so turned on by a full day of harvesting turnips that they seduce the master in a pile of hay. I suspect that type of serf bed has pigs rooting around underneath, which might not be the effect the hotel was going for. On the other hand, root vegetables are very "in" these days.

At the so-called "fish ladder"
I keep talking about our big trip not only because it took the equivalent of two years off my life but also because it was the most interesting thing we've done for a while. For example, in Seattle we went to see fish ladders. I have never given fish ladders much consideration before but had you asked me, I would have said they look more or less like the kind you would climb to clean our your gutters if you lived underwater. It turns out that fish ladders are not like ladders at all. I'd like to suggest that these structures be renamed "fish staircases," which would give the salmon a chance to regally ascend, bedecked in a while floor-length ball gown with a plunging neckline showing off their creamy. . . fins(?), scales in a chignon.

I would appreciate it if you could "like" Midwest Potato on my Facebook page. How else will you get a chance to read what is now three posts out of the last four that include important information about airport toilets? The only downside is that you will be on record as "liking" Midwest Potato which might come back to bite you if Obama tries to swap out Biden and choose you as a running mate instead for 2012. 

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