Turds and Flowers


I’ve always remembered hearing this Chinese curse when I was a teen, “may you live in interesting times.” Well, I think we all agree that curse has come true in America, and shows no sign of slowing down. My morning started with a piece of small town innocence then ended with something much more troubling and prophetic. Making an order at a local coffee shop, I was amused by the teen delivering my order when I reminded her about the coffee. “Aw fiddlesticks!” she said, bunching her fist then snapping her finger before darting off to pour my coffee. I smiled recognizing the small town innocence, and proceeded to pick up the paper reading a gem in the local police blotter. A couple returning home from an overnight to Missoula detected a “pungent oder” in their home as they unpacked in their bedroom. Being crack detectives, they soon followed the smell to each of their bathrooms where they found a massive dump waiting for them in each toilet. The Lone Crapper apparently broke in just to leave a surprise marinating for them, but appeared not to have taken anything else. Kind of makes you wonder why we don’t say “leaving a crap” rather than taking one. While this was certainly a bummer, it’s nice to know the area criminals are potty trained.

Now for the troubling tragedy. As this week saw yet another mass shooting in Louisiana we learned from Harvard that America is averaging a mass shooting every 64 days with the media covering every horrific detail. It troubles me to think about how this constant environment of violence weighs on the minds of young children. A thought that would revisit me later in the afternoon. I was in an office where children were playing with a basket of crayons and small toy cars as their parents filled out paperwork. One boy shared he was six years old with a neighbor a few moments before grabbing two toy trucks and slamming them into each other while shouting, “flowers! flowers! Shot in the head!” Even more troubling, the parents kept right on writing without so much as a blink. As we see young man after young man turning to violence maybe it’s time to recognize the role culture plays in making violence an option rather than continuing to write it off as lone wackos.


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