Apoopalypse Now!

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How many meanings can you think of for "mushroom cloud"? Two. The number is two.

How many meanings can you think of for “mushroom cloud”? Two. The number is two.

biosize E. Reid Ross
What E. Reid Ross doesn't know could fill a book, but he is eager to...
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by E. Reid Ross

The topic of poop isn’t a people pleaser. I get that. But this is for your own good. This is something you need to know. It’s precisely because we don’t like talking about poop that makes it so insidious. The Texas fertilizer plant disaster that wiped out an entire town and the horrors of the Carnival “Poop Cruise” are only two of the fecal catastrophes, both animal and human, that have sown terror across the globe in recent months.

These incidents could very well be a harbinger of an impending extinction-level event for mankind, yet we continue to ignore the signs all around us. Do those words sound like the paranoid ramblings of a dangerously stupid man? Well try telling that to the farmers of America’s heartland, when…

Pig “Poop Foam” Causes Devastating Farm Explosions

That's right: "poop foam." We're jumping into this mess with both feet.

That’s right: “poop foam.” We’re jumping into this mess with both feet.

Dateline – 2009 to Present

Also known as “The Pig Bang Theory,” a mysterious foam that’s been bubbling forth from normally innocent hog manure has caused an alarming number of flash fires and explosions on farms across the Midwest. All manure produces potentially dangerous gases such as hydrogen sulfide and methane, but the foaming effect has been causing these gases to become trapped. This creates a situation where a sudden fiery release from “the surface of the fecal soup” can lead to tragic, flatulent groundbursts.

Picture hundreds of pigs, all organized to light their own farts simultaneously.

Picture hundreds of pigs, all organized to light their own farts simultaneously.

You can see some of the stuff, emanating from the floor like something out of a 1950s monster movie where Steve McQueen ate too much Indian food or something, here. The effects, however, are all too real. Numerous swine farmers have seen devastating conflagrations caused by the creeping crapulence since 2009, with many more possibly too afraid to come forward. In one instance, an Iowa farm saw 1500 pigs perish in a massive poopsplosion.

We also considered "Bacon-nihilation"

We also considered “Bacon-nihilation”

Nobody knows yet quite what the hell is going on to cause this foaming effect, but it’s suspected to be related to the pigs’ diet. If they know what’s good for them, area farmers will agree to stop feeding their herds anything from the Chipotle menu pending further investigation.

Bird Poop Brings Downtown Traffic to a Standstill in Japan

This is a grievous misuse of the splatter brush.

This is a grievous misuse of the splatter brush.

Dateline – 2013

This last summer motorists in Nagano, Japan found their morning commute even more aggravating than normal as all downtown traffic suddenly ground to a halt. For the better part of an hour every traffic light in the city experienced an automatic shutdown, creating massive gridlock in the former host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics and home to nearly 400,000. Was it tsunami-related? The work of cyberterrorists staging a Live Free or Die Hard-style attack? A local snow monkey uprising?

None of the above. The culprits in this case had struck from above, as a massive accumulation of bird droppings was found to have gummed up the works of a local power substation, rendering it inoperable.

We're not completely ruling out snow monkey involvement. Smug bastards.

We’re not completely ruling out snow monkey involvement. Smug bastards.

Ground zero turned out to be the Idegawa Substation of the Chubu Electric Power Company. This installation presumably had precautions in place for contingencies of this kind, but the sheer mountainous scale of the improvised avian toilet proved overwhelming. The pile was of such magnitude that avian filth was able to “drip down a meter length of the insulator,” thereby causing a short and triggering the shutdown.

Maybe those kids on the beach with the Alka-Seltzer had the right idea.

Maybe those kids on the beach with the Alka-Seltzer had the right idea.

As emergency responders struggled to manage the congestion, a request was put out to dissuade well-meaning citizens from constantly pointing out that this kind of situation was actually “good luck.” Now we’re no experts on Japanese superstition, but this way of thinking could admittedly make for a more pleasant outlook on life whenever a pigeon decides to unload an errant guano plop on your freshly-dry cleaned suit.

Dammit! I knew I should have played the lottery this morning.

Dammit! I knew I should have played the lottery this morning.

Sewage Tsunami Terrorizes Gaza

Mmmm, choco--AH, GOD, NO!

Mmmm, choco–AH, GOD, NO!

Dateline – 2007

Life in the Gaza Strip can be pretty precarious in the best of times. Aside from the dangerous political situation, living in an arid desert can be a difficult proposition. But at least the people who live there can probably scratch “tidal waves” off the list of things to worry about, right? Well unfortunately in 2007 the residents of Umm al-Naser learned differently, as a raging torrent ripped through their small village injuring dozens and killing several. The damage caused by this particular tsunami may not have reached the scale of Fukushima, but in a way this one was even worse, as the wave in this case was comprised entirely of human butt mud.

Suddenly a little radiation poisoning sounds perfectly reasonable.

Suddenly a little radiation poisoning sounds perfectly reasonable.

This cause of this disaster had nothing to do with earthquakes or the sea, but rather a collapsed cesspit that unleashed a massive flood of sewage. We’re not exaggerating here — take a look at this poor soul struggling to keep his head above the poopwave. When Interior Minister Hani al-Qawasmeh heard of the havoc that had been wrought he immediately rushed to the scene to assess the damage. The grateful inhabitants responded to this noble gesture by…shooting at the Interior Minister’s convoy.

It's possible this was just a time-honored local custom.

It’s possible this was just a time-honored local custom.

In a scenario that could never, ever happen in the United States, it seems the knee-jerk reaction was to blame the government for the failure of the toilet levees. As it turns out, however, the villagers themselves were the ones to blame. The authorities had in fact issued multiple warnings over the last several years that the village’s fecal containment system wasn’t up to snuff, and the inhabitants disregarded every last one of them. This is understandable. Ignoring the problem of an impending wall of sewer bilge deluging your town may seem irresponsible, but if you were one of the local, possibly underpaid DPW employees you’d probably keep trying to find other things to do too.

These types of things tend to work themselves out anyway.

These types of things tend to work themselves out anyway.

Mysterious Sky Poo Bombards Canadian Homes

Dateline – 2013

Just recently, up in the Canadian city of Mississauga, Ontario, a neighborhood found itself under attack. As homeowner Emma Gilfillan-Giannakos sat in her gazebo with her children, she first heard a loud splash in her backyard pool. Investigating the noise, she observed that the entire area had been pelted with goopy debris. Curious, Ms Gilfillan-Giannakos then made a rather ill-informed but informative decision: “I stuck my finger in it and I smelt it and … it smells like poo!”

Although effective, forensic experts warn against the "just stick your finger in it" method in most cases.

Although effective, forensic experts warn against the “just stick your finger in it” method in most cases.

Discounting the possibility of a diarrhetic superhero, she immediately suspected the bombardment to be the fault of an overflying aircraft that had jettisoned a payload of “blue ice” — the sanitary term for the contents of the scary, vacuum-powered sky toilet. Upon contacting Transport Canada to report the incident, however, Ms Gilfillan-Giannakos was summarily given the brush off. Refusing to accept any responsibility for the foul carpet bombing, the authorities concluded that the smelly detritus “did not fall from an aircraft,” and declared the matter closed.

Aha, of course. An incontinent superhero, then.

Aha, of course. An incontinent superhero, then.

Funny thing though, just a week later it happened again. Just down the road, the home of the Sullivan family experienced a similar bombardment from on high, resulting in another unpleasant scenario. As young Lindsey Sullivan reported, “It just covered the top of my mom’s car, dripped down the side, splattered onto my car and back onto my dad’s.” Had a flock of rogue geese singled out the neighborhood for a punitive strike? Not according to patriarch George Sullivan, who purported the substance in question “smelt really bad, it smelled like it was (human) feces.”

Presumably after wiggling his finger around in it.

Presumably after wiggling his finger around in it.

Predictably, the authorities continued to deny any involvement in either of the attacks. We’ve seen this type of obfuscation of the facts by various national governments time and again, from hiding evidence of UFOs to the cover-up of the chupacabra and mermaid menace. So what are we, as alarmed citizens, to do? Constant vigilance, my friends. And it might be a good idea to keep an umbrella handy.


A Kettle of Vultures
What you can't see is the mantis is wearing a tiny t-shirt with Steven's face on it.

What you can’t see is the mantis is wearing a tiny t-shirt with Steven’s face on it.

E. Reid Ross loves the ladies, and by “ladies” we mean “microwaveable burritos purchased in bulk.” Feel free to friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and check out his supple body of work over on Cracked.com. He and a few pals also blaspheme old comics at RealToyGun.com.

Everything's better on a Ritz--even spider legs.

Everything’s better on a Ritz–even spider legs.

After a tidal wave of sewage, you’ll be begging for some lesser horror like the trained bugs of Enter the Bug Man. You might even be hungry for…Delicious Food or Horrifying Animal?

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