Ramblings of a Former Madman

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Shit happens: Canine irony and the messiness of life

“Life’s a piece of shit,

when you look at it.

For life is quite absurd,

and death’s the final word.

You must always face the curtain with a bow”

-“Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python.


As we mature, everybody has to get used to the fact that shit happens. Period.

Life is messy. Life’s not fair. For everybody.

King or pauper, you’re going to take it up the shorts.

Today’s a great example.

I knew I was writing a blog on “Shit Happens” and was mulling it over for a few days. Today I awoke early, ready to hit the keyboard when an objectionable odor wafted into my nose. As I walked down the stairs, it became offensively putrid…

My beautiful dog, my German Shepard Xena, had shit over the entire carpeted floor downstairs. It was a dark, grey diarrhea covering about 8 square feet. Long story short, I spent the morning on my hands and knees, wiping up semi-liquid dog shit of a jelly-like consistency, paper toweling, tamping it, and repeat.

I shit you not. Canine irony is not funny

She is the absolute best girl though, so I guess she’s forgiven.


I’ve found this to be a tried and true analogy, a necessary coupling with “Shit Happens” to describe our problems in life as humans. Combined, they portray our experience of life during these times.

“Shit happens: Eat your sandwich.”

shit sandwhich
Yeah, that looks about right. Enjoy!

Some recovering alcoholics somehow get the notion that when they get sober, they will be walking on the clouds, blowing sunshine out their ass. I am not sure where they got that notion, but I am here to tell you: Recovery is great, but you still will be forcing down big mouthfuls of your sandwich from time to time. Here’s how that goes for the drunk:

“I‘ll take one of your juicy cheeseburgers please.”

“Oh, wait. I ordered a hamburger, not a shit Sandwich!”

Sir, it’s been replaced by our nicely packed poop-patties, made at the peak of their delightful fragrance. You ordered it some time ago when you were really drunk and did some terrible, hurtful things to others.”

Wendy’s was right. Where’s the beef?



I’m not a largely pessimistic guy.

I like to laugh, help people to laugh and to enjoy life when I can, but I’ve come to realize a profound truth: Our journey on this planet is not all about our happiness.

Our purpose on this journey is growth. Here’s the full rundown:

  1. Our primary purpose in life is growth.
  2. There is no growth without change.
  3. People only change when they have to. Alcoholics hang onto the frayed wire they’re dangling from until they hit their bottom. (Which often is death.)
  4. There is no change without loss.



So how does a man or woman find some happiness or joy along this journey?

There are two kinds of shit sandwiches were forced to consume throughout our lifetimes.

The first is served up from out of nowhere, they aren’t of our own making. They’re not fair or deserved.

The best we can do with these is to learn from them and grow in wisdom. Realize that the loss associated with the pain, whatever it may be, changed you, grew you, somehow made you stronger.



Then there’s the second kind of shit sandwiches. The ones we make for ourselves when we don’t “Do for others as we would have done unto us.” You know, the universal, non-denominational law of Karma.

Alcoholic “Whopper Karmic Shit-Burgers” are a thing to be seen. When we screw up our Karma by screwing other folks over, we do it in a BIG way. We’re in the “never enough” crowd.

They’re served up to us later in our lives, piping hot and triple whopper sized. Alcoholics love to make the biggest, juiciest ones, with three all three shit-patties, special sauce, wilted lettuce, on a dry moldy bun. I’m eating one now, and I’m in recovery, stone sober. You can’t run from Karma.

Amazingly, these are the ones active alcoholics eat repeatedly, for years and years. So they can maintain their right to drink, damn it! And I did until the ultimate Karma was realized: death.

More amazingly, eating this self-made shit sandwich often destroys our recovery, causing a relapse.

A really, really bad thing happened to me.”

Drunks can’t see the forest through the trees when it comes to this. I couldn’t.

The alcoholic mind says, “What better way to wash down piping hot shit burgers than with a shot of whiskey? More Karma Shit Sliders in the making.

Now I know you didn’t just scoff at me. You did it all the time, when you were an active alcoholic. And if you are an active alcoholic, you’re making one right now. I hope you’re super hungry.

Oh wait, I forgot that alcohol eventually destroys our appetites for anything except alcohol.

The Stranger’s objective is to drive your obsession and compulsion to drink to the point that you’re only consuming, living on alcohol. Then He murders you.

Now I know I’m not the only one here; if you’ve ever had an entire day full of the worst shit-sandwich smorgasbord, feel free to share this blog with someone who’s having a terrible day. Maybe reading about my own will brighten theirs.


Is your schadenfreude still tingling? My book, “I Almost Murdered A Complete Stranger: Embarrassing Truths of a Madman’s Journey,” is stuffed full of terrible self-inflicted experiences, but you’ll have to wait until April to read the entire thing. But click here to sign up for my newsletter and receive a special preview of the first few chapters.

Please, feel free to give me your thoughts in the comments section of the menu.

Ramblings of a Former Madman

Join my mailing list for satirical musings, gripping stories, indelicate but often hilarious commentary, and (questionable) life advice.

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