There's a door to our house that you access through the driveway. We call it "the side door."

We don't have any door that goes directly to the backyard, an inconvenience exceedingly naive 2014 Eli didn't contemplate during his first ever house hunt. We have to walk Louie to the backyard every time we take him out. If we give him any freedom to head out on his own, he will immediately book it to the neighbors' house. Three times in the last month I have been publicly seen standing in front yards that do not belong to me, barefoot and in my underwear, yelling a high pitched "come here mr. Tickle Bum! I have a coooooookiiiiiie!"

That side door, the one that opens in from the driveway, leads into a carpeted small landing with stairs to the left heading down the basement and stairs straight ahead leading up to the kitchen. Why the prior owners chose to have this space carpeted, I will never know. We had to buy a machine to clean it twice a month. Every time we do, the machine is promptly filled with black water and the carpet fully changes colors like one of those My Little Pony toys.

It was last week, late on a Thursday night that it happened. I had just arrived home from my friend Brandt's house. Brandt performed at Strangerville Live last weekend and he asked me to come over to hear him practice the night before the show.

It must have been 11:30 or so by the time I arrived home. Skylar had texted me an hour earlier: "I'm heading to bed so try to be quiet when you get back."

Quiet, I tried to be.

I pulled into the driveway, headlights off in order not to disturb. I softly inserted my key into the side door. I slowly turned the knob, and delicately pushed it open to some unusual resistance.

"Must be a dog toy or something on the other side of this thing," I thought, with the innocence of a man who hasn't yet experienced what I was about to experience.

This is the part of the story where I'm going to give you an off ramp. This gets gross. If you didn't come here hoping to hear something gross, you're gonna want to use that blinker and slowly pull away to some safer territory. Like a cooking blog or NPR.

Ok—hello to those of you who have decided to brave the rest of this story with me. Let's proceed.

That phantom dog toy I thought might be on the other side of the door? The one that was making it slightly more difficult to push the door open? Yeah. It wasn't a dog toy.

I smelled it before I saw it. Something was off. Something was off in a very off way.

Then I looked down.

My friends.

Someone, and we don't know who because there are no witnesses, decided to poop the most poop that has ever pooped in the history of pooping. Onto that carpet. The one I just complained to you about.

PILES of poop. So much poop that it crashed the fertilizer industry. So much poop that my home technically qualifies for FEMA assistance now. So much poop that Salt Lake City gained 100 feet of elevation and our climate is now undergoing changes.

And that poop—the piles and piles of it—had been fully smeared across the carpet by the opening of the door. It looked like it had been professionally spread by a gourmet icing spatula. Paul Hollywood would have given me a goddamn handshake over this.

It was no longer possible for me to be the polite and thoughtful husband of 10 minutes ago. I simply screamed. There was nothing else to be done.

Moments later Skylar came running. He stopped in front of me at the top of the stairs, the poop floor cake between us.

"SOMEBODY POOPED ON THE FLOOR!" I didn't mean for it to sound like an accusation, but it did anyway.

"Well it wasn't me!" Skylar defended himself. "My money is on the puppy."

How does one clean up poop that has been smeared into the carpet?

No, I don't have an answer to that. I'm asking you. Because we couldn't figure it out.

We used spatulas to scrape it from the carpet. Skylar flossed the bottom of the door with a white towel that now lives in a landfill on the other side of town.

Duncan and Louie couldn't even be bothered to get out of bed for this.

Eventually Skylar dumped so many chemicals into the floor that we can't even get into heaven now.

And then we climbed into bed, shuddering and refusing to talk about it.

There's still a giant white stain on the carpet.

~It Just Gets Stranger