A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Knock knock. Who’s there? Dead squirrel!

Today’s edition of Just the Tip Tuesday is a triple header!

1.) Always keep your toilet lids closed.

2.) Always look in the bowl before you sit down on the toilet.

3.) A plastic milk jug can be fashioned into a very handy makeshift disposable scoop.

Surely you are now on the edge of your seat, eagerly awaiting more details about how these three tips are related. Just make sure it is not the edge of a toilet seat. Because after you read this, you’re not going to want to hold court on the porcelain throne any longer than necessary. In fact, Uncle John, I am going to just go ahead and prescribe you an extra large dose of daily Benefiber so you can speed up your daily doody time and greatly reduce your risk of having your butt bitten by a panicking squirrel.

Look, I don’t make this stuff up. I swear. It just finds me. And I love it. My life just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t regularly enjoy email exchanges like this:

Kristen: “Soooooooo….. guess what happened to me today??? Dead animal in my mother fucking toilet. A little squirrel. Stiff. In my terlet. I’m so freaked out…I thought I’d share that with you.”

Iris: “Nuh-uh! How the fuck did it get in there? What did you do? Flush it?!”

Kristen: “I don’t know how it got IN there… I had gone in earlier to make a deposit, and half an hour later Jack went in to pee and found the little fucker…dead and stiff in there. ‘Mom, There’s somfin’ in the toilet, you gotta see it!’ That’s never a good way to start a sentence. But, I made a scoop out of a milk jug, and scooped the fucker out and threw it in the woods… where it hit a tree and bounced into my creek. And then I poured a gallon of bleach in my toilet.”

Iris: “Well there, that sounds like a perfect ‘Just the Tip Tuesday’ column if I ever heard one! ‘How to properly dispose of a dead squirrel in yer terlet.’ – a guest post by Kristen.”

Kristen: “LOL Dude…. now that it’s out of my house, and I’ve had 3 dranks… I can laugh at it. Only I would have an already dead varmint in my terlet.”

image credit: Iris’s son Nature Boy

And so that was the end of that. Or so I thought.

By the way, she wasn’t speaking in code. “Dead squirrel in my toilet” is not a euphemism for poop, like “Chattahoochee Brown Trout” or “Taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.” She was really talking about a squirrel…a real squirrel…dead…in her toilet.

And I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Which lead to more questions.

How in the hell do you get a squirrelly in your swirly?

How did it die?

What would have happened if it wasn’t already dead when her kid went in there to pee?!

And OMG, what is Kristen feeding her kids?

I just had to know more. So I looked it up. I Googled “squirrel in my toilet,” to be exact.

And it turns out it’s not that uncommon.

Kristen honey, don’t feel bad, it’s not only you who gets a varmint in your toilet. Actually, you are lucky he was dead. It could have been way worse.

Check out this 911 call in Oklahoma.

There’s even a collection of short stories by a woman named Rebecca Cooper titled “There’s a Squirrel in My Toilet.”

So how DID Mr. Squirrel get in there? That’s what I want to know!

It’s unlikely that my friend Kristen is feeding her kids squirrel. (That bitch is crazy, but not “Squirrel-Taco-Tuesday-Crazy.”) And even if she is, odds are pretty low that one of the kids could swallow, digest, and poop out a whole squirrel, even a whole baby squirrel.

And the lid was closed, so he didn’t jump in there himself and close the lid, a la “hide and seek, you can’t find me!” style, most likely.

Best I can figure, squirrels get into toilets via the drain-waste-vents (DWV) found on roofs. According to Wikipedia, the purpose of the pipes, sometimes known as stink pipes, or in Kristen’s house: stank pipes, is to release the natural gases that build up in plumbing systems. Unfortunately, it appears as though those pipes don’t usually have a baffle on them to keep out wildlife.

That means the poor little curious baby squirrel was probably frolicking on Kristen’s roof, possibly playing hopscotch and/or singing a verse of Little Bunny Foo-Foo, when he came upon one of the aforementioned stink pipe. “Wow – neato!” may have been the last thought on his juvenile rodent mind when he lost his footing and plummeted three stories down to the bottom of the pipe. Kind of like the squirrel version of Baby Jessica Stuck in the Well. Somehow though, the squirrel managed to maneuver its way through the S-curved pipe at the bottom of that stink pipe and into the toilet bowl.

Good Lord, that poor baby squirrel! Kinda reminds me of that scene in Shawshank Redemption. You know the one:

“Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to.”

Only poor little Squirrelly didn’t crawl to freedom. Oh no. He crawled to his death by drowning in a closed toilet bowl…a tomb of unspeakable horrors.

Which sucks for him, but works out nicely for us humans who probably don’t want lost, terrified, feces smeared squirrels running amok in our homes. Most of us anyway, unless you’re one of those freaky animal hoarders, in which case, put some nuts on your roof and leave your toilet lids up and maybe you’ll score some extra furry friends.

I’m just glad for Kristen it was a baby squirrel and not a roof rat. Those bastards can swim. Or so I’ve heard.

So keep a lid on it, guys. You never know what’s gonna show up in your can. You know, now that I say it, that’s probably a universal truth. Look for t-shirts and bumper stickers in the near future.

And if something unwanted does make an appearance, try Kristen’s Hand-Crafted Milk Jug Scoop-and-Toss. Wish I had thought of that the day Nature Boy clogged and filled my powder room sink to the rim with regurgitated double cheeseburger and onion ring jamboree. Sheesh.

always an adventure,


P.S. – A vote for The Bearded Iris is a vote for squirrel-free toilets everywhere! Please help other fun people find me by casting your vote…for me…The Bearded Iris…at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs of 2010. I’m currently hovering around #21. Thank you!


  1. Kristen Kotrlik

    Oh… and I have a photo.

    Thank you for sharing my story.

    • Colleen

      OMG, that is just NASTY!!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      The photo! Glad I didn’t have that before I wrote this… I would have spent more time on the “what is she feeding those kids?” joke. Because damn, that really does look like a feathered turd. Like a craft project gone awry. Seriously, the impromptu milk-jug-scoop? You’re my new domestic hero. Thank YOU for sharing your story with ME!

    • Megan at declutterdaily

      Oh, why did I click on that? I should have trusted you.

    • Alison@Mama Wants This

      Oh no no no no no!! I just threw up in my mouth a little.

      You’re a brave brave woman for scooping that out. Eek. *shudder*

  2. Liza Martz

    Sometimes one of my toilets has a pile of earth worms squiggling in the bowl. I have no clue how they get there but I’ll take them any day over a squirrel!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Are you sure they’re earth worms? Anyone in your house been to Mexico lately? Ever watch that Discovery Channel show “Monsters Inside of Me”??? DON’T. Someone in your house might have parasites, Boo. Just sayin’.

  3. Sue from Livin In Duckville

    Geez!! All sorts of critters are finding their ways into homes!! We had a bat in our upstairs hallway last night. The Princess & I went upstairs to save the day (King Turd of Poop Mountain is out of state right now – lucky break). She beat the shit out of that poor bat with the lid off a cardboard box – whacked him right into the wall & ‘plunk’ he fell down right in front of me. I popped a bucket over him & slid a piece of cardboard under it (kinda like the paper under the upside-down water glass trick)… We were laughing our butts off… Then when I got to back door, I didn’t want him to fly back in so I screamed “Open the door! Open the door!” … then I threw everything out…. bucket, cardboard & bat…. Went & checked this morning…. she killed him deader than a doornail…. We are fierce…. betcha we could fight a squirrel in the toilet… screaming all the time… lol

    Love to be in on adventures with you too….

    • The Bearded Iris

      Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!! I am laughing so hard right now! That sounds like something my Mom and I would do (and maybe have done?)…the screaming and the killing and the laughing and the tossing. Good times!

  4. Kate Y

    Wow… I have to say that I’m honored to say that I know Kristen, but am really happy to say I’ve never seen a dead anything in her toilet. She does always seem to have shitter issues, though. ;-P Love you Kristen!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Shitter issues. Don’t we all?

  5. FiveOGrrl

    One night my dad was sleeping and he had a flying squirrel land on him! Hahaha, he fell asleep with the bedroom window/patio door open. Lmao. And rats, one time I was sitting in my popo car doing popo paperwork at about 3am and I heard a click click click click clack sound…. It was a GIANT gurjah rat just taking his fatass time walking across the street(Bethelview Rd) and the click sounds were his rat nails. That thing was like as big as a friggin cat.

    • The Bearded Iris

      DUDE. I’m skeert now. I’m skeert of flying squirrels and giant rats with long nails in my neighborhood!!! WTF?! Why didn’t you shoot that mofo? Or taze him. Or kick him in the rat-nuts and read him his rights? Eeeeeeek!

  6. bernie bickers

    Reminds me of when I moved to Texas. A life-long NY’er, I was not fully equipped to handle moving into my new apartment and finding a dead lizard. Roaches, yes, Jimmy Hoffa, yes, Lizards, no….

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh you sweet city boy! Lizards ain’t no thang. They eat the other bugs, so we like us some lizards. Those NYC cockaroaches scare the beejeesus out of me.

  7. Allysgrandma

    I think I gotta print this one out for the hubby just for his amusement. He came home today after a hard day of work, ate his dinner then proceeded to kick on the new blower to drown out the music coming from the house behind us (whose dog makes our sweet little dog CRAZY!) Yeah there were a few leaves laying around and some sand around the sandbox……but mostly he was making the point to STFU!

    PS DH enjoyed Vegies Gone Wild and a special shout-out for Joanne’s comment whom he claimed as “funniest” regarding the marriage comments!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks for sharing my smut with your man, Cheryl! Neighbors…ugh. Toss some nuts on their roof.

  8. Angie K.

    So I haven’t had any dead squirrels in my toilets but I have had encounters with dead squirrels. One time one was laying in my yard and another time one was laying in the driveway. The eerie coincidence of both times was that each happened while I was very pregnant with each of my girls..spaced 4 1/2 years apart. Weird.
    Your writing cracks me up. Thanks for the laughs.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Why are you laying around so much when you’re pregnant? I think the dead squirrels were a sign from God for you to get off your lazy gestating ass and do some yard work. (Totally kidding. I’m not even pregnant and I can’t even sit up right without hurting myself.)

  9. Anne @ Domesblissity

    Oh Iris. That’s too funny. Kristen, my gosh. That looks like a poo with a feather stuck in it! Over here in Aus we say “dropping the kids off at the pool” amongst other things.

    Anne xx

    • The Bearded Iris

      Anne – that is exactly what I thought… a poo with a feather stuck in it!! Hahahahaha!!!

  10. Made in Suisse

    Thanks Iris for sharing the story and Kristen for sharing the photo. I was almost physically sick looking at it!:-s

    • The Bearded Iris

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading it and for feeling disgusted. I get that a lot.

      • Made in Suisse

        I have also had an unexpected encounter with a furry mammal at the weekend…it did have a happier ending!

        • The Bearded Iris

          You are amazing! I don’t know if I would have had the cajones to rescue that critter the way you did. And holy giant RAT in that second picture! Nightmares. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Connie Corey

    In our very first apartment as married folk, hubs and I found a dead mouse in the toilet one morning. Same deal – lid down. How does this happen? I shudder, and really don’t want to know.

  12. Heather

    How did I just KNOW that was MY beloved Kristen?????? Seriously, ladies… we should look into a reality show contract…

  13. Dawn@LightenUp!

    Thats it. I’m done. Never sitting on the can again. Only hovering, from here on out. Been hovering over public seats for 30 years anyway….might as well hover at home too.

  14. Bubbles...

    Porto-johns are notorious for calamity of all shapes and sizes…especially at a music festival- even more so if you might occasionally “dump and dial” or try to send out a quick text mid-piss to your friend who was supposed to meet you with the liquor near the main-stage but fagged out…even though it was my liquor to begin with (smuggled in contraband) and now the only thing intoxicating about the soda is the frickin’ corn syrup or maybe the artificial splendiculous sweetener-sorry, didn’t want to leave out the “Big” peeps-Yes, you matter too .FYI please stop with the diet colas cause you might as well drink asbestos. Anyhoo, I used to work with an individual who claimed that the “North Carolina Crabs”(and not the ocean scavenging yummy kind) could jump ten feet…This may have been just hill-billy folklore but I think he spoke from experience. This is the only critter related toilet story I have to add-I mean other than the tale of the sorry critter who deposited his cellphone in that heinous portable cesspool last summer…Needless to say, I didn’t try to contact my buddy with the hooch…

  15. Alison@Mama Wants This

    Alright, now I’m all sorts of paranoid about going to the toilet, although I live in an apartment. But you never know eh?

  16. Leighann

    Your blog is FANTASTIC.
    I’m so glad Mama_Mash introduced me to it.
    This is gold you are offering here.. Gold I say!
    I will be back.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Why thank you! Mama_Mash is DA BOMBDIGGITY! Love her. Glad you found me. Stick around. Mi casa, su casa.

  17. Julie @ mamamash

    Iris, I ate a big plate of enchiladas earlier, and now I’m in a bind because I am scared to open the lid in case there is a fuzzy, feathered poop in there.

    We found a dead mole in the basement yesterday. How’d he get in there? Answer that one, Miss Scientific Stank Pipe Researcher.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hmmmm, dead moles are outside of my expertise. Aren’t they diggers? Like mini honey badgers? Maybe he tunneled in by accident. They don’t see very well (in the cartoons). Or maybe he tunneled in ON PURPOSE. Honey badger takes what he wants. Maybe moles do too! Yikes!

      Good luck with the enchiladas! I think we should all buy thunder buckets.

  18. guamtastic

    It’s a well known fact in Guam that if you’re going off island, you close your lid and stack books on top of it. Swear to you, a brown tree snake slithered on through those stank pipes and was curled up under the seat when someone’s mom (who was visiting) hit the head in the middle of the night. And just think of the connotations of that: “I sat on a snake last night at my son’s house.” Terrifying on so many levels.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Terrifying, indeed! So glad I never took that teaching gig in Guam 20 years ago. I’m not really a snake person.

  19. Nancy

    Just fished a dead squirrel out of my toilet. Found your website. Thankful for the Shawshank Redemption quote. Thinkin’ with my twisted sense of humor, we might be related.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hey Nancy! Oh yes, Shawshank is one of my faves… I find myself quoting it often in many different scenarious. Scary, really. If you have a twisted sense of humor you’ll fit right in here. Welcome aboard!

  20. Lori

    OMG. This brought back a repressed memory! Nearly 20 years ago, I was visiting my grandma and went to use the bathroom. Put the toilet seat up and just as I was about to sit down, I luckily noticed a huge rat sitting in the bowl looking up at me. Naturally, I FREAKED OUT. Then I called everyone in the house in to the bathroom to look at it. We all marveled and wondered just how in the hell it got in there.

    My dad fished it out. None of us except for my aunt felt comfortable killing it, though. We think she did it with a brick in the back yard.

    It was sad and traumatic.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Your Aunt sounds like one bad Mamma Jamma! I bet she scrapbooks with my mom.

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