POOPY HAPPENS ~ I Dare You To Laugh!

“What’s It Like To Live The Good Life?”

Before my husband passed away in January 2006, we traveled full-time in Gospel music across the United States and Canada.  We were on the road around 250 days out of the year so, a tour bus was a necessity more than a luxury.  People would see the bus and a stage full of “glamorous” lights surrounding us and would often ask the question, “What’s it like to live the good life?”  I would smile and politely give the more refined answer, “It’s not as easy as some might perceive, but it’s always the good life if God calls you to it.”  Ok, Seriously?  I want to throw up just writing that.  Serving God can get messy.  It can be tough.  If you read your Bible at all you will see how adventurous God is.  Look at Daniel in the lion’s den.  Hello?! Scary!  Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers and then thrown into prison for not having sex with his master’s wife (Gen. 39).  John the Baptist ate honey and wild locust (Matt. 3:4, Mark 1:6).  Yuck!  We cannot forget Noah.  God told Noah to build the ark in a time it had most likely never rained on the earth.  He probably became the laughing stalk of everyone, including his own wife for such a project; that’s just my opinion.  When it finally started to rain, God closed Noah up with his family and all those animals in the ark.  Assuming a lunar calendar of 360 days, it calculates to be around 370 days they were shut up in the ark.*  There’s nothing clean and pleasant about that.

I traveled on a 40ft bus with people I loved, but after three months I’d get restless and need a break.

Here’s a dirty story for you, straight from the 21st century.  We were booked almost every night for just over a month while traveling out west.  It took us three days of driving just to get to our first destination.  During the long adventure out, we found ourselves caught in spectacular lightning storms and a couple tornado warnings.  At one point a guy pulled up to the bus to inform us we needed to take cover because we were in the path of the tornado.  After he drove off we looked around and saw nothing but flat wide open spaces.  We did the only thing we knew to do, we kept driving straight into the storm.  I did not like it at all.  Hail was hitting the bus and you could hear sirens going off all over.  Brandt (our driver) was getting out to walk through flooded streets before attempting to take the bus on through.  This was the start of our western tour.  I have many stories I can tell you from this road trip, but I’ll get back to my purpose in writing this.  I’ll get back to “Messy.”

Brandt Taking One For The Team 2005

Brandt Danced With A Tornado 2005

Along our journey we found ourselves in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  Edmonton is home of the West Edmonton Mall, which is larger than the famous Mall Of America in Minneapolis.  The 2009 municipal census showed the population at 782,439.  All this information is to show you, this is no small suburban city.

While Brandt was making a left turn into a plaza, he was closely watching that the bus did not sideswipe a sign on the drivers side of the bus.  While paying such careful attention to take care of the bus, he innocently failed to take into consideration the curbside and the pipes that hung down for disposing of our waste water.  What do I mean by, “waste water?”  I mean our shower and potty water, or our poop tank.  In one press of the acceleration peddle we ran over the curb and took out the pipes.  Our bus pooped all over downtown Edmonton.  To make it worse, we were right outside Taco Bell and Chilis.

Headlines Read, "A Blowout At Taco Bell"

Now, what do you do in a situation like this?  What we wanted to do was drive off and hope no one could identify our 40ft, Sunlit Copper colored bus, but what we did was call the fire department.  So, if you can picture in your mind, a big metallic copper bus, a fire truck and a team of firemen with hoses ready and aimed at poo, and just behind them stands two signs high in the sky advertising Taco Bell and Chilis.  Angie and I stayed in the bus while Brandt and Warren had to get out to explain what had caused our bus to poo all over their beautiful streets.  Angie grabbed her camera and began to gather the evidence.  We peered out the window just in time to see the chief of the department laughing as his men where washing chunks of “stuff” down the sewer system.  How glamorous is road life?

What Is Brandt Picking Up

Some Tough Doo!

What's In That, Lead?

Who Out There Still Wants To Be A Fireman?

Brandt's Sorry!

Really, that’s just the beginning of the story.  A tour bus has compartments, or bays, underneath the main passenger area.  When you open up one side of the compartment, it goes all the way through to the other side.  The tanks that held our water only took up one side of the bay, the other half housed a few cardboard boxes containing supplies for our trip.  Oh yeah, you guessed it, the boxes were soaked!

We drove to a rest area just outside of town that we knew had a dump site and fresh water for RV’s and buses.  Warren and Brandt then began the process of dragging the soiled boxes out of the bus.  I was thanking God at that moment for making me a girl.  Any time I am tempted to get frustrated over some of the things we women must endure, I think on this very moment in time.

Cleaning Out The Bus After It's Bladder Burst

Warren Goes Where No One Else...SHOULD! What A Man!

The guys finally got things cleaned up, and God even provided in the now funny situation.  Someone driving by recognized our bus and pulled in to see if we needed any help.  This wonderful couple drove to a nearby store and bought us Rubbermaid boxes so we could restock the bus.  Just for the record, Angie and I did get out to help once the majority of the stink was washed away.

Once the tanks were back in place and usable, we were back on the road.  The guys did a great job repairing the pipes and sealing up all that would leak, but they could not get the hose from the toilet to the tank perfectly straight.  Not a big deal, right?  Well, it really wasn’t anything to lose sleep over, for about a week.  I don’t know who it was, but one day someone clogged that pipe.  I wish I had a diagram of how this system worked.  Lets just say, a normal plunger had no effect in this situation.  Warren came up with a plan.  I have to add, I loved how handy and creative he was.  Many times he fixed the bus and saved us a ton of money.  Unfortunately, I was often recruited in Warren’s master plans.  I cannot believe I am sharing this next part.

His plan consisted of a dump station, a garden hose, and a stick.  Warren passed a hose through the window, ran it to the toilet, then went outside to open the dump valve.  Guess who got stick duty?  That’s right.  Yours truly!  The only way to unclog the clog… a stick and someone to stir!  I have to admit I had a really hard time with my new job description.  Not because I think I’m above helping.  I struggled with my new position because I was literally laughing so hard as the question ran through my head, “What’s it like to live the good life?”

Most the time you hear artists tell of their waitressing jobs or how they flipped burgers before they started their music career, but no, I have to share how I was the one who got stick duty by day and then full-time singer/song writer by night.

Moral of the story?  Never judge a book by it’s cover… The grass is not always greener on the other side, (it probably never will be again in a few spots in Alberta).  And sometimes life hands you a stick to stir the crap dumped on you.  Your only option is to laugh or cry, because either way, you have to stir.

Here’s a picture just for fun!

Yee-Haw Coady! 2005

Coady really did pull us across the parking lot.

Love To All,
Shannan Parker


  1. Gary Wallbaum said,

    01/04/2010 at 11:50

    Ok, that IS funny. 🙂 A great story, but I hope the rest of your trip was a little less “fun” than this incident. gw 🙂

    • shannanparker said,

      01/04/2010 at 11:50

      Thankfully that was the biggest challenge we had, but that entire trip was adventure after adventure. We were all ready to get home and pull the covers over our head for a few days.

  2. 01/04/2010 at 11:50

    That is HILARIOUS!!! I want to pee my pants from laughter every time I hear this story! Thank you for sharing about living the good life. 🙂

    • shannanparker said,

      01/04/2010 at 11:50

      I Hope you had a change of cloths near by, haha! Just keeping it real ;o}

  3. Gary Wallbaum said,

    01/04/2010 at 11:50

    Your story reminded me of a “Darwin Award” winner who did the following:
    A man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake.. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had. 🙂

    • shannanparker said,

      01/04/2010 at 11:50

      Gary that is funny!!!! I can promise you, I did NOT get that close to the “stuff.”

  4. Kevin said,

    01/04/2010 at 11:50

    I don’t know if i believe this Shannan… sounds like a load of …. well.

    Serioulsly… FUNNY stuff.. I’m smilin’

    • Kevin said,

      01/04/2010 at 11:50

      Poo… there I said it

      • shannanparker said,

        01/05/2010 at 11:50

        Poo…Poo…Poo…Poo…LOL, I’ll say it too!!!!

  5. Adam E. George said,

    01/05/2010 at 11:50

    What little bit of touring and traveling I did with the quartet I was in, no, life is NOT glamorous on the road…..but THANK YOU for the smiles Shannan!

  6. Jana said,

    01/05/2010 at 11:50

    OMG Sha- This is so funny… I had tears rollin’ as I read this!

    My favorite line “sometimes life gives you a stick to stir the crap it’s dumped on you.” HAHHAHAHAHHAHAH

    • shannanparker said,

      01/05/2010 at 11:50

      Just swallow the pride and stir! Hahahahaha!

  7. Juliette Tuttobene said,

    01/09/2010 at 11:50

    Oh my goodness! I am over here dying!! I loved it Shannan! You don’t realize how I needed that laugh! My in-laws have been here for six weeks and I really needed that!
    You are the best!

    • shannanparker said,

      01/11/2010 at 11:50

      Awwww, YAY! That you laughed, not that your in-laws have stayed so long ;o}

  8. Jess said,

    01/11/2010 at 11:50

    LOL Shannan….I member hearing about this when it happened….but not the whole story…You dared and I laughed..no stopping me lol…I clean up crap alot…Go my job! haha ROFL. Life. But I love my job….it’s the Best!

    • shannanparker said,

      01/13/2010 at 11:50

      God honors your job Jess! Thankfully, your job doesn’t require a stick 😉

  9. Cynthia said,

    02/06/2010 at 11:50

    “The grass is not always greener on the other side, (it probably never will be again in a few spots in Alberta)”…my giggles went into to complete laughter when I read this. Shannan you are so gifted in your writings. I so often feel like I am right there with you in your experiences, from sentence to sentence… whether it be deep spiritual reflection or comical spiritual expression, your writings are perfectly impacting. You are such a treasure. Thank you for sharing this…I love joining you, as you go memory lane. xoxoxo

    • 02/06/2010 at 11:50

      Ha! Sometimes I forget, until I am reminded, what all I actually wrote. I’m so glad you enjoy jumping around in my thoughts with me. Thank you for traveling this journey with me. Hugs!

  10. 01/25/2011 at 11:50

    […] If you liked this post, you may enjoy “Poopy Happens ~ I Dare You To Laugh!” […]

  11. 02/18/2013 at 11:50


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: