In the interest of fairness . . .

I should tell you that the other times I've called Poison Control I've had no communication problems at all. They've been great.

My great big 9yo back then
The first time I ever called them was when Joey was about one and a half. This was back in the good old days when doulicia and I used to be next-door neighbors. She and her husband went away for the weekend, leaving me to take care of their cats. So, Joey and I are down in her dank, cobwebby, unfinished basement (if you live in Michigan, you'll be able to picture it perfectly). I'm scooping the poops out of the litter and it's taking forever because there are two cats and the pooper-scooper thing is extremely flimsy. So, one little poop at a time, I'm picking out the pieces. While I'm doing that, Joey is . . . Joey is . . . ohmigod! Joey is holding what appears to be an empty gallon-size milk jug, but it has DANGER and POISON handwritten all over it in huge capital letters with black marker. And an actual skull and crossbones drawn on, too! Joey is giggling and shaking this jug, as white droplets of something fly out of the jug and land all over him and the floor around him. It was almost comical, in a Bugs Bunnyish sort of way.

Doulicia hadn't left any contact information. Poison Control said the mysterious poisonous white liquid was probably one of two things. Either it was whitewash, or it was industrial-strength pesticide. Knowing doulicia, we put our money on the whitewash. The ER doctor determined that whatever it was, Joey had not ingested any of it.

It was whitewash, by the way. Whitewash, which looks just like milk, and was in a milk jug, and Doulicia didn't want anyone to drink it by mistake . . . .

Luckily, no one did.


  • My cousin's son drank varsol once. Scary.

    posted by Blogger Heather on 5:14 PM  

  • Very close call. Scary!

    posted by Blogger Running2Ks on 11:19 PM  

  • Oh how frightening! Glad he was ok.

    posted by Blogger purple_kangaroo on 7:31 AM  

  • Gosh! I fall behind in reading your blog and learn that my half-assed safety prevention measures are being shared with the world!

    A few points of clarification:

    1) I liked that flimsy scooper (it broke a few years ago) because although it was time consuming, it was highly effective

    2) I drew the skull and crossbones, thank you very much. I learned how from my father, a high school biology teacher, who not infrequently brought home things like re-used peanut butter jars full of cyanide crystals.

    3) To this day I feel badly about that scare. So sorry. Had I known Joey would be coming with you, I would have put the skull and crossbones on our basement door. Because as you so accurately convey, the basement was not such a nice place!

    posted by Blogger doulicia on 1:56 PM  

  • I would never have mentioned you by name in this anecdote if I didn't think it was funny, as I said, in a Bugs Bunnyish sort of way.

    And I don't think your measures were half-assed. The only thing half-assed about the situation was that I couldn't contact you.

    And, I will also tell the world right now that Doulicia is not to blame for the ugly state of that basement. After all, it was a rental property.*

    *Owned by my in-laws.

    posted by Blogger Julie on 9:02 PM