The Hippo Menace and Other Thoughts

I think all of us have that friend/family member who, in a social gathering (you remember those, right? The idea hearkens back to an innocent time where people would leave their homes and come together in groups greater than six – a time when we naively referred to our friends as “friends” instead of “vectors,” anyway…) Let me start again. …the friend/family member who, in a social gathering, would suddenly launch into the most random/odd/crazy rant you’d ever heard. The kind of rant you’d laugh about in the beginning thinking this is surely a joke – they’re riffing – and then you realized, “oh dear God, they’re actually serious,” and the laugh would slowly become more nervous. You were then left with a choice – try to gently cajole them out of the crazy (good luck you naive fool!), or smile politely and claim you needed a refill… from another room… possibly outdoors… at a neighbors.

Among my friends and their acquaintances, we’ve got the guy who will get in your face over Brian Henson voicing Kermit the Frog, because it’s just wrong – they should have retired the character (or something like that). He’ll angrily get up in your face about it. Forget we’re all well past the age where we’re watching Sesame Street lately, and the last Muppet movie we saw was likely “The Muppet Movie.” Oh, Kermy. This guy takes the voice acting very seriously, and he’s pretty angry.

(For the record it turns out, after a quick Google search, that Jim Henson’s replacement for that voice was actually Steve Whitmire, who voices Kermit for 27 years after Henson and was fired by Disney around 2017. I just read too much about the incident that lead up to his dismissal. These are things I wish I didn’t know today; I actually don’t have a frog in this pond battle.)

Another friend-of-a-friend has strong feelings about Jupiter’s size. Why? Why does it have to be that big? (Again, they’re very serious.) I’ve heard that when it starts, it can be incredibly funny, but I’ve also been strongly discouraged from pursuing the conversation on my own. I get the impression the Jupiter conversation can take a dark turn. (Aside, I’d still like to hear it.)

I was thinking about this, and thinking, “wow, Beth, you really lack passion.” I mean sure, I’m passionate about our political situation. I can sound quite passionate if people are driving in a “non-Beth-approved” way and therefore causing me undue stress as I move from point A to point B (like interrupting my commanding car performance of Queen’s “I Want to Break Free”. Don’t make me stop singing to scream at you. I will!) And as I was sitting on my high-horse feeling quite above it all in the crazy, it hit me – my things. (Epiphanies tend to fly right at you when you’ve had little real human contact for two months.) So, here we go –


In a questionable top five list I found while Googling “things that agree with my world view” I discovered that hippos are one of the Top 5 killers of humans. (Full disclosure: the list probably excluded things like: disease, other people etc., etc. but that’s not what’s important.) What’s important is that hippos are a murderous menace! And if you eliminate many things, they’re among the top five animal murderers (behind mosquitoes, tsetse flies, snakes and crocodiles (we’re ignoring the part that included dogs)).

I blame Disney and the Animaniacs for my overreaction.

My entire life I’ve viewed hippos as these adorably chubby Kilroys who had thoughtful hippo conversations, yearned to don a tutu, and paddled around rivers to help get 3,000+ lbs of weight off of those poor knees.

Imagine my horror when I discovered they were multi-ton jerks with murderous intentions? But we don’t get weekly news updates on Hippo homicides. Let one shark nibble on one surfer, and suddenly everyone’s afraid to go into the water. The next thing you know, Roy Scheider is out on a boat hunting them down over four increasingly ridiculous movies.

You know Flavio and Marita had a secret basement where they kept their humans – trying to create perfect human suits. Where are you keeping the bodies, Flavio and Marita?!?! WHERE?!?!

Hippos kill upwards of 500 people per year. Where’s my hippo week?!?!

And really, that’s what it boils down to – I want Hippo Week on Discovery. Is that too much to ask? Hippos are way better at murder than sharks! AND they sing and dance. Fact.

Now to my second crazy rant (it’s a two-fer) we’re going to have to take a hard left since it doesn’t involve the Martha Graham’s of the African river systems.

No, this is about soap, particularly dish soap, and my lack of access to it.

Let’s start with a fact: For the last 30+ years I’ve been washing dishes by hand; I don’t use a dishwasher. I just don’t. I like to mindlessly stand in front of a sink, thinking about things, and washing my dishes. It’s calming. It’s my thing.

Enter Covid-19 and suddenly everyone has discovered dish soap to the extent that I can’t get mine, and I have a strong preference. Any old soap won’t do. I like Dawn. Any Dawn, but mostly the green Dawn. Maybe it’s the smell, who knows. It’s Dawn. It’s green. It’s good. I don’t like Joy. I don’t like Palmolive. I don’t like the off-brand at the grocery store, or Meyer’s. I like Dawn. If I can’t have the green stuff, the blue still is perfectly fine. You see, Dawn does EXACTLY what I want it to do, the way I want it to do it. It cleans dishes, and it gets grease out of the way, just like the commercials tell me it does. But apparently everyone is suddenly interested in washing dishes now??!?! Really???

No. I suspect it has to do with people having limited access to hand soap, so they’re buying dish soap in order to clean their hands. And I applaud you guys for suddenly showing an interest in hygiene, but my question is – why weren’t you doing that before? Seriously. Why?

When we were being sent home to shelter-in-place, and I went to the grocery store, I didn’t buy soap, because I had soap. The shelves were stripped clean of soap, but I didn’t mind. I had extra soap for when I ran out. In fact, I haven’t had to buy new hand soap, yet. I’ve just worked my way through my soap reserves. And I get that some of you didn’t have soap, people run out, it’s a thing, but the fact that there’s still a soap shortage is crazy to me. Again, thank you for discovering how filthy hands can be, but dang… I now kind of see you guys as contributing to the problem to begin with. Why weren’t you washing your hands before? You’re gross.

Look, I don’t care if you have to buy some lye and coconut oil, please let me have my Dawn – a product I use for actual dishes – not something I use because I recently discovered clean hands were in. Thank you social media influencers for finally doing something I wouldn’t categorize as vapid noise, and also, GRR! I want my Dawn!

(Health warning: Please do not actually buy lye unless you know how to handle it properly. It’s a very strong alkali and therefore caustic. Also, I feel I should add: Also, please do not inject or ingest bleach. Bleach is typically made with chlorine, which is also an alkali and generally doesn’t go well with one’s digestive system in that you could die. That’s all the near-science lessons I have in me today.)

So there they are – the two things I’m excitable about these days. The perils of hippo interactions and my lack of Dawn in my house, by non-dishwashers who won’t kindly just use lye (again, please don’t do that).

What ridiculous things get you excited?

12 thoughts on “The Hippo Menace and Other Thoughts

  1. Rick Spradlin says:

    Perhaps good news? Dawn now sells a hand soap that looks a lot like their dish soap on the shelf. (I got nothing on hippos.)

    • Beth says:

      How can you have nothing on Hippos, Rick when they’re A MENACE!! πŸ™‚ I bet the Dawn soap sells out just as quickly. I look forward to the day when I can safely shop my Dawn and have no competition for my preferred dish suds. πŸ™‚

  2. illignis says:

    Love your article! πŸ˜€ I’m also a passionate lifestyle blogger – you can check out my blog if you like πŸ™‚

  3. Lori Holliday says:

    What? Murder Hippos? No! Rhinos, I could see. Elephants on stampede, yes, murderers. Water buffalo, sure. But Hippos seem so much more like wallowers than murderers. Live and learn…live and learn. Keep the rants coming! πŸ™‚

  4. Beth says:

    I think Rhinos are pretty easy going, and you have to love elephants – but hippos!!!! They have attitude!!!! I guess you have to if you’re heavy and still want to don a tutu and ballet slippers – don’t tolerate any guff, hippos!!!

    I like to think everyone learns a lot from these very informative and relevant posts. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  5. That zoo’s new baby hippo is adorable…it’s little….all little things are cute when babies, right? Anyway hippos are cool – always a favorite – hope hippos all get to swim free and do their own thing without judgmental humans bossing them around.(and get what they deserve for that?)
    I do a lot of hand washing of dishes, too (Er. staff snorts about it) – just seems the quick and simple way considering we don’t use a lot of dishes
    In March before all this cootie thing started, I started down (like a I do before hurricane season) and make a list of things I cannot do without if something happens and Godzilla or something is eating the world and upsetting supply lines and we are stuck in place. Dawn was one of the items – you can use it so much…and I’m picky…I like Dawn – and they the help with chem/oil spill ducklings!! Seals the deal for me. Locating some was even tricky then, but Amazon had a multi-pack deal. Set for a couple of months…or a big big bubble party….hey, hurricane season is coming! My house will be the water filled one with bubbles and lovely dawn smell.
    Have a great weekend.
    (I’ve been MIA from blogs a great deal – just too much drama, anger, and angst – will try to keep up here. Hugs and smiles )

  6. Beth says:

    Hippos are terribly cute – I love their angry little chubby goofy faces! (Disney’s tricks worked on me!)

    Dawn saving little ducklings and other animals from oil spills is what tipped the scales for me, too. Plus, I really do notice a difference if I put in something gross and greasy towards the end of my dish washing – Dawn seems to just keep me from having oily water.

    About a week after the post, a friend sent me a text that read “I left you a present on your bench out front” (I have a park bench on my porch). So, I ran out there and saw there was a Walgreens bag. Inside of the bag were two brand new containers of Dawn. I may have squealed and done a serious happy dance. I then bragged to a co-worker, who is also a huge Dawn fan, and they were a bit deflated that they hadn’t thought of the Dawn gift. They’d been sending me updates on Home Depot’s Dawn inventory. I’ve been tempted to go in there, but every time I see the parking lot, I think “too many people” and drive away. Who knew I’d get to that point?

    No need for apologies for being MIA. I haven’t been posting much, and I haven’t been reading much (as you’ve seen). I’m in the same boat – too much of all the other things – drama, anger and angst) keep me away from the computer. I’ve been binge-watching Parks & Rec the last couple of months. I needed something I hadn’t seen that was just light and silly. That has fit the bill perfectly. These are definitely interesting times. I hope you and everyone in your realm has been doing well – safe and sane and kicking up your heels on occasion. You are truly a delightful bright spot in these grayer times.

  7. I fretted about your lack of Dawn! So relieved (but checking supplies here as them rumblings of “You guys are not trying hard enough, so don’t be surprised if you are sent to your rooms…again.”UGH. But just to ease RC cat’s mind, I’m picking up more food boxes for her…hey can always call it hurricane preparedness HAHA.
    We actually masked up and headed to Lowe’s – on Father’s Day Morning…at lunch time…while it was raining – and thought we could go quickly into the garden center for 2 bags of dirt (the lawn is drying and dying) a maybe a plant to two – but not only was it all one way and everyone had to go INSIDE the front door and follow breadcrumbs down the path which you hoped would end up where you wanted to go., there was a huge double line – not social distancing at the check out by the normal garden entrance now the official exit. INSIDE. Go inside- exactly what they tell you not to do if you don’t have to? Nope. We just left. Sigh. We did find a smaller Home Depot with the garden gate open – with no people inside, so at least for the dirt. Home Depot also had curbside pickup…so if anything breaks, we’ll check online there (Home D has the worst website ever) first.
    Hope you are Ok and not as bored as I am.
    Screen avoidance as well as people avoidance still. Been through “Third Rock from the Sun” shows, parts of Sopranos which I never watched, and currently Ozarks – which is similar to Breaking Bad and Weeds, I think….if I never see another beach house renovate show it will be too soon. Well. Just checking up on you. Bubbles to ya’

    • Beth says:

      My favorite Philosophizing Mouse! So wonderful to hear from you!

      I’ve actually ventured into HEB a few times now and I can boast that I’m the proud owner of multiple bottles of Dawn. I recognize I’ve gone a bit Dawn mad, but I blame social isolation and the love of clean dishes. Again, I’m sure Meyer’s is lovely for someone, but being almost near the end of my bottle, I look forward to my Dawn with great anticipation and glee. It’s really the little things that keep me going at this point.

      I’m impressed you actually tried to venture into Lowe’s; it sounds like the worst-case scenario for trying to stay safe. Several weeks ago I drove by our local Home Depot and it was packed. I finally ended up buying mulch from HEB. I felt ridiculous wheeling my cart around with the mulch on top. Why yes, I am buying mulch, fruit, and a donut today. Mind your own basket! (Actually, I don’t think a single person batted an eye, and if they did, I didn’t notice – those masks are rather convenient at hiding expressions – something I shouldn’t get used to, because the day those come off, and I make a terrible face accidentally, I’m going to be quite embarrassed. My ancestors will probably gather around for that brief moment and frown disapprovingly at my Mom for raising such an ill-mannered creature, and then the apparition of my Mom will doubtlessly whisper quite sternly in my ear, “oh, we’ll talk about this when you get home.” Hrmm. On second thought, it’s best I work to keep my facial expressions in check while out even if I’m masked up these days.)

      I finally polished off Parks & Rec, which was perfect and silly, then I moved onto The Expanse, Dead to Me, and now I’m onto Schitt’s Creek, which I’ve warmed up to after a few friends recommended it.
      I’ve really limited myself to “light and fluffy” things that make me giggle (The Expanse would be the exception – I just needed my SciFi hit.) I still haven’t seen Ozarks, but I’ve heard it’s really good so I hope you’re enjoying it. I’m still hurt over Hank in Breaking Bad.

      I hope everything else is going well in the Kingdom! I need to read. I need to write. I suppose at some point I need to re-engage with my social media stuff (but let me say not having a FB job of clicking “like” every day has been a very nice respite from “all the things”.)

      Thank you so much for brightening my day with your note!


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