It had felt like forever since I last visited a midway, carnival, town fair, or an amusement park, so I was happy to indulge in some action-packed fun a few weeks ago. There were definitely some familiar sights, some staples from my childhood that will forever be a part of the midway experience: the smell of popcorn and cotton candy, high school kids with microphones beckoning us to spin/smash/shoot for a prize, the song “The Final Countdown” being played every 7 minutes or so. But at this recent visit, I noticed some new things. (New shit, if you will).

Let’s start with this:

and this:

and this one too (it’s a pillow!):

The first plush poo emoji item I noticed was hanging out in a game booth, waiting to be taken home by a lucky player. It wasn’t the fact that there were actual toys in the shape of coiled feces that shocked me; it was the sheer volume of said plush feces. There were hundreds, maybe millions of them, hanging from the ceilings, walls, tables, as if basking in the aftermath of a poo explosion.

It appears that these little brown fellers are the hit toy at all the amusements parks and carnivals this year. Apparently, the Calgary Stampede midway vendors couldn’t keep up with the demand, and some games have been altered in order to incorporate the little guy. Let me allow that to sink in for a moment: plush poo toys are the hot-ticket carnival item right now. It won’t be long before your sister, brother, nephew, son, or <gasp> life partner takes one of these guys home.

I am left with a few question for the people who adopt these smiling, coiled mounds — nay — smiling, coiled, mounds of human waste, and take them home to live. Forever.

  1. Do you wear your poo hat around the house? If so, do you answer the door with it on?
  2. If you don’t wear it around the house, is it on display in a high-traffic area? How many beers does it take before you happily put it on in front of guests?
  3. Is the hat warm? Might it become your go-to winter hat for 2016?
  4. Do those big cartoon poo-eyes beckon you with a guilt trip after a few days of collecting dust?
  5. What did your friends say when you put that poo hat on and/or snuggled with your giant poo pillow for the first time?
  6. Did anyone protest? How do you feel about this? Are you questioning the integrity of your core group of friends right now?
  7. Did anyone just straight up say, that looks bad please take it off?
  8. How much did it actually cost? Does it hurt your soul when you do the math in your head? What does it feel like to spend $24 on plushy poo?
  9. Do you feel like you got your money’s worth? Have you been wearing the poo hat consistently in order to justify the cost?
  10. When you post photos of yourself on social media wearing a poo hat, what are the comments like? Are they supportive? Have you un-friended anyone? Has your poo-hat-wearing-habit become a barometer for positive friendships?
  11. How often do you wash your poo hat? Does it need to be washed more often than other inanimate-object-plush hats? Does the fact that it’s light to medium brown accentuate or hide dust/dander/cat hair?
  12. How did you decide between a hat and a pillow? Was it a difficult choice? Did your mind wander to the colour scheme of your living room in order to make this decision?
  13. How did you decide which poo hat to get? I mean, the wizard-style-mound is, well, wizardy, but that trucker hat looks pretty dope. Were these decisions difficult? Do you have any regrets? Do you have recurring nightmares that resemble the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusadewhere the Knight says “choose wisely” but instead of hundreds of cups, you are staring down at the most intense and varied batch of poo paraphernalia AND YOU MIGHT DIE IF YOU DON’T CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE?

I get it (a little bit, at least). Canadians, apparently, lead the world in smiling poo emoji use. I am a proud Canadian, at least during an Olympic year, so I am going to try to keep it real and stop talking shit about all this poo stuff. At least until my son/husband/daughter asks for one. That situation might end with, quite literally, a shitstorm.

(This post originally ran on Medium)

About the author: Jennifer Philp is a teacher and mother of two children. She writes at Mother of Bones and can be followed on TwitterFacebook, and Medium.


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  1. My husband is attempting to bribe our two year old to poop in the toilet with this pillow. I cannot fathom why a grown human would want one, though.

  2. I own one of these lol. I didn’t exactly buy it myself, tho.

    I got my little poo pillow as a gift from my niece. She had a field trip to an arcade last year. Before school she asked me if she could borrow $5, because she had forgot her money. I let her borrow it, and informed her that she needed to pay me back.
    After school, she presented me with a poo emoji pillow she won in a claw game. I told her that I loved it, and she didn’t owe me anything.

    I keep it in our bed, next to my SO’s Chewbacca.

  3. Thank you for the wonderful article! My husband and I (age 27), just went to an amusement park today and were shocked at all the poo-paraphernalia and the people choosing to wear such paraphernalia. This article is word-for-word what we thought about the whole thing.

  4. Preach!!! What is this world coming to!? We worship excrement now!? I’m worried.

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