As many of you are aware, I have a deep personal interest in poop. No point in false modesty: I’m good at it. I enjoy the process and the result. I am prouder of some results over others, but I regard them all with the same interest as anything else I made by myself.
So I rarely suffer from either constipation or writer’s block. If anything, I have the opposite problem. This doesn’t bother me. It’s interesting too. The only problem arises when there’s a lack of receptacle (“toilet,” or “publisher”).
This is a recurring consideration when you’re a mail carrier. There is a limited number of opportunities on any given route to conduct deeply personal business. Say you are walking along with your mail satchel and suddenly the bowel alarm trips (whoop! whoop! whoop!). Three delivery points away is a small law firm with a reliable toilet. You’d prefer to have delivered the two intervening stops first, and you make the calculation that such a thing is possible. This is one notable area where having an optimistic outlook can backfire on you, as it were. Things begin to feel urgent (whoop! whoop! whoop!) in a hurry. You motor on with your butt cheeks clenched hard enough to crack walnuts.
Diarrhea is a lot like life. You always think you have more time.
Finally you make it to the lawyer’s office and walk in like Mrs. Hu-Wiggins. Your clenching musculature has come through for you. It has seen you all the way into the bathroom. It has seen you through to the dropping of the postal-blue culottes. And it damn near has gotten you safely to ground zero. But not quite. Never quite.
It is a small law firm. An intimate office. There’s nothing wrong with your underpants that a good solo ride in a hot washing machine wouldn’t fix, but you determine that the personal cost of transporting your underpants home in their current condition is greater than the price of new underpants, and you stash them into the wastebasket of the bathroom in the intimate lawyer’s office. Bury them. Study the result. And decide to put a solid knot in the wastebasket liner and carry it off in your satchel until you find a dumpster.
This is why it is always best to use the services of a gigantic, impersonal law firm; and why it isn’t the worst idea to wash your hands after you open your mail.
And this is where Instant Underpants comes in handy. Instant Underpants is a real product that comes in a small, discreet tin. The underpants are compressed mightily into a tablet shape, but if they are dropped in water, they expand with Sea-Monkey Technology into a serviceable pair of one-size-fits-all underpants. There are two drawbacks. Number one, one-size-fits-all underpants fit New Jersey Governor Chris Christie better than they fit you. Number two, your new underpants are wet.
The makers of Instant Underpants claim that damp underpants are better than no underpants. This is not true. No underpants are better than no underpants.
Yes, that sentence made sense. I wonder why I can’t find a publisher?
If this is a regular problem for you, I recommend that you buy a nice, lacy pair of underpants and tuck them into your front blazer pocket (if you are wearing one) like a pocket handkerchief. In lieu of the blazer, with a little imagination and some clever twisting, the underpants could be fashioned into an attractive headband or be worn as a fabric choker or bracelet. The possibilities are limitless!
As a garage saler, I, too, have encountered a lack of toilets in some areas. I always take note of all the sites where road construction is going on (porta-potties) and where the fast food places are (I wouldn't eat there, but I have no qualms about using their toilets without buying anything. After all, if I buy a drink, wouldn't that just exacerbate the whole having-to-pee-frequently problem?). Supermarkets also all have public restrooms, although sometimes the trek one must take to find it makes for a dangerously close call. I even take "pre-emptive strikes" when I find a toilet too nice to pass up, because you never know where you will encounter the next one — or if you even do.
Dave and I, being major walkers, are huge fans of the booming home construction industry, and have no qualms about using the plastic biffies. Once we were on the mountain and walking up a long, long road–no traffic, nobody–and my bowel alarm tripped, and we turned a corner and LO! A big blue biffy right there by the side of the road. I briefly thought about going back to church.
My favorite biffy was on a sandbar on the Colorado River AND it had toilet paper. Oh yes, and the probably gun-toting owners didn't show up to shoot us.
If they had, I'm betting you wouldn't have had to take another dump for a week.
Never heard the term ' biffy ' before. Thank you.
Really? That's what my folks called them. We mostly didn't refer to anything like that. We didn't even say #1 or #2. It was "piddle" and something that could not be named. But we did have "biffy," usually meaning the outdoor variety. I don't think it's unusual…
I never pass up a toilet, since I've got a tiny tank that only holds two hours, max. I don't think I'd be a fan of those instant underpants, but they sure would make a great gag gift! I wonder if Amazon has them… 🙂
Of course Amazon has them. Anytime you think you have too much shit, Amazon is there for you.
DJan: gag gift—great idea. Now I have to look at my gift-givee list.
You could get those little thumb drive thingies that plug into a USB and look like a humping dog.
I have had a similar event a number of years ago, but since I do not have your wit or command of pun and vocabulary…it will never see the light of day!
It would be interesting to me to ask Famous People when the last time they soiled their drawers was. Maybe it's just you and me, but I doubt it.
You had me at leaving an intimate deposit at the law firm. Make it a big law firm filled with bigger assholes and I'll buy that book for sure.
And leave the underpants in the wastebasket, preferably in the men's room.
Yup–can't do that at the nice little law firm with the unisex toilet. When the lady who cleans it and smiles at you every day is right down the hall.
I hope I am not displaying undue density, but why wouldn't one simply stuff a pair of clean underpants in her own size into the purse/satchel, rather than a shoe-polish can which would surely take up as much space?
That's not density you're displaying. That's a lack of entrepreneurial spirit. But since you mention it, I'll bet I could jam some underpants in a shoe polish can. And have a spare can for the used ones. Then it's just a matter of being able to know your shit from your Shinola.
Oh no you di'n't!
I am just amazed at how you get me to consider problems from a different perspective. It's even stranger that I totally understand.
You should be very concerned about that.
As a birder with an overactive bladder (I know, TMI) who has never mastered the art of peeing standing up in the woods, believe me when I tell you that I know the location of every pit toilet, porta-potty, and publicly-accessible bathroom within a 100-mile radius of my home. So if you're ever in the area and have an urgent need, give me a call.
There's GOT to be an app for that. Tinklespot?
Great idea, Murr! You should create one–it would be a best seller among women of a certain age!
I've forgotten the website, but there is one which can tell you the location of every public toilet in whatever area you're planning to visit, my daughter sent it to me several years ago and of course I lost it. Try google, although I don't know what you'd type in the search window.
bpadgett====this is not a situation that women have any exclusive rights to.. Any of us with diabetes and taking Glucophage know all about clenching butt cheeks
"Looky-Loo" would be a good name for that website.
Oh goodness, I'd forgotten about Archie McPhee! Source of all sorts of crazy wonderful things you had no idea you had to have.
Never miss a chance to use the bathroom. Words to live by, that's for sure.
This, by the way, is another big plus for wearing long skirts with no underwear.
Do they make ankle length kilts for men? A manly skirt might be a good idea even outside of Scotland.
I'm all in favor of skirts for men. All in favor. You go, boy,
I have a very good mental map of where the local facilities can be found. A map with commentary. And sometimes with warning flags 'danger, danger – only use if the apocalypse is nigh' type flags.
And yes, your last sentence does indeed make sense.
Why, why I ask you, why would anyone ever go into a women's rest room and discover someone has piddled on the seat? Who DOES that?
The last couple of times I went into the hospital (surgery – bottom end), I woke up wearing their version of Instants: stretchy gauze thingies like a circular bandage with a partial seam on one end. They would easily fit into one of those tins. And they're washable and re-usable. Just not comfortable.
Reusable, really? Oh, I don't know. Hmm.
Well, if you're ever caught short in the tropical forests don't use just any leaves as wipes…much better to carry Kleenex and a spare pair http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrocnide_excelsa
That is one nasty-sounding leaf. My friend Pat Lichen assures me that thimbleberry leaves are ideal for wiping in the woods. I'm keeping that factoid handy for future use.
As long as you don't confuse them with Devil's Club leaves; they look the same, the plant itself looks the same, just a bit bigger. The poisonous spines are hidden underneath.
Forgot to add; I know whereof I speak. 🙁
No one I know has ever mistooken a thimbleberry for a Devil's Club, more than once, except for the late Willy "Two-Bung" Smithers.
My mum had that pee-too-often problem and carried a roll of toilet paper everywhere she travelled, she gave up handbags and carried a larger tote instead. Wherever she went, her first stop was the visitor centre to find out the location of every public toilet in that area.
I don't actually have much of a problem, but I can't always sneeze with impunity.
I must purchase the Instant Underpants! A friend of mine sometimes has your same "problem". These would make a terrific gift for her. After all, what else are good friends for?
(PS – that sentence DID make sense!)
You could also get it in the handy dispenser. That way you wouldn't mistake it for an Altoids tin and offer it to someone else.
I'm like a mail carrier in that, often when I'm out for a run, it turns into the runs. Or the solids. At any rate, I am always screaming around, trying to find a port-a-potty or business-based toilet. They fear me at the Super One grocery store a couple miles down the road, I tell you.
All of this reminds me that we've just hit one of my favorite running times of the year: when I can wipe with a frozen ball of snow.
I've got nothing.
Wet clothes of any kind drive me to distraction. Your last sentence is kinda like that baking-soda-and-water mixture the kids make in science class – seems solid until you try to pick it up to take a closer look, and then it oozes through your fingers.
… which is an unfortunate choice of words, given the topic. Sorry!
I know what you mean though. I wrote this a while ago, and when I was revisiting it, I had to squint at that for a while before I realized it really does make sense.
Yes it does. And I meant cornstarch-and-water. That's neat stuff. As is your writing. Carry on!
That's as good a name for gravy as I can think of. You know what? Daddy refused to get me Dr. Seuss books when I was little.
You spell Mrs. Hu-Wiggans exactly like I have been spelling it in my head all these years. That is soooo strangely gratifying. If I were a publisher, this would clinch the deal for me.
You say the sweetest things.
ahem..puts on practical voice…have you tried to find a cause and cure for this dire-rear? something in your diet that could be adjusted? Have you thought of carrying spare underpants in a ziplock bag?
On the other hand, all that butt clenching probably gave you a nice neat tushie!
But do you still suffer and why not do something about it?
No suffering here. I'm retired. Diet's great. And Bob from Athens and I both have fine tushies.
I will never look at my mail the same again.
But I never had Ebola.
I take a commuter bus daily to work from NH to Boston – a minimum of 1 hour each way – usually about 2 hours going home. In 16 years I have never used the bathroom on the bus (hope I haven't jinxed myself) but I have a strict ritual – no food after 2pm and no liquid after 3pm. There has been an occasion where I've just barely made the restroom at the bus station – but so far so good.
Do you read? Ruminate? Look for birds out the window? Check facebook? Three hour commute. Gad. Good idea trying to avoid the bathroom on the bus. Remember that lady who got her pants down and the bus took a sudden lurch and she got her heinie wedged in the open window? Big woman, she was. I can't remember if she sued, or the people on the sidewalk.
Thanks to DJan's link I found myself here now laughing and that sets off a gas episode, luckily only gas:) but there have been occasional oopses:(
Having lost much of the colon in 2008 brought on ew experiences and I doubt the wet undies would be any help.
That. Law firm makes a go place for a deposit is brilliant but with all the profits banks make I think it's time seniors lined up in queu to leave some of the holy crap in their loo!!!
Gosh, can you imagine how proud I am that I set off a gas episode?