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?