The business of doing your business

***If you were grossed out by the verbose description of my Montreal gas attack, you may want to go make a sandwich or fix your bicycle until this post is over.***

To say that I’ve always been baffled by people’s habits in the bathroom would be a huge understatement of my frustration and confusion in that regard. I was born without a sense of smell (more on that some other time), so it isn’t the various stinks, though I have occasionally encountered what felt like a living, evil presence that stabbeded my eyes and brain with vigor in public restrooms before. I’d hate to think what someone with functioning olfactory receptors would endure in those cases. No, it’s everything else you people do when you aren’t responsible for cleaning up after yourself. Oh, and the time it takes to commit such crimes against cleanliness. I guess if you’re going to befoul a place, make it wrong and long, huh?

This probably has roots in my childhood. Strike that, it definitely has roots in my childhood. Growing up, my brother would compose extensive melodies while on the make, when he wasn’t starting and then finishing the great works of Dr. Seuss. Depending on his mood, you could wind up doing the dance of the near-incontinent outside a (mostly) silent bathroom, or be guided in your rain-dance moves by his musical meanderings. I hated it. I never understood why people need more than a few minutes to get in, release the poisons and get back out. My thought was (and still is), if you need an hour to move the mail, maybe come back in 55 minutes and try again. Others may be waiting (in agony).

Since I’m easily moved to the point of eye-watering gag-reflex at the mere mention of certain natural, but still thoroughly disgusting, bodily functions, I won’t go into mortifying detail, but we’ve all been there. That millisecond of atomic horror as you struggle to wrap your mind around the three most important things in that moment when you witness the travesty someone has left for you in a public restroom: 1) who could live after committing such an atrocity? 2) how can I teleport to another continent immediately; and 3) brain ctrl-alt-del. The horror…it scars you.

Aside from the monochromatic (if you’re lucky) redecorating some folks feel inclined to share with others in the seated arena, there’s the added nightmare of stand-up-stall trolls. I’m not sure who has this kind of time in the bathroom, but often it looks like someone was doing some extensive pruning of the hedges. And unless you’ve got no hands (or some horrible disfigurement of The Nethers), which is the only reasonable excuse for this next injustice, men have the ability to AIM. I shouldn’t need inflatable raft-shoes to safely stand and deliver.

I guess the point of all of this is to point out that, yes, we all have disgusting fluids, solids and semi-solids that frequently need to exit these inefficient bodies. However, if you don’t think your spouse, significant other, roommate or parents would appreciate the defiling you so readily share with the masses of public restroom visitors, don’t defile. You never know when that plate of camarones a la diabla is going to come calling on the bullet train, and you don’t want to have to call in a hazmat team to prep your stall. Oh, and if you need more than a few minutes to do the do, two words: psyllium fiber.

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2 Comments on “The business of doing your business”

  1. Erin Says:

    I read the title of this entry and thought, “Nah, it COULDN’T be about poop.” And then it was. Surprise! 🙂


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