I started a new job last week and I had to poop. This was a big deal for me.
Let me back up a little bit.
I have said this a million times, but I’ve never written it. Our service culture is based heavily on the idea of prostitution. The idea of the bordello, or the call girl is that no matter how many ‘clients’ there were that day, that you are special, and you are the only one, and no matters but you. That favorite restaurant of yours? People sit in your spot all the time. Your plate, your silverware have been used thousands of times. Everything that you touch, that you use, was not made specifically for you. We just act like it has been.
And that’s the problem with the toilet.
I can only function with the public toilet if I lie to myself and believe that it exists and it has only existed for me. But sometimes that illusion shatters, sometimes there’s a horrible stain, or a malodor, or God forbid, some poor wretch in there making sounds like someone getting ketchup out of a mostly empty bottle and I realize the sheer horror of what I must do.
I had a reached a decent comfort level with the toilet at my old job. It took time.The whole public toilet thing for me is just an unspeakable violation of my dignity. I want to be alone in my shame. I don’t want to be somewhere in a stall that only covers 3/4s of me, as various strangers burst into the room and make loud noises. When I’m in my bathroom at home and I poop, I flee like I committed a bank robbery in the Wild West, and the alarm has sounded and the Sherriff’s posse is coming.
So I’m at my new job and the toilet seat is a little loose, and I’m not comfortable. Its like pooping during a mild earthquake, but I was desperate.
The lid slipped and I almost fell. Instead…
My penis somehow got caught between the bowl and the seat. I felt like I was going to rip it off. The only reason I didn’t scream is that there were other people in there, and they wouldn’t have any context for the new guy in the stall caterwauling.
As I sat there, blind from the pain of my damaged undercarriage, all I could think was, ‘how did I get into this mess?’
I believe in God. I believe that we were hand-created. I believe that humans were formed and engineered like the most intricate and spectacular machinery you could ever imagine. I think that most of the human body is a product of unfathomable workmanship and genius. I can’t believe that three pounds of Jello behind my eyes has near infinite storage. I can’t believe that I have enough glycogen in my legs to run 30 miles, and that I am the most efficient long distance runner in the animal kingdom. I can’t believe that my heart never stops beating.
But this digestion system was the best anybody could come up with? Its like after a few thousand years, God handed off the work to a incompetent cousin to finish. Its a debasing, humiliating process that guarantees that even when I’m not actually pooping, I’m belching, farting, or some variation thereof because the entire system relies on me swallowing air to work.
You might think that I’m overreacting. But this is a bedrock of our culture.
If you work for a company of any size, you’ll notice that the executives have their own bathroom. Do you know why? Because they know that you cannot maintain any respect for someone when they have to poop and you’re trapped near them.
I don’t care if Bill Gates walked into your office. If you had to sit in the stall next to him the day after he went to Chipotle, he would lose respect for him. I don’t care if Sofia Vergara wanted to go to dinner with you, if you stopped at her place before you went out and she had to make a pit stop and it sounded like she was playing some sort of diabolical woodwind, it would take the edge off of your passion.
I don’t know why I have to be subjected to this anyone. I’m tired of running and hiding. I’m tired of asking my friends if they have an upstairs bathroom and seeing that look of terror on their face. I’m tired of disappearing at my job and coming back to my desk, trying to wipe the sweat off my brow, while my co-workers shake their head knowingly. I’m tired of wanting to go on vacation, but having to research if they’ll want me to squat over a hole, or let a water fountain touch my hindquarters. I’m tired of having baby wipes when everyone knows I don’t have any children.
I have no problem with peeing. Peeing is a lot of fun. Pooping is like writing a check, but you open your wallet and you’re out of checks and you’re in the grocery store trying to remember if you have a starter check somewhere and the people behind you are getting antsy. Peeing is like swiping a credit card.
You can pee on anything. In the winter, you can pee your name, or try, at least. Why can’t I have a system like that for the other thing that I won’t even name?
I am tired of pooping.