Come on, you knew it was only a matter of time.
I’m sorry, but poop talk is still funny, it is, shut it. I’m 41, and I still love a good poop story as much as I love a good conjoined twin separation on the Discovery Channel. Whether or not you think it’s gross, everybody, and I mean everybody has at least one good poop story in his or her closet.
When my kids are all “poop poop you’re a poopy head poopity poop poop poop” from somewhere far away I hear myself scolding “STOP it, poop talk is NOT funny!” And then I laugh inwardly at my insane hypocrisy and tell them “Now STOP it, dinner is almost ready, and we are having macaroni and poop. Would you like milk to drink or poop? If you eat all of your dinner I have a surprise for dessert! It’s POOP!” Laughter ensues and I snort-laugh and brace myself for the years of impending detentions.
Granted, not everyone is quite comfortable enough to share their poop stories, let alone write a blog about them. You just leave that part to me.
Back in the summer of 2004, I had just graduated from art school and was living in Brooklyn, NY. Surprisingly enough, finding work as an artist (that pays) is not as easy as one (as delusional as I) would have thought. Lucky for me my Father owned a refrigerated truck business!
The deal was, I’d drive the 3 ½ hours down from New York in my piece of shit VW GTI with no AC and no radio at the crack of dawn to arrive at his lot around 9am. I was then paid $500 per truck to stencil and hand paint the company’s logo on both sides. At the time that was a fuckload of money, but let me tell you, it was a fuckload of work too. Standing on a ladder in a dirt parking lot in 100+ heat with toxic enamel paint and my arm over my head all frigging day was really making that college education worthwhile. I was a huge success, at least that’s what all the truckers and mechanics told me.
If I busted my ass, I could usually finish a truck in a day or two, and I was doing 2 a week. It was the shittiest job in all the land but the money was great, and considering I wouldn’t be having a retrospective at The Guggenheim anytime soon, I kept going back for more, just like Lindsay Lohan to rehab.
After busting my ass all day, I’d get in my piece of shit car and fight rush hour traffic up the fucking turnpike back to Brooklyn. That’s 7-8 hours driving, and 9 hours standing on a ladder painting logos on trucks. Let’s call it a 17-hour day, for $500. That’s about $29.50 an hour (yes I totes had to use a calculator). Not bad for slave labor.
I usually had a day off in between trucks, which was a blessing, because I could not use my arms. I decided to treat myself to a halfway decent dinner, so I took the subway into the city and met some friends in the Village on 5th street for some kick ass Indian food. I loooooove me some Indian food. I ate like 14 pieces of Naan break with the cucumber raita running down my chin. For my entrée I ordered a spicy spinach saag. For those of you not familiar with Indian food, a Saag, or palak, is a spiced puree of spinach or other greens common in northern India. They often contain additional ingredients such as potatoes, fresh cheese, chicken or chickpeas to make a more substantial dish. We ate and drank like gluttons even though I was rather clumsy doing everything with my left hand considering that my right was still as useless as a meth-head in a standing still contest.
The next morning, it was business as usual. Wake up at 6am slightly hungover from the 8 weird Indian beers, brush my teeth (maybe) throw on my overall shorts (cuz that’s how I rolled up in ’94) and hit the road. It was barely light and already hotter than Sophia Vergara. I pulled into the lot a little after 9 and began setting up.
With the sun beaming down on me as I stood on my ladder abusing my arm, there was a horrible drop in my stomach. It churned and flipped over, as if there were a baby made of spinach in there. It was fucked up. Instantly my upper lip began to sweat and I knew I had about a 30 second window to introduce my ass to a toilet before all hell broke loose.
Clenching like I was holding a dime between my cheeks, I very awkwardly ran into the shop. The shop is basically set up like walking into an L the size of two enormous trailers. When you walk (run) in the front door, the single bathroom is 4 steps directly in front of you. Flanked on both sides are the receptionist desk, and the service counter for the parts department. There are always mechanics and truckers hanging about.
I would rather eat a brick of earwax than take a shit there. The walls were paper-thin and you knew everyone could hear everything. It was your Worst Nightmare To Have A Huge Shit In Bathroom. But I did not have an option. The train had left the station and there was no stopping it.
I flew into the building dripping sweat, ignoring everyone’s “hellos” and flew into the bathroom. I was locking the door with one hand while dropping my overalls with the other and I don’t even think I had my ass on the seat before the angry forceful spray began. The explosion echoed in the porcelain and created an acoustic experience of horror.
As I’m sitting there, doubled over with intense stomach cramps, my ass was writing chapter after chapter of this horrifying story, and all I could do was imagine monologues of the mechanics and truckers who were undoubtedly within earshot. But there was not a thing I could do.
After what seemed like an eternity, I was emptied. I was experiencing that strange kind of high that one only achieves after a raging bout of diarrhea has been released from the confines of your intestinal tract. My blurred vision was starting to correct itself as I wiped the sweat from my brow. Wishing I had a bidet, I wiped about 47 times then reached back and pushed down the handle to flush away my nightmare.
I rose from the seat and was pulling up my stylish overalls when I heard the splash.
A deluge of spinach infested brown water had risen to capacity and was overflowing all over the bathroom floor. I wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop it. I stood watching in horror as my splashing nightmare spread across the bathroom floor. In a moment of clarity I reached behind the toilet and turned off the water. But the damage was done.
In a state of pure, unadulterated white-hot panic, I frantically looked around for a way to deal with the wet, leafy mess. There was nothing, except a roll of toilet paper. No plunger, no paper towels, nothing. A roll of toilet paper. That’s. All. There was absolutely nothing I could do, and I stood there for what seemed like 4 hours until I could muster the courage to leave the bathroom. Exactly as it was.
So what did I do? I walked out, closed the door behind me, got in my car and drove back to New York. Without cleaning up my stuff or saying a word to anyone. I had accepted the fact that I would never be able to see my family again, and was going to find out how to enter the witness protection program.
I called my Dad and told him I had an emergency and that I’d be back tomorrow. When I arrived the next day, I acted as if nothing had happened, as if I had not left a bathroom floating in a world of intestinal tract stew.
No one ever said a word (bosses daughter) but they all knew. The all knew, and to this day I wonder what my nickname was (behind my back.) I bet it was a good one.