Natural selection.

Where I work, the women’s bathroom has three stalls. As I enter the bathroom, the question always arises — which stall shall I choose? I could take the oversized handicapped stall,Ā which gets marksĀ for its thoughtful leg room and comfy arm rests. Or, shall I beĀ considerate andĀ opt for the smaller stall on the right? I can’t help but think that the middle stall (also smallish) is the way to go, for its seat sees only a modicum of assage. I say this, because I have spent an embarassing amount of time logicizing it. I deduce that the middle stall would be the cleanest, for no one wouldĀ use it, unless the others were full. Taking it would mean that at any given time, you could sitting mere inches away from someone else with their pants at their ankles. It would be akin to entering an elevator and standing right next to one other person in there.

I wonder if everyone else goes through this littany of questions as they enter the bathroom. I have issues with public bathrooms — I have had them since childhood. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, untitledmother takes great pleasure in recounting the time when I held my poop for five days when I was a kid,Ā because IĀ didn’t want toĀ unload in someone else’s toilet while we were on vacation.

As I’ve grown older, I have become accustomed to pooping in public restrooms. But you can be damn well sure that I have the common decency to hold it until no one else is in the room. I don’t care if my brow is sweating and my o-ring is quivering like a whore in church. I simply do not poop in the company of others. I mean, what if I happen to unleash holy hell from my nether regions, andĀ the soundĀ of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” comes chortling out of my blowhole? You just know thatĀ my stallmates would look under the dividers, compelled by that same shameful curiousity that keepsĀ one watching the horseplay addicts on HBO’s “Real Sex” series, and see my shoes there. Oh, the horror.

Thank god not everyoneĀ is like this. Take untitledbrother-in-law, for example. He would gladly drive 20 milesĀ out of hisĀ way just toĀ poop in our toilet. And if he’s able to clog it or god forbid, leave behind some racing stripes, well then, all the better. I’m not sure if this is an exercise inĀ demarkation, or ifĀ there is some strange magnetic force surrounding our home thatĀ pushes the poop out of him like a sausage press. I just find it odd that whenever he is here, it happens. He probably has no idea that I’m taking mental notes. But given my history with toilets, I notice these things. Does this make me strange? Probably no stranger than untitledhusband, who gets hard from the mere smell of electronics and the sensation of the Tivo remote in his hand.

18 thoughts on “Natural selection.”

  1. I ADMIT I SHARE YOUR FEAR OF POOPING IN PUBLIC. I AM NO STRANGER OF HOLDING IT TIL I GET HOME. šŸ˜€

  2. I do not do it in a box,
    I do not do it with a fox,
    I do not do it on a train,
    I do not do it in the rain…
    I do not do it unless I am in my own home…my own bathroom.

    BTW, “I donā€™t care if my brow is sweating and my o-ring is quivering like a whore in church.” is the best line ever written! šŸ™‚

  3. Good one Jeanne! I “do not do it…,” either. Are women the only ones like this??? Most guys I know are proud to brag about what went on in the bathroom, no matter where it is. And the whole ‘farting as entertainment’ thing baffles me too! Yes, I am surrounded by males!! I hadda get a little lapdog because I told hubbie I was tired of being the only bitch in the house.

  4. On Oprah I saw that the FIRST stall is the least used stall because no one likes to be that close to the door or something. The farther away the better, therefore the first one is rarely used. So, that’s the one I use.

  5. I can’t use public restrooms. I can hold it till Jesus comes, but I’m not pooping with other people in the room. Although it hurts me more than them, I’m sure.

  6. I think about this every time I use a public restroom. The topic annoyed me so much at work (the though of pooping next to my boss! … or another co-worker even!) that I now use the bathroom down the hall, farther away from the office.

    Did you ever go in to the stall and start to “go” when someone else walked in? You sit there, holding it, hoping they pee fast so you can finish, then notice that they are just sitting there, hoping you’ll finish so they can start doing their “business”. That sucks. When that happens, if I can, I pack up and move on to yet another bathroom in the building to finish.

    By the way, I use the first stall at work and the handicap stall in other public places.

  7. I’m a pooper-holder-in too.

    I bark “SIT” at my bowels when they start to act up away from home and they obey. In fact, they’re so obedient that at home I beg them for days to commence with the *er, um* “exiting”. Good public toliet manners comes at a cost: constipation.

  8. I guess I’m just a poop slut — I’m an equal opportunity pooper, willing to have at it whenever the need (or opportunity) arises. If you’ve ever been impacted by impaction (see “Here I sit all broken-hearted…”), then you will understand, though on the whole, I would rather be having at it in the privacy of my own pipes and bowl, stewing in my own juices, so to speak.

  9. We have the same issue at my work. And though it’s the most popular one, I choose the one at the end. It may get the most assage, but it’s usually farthest away from any other… occupants.

    I have IBS, so sadly, I have pooped at most fast food restuarants, grocery stores and public restrooms between here and there…

  10. I have taken the elevator to another floor to avoid pooping in the pressence of anybody who would recognize my shoes.

    I get “traveler’s constipation”. Not so much from not wanting to poop away from home, but not getting to do it at the time I ALWAYS do it at home.

    I flush twice so’s not to leave a trace.

  11. I think untitled should look into the pooping habits of women. Seems like some interesting actions are being taken. I am also a multiple flusher. Also, I use baby wipes – haven’t used toilet paper for years. Toilet paper is SO yesterday! Nothing like knowing your ass is spanking clean. FYI: I have found that Costco’s Kirkland brand wipes are, by far, superior to any other brand out there. They are thin enough to flush (ONLY 2 at a time though) without causing plumbing problems.
    TMI?

  12. “I have taken the elevator to another floor to avoid pooping in the pressence of anybody who would recognize my shoes” I think that is the funniest thing I have read in some time. I am a guy, and have travelled all over the world and can still count on one hand the toilets other than my own which I have used. I have commanded my bowels to do some sweful thing in hope of reaching one of my “special” places. I like the stalls in asian airports… they are completely sealed from the rest of the facility and almost like a little apartment away from home….

  13. I feel like I’ve come home! Nobody else is as freaky as we are about this; you do realize that, right?

    I went to Disney World for a week. I didn’t say I went “at” Disney World. For a week. And then when I returned home, it was like my body forgot how. Ugly recovery that one.

    I can’t even go in airports, which are the most impersonal places to go on earth.

    And to wrap up on a really personal note…do you all remember the first time after your baby was born?!? I could sweat just thinking about that .

  14. there’s something about work and libraries that just *make* me have to go. if someone’s already in the bathroom at work, i just walk right back out….and wait. and wait. and try again.

    library? big fan of the third floor nobody knows about.

    vacation? i can’t force my body to do it while i’m traveling. it just doesn’t happen.

    that being said, i’m a big fan of the first stall – in and out as quickly as possible.

  15. I used to be like that but have gotten much, much better. It truly is a shame that we have this embedded into our brains and will suffer the pain in order to not disturb others with a bowel movement.

    Courtesy flushing helps with odor and to create a louder noise than farting while pooping.

    I used to fear public restrooms terribly as a child. For whatever reason, I just knew someone was going to walk in and murder me. Boy, I’m glad I got over that one.

  16. Oh, the poop revelations, how I adore them!
    My theory about the library making one want to poop-why it is a huge extension of the porcelain library at home. Bookstores have the same effect on me.
    I just order my books online from the library and get the heck out of there.
    Once I broke the pooping in public places taboo (once in a library, but I was sick, and caught short, and once right before I went into labour) it became slightly more do-able.
    Then I devised an ingenious method of removing my shoes when they might be recognized.
    If anyone comes in while I am washing my hands, I roll my eyes and go “ewww” as if this miasma of poo essence could not possibly have come from me.
    They don’t have proof without the shoes šŸ˜‰
    Baby wipes are awesome, you can clean the seat with the first one and clean your butt with the other.
    I have long been using baby wipes to clean the toilet and sink on a per visit basis since I am allergic to most household chemicals. I also clean my monitor with them, but that is another story.

  17. It occurs to me now that I have a unique technique to share.
    My solution to the crisis of the unavoidable public dump is timing. I have two strategies.
    The first is a simple, well timed coughing fit.
    I sit straight, I load up, aim and fire, and at the moment when the torpedo lands in the bowl, I make like I’m choking on my own tongue.
    The second strategy is timing my load with someone else’s flush. This takes practice and concentration, but perfect for your more explosive ordinance.
    Also, I just have to express how enraged I become when I’m in my cubicle, crossing my sphincter, waiting for my moment… and in strolls someone else who, without pause, just dumps, wipes, flushes, washes and departs. This behaviour does not liberate me, or inspire me. It just makes me constipated.

  18. I have found a very sneaky way to poo at work. I have to get to work before everyone else (key holder), unlock the front doors and I work on the first floor. I go up to the 3rd floor and poo in the MEN’s single bathroom. Then I come back down to the first floor and my little office. Then as soon as someone comes in, within 20 minutes, I go pee in the women’s bathroom so that they think it is my first ‘go round” of the day.
    I know this sounds absolutely insane, but there are more men than women on the 3rd floor and typically this one group of men is the first to arrive (about 20 minutes after I unlock the doors). They would never suspect it is me pooping on their floor, it just wouldn’t make sense. They probably assume it is the cleaning crew or maintenance workers.
    A couple co-workers have asked if I poo at work. I say “Of course!” Then I say “I just courtesy flush for you gals!”

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