Poop: The Great Equalizer

It’s funny the things that go through your head at 4:30 in the morning when you’ve been hit with a round of Atomic Hershey Squirts. It’s even funnier the things that go through your colon when you’re crapping your brains out in the early hours of dawn.

Having been sacked with some intestinal bug that’s been going around, I (thankfully) awoke in the middle of the night to hear a strange gurgling coming from my stomach. The feeling of something inching closer towards the “exit” propelled me forward to race to the bathroom and unleash the fury. I sat there for 20 minutes, feeling my stomach squelch and empty out. The urge to rectally purge manifested itself again about 15 minutes before I had to leave for work.

In the solitude and relative silence of the bathroom, sometimes sans quality reading material, you’re forced to listen to your own thoughts. For this reason, some of my best ideas have come to me while either in the shower or on the crapper.

In a philosophical train of thought, as the contents of my bowels emptied themselves repeatedly over the bowl, I thought about how poop truly is the great equalizer.

Everyone poops. An overwhelming need to drop a deuce can affect everyone from heads of state to rot gut swilling stew bums on the street. Poop doesn’t discriminate. It can slide out of you with all the ease of a Sunday morning or put up a violent struggle that would give any P.O.W. a run for their money.

Even better, everyone‘s shit stinks. Some turds smell worse than others, but everyone’s olfactory senses are assaulted with the stench of their own fecal matter, for better or worse.

I thought of all the times poop had humbled me, or others that I know.

When I was a little kid of maybe 5, I distinctly remember a whirlwind tour of discount department stores, participating in the ritual of back-to-school shopping. After what seemed to be hours of trying on clothes and combing the aisles for supplies, Mom, my brother, and I stood in line at the checkout counter. Anyone who has ever braved back-to-school shopping in a Wal-Mart or K-Mart can attest to the fact that the lines are usually 20 people deep.

As we stood in line, closer and closer to checking out, I felt something percolating. I urged my Mom that we had to get out of line. I had to get to a bathroom STAT.

“You can hold it. It’ll only be a few more minutes,” she said.

Those minutes crept towards the half hour mark until we finally hit the register and the cashier started ringing up the purchases. Panic set in. Even though we were right there, the dam was about to burst. There was no way I could hold back the brown onslaught that was soon to come crashing in waves, attacking my My Little Pony Funderwear with astonishing force.

I was freaking out. “Hurry up, Mom! I can’t hold it!”

The cashier worked as fast as he could, attempting to ring up each item on the counter. That’s when it happened. The dreaded “price check.” That’s when my bowels threw in the towel. A towel being precisely what I needed with a sea of brown spreading across the ass-part of the yellow sun suit I was wearing.

“Too late,” I said disgustedly to Mom as my 3 year-old brother laughed hysterically. The cashier was horrified and just crammed the rest of the purchases into the bag, ringing Mom up and enabling her to hurry me off to K-Mart’s bathroom. There was no way in hell she was going to let me and my massive shit stain get into her car.

I went into the bathroom, took off my sun suit and Funderoos, handing them discreetly through the door to Mom. It was a pretty fresh stain and came out easily as Mom, unsqueamishly washed out both in the store’s bathroom sink and dried them off using the hand dryer machine so that I wasn’t wearing wet clothes in the car.

It was pretty embarrassing. However, when we got to the car, Mom told me she had looked at the receipt and realized that the cashier didn’t charge her for one of the outfits in the bag.

“You should shit yourself more often,” Mom happily exclaimed. “We could probably get you a whole new wardrobe for next to nothing!”

As much of a silver (or brown) lining as that particular incident carried, I was somewhat traumatized by the thought of ever pooping my pants again. It didn’t stop me from having an unfortunate series of “accidents” that school year in kindergarten when I came down with a flu virus and an accompanying case of Hershey Squirts.

All through the night, I kept farting and leaking liquid dung into my underpants. (“Underpants” is a word that I happen to find hilarious.) That night, I — quite literally — blew through almost every single pair of underwear that I had.

The next morning, Mom awoke to find me sitting on the toilet, reading a giant book of fairy tales. (Hey! It was a long night! I needed a lot of reading material. Come to think of it, maybe this is where my quirk of needing something to read on the toilet started.)

Looking small and pathetic (which was pretty accurate, considering I was 5 years old and had the runs. It’s hard to get much more pathetic than that.), I asked Mom if I had to go to school that day.

“Of course not!” she said. “Now get back into bed and I’ll call the school and tell them you’re sick.”

“I can’t.” I said. “This is my last pair of underwear.” I nodded towards the rows of cartoon character-laden undies dripping dry off of the towel rack, having washed out each pair I had besmirched. “I’m not going to crap in this pair, too.”

It wasn’t until Mom called the school that I got up off of the toilet. Even then, I couldn’t sleep for fear that the Brown Menace would come to claim my last pair of clean underwear.

It would be many a year before I would crap myself again. But that is a tale for another time. Ah, yes.

Back here in the present, as I flushed the toilet and scurried off to work, I took with me a clean colon and some fond memories that helped shaped the person I am today. A person who refrains from pooping her pants.

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