Monday, July 30, 2018

Canada Dry: A Story from 20 years ago

It just occurred to me, thinking about 1998, and how that was now 20 years ago, that the longest I ever went without pooping was 20 years ago this August.

When I was a kid I went to summer camp in the Adirondacks. It was an outdoorsy camp. Beyond the first year I went there, I was really not very outdoorsy and I did everything I could to stay inside, socialize, do artsy things. The camp was mostly ages 10-15, and when you were 15, you got to do all kinds of things the young kids didn't. It was like a send off tour out of your childhood. Give out sweets to other kids, go off site more often, more time for co-ed socializing. The place was very hierarchical - the 10 year olds looked up to the 15 year olds and the 15 year olds looked out for the 10 year olds. The 15 year olds when you were young were like rock stars. Most summer camps have some kind of weird anthropologically dumb made up rituals and hierarchies, this was no different.

One of the special 15 y/o's only thing was a canoe trip to a remote lake region in Quebec, about an 8 hour drive north of the camp. The trip was two counselors (we think they were hooking up) and like 13 of us and it lasted 7 or 8 days. It was sort of a social culmination - most of the 15 y/o's left camp to go do this trip together, and while I felt fine about canoeing, there was a definite FOMO aspect of missing that week with these people you'd grown up with. I went, I was excited.

Having avoided all the outdoorsy stuff the past four years, I hadn't gotten acclimated to one special part of camping: shitting in the woods. I had used outhouses before, but never had I done a squat over a self-dug hole kind of thing. I was real nervous. Heading into the park where the lakes were, I availed myself of the final toilet we saw. I didn't know how this was gonna go.

The trip was more memorable for me in other grooming ways - I wore contacts at the time and when I was putting them in the second or third morning, the contact blew out of my hand (what I get for doing it outside of the tent). I had glasses with me but I felt like I looked like a total fool in glasses (it was an age of being very insecure about how I looked, I lost a lot of weight that summer). Also, it was high summer, and for some reason, my lips got more chapped than they ever have before. No idea what the catalyst was for this, my lips just got raw and rough and you could see it in photos.

But day by day, the not shitting became a thing. I don't remember a lot of conscious holding it in. Or, early on, I remember a little effort, but a few days in, it wasn't hard to hold it anymore. The first few days, I thought about going off and finding a quiet spot if I got a moment. I tried to size up how and where and when other people were going off and moving their bowels to get some insight. But I didn't talk about it, and it worked okay to just shove it down. I held it, and then held it some more. The right time never came.

But by the end, it was getting pretty intense. There's the feeling you get when you are returning home and having to shit where the feeling builds and builds and you're like 20 ft from the toilet and it's so intense, you don't think you'll make it. This was like that x1000 when we finally got the canoes out of the water and were back near that same first bathroom I'd used on the way in. It was lunch time and everyone was sad to pack up, it was moving slowly. I was trying to be a social person and each lunch and not rush everyone on, but it was driving me crazy.

Eventually we got in the van, rolled towards the toilet, and I politely asked if I could use the bathroom, I think I was the only one. I was in that bathroom for a while. I don't remember anything about the break-fast shit other than it took a while and I returned rather sheepishly to the van. I also remember that I had a lot of little shits for a while after that, I mean of course you're not gonna uncork everything all at once.

The next year I did more camping with a lot of the same people and I made peace with shitting in the wild. It's pretty pleasant. I don't think I've done it since I was 19, but I'd go back and do it now just for funsies. 15 was a tough age to confront the idea, so it spelled the longest dry streak for me in my shitting career. Now I try to get my licks in every day.

Monday, July 23, 2018

8:30am

Something curious right now is the different things that can be happening to my bowels at 8:30am:

If I get up and take a shower around 8 and then eat right after that, I will develop the need to take a shit between 8:40-8:50am.

However if I eat when I wake up at 8 first, I will develop the need to shit between 8:25-8:35am.

I'm learning after waking up, this need is attached to when I eat rather than the clock. But it's interesting that it's a relatively regular interval after eating, and some part of me feels like it should be the clock, or that what my body is doing is essentially clockwork and that I am a clock.

NB: there are no other times of day that have consistent shitting behaviors attached to them

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

sugar high

A lot of dumps I've taken of late have made me feel really good. Really vital, very aware, charged up, capable. Is it the endorphins? These dumps are not consistently solid or large, there's no consistent time of day I'm getting this feeling, it isn't from every dump, but like once every other day, I shit and I feel bigger than myself. It's amazing to have such capacity in me all the time on only realize it some of the time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

feces as commentary in public

I was in a restaurant in the suburbs the other day. It was a totally fine place, I was a guest of someone else there and wasn't paying. I went to the bathroom and noticed some TP in the open waste basket (it was really a basket) with some shit on it. I thought, what a power move to leave something like that so visible (and smell-able) in a place with no sign of plumbing issues that would necessitate the waste basket for such a purpose. I thought about who might have left such a device of power move-age and then it seemed petty. The clientele is fancy suburbanites. The people who'll have to deal with it are likely the laborers of the establishment rather than management. Anyone who feels the need to get back at laborers (waitstaff, bartender, bussers, etc) is a schmuck anyway.

Anyway, what is the right time to go at an establishment with feces? Is there a good time to upper deck someone (which as far as I understand can consume a lot of time and money to fix)? I remember friends in high school upper decking a toilet at an anti-Semitic country club, that seemed like a pretty good instance, though again the prominent anti-Semites probably weren't the people who had to deal with it directly, but surely heard about it and got some sort of message. In this case, leaving shitty TP in the wastebasket might not even merit a mention to management. Something more like throwing your shit yourself is the more direct and visceral way to go. Not that I'm planning on any of these things, but I was thinking about shit as protest and when it's appropriate and how. See what I did there, I summarized the ideas at the end of the post.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Culture

My office has not had running water for two weeks.  It makes budgeting time and bladder/colon space for waste interesting.  In the earlier days of this water shut off, I think some people here didn't realize what was going on, and so they reasonably went into the bathroom and did a number.  It smells in one bathroom like a port-o-potty, so I assume that there's a nice bit of stool baking in there, developing all kinds of culture.  That's pretty exciting to think that the progress of this building not having water is tracked in the development of lifeforms on that stool.  So well done to the person who did that, seriously!

Friday, March 23, 2018

the Versatile Butt

I just took a shit that poured out of me.  The verb is my focal point here.  It was kinda gross, kinda satisfying.  The stool was in me while I was sitting at a computer and working, then I walked to the toilet, sat down, opened my ass, and the shit poured out of me.  Like cereal out of a box, or like pickled eggs from a jar.

How amazing is it that other times there is no pouring at all, nothing like that even?  The ass can pinch, can force, can squeeze, can fart, can shoot, can fold, can sculpt.  It's a team effort, organ-wise, from the brain to the hand to the mouth to the stomach to the intestines to get shit coming out the way it does, but I credit the butt with accommodating such a range of expression.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

my old squelching grounds

I returned to the college where I went to school this past weekend.  There used to be a lot of good graffiti in the bathroom stalls.  Useful lists of people not to sleep with, alternate lists of "polite boyz", etc.  Also particularly stark or funny or dreamy musings.  I had the chance to check out a number of stalls over three days, and here's a little of what I found.

If you can't see the detail, it says "Best place to poop on Campus! - New York Times"


Lots of stuff here, but "10/10 would shit here again" is what I liked best.  Other stuff on this wall was not so great.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

i am the factory

There's certain kinds of pooping that happens where you really channel the assembly line feeling.  I usually find this is a late morning phenomenon.  There's some initial stool to get out of the way, and then there's a bunch of similar bits of stool that aren't going to come out with one clean exertion.  So you get into a rhythm of moving your muscles (which ones? I should know) to make discrete poots, and ideally you get a sound from each one hitting the water, too.  And you're like it's me, I am the factory, and it's a poop factory.  It also makes me think of one of the drills with the three-armed handle that you lower to drill in say plexiglass.  Also like the kind of pooping referred to in the Key & Peele church ladies defeating Satan bit.

Not unrelated: I woke up this morning with an idea for a performance piece.  It would involve a small conveyor belt, reaching like 6" off the ground.  The belt would move a halved avocado, sans pit, underneath (or thereabouts) the performer, who would then be tasked with trying to fill the indentation from where the pit was with urine without overflowing.  After one avocado, the conveyor belt would advance and another halved avocado would be there.  This could go on until the performer was out of urine.  Maybe you could rotate performers at that point.

Friday, February 16, 2018

maybe I have boundaries or not

The idea of drinking a milkshake while taking a shit appeals to me.  Ideally, right out of the metal cup that you mix it all up in, with a straw.  Finding some resistance in the straw as you go.  Waiting for all the stool to come out while you wait for all the shake to come in.

The simultaneous input/output is a rich and rewarding experience.  Maybe some folks would want to have really differentiated input and output though, like this would only be pleasurable with really solid stool and really liquid milkshake.  The more I think about it, the more appealing it is with a milkshake and stool consistency that closely mirror each other.  One thing that seems worth differentiating is having a milkshake the temperature of feces exiting your body would be pretty straight up gross.  And having freezer-temperature stool seems unpleasant.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

pulverizer

There's a toilet I use a lot where I work that's cool.  For one thing, someone outfitted the tank with a sort of minitank, so when you flush, it only uses half the water.  Kudos.

Something else I've noticed is that the construction of the bowl is such that whatever solids are in there, when you flush, it seems to just crush them.  In most toilets I know, if you took a solid stool and flushed it, it would stay in tact and swirl away.  Who knows what happens from there.  But in this one, and I've got a pretty good sample size of turds deposited there, covering a range of hardness, particle size, etc., uniformly, they all seem to turn into a cloudy powder, solid stool pulverized and sucked down the pipe.  It's a little disconcerting, a little beautiful.  It's like the comedian Gallagher maybe.  I strongly recommend pooping in this toilet and then watching the results.  You'll be humbled by simple but strong engineering.  Maybe it has to do with the small amount of water in tank, it's hard to say.