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New Year. Same Old Shit.

8 Jan

What is it that compels most of us to ring in the New Year in ways that often render us useless for the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours of said New Year?  January 1 should officially be renamed National Hangover Day.  Invariably, after the dry heaves and the beer-shits subside, the revelry and debauchery of December 31 get recycled into tall tales innumerably recounted among friends in the ongoing human conversation that begins, “One time I drank so much that….”

This year my contribution to the conversation is, “last New Year’s I drank so much that I took a dump in nearly every bar downtown Columbia has to offer.”   For reasons I will not bore you with, I can only drink tequila.  This phenomenon has two side effects: as tequila is the only upper behind the bar, I have trouble falling asleep even after a night of the heaviest drinking, and it makes me poop a lot.  Not the runs.  Just copious and frequent trips to the water closet. 

Taking innumerable dumps is not a pleasant experience when every bathroom at your disposal is the cramped space of your average bar toilet.  The floors grow stickier by the hour and no matter how drunk I get, the alcohol never shuts down my OCD tendencies that make me wonder about the source of the stickiness.  Is it spilled drinks or drying urine? Most likely urine. My hypothesis for the sticky floor phenomenon keeps me from shaking or touching the hand of anyone I see touching the bottom of his or her shoe.  This prejudice even extends to my husband, who, on New Year’s Eve, touched the bottom of his shoe as he sat cross-legged on a bar stool.  When he proceeded to lean over to hug me, I shrugged him off and bored my eyes into him with a disgust usually reserved for perverts and misogynists. 

The night wore on and the drinks ran freely.  We posed for pictures with strangers and strolled the streets between bars in a happy haze punctuated by hilarity, spontaneous singing, a thwarted mass mooning of oncoming traffic and a pit stop to watch a fireworks display that made us “ooh” and “awwh” like children.  My husband and I were having a spectacular time with friends, a raucous time that was only marred by my trips to the loo.  One bathroom stall sported a black toilet.  This discovery grossed me out completely.  What were they hiding? 

The more tequila I imbibed, the more difficult the balancing act became. If you are a public restroom pee helicopter, then you can commiserate.  I hover when I pee in public.  I can’t sit on the seat unless I put down many (and I mean many) layers of toilet paper to protect my ass from whatever Ebola may lie waiting in ambush on the seemingly innocuous seat.  I reserve my paper-seat-making for taking a dump under sober conditions.  I just can’t risk a slip and fall in such disease-prone areas.  And yes, I know just how neurotic this sounds, and I’ve come to terms with that.  So I took a lot of hover shits that evening.  They weren’t all successful, and I probably would have been better off attempting to make a giant paper seat, but hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it? 

Our last stop was the local gay bar.  It always has the best music, the best atmosphere, the most interesting people watching, and hands down- the worst women’s bathroom ever!  The sink looks like it was made for a doll and there’s rarely any soap.  The graffiti on the walls is entertaining, but the crust of magic marker hides a potentially malignant crust of germs and God knows what else.  The quarters of the two meager stalls and the “waiting area” to enter the stalls are so cramped, only a heterosexual man could have designed them.  I was staggering a little when I entered the bathroom, sweaty from dancing and desperate to unload my bowels.  Thankfully, the bathroom was empty, as the noise I was about to make would be audible even above the pounding techno that emanated from the adjacent dance floor.  I didn’t trust my gait enough for a hover without relying on the crusty walls for support.  There was not enough toilet paper to make an adequate seat and wipe my ass.  I was going to have to choose the lesser of two evils, but I couldn’t decide which was truly the lesser.  Finally I decided to hover, touching the crusty walls for back-up support.

I silently reprimanded myself for having that fourth Patron on the rocks and promised that next New Year’s Eve I would only have two or three. Then I laughed out loud when I remembered that I had had this exact conversation with myself on the eve of 2010 when I hovered in the exact same position.  I had managed to eek out my crap while holding onto the walls of this same stall last year and had lived to tell the tale and laugh at myself.  There’s something to be said for carrying enough hand sanitizer on your person to fill a small thermos.


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