Tag Archives: Other People’s Poop

Poo Munchers: Then and Now.

18 Feb

Below you’ll find a video of a suspected poo muncher, which we suspect is named Pumpkin – see the gross, but true story, “Third World Third Grader” below the video for explantion.

Third World Third Grader

Mrs. Kane was a bitch.  I didn’t know the word for it when I was in her third grade class, but I knew what she was.  Among her pet peeves was letting kids go to the bathroom.  As I have always had a peanut-sized bladder and over-active bowels, this was bad news for me.  If there was already a kid out of the room, you could forget raising your hand.   Ms. Kane was convinced that evil “Shenanigans” would break out in full force if more than one child walked the hall to the bathroom at the same time. 

My saving grace from the pee-pee dance fate of my fellow third-graders was a letter my mother had written to Ms. Kane.  When I came home with major skid marks in my underpants my mother’s inquisition began.

“Stephanie, how did this happen? You’re a big girl.  Didn’t you ask Ms. Kane if you could go to the bathroom?”

“Yes, but she wouldn’t let me.”

“What do you mean she wouldn’t let you?”

“I raised my hand and she told me to put it down because I already went. I tried to tell her that this time it was for number two, but she hushed me and told me that she knew I just wanted to get up to Shenanigans in the bathroom.”

“How long did she make you wait?”

“Until lunch.  It was a really long time.  I tried to hold it, but a little came out when I ran to the bathroom.”

Furious, my mother put down the detergent and marched into the kitchen where she conjured up paper, pen and envelope from thin air and scrawled an epistle for me to hand to Ms, Kane the next day.  I never knew exactly what my mother wrote.  Whatever it was, it made Ms. Kane mutter meanly under her breath and glare at me before asking me to sit down.  She even let me go to the bathroom while one of my classmates, Sara, was already in there.  Needless to say, Ms. Kane and I were not on good terms that day.  And it was about to get worse. 

The only thing worse than making third graders collaborate on something is not letting them pick their collaborator.  Ms. Kane was a sadist in addition to being a bitch. She announced ceremoniously to the class that she was pairing us up to work on a project that day.

“And when I read off the names of who will be working together, I don’t want to hear any complaints.  No sighs, no faces, no moaning.  Understood?  You will learn to work together.”

Now, I had heard this directive, but I was a third grader.  My filter had its limits.  My last name was Alchermes.  I was the first victim on the list.

Ms. Kane’s voice boomed, “Stephanie will be working with Sara.”

“No!”  It was so loud and sudden, I wasn’t sure it had come from me at first. 

Oh, but it had. 

Ms. Kane’s wrathful stare pounded into me, eradicating my indignation, or at least the outward appearance of indignation.  Inwardly I was seething.  And with good reason.

Sara may have been her first name, but everyone in the third grade called her Pumpkin.  I have no idea why.  We were eight-year-olds.  In retrospect, Sara’s squat and rotund stature just naturally lent itself to that name.  She simply looked like a pumpkin, with brown curly hair that was rarely brushed.  Or washed. Hygiene was not high on Pumpkin’s list of priorities. 

Every elementary school classroom has that one kid who smells, the kid who repeatedly infects the rest of the students with lice.  As an adult and mother, I now understand just how sad that kid’s life is.  But as a third grader, all I cared about was avoiding the kid who stank, and now I was being forced to work in close quarters with her.  I feared contamination.  I feared her stigma might be contagious.  I also had already suffered her company in the bathroom earlier that day and did not want to repeat the proximity under any circumstances.  My fears were temporarily vanquished by Ms. Kane’s fuming voice.

“Stephanie Jane Alchermes, didn’t I just tell everyone that they would work with their partners with no complaints?  No eye-rolling?  No loud sighs?”

Fearing her line of questioning was rhetorical, I sat silent and swallowed the tablespoon of bile that had risen in the back of my throat.

“Well?” she screeched, standing with hands on hips and eyes bulging.

“Yes.”

“What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I’m sorry.”

With that, Ms. Kane moved on to pairing the rest of my classmates, who resigned themselves to silence after they saw the verbal ass-kicking I had just sustained.

With my stomach still in knots, I reluctantly relocated to Pumpkin’s desk so we could work on our project, which was creating a menu for a hypothetical restaurant we would invent together.  Food was the last subject I wanted to discuss with this odd specimen of a human being.  You see, there was a reason for my uncharacteristic outrage.

Earlier, while Pumpkin and I we were in the girls’ bathroom together, I had seen Pumpkin do something unspeakable.  Something for which I had no context. 

In short, she horrified me. 

When Ms. Kane voiced her disdain for “shenanigans” in the bathroom, she probably imagined children throwing wet paper towels at the ceiling or scrawling on walls with contraband markers.  I don’t think she imagined what I saw Pumpkin do.

Pumpkin had already left the classroom to use the bathroom when I felt the overwhelming urge to pee.  Despite the potty-pass my mother’s letter had purchased, I was still reluctant to voice my request.  Ms. Kane still scared me, and I didn’t want to be close to the “smelly kid,” even if it meant I might piss my pants.  I tried waiting Pumpkin out, but she was gone a long time.  Finally, I couldn’t wait anymore.  The times table worksheet in front of me was starting to blur.  I needed to go now if I planned on concentrating on anything other than not wetting myself.

“And check on Sara while you’re in there Stephanie.  She’s been gone too long.” 

Ms. Kane’s instructions ushered me off to the girls’ bathroom with a mixture of dread and urgency.  The fact that Pumpkin had been absent for so long could mean only two things: shenanigans, or poop.  I hoped for the former.  She already stank enough.

I entered the girls’ bathroom and went directly into the first stall, slammed it shut and peed.  As I washed my hands in one of the pink sinks, I had the odd sensation that I was being watched.

And I was. 

There in the mirror, in addition to my own face, was Pumpkin’s reflection.  For some unexplained reason, Pumpkin had chosen to relieve herself in the door-less stall that every other girl in the third grade avoided. 

She stared at me and grunted.  It was very clear that she was dropping the kids off at the lake, and that I was a reluctant witness to the deed. 

Her grunt was quick and shallow.  I reached out to grab a paper towel and feigned ignorance.  But I saw it anyway.  One of the great mysteries of my life.

Pumpkin’s stall, though unequipped with a door, was equipped with toilet paper.  This fact either escaped Pumpkin’s notice, or didn’t factor into her post-dump routine.  In the mirror, very clearly reflected for me, was the horror film of her next move.  Methodically, and while her stare still bored into me, Pumpkin took her bare hand, reached around and wiped her soiled ass.

Incredulous, I found myself unable to turn away.  Frozen with a wad of paper towels in my hands, I watched in continued horror as she brought a freshly squeezed butt nugget to her mouth.  She shoved it in face as if it were a fine chocolate and licked her fingers until she had devoured every morsel of her doody delicacy. 

So I ran.  I ran all the way back to Ms. Kane’s classroom. 

“No running!” Ms. Kane’s shrill reproach greeted my return.

Later that morning, as I sat across the desk from Pumpkin, planning out how much we would charge for our hypothetical spaghetti at our imaginary restaurant, I thought, briefly, about asking her why. Why did she eat her own poop?  But I could feel Ms. Kane watching me like a hawk, and I couldn’t handle any more shit lists.  Of any kind. 

But when Pumpkin added chocolate pudding to our imaginary restaurant’s menu, I knew what she really meant.

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You Down with O.P.P.?

25 Jan

“OPP, how can I explain it
I’ll take you frame by frame it…
O is for Other, P is for People…
The last P…well…that’s not that simple…”

Blast from the past.  It’s 1991 (how the hell is that twenty years ago?) and Naughty by Nature graces the charts with their little ditty about infidelity.  But the last “P” in my “O.P.P.”  remake is “Poop.”  And I have discovered, much to my surprise, that I am NOT down with O.P.P.  Not by a long shot.  This comes as a great surprise, as I spend a good deal of time thinking about, writing about, and even producing my own, poop.  Apparently if the poop did not originate from someone exceptionally close to me, I am completely skeeved by its physical presence or pictorial representation.  I have found the limits of my poop tolerance.

A brief aside here about the difference between reading and seeing.  I am a wuss when it comes to horror films.  I went to see The Ring in the theater and I had to stay with relatives for a week because I feared, irrationally I know, that a half-decomposed girl with long stringy hair was going to crawl out of my television set and kill me.  I was twenty-eight when I saw the film; there was no excuse for my delusion.  During that same year I read a string of Stephen King and vampire novels that boasted a cast of characters every bit as menacing as the dead chic who liked to attack via TV.  So why can I sleep soundly after reading horror, but never after viewing it?  I have a theory. Reading is a very private and cerebral act that requires direct interaction.  The reader has to be an accomplice in the world-building or the illusion doesn’t work.  The reader therefore has some control over how powerfully the images become imprinted in her head.  A novel is also something digested over a longer stretch of time.  Movies are in your face, and the viewer has no control over the sharpness of the images.  Although you can diminish the psychological impact by watching images through the spaces of fingers cupped over your face.  This method prevented me from crapping my pants during The Ring.  Which brings me back to the point of this comparison: crap. 

I enjoy a good poop.  I enjoy a good poop story.  Tell me about something questionable you ate that made your turd electric green, and I will howl with laughter and share some of my own tales from the gastrointestinal trenches.  Your dog crapped the floor and you puked as you cleaned it up?  Hilarious!  Tell me more.  But… show me a picture of your electric green turd?  Now I can’t eat.  If I walk into a bathroom stall in a public restroom and encounter a stranger’s deposit simmering in the bowl?  Gag reflex.  Big time. 

The biggest O.P.P. challenge I’ve faced to date came last week while I was searching for other blogs about poop to see how other writers were “talking shit.”  (Yes.  They exist, and in larger numbers than you’d think.)  One man’s blog transformed me immediately into the proverbial old fogey; I even uttered an astonished “Oh My.”  If you’re brave and curious about your own gross out ceiling, check it out: http://thepoopblog.com/.  The man posts pictures of his shit and discusses them briefly.  I was completely disgusted.  Me, the woman who writes about my ass dilating to release a poop bomb with the girth of a soda can; me, the woman who gets up in public and relates poop stories to crowds at comedy clubs!

So, no.  I am not down with O.P.P. in the broadest sense.  I am Naughty by Naughty when it comes to a good story, but don’t make me see the movie.  And under NO circumstances do I ever want to see that shit live!


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Keep canning public toilets and there’ll be a mass movement

15 Nov

By Geoff Strong from The Age

Which genius thought to get rid of WCs while the population ages?

I decided one night a couple of weeks ago to fill my car at a service station in Ringwood East. While the car’s tank was near empty, mine was full and as part of the transaction I was intending to use the toilet. Given that I was also able to refill myself from any of the drinks they had on offer, expecting somewhere to empty out seemed a fair deal.

After paying, I discovered the toilet was locked. I asked the young attendant, who confirmed this was intentional. When I asked where I could go to pee, he just shrugged. I suggested I might go in the drinks aisle or out front near one of the bowsers, but he was unfazed.

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The exchange reminded me of an altercation in a French hotel years ago when my wife was refused the opportunity to use les toilettes des dames. When she threatened to seek relief in the hotel lobby and began disrobing, the refusal was reversed. I had no such luck in Ringwood East.

I initially put this down to Generation Y’s inability to understand the sensitivities of ageing organs, but then I realised it was part of a wider tendency. Public toilets – or private toilets open to the public – are becoming more scarce.

There was a golden age of public toilet building in Australia. In the years immediately following World War II, the urge to purge was well understood and brick public dunnies were everywhere. Their placement was often impressive. I have noticed that wherever the ancient Greeks or Romans spread their culture, they built marble temples on prominent hills, headlands and other beauty spots.

In postwar Australia, our priorities ensured such sites would usually be occupied by a structure that was often occupied. But we appear now to be doing away with them.

There was a stunning piece of toilet architecture that disappeared from Flagstaff Gardens a few years ago. It was long, sleek, 1950s modernist design with sandstone walls and a touch of Frank Lloyd Wright. It occupied the highest point of the gardens, so if you had an urgent need you knew where to sprint. Now, whenever there is an ”event” in the gardens, a couple of portable loos are trucked in to stop people relieving themselves amid the agapanthus.

The same demolition has happened to a round toilet block in the Fitzroy Gardens, which I suspect might have been the work of the same unrecognised architectural genius.

We have long been reminded of the challenges we face with an ageing population. Some of these challenges entail cystitis, prostatitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Before long, half the continent could be incontinent.

What are we doing in preparation? Either shutting down public loos or replacing them with those stupid single-throne bunkers with automatic doors taking up the space that could be occupied by a pee trough and several cubicles.

My wife refuses to use them, fearing she might be locked inside, forever forced to listen to an endless stream of piped music. It is an irrational fear because no matter where you use one of these things – from Brisbane to Ballarat and, presumably, Baltimore – they only play the one tune.

After a little fanfare, to cover the time needed to remove clothing, the public address system launches into an up-tempo version of the 1965 hit What the World Needs Now is Love (Sweet Love). Should love be the purpose of visiting this place, it would have to be quick, because an American-accented voice warns, ”you have 10 minutes”.

What the world needs now is more public toilets. In Italy they hardly exist, forcing those in need to visit a cafe. In parts of India it is still OK to excrete on the street. But why is this happening in Australia, once able to boast clean rest rooms to shame the world?

As usual, it is probably to do with costs, but have the bureaucrats who make these decisions based them on projected need?

I suggest they take the time for a time and motion study.

Meanwhile, what options are there for those being caught short? Most of those now faced with this prospect are part of the pesky demographic known as baby boomers. In the heyday of boomer youth, any protest inevitably entailed what was called a ”sit in”. These days, we need to get the message to authorities to uphold the right to normal bodily functions. Perhaps we need to organise what might be termed a ”shit in”. One way or the other, I feel it will grow into a mass movement.

Geoff Strong is an Age senior writer.

(We have to agree with Geoff – might be time for a “shit in”!!)

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