As a writer, you wake up every morning and wonder, “What am I going to write about today?” For me, because I have the sense of humor of an illiterate 12-year-old, poop will become an option on most days. The amount of self restraint it takes me to not make more poop jokes than I already do is Herculean. It’s a level of restraint that, I’m afraid, my sphincter just neglected to exercise. And so today I write about poop, because the subject just fell into my lap. Well, exploded into it, really.
I literally just sharted.
I’m hungover. I’m working remotely from St. Louis this week while home for Christmas. Working from home presents certain challenges. There are more distractions. There’s a dog to play with and a TV to watch. There are siblings talking and moving around me. There is my mom, asking what I’m writing about, and me, slamming my laptop shut before she can actually see what I’m writing about, which at this point in the morning was just a series of Rowdy Gentleman tweets for later in the day, but even those can be awkward to explain.
“He’s a ‘Rowdy Gentleman,’ mom.”
“Well, what does that mean?”
I debate for a moment how in depth my explanation should be. Should I be forthcoming enough to explain that our Rowdy Gentleman character is a fabulously wealthy, raging alcoholic, womanizing, hooker killing, ultra-patriotic, tuxedoed degenerate?
“He parties a lot and wears a tuxedo.”
Ultimately I stuck to my general mom conversation rule of thumb: leave the dead hookers out of it.
I pack up my laptop and decide to walk to the Starbucks near my house to work for the day. It’s the ultimate writing cliché, I know. Sitting in a coffee house, blogging with all the other bloggers. I should punch myself in the dick on principle alone. Honestly, it might be just as hard to get any work done there, in spite of the bubbling rage that comes with listening to broke kids on $2,000 Macbooks lob uninformed complaints about taxes and the fiscal cliff at each other. They’re like if Skip Bayless slapped on some skinny jeans, maintained the exact same level of self importance he already has, and started commenting on CNBC instead of ESPN. Personally I prefer to reserve my uninformed complaints for Missouri football.
I decide that if anyone tries to chat me up about something like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis I’m going to choke them out with my headphone cord while Wagon Wheel blares out of the ear buds. And I like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Hipsters have a way of making you hate the things you enjoy, like coffee, for example.
There’s a healthy amount of self loathing that comes with this decision, but I head out anyway. It’s a bright, crisp, gorgeous winter day in St. Louis. Exactly the kind of day a shart loves to ruin. Nobody ever sharts when they’re sitting on their couch at 2:00am, alone, while it’s pouring rain outside, ever.
You never see a shart coming, it’s the Trojan Horse of bodily functions. Ejaculation, of course, is Greek fire.
Having already grunted out my morning constitutional, post-morning coffee, I assumed that I was good to go. To that point my casual stroll to Starbucks was nothing but enjoyable.
Uh oh, I thought. Feeling a little gassy. Good thing I’m outdoors, I’ll just let this bad boy fly.
My surroundings start to spin.
Stay cool. STAY FUCKING COOL!
I gather myself, but I have no idea what the damage is. After all, I can’t see the disaster area. It’s like hearing an explosion from around the corner. I frantically look around. There’s a gas station across the street.
Across the street. FUCK.
For normal, clean pansted, working stiffs, it is lunch time. The four lane road is busy, and the cross walk is farther away than the gas station. I stand on the curb, waiting for a long enough break in traffic to allow my now barely mobile body, which is allocating 99% of its strength to clenching my sphincter tighter than a Gordian knot, to cross. That break might never come. I come to terms with the fact that I may have to waddle slowly across the road, with cars stopping to wait for me, like a mother duck leading her ducklings across a busy street.
There’s a break in traffic. My legs move with all the confidence of a newborn foal.
Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.
My situation is so desperate that I can’t even laugh at the irony of my inner-monologue.
I get across one lane, and there’s no traffic coming from that side. I look to my right. I see incoming traffic. It’s going to be close.
I cross the second lane. Traffic is closing in. I’m walking slower than an obese couple at the mall.
If one of those fuckers is texting and driving I might seriously die in that street. Of course, at least in that case I’ll have an excuse for having shit my pants. I’m a glass half full kind of guy. Unfortunately, my pants are also half full, so I keep moving, determined not to have my days on Earth end like an elderly man with Alzheimer’s who wandered out the front door of his nursing home and into the street. That’s not the glowing spirit of your dead wife on the other side of the road sir, that’s a Wendy’s sign.
I’m across lane number three. A minivan zips by me in the lane I just exited. The force of its wake nearly undoes me. I redouble my resolve to not finish crapping myself.
I made it. I imagined my guardian angel was floating above me, with his hand over his eyes, shaking his head with disappointment, wondering if my life is even worth saving anymore. He’s like an ex-Navy SEAL working security at a Chuck E. Cheese.
I still had about a hundred feet to go, and my stamina was waning. I was also painfully aware of what I must have looked like, walking the way I was, and at the pace I was moving. In a pathetic attempt to convince the complete strangers driving past me that I didn’t have a gallon of feces sloshing around my pants, I would stop every few paces and look around, acting like I was admiring my surroundings.
Oh, look at that tree. Is that an oak? I DIDN’T SHIT MY FUCKING PANTS OKAY!?!?!
This, of course, only made the journey longer, and I was still clenching with all my might to make sure this breech in the levy didn’t turn into a full-blown natural disaster.
Naturally, when I got into the gas station and started inching my way to the bathroom, the clerk made sure to remind me it was for customers. I assured him that I would buy something when I came out and quietly began wishing that the place would get held up while I was locked in the bathroom, burying my shame in the bathroom trashcan under every last paper towel in the dispenser.
There was one last obstacle between me and relief: some bum filling out lotto tickets next to the bathroom door. It was nice to know that someone in this world still had worse luck than me. I shuffled uncomfortably past him and into the bathroom.
I slammed the door shut, ripped off my jacket, and undid my belt faster than a kid about to lose his virginity to Kate Upton. Mercifully the damage was minimal. The abomination hadn’t penetrated to the denim. I tossed the boxers in the trash, plopped down on the toilet, and relieved myself. By “relieved myself” I mean “punished that gas station toilet like, well, like it was a gas station toilet.” Had I not held strong on that walk I would have needed FEMA assistance. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon would have been walking around my soiled pants, observing the carnage, fleeced up like Chris Christie post-Sandy.
I walked out of that gas station without buying a damn thing. I returned home, my walk now slightly chillier, but at a brisk pace that I had a serious newfound appreciation for. After I got home I changed, went back out to Starbucks, and posted up at a corner table, to blog about sharting, which is way cooler than the concert review this douche next to me is probably writing.