My plans for the weekend

I'll tell you at the top, there's no punchline or point to this piece. Usually I write about what's on my mind, and today that's poop, or the lack of poop.

The only way to get the poop off my mind is to write about it.

♦ ♦ ♦   

Four men live on my floor of the house, but one of them — the mysterious 'L' — has his own toilet and shower, so it's three old dudes sharing one tiny bathroom. Can't speak for other old dudes, but when I gotta go sometimes I gotta go now, so I can't be taking a number and waiting in line. That's why I have one of these spare toilets, and often use it.

Occasionally, even quick access isn't enough. Many's the time I've been fooled by a fart, and there've been rare instances where without warning I must poop immediately. When that happens, sometimes, some of it leaks out with each footstep, on even the shortest journey to a toilet.

So I'd been worried about how such moments might play out at an office, where the nearest men's room might he two-hundred squishy footsteps from my desk.

Well, it's been working out freakishly well.

My first week at Haugen & Dahl was a short week, Wednesday-Friday, and during those three days I didn't pass any poop at all. It waited for the weekend.

My second week was a full five-day stretch, all with no need to squat, either at home or at work. I've been eating smaller quantities of healthier foods since resolving in December to lose some weight, but still, a five-day stretch without a bowel movement is nearly unprecedented. The factory was still operational, though — on Saturday and Sunday of that week, a week's worth of poop came out.

My third week at work was the same, with no action either home or away on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

On Friday, I began feeling some slight rumblings, and made two precautionary trips to the men's room at Haugen & Dahl, but in both instances only farts emerged. 

When the day had ended, after saying good night and happy weekend to a few people, an hour's bus commute awaited, so it seemed wise to make a third attempt. Stopping at the men's room on my way out of the office, with no great effort I was able to produce a frankfurter-size piece of evidence, but it was not an urgent event and I'm sure I could've made it home without that precautionary poop.

In my fourth and fifth weeks at the new job, again there was no need to do anything in the boys' room but stand and pee, plus a few visits to the stalls for non-poop reasons.

And to clarify, there was also no pooping at home. Since returning to employment more than a month ago, all of my poops have emerged on Saturdays and Sundays, except for that one optional dookie after-hours at the office on Friday, March 17.

Never in my life have my bowels been so well-scheduled. And I wonder at the physics of it all.

Am I so uptight at work that my sphincter simply cannot unclench until the weekend? I don't feel particularly nervous at the office — still not hating any of my co-workers, and my work is exactly the same Jetsons-style button-pushing I've done since the 1970s, so it's not all that challenging.

The more I think about it, the more it baffles me. It doesn't even seem to matter what I eat. For example, last week I had those monster burritos for supper four times, and each burrito is about half as big as my head. So basically, two of my heads were in me by Friday night, along with everything else I'd eaten all week. And yet, no discomfort, and no defecation.

Nothing came out of me until Saturday, after breakfast with the family. Soon as I got home, I dropped an enormous brick, then covered it with a caramel fountain.

Yes, my gastroenterology still does what it's supposed to do, and it's orderly, never explosive in the end, never too difficult or demanding.

Since March 1st, though, I only poop on weekends.



  1. I could only get a third away through your shitty story, well, here's one of mine:
    Back in the day it was often a cold rainy walk out to the outhouse so a neighbor, thank you Keith, came up with a brilliant solution: Shit on newspaper and burn it. Back then everyone had a wood-burning stove. This worked out well and we learned pretty quickly to push that bundle way back into the stove. There were some odd moments for visitors, like when during a dinner party little six-year-old Rosa, spread her newspaper in the corner and continued the family tradition.
    So I burned shit during the long winter and then it was spring and I took a shit on newspaper but realized it was a nice day! Too warm to make a fire.
    I put the package in a ziploc and stashed it up the hill behind my truck tire. Keith came by, glanced at it, and knew exactly what it was. I took it to town and settled on the Redway post office dumpster. Just as I was making my illicit drop-off the post master came out to confront me.
    “Just this one time Jay,” I pleaded.

    1. Poop is inherently amusing, and yours is charming and suitable for framing.

      I briefly misread six-year-old Rosa as sixty years old, which substantially changes the scene.

  2. The subconscious is a strange and forever frustrating part of the brain. It makes me anxious when I don't want to be. And it keeps me awake when I need to be asleep. But on the plus side, it freezes the digestive system when I need it frozen. I've gone days to a a full week of nada on the john. But as soon as my subconscious knows I can relax and have no social engagements, it will dump it all like a fire sale. The only flaw I've spotted is when I'm away on a trip and I get within a few miles of my home. Sometimes, the subconscious decides that's "close enough" and begins stirring before I'm actually home, making that last jog to inside the house an unpleasant battle. It also has meant making sure that any place I live has more than one toilet because my lovely partner experiences the same thing and ladies first would doom me to crapping in the yard. Funny how it works. But it does. Most of the time. -- Arden

    1. Good to know it's not just me. "Freezes the digestive system" — accurate, but jeez, we humans are so damn weird.

      I've also experience the "close enough" syndrome...


🚨🚨 If you have problems posting a comment, please click here for help. 🚨🚨