Some days it's impossible

Good morning or afternoon,
    good people of Metro Transit!

I sincerely apologize for pooping on the concrete at the Burien Transit Center. I've never done that before, and hope to never do it again.

As I explained to the security guards before pooping, I am old, and for old folks, sometimes when you gotta go you really gotta go. It's not optional. 

I pleaded politely to be allowed brief access to the drivers' restrooms at the transit center, and promised to leave the facilities as tidy or tidier than when I walked in, but just as politely the guards explained that for liability reasons, the restrooms are only for employees.

Even after the answer was no, I was able to hold it in for several minutes before reaching a moment of messy truth. The only choice was whether to poop on the concrete or poop in my pants, but I was unwilling to fill my pants before my next bus ride.

I couldn't even make it to the bushes across the driveway, but had to drop my trousers and let everything out in the waiting area, as other bus patrons watched or looked away.

Most of my output landed on the concrete, but some splattered the wall, and a few drips fell inside my pants. My underwear was already squishy, from trying and trying to hold back the inevitable, but a few ounces had leaked out, and with no way to wipe, it was even squishier after. 

It was an unpleasant situation for me, and for everyone who got on or off a bus at the south side of the Burien Transit Center for the rest of the day. My poop was still there on my return trip, eight hours later. I'm not sure how often the stations are hosed down, so perhaps my poop will still be there tomorrow.

I'm a very frequent rider, 5-7 days weekly, and often proselytize for riding the bus, because it's more affordable than driving, with no worries about insurance, fender-benders, parking, etc. The pushback from most people is that riding the bus can be disgusting, what with bums, drunks, trash, and yes, even poop and pee at the bus stops and stations. Sure wish I could've avoided adding to transit's negatives this morning.

Here's a wild thought, undoubtedly expensive, but: I'd suggest public restrooms at the end-of-the-line bus stations. See, we're people you're hauling around, not cargo, and people occasionally need a toilet.

After a 50-minute bus ride, standing and waiting to transfer to another bus and another ride, all without any access to plumbing, is a lot to ask. Most days most people can do it, but some days it's impossible, like it was for me this morning.

Again, my apologies for all the poop,

Doug Holland



  1. What the hell are you supposed to do? You would have had the same problem in an automobile stuck in Seattle traffic. Just think of it as public performance art -- a sort of Seattle Banksy with the 5th sense as an additional attraction. I hope you consider actually sending the column to Metro. The entire solution runs headlong into the homeless problem that we will resolve or drown in.


    1. In my car, I could pull into a fast-food place and use the toilet there. At the bus station, the nearest toilet I'd be allowed to use is at Burger King a block away, but the johns are locked, and you can't get the key without buying food, which would be three minutes waiting in line and I definitely would've pooped my pants, but first it's a five minutes walk getting there, and stuff was oozing out with every footstep, so it just couldn't be done.

      Yeah, we can't have public toilets because nobody wants to deal with the homeless. We ignore the existence of the down-and-out, same as we ignore all the issues that led to their down-and-outitude. America's only willing to lock its doors, put bars on the benches, surrender downtown, send cops to sweep the encampments, and complain about all the homeless people.

      I'm planning to send the letter to Metro, but not until February, so the video footage will be taped over and the guards won't remember what I look like.

  2. Ha, that reminds me of a few times in Mexico long ago when i was caught with my pants down, once outside a pyramid in Palenque, another time into an urn in a hotel hallway, ah those were the daze!...Eel (Once in a little village in Oaxaca, I had been constipated for some days and when I finally let it go I plugged up the only toilet in this little village called San Augustine, outside Oaxaca City, hmm, maybe they have more now, fifty years later...)

    1. A village with one toilet? One can envision so many problems with that. My guess is, the toilet is for the tourists, and locals use the shed, but still...

  3. Muni Metro lightrail locked up their restrooms years ago, during the Iraq war (or was it Iran or Afghanistan, it's all the same BS to me, I remember the phrase "Shock and Awe" blurting out of every news media source), on the grounds of potential Islamic terrorism. These restrooms are still inaccessible after all these years (except for Muni employees of course).

    There were also intercom alerts in their underground stations telling us to report any suspicious, terrorist-like activity, such as someone dressed like a stereotypical Arab guerilla. I only heard that once during my many transit rides, while waiting to transfer. Strangely enough, just before the announcement, there was a (presumably) homeless person roaming about the platform, muttering to himself in somewhat scary ways....and was dressed very much like what Americans would imagine a Muslim terrorist to look like: dirty, sack cloth robe, turban and a long, scraggly beard that went down to his solar plexus.

    I thought to myself: "What is this, a setup, a joke Muni's pulling off? What, should I do now, pick up the emergency phone now and report him? But would they think I'm fuckin' with 'em and charge me a fine when two of their guards show up, because the suspect has since vanished like Aladdin's genie?" I decided not to, and boarded the next train to my destination: a MIddle Eastern fast food joint with the best vegetarian shawarma in the city. True story! Except for the food joint remark, though I think it's a nice touch.

    1. Forgot to include my sig: "- Zeke Krahlin"

    2. Great story, great embellishment.

      I remember the panicked warnings, and we still have the posters and occasionally a recorded voice reads them over the loudspeakers. "If you see something, say something," so we're all supposed to be worried about every lost backpack under a seat.

      In truth, locking the restrooms is just a way to save money. Takes some peoplehours to clean up the mess the lowlifes leave behind. But that's no excuse. People need potties.

      Seattle's light rail is a small, stupid system run stupidly, and I've rarely ridden it, but they cut out the middleman and designed the entire system with no public restrooms.

      The more I think about it, even now, and about my poop at the bus station, the less I'm apologetic.


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