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The Super Bowl bye week is awful and depressing and it reminds me that there will be a continuous 30-week bye right after Denver and Seattle have played each other. BARF. Last night during the Pro Bowl draft I drafted a knife so I could cut myself. Anyway, since there's nothing going on, and because I am lazy, it's time for our annual collection of GREAT MOMENTS IN POOP HISTORY, submitted by readers over the past week. Let's get right into the sewage.
I was 16 years old and on a Jewish teen tour across Europe, we were about five days into the trip in Spain. Every morning we woke up early, ate breakfast and hopped on the bus to get to our next destination. This particular morning my room never got the wake up call and we had to sprint onto the bus without breakfast and most importantly I didn't have a chance to take my morning dump. We traveled for about an hour into the middle of nowhere Spain where we stopped to check out the famous windmills that Don Quixote "fought" in the famous novel. As soon as we got off the bus, my stomach began to rumble and I knew I was in trouble.
I immediately started searching for a bathroom as it was only a matter of time before I had to go. There were a couple windmills to choose from, I started sprinting up each one in my desperate hunt for any form of a toilet to do my business. Finally I find the one and only bathroom on site, and what do ya know..it's out of order! I said fuck it and tried to go in there anyways, one of the employees blocked the door and would not let me in. I start yelling at this dude in broken Spanglish "EMERGENCIA, EMERGENCIA!!" No luck and I was running out options as the turtle head started poking out.
I quickly ran back down the stairs, clenching my ass to avoid an accident. It was now or never. At the base of the windmill and on the side of a mountain, I dropped my pants and let it go. As I did this, I could hear hysterical laughter coming from above. My entire trip (boys and girls) were watching me soil the grounds that Don Quixote tried to conquer. Everyone applauded as I wiped my ass with the convenient pack of tissues I carried around with me. "Tissues" would be my nickname for the rest of the summer trip.
We're house shopping. It's winter and one of the houses we look at is uninhabited and thus "closed" for the winter. My girlfriend gets that "look" and as the real estate agent and I are wandering around this house, she makes a bee-line for the bathroom. She comes out several minutes later looking very sheepish. Turns out they had shut off and drained all the water in this entire house, so not only would the toilet obviously not flush, we didn't even have a way to make it flush.
We ended up scouring this half-abandoned house for anything to fill with water, settling on an old recycling bin and hiking down the street to a nearby lake to fill it and dump it into the toilet. All while the R.E. agent half helps and half pretends she doesn't realize what just happened. It's possible the look on my girlfriend's face is the most mortified look I will ever see on a human.
I was driving down a stretch of road with nothing for miles and felt a cantankerous rumbling in my GI region. So I pull off the side of the road and find a secluded spot. I'm pretty close to the ocean and I hear some voices off in the distance, I thought it may be fisherman so I didn't pay them much mind. Big. Fucking. Mistake. All of a sudden I hear a helicopter over my head.
I quickly wipe my ass with a towel I had brought for the occasion, pull up my pants, and sprint to my car. I was so nervous I still had the towel in my hand, I pop the trunk and throw that fucker in there. Not a second later I hear "put your hands in the air". Thank God I had just taken a dump or I would have shat my pants. I turn around and there are two Fish and Wildlife officers in my face, guns drawn.
Apparently my "secluded spot by the ocean" was a known drug rendezvous point and they had the area under surveillance. The law was obviously curious as to my reasons for being here at this particular time. I explained my emergency situation and surprisingly they did not believe me. Lucky for me I had a very convincing piece (or pieces) of corroborating evidence. So I open the trunk and produce the towel. The looks on their faces changed from consternation, to surprise, and finally sympathy. I was given a warning not to ever return to this area, advice to this day I still adhere to.
I have two boys ages (at the time) 6 and 4. They were playing in our backyard while my wife was in the house. The 6 year old suddenly bursts in the house screaming in abject terror at my wife, "Come quick! Lucas needs help!" Thinking she would arrive on the scene to find compound fractures or an open skull wound, my wife was surprised to find my 4 year old son crying while curled in a ball completely naked in the corner of the yard.
He looked like a mini-convict waiting for delousing. The 4 year old, who tends toward shyness, could not stop crying long enough to give a coherent retelling of the traumatic events that had led to him curled in a ball naked in our yard.
Eventually, the 6 year old related that in the middle of playing, Lucas came to the sudden realization that his imminent need to poop would preclude him from making it inside the house to the restroom. In a panic, he stripped off all his clothes and proceeded to poop in the yard, crying out of embarrassment the whole time. Our 12 year old lab immediately came over, ate his poop, threw it up, and then ate it again as my horrified children looked on. Apparently this was all so traumatic that the only logical thing to do was to curl in a naked ball and cry until help arrived.
Two years ago I attended a wedding in the Bahamas prior to my planning to run in the Boston Marathon. Being so close to the marathon, I was constantly hungry, resulting in my making a decision that seemed to make sense at the time, but that ultimately turned out to be so horribly wrong.
Flying down to the Bahamas required a stopover in Miami, with a morning connection at approximately 10 AM. Walking through the concourse and having a small breakfast to start the day, I was captivated by the smell of Kung Pao chicken emanating from a nearby storefront and decided that rice and chicken would be a nice filler for the next flight down to paradise. The rest of the day went off without a hitch - drinking, snorkeling, relaxing on the beach, etc...until that night.
Apparently, Chinese food at 9:30 AM in the Miami airport isn't the best idea as I came down with a wicked bout of food poisoning that sidelined me for the next 2 days resulting in my having to run to the bathroom every time I sat up in bed, stood up, etc. On the third day, feeling slightly better and thinking that a bathroom would be close at hand should anything go wrong, I decided to give it a go and rejoin the rest of the group on a tour of the surrounding islands. Little did I know that this boat tour was to last about three hours, with no bathroom on the boat.
Clenching as best I could and pacing up and down the boat in an attempt to relieve the pressure that was building up from the last of the parasite ravaging my colon, relief came in the form of our stopping at an island inhabited by monstrous lizards who emerge from the woods upon seeing the boat as the good people putting on the tour prepare fresh conch salads for everyone to enjoy as the group drinks beer and relaxes on the island. Before catastrophe could hit, I grabbed a towel and ran off behind a sand dune to absolutely destroy the land on which these lizards were living as a torrent of liquid shot out at otherworldly speed. (The towel ultimately stayed behind).
We found out later that the island we landed on was owned by Nicolas Cage. I would like to think that I unknowingly fulfilled the dreams of millions around the world who have been subjected to much of his work. You're welcome, world.
I interned on Capitol Hill during a semester in college and lived with family on the end of the Orange Line - my commute normally encompassed a half-mile walk, 10-15 minute bus ride, and 50 minute Metro ride. I normally was able to wait till shortly after arriving at the office to lay a stinker. Today was not one of those days.
When I got off the bus, I knew that my next bowel movement would be a doozy but thought I'd be able to hold it an hour or so. I was on the Metro for one stop before realizing I had to find a toilet. Because I was young and embarrassed, I searched and searched for a restroom, to no avail. It was in my haste that I decided to find a bush, while wearing a suit, and hope to God no one saw me.
Luckily there was a tall bush that had a little space between it and the parking garage that I could lay my waste. It was a horrid shit and I don't think anyone saw me. I pulled my pants up and casually pretended like I was taking the long way to the station.
It was shortly after I reboarded the train that I realized I didn't purge my intestines. I got off at the next stop, and decided to ask the attendant if there was a bathroom. There was, but the employee had to walk me there and unlock it. When I finally had the time to finish the deed, I noticed the mess that remained in my boxers and had to spend some time cleaning myself and discarding the boxers.
I spent the rest of the day giving tours of the Capitol hoping that I didn't smell like sewage.
My buddy's bachelor party was in New Orleans. Our group arrived that afternoon and, as good American patriots, instantly set about getting annihilated on hurricanes, hand grenades, and anything else you can imagine.
By nightfall, intoxication levels were at impressive heights. We inevitably found ourselves at the Hustler Barely Legal club, for classy and erudite entertainment. Life is good. Until sometime elapses, and we realize that the bachelor is gone.
He had presumably headed to the restroom some time ago, and never returned. Phone calls and text messages went unreturned. A search party was soon convened. Eventually, I manage to get him on the phone, but all I hear is a snippet of drunken slurring. But I distinctly make out the word "Marriott."
Problem one: We're not staying at a Marriott. Problem two: some quick googling reveals that there are several different Marriotts in and around the French Quarter. Long story short, we eventually find him when he remembers how/sobers up enough to answer his phone.
Over the course of the night and morning, we piece together what happened. The bachelor realized, while at the Hustler, that he really had to shit violently, and this was not the desired venue for the destruction to follow. So he decided to go to our hotel, but was too obliterated to find it, and instead wandered into a Marriott, where he proceeded to actually, somehow, put down his credit card for a room for the sole purpose of shitting in it.
Only he never made it to the room. You know how every floor has an alcove with the vending machine, ice machine, and a trash bucket?
He shat in that bucket, then left the hotel.
The next day we returned to the Marriott to explain his mistake (not the bucket shitting, but the accidental and drunken reservation of a room that he did not stay in). Our pleas were denied; the bachelor was stuck with the $300 rack rate on his credit card, a financial badge of shame from the evening and perhaps the most expensive dump I've ever heard of.
My father, now retired, had a long career as a Forensic Scientist. As a kid my house was filled with Medical Examiner books, with thousands of pictures of mutilated bodies that I would gleefully show my horrified babysitters. Yet I made it out normal! Sort of.
Anyway, the best thing with my Dad's career was the stories he would share about bizarre ways people died. His best source for these tales were the annual conventions those in his line of work would have. Here, medical examiners and forensic pathologists would get drunk and tell each other the weirdest tales from their jobs. This is one of those tales...
On a sunny day, in the mid 1970's out in the farmlands of Illinois, a family had just returned from an extended vacation. The son, probably after a long drive, immediately ran to the outhouse to relieve himself. A few minutes later he comes running to his father screaming "there's a man in the outhouse!". The father hurriedly heads to the outhouse to investigate. Peering into the hole beneath the toilet seat, sure enough he sees a dead body floating in the filth. The authorities are immediately called and an investigation is underway. At first, being the 1970's and not far from Chicago, the assumption is that the deceased was the victim of a mafia hit. Only through due diligence did the truth come out.
Let's call the deceased Andy. As it turns out, Andy wasn't the victim of a crime. After interviewing close friends it was discovered that Andy had a peculiar fetish. Old Andy liked shit. On the day in question, it is speculated that Andy went for a drive looking for outhouses where no one was home. Finding his Xanadu, he stripped naked, tied a rope to the lid of the outhouse seat, and slowly lowered himself into his own personal ecstasy. Yet shortly after that, something went terribly wrong, while old Andy loved himself some stinky dookies, he wasn't very skilled at tying knots. The rope snapped...along with his means of escape. I'd like to tell you that Andy couldn't swim and after a few minutes of flailing around his misery was over, but old Andy knew how to swim alright, knew it all to well, according to friends. It is suspected that he treaded water for hours, probably calling for help, until from exhaustion, or an ironic acceptance of his fate, Andy slowly sunk beneath the seas of half digested corn.
But hey! At least he died happy!
I was duck hunting in west Tennessee last weekend and heard this story in the duck blind. For the record, duck blinds are great places to hear poop stories.
There is no bathroom in a duck blind. Pouring off used coffee is a fairly simple task but ridding yourself of last night's all-you-can-eat fried catfish buffet is a bit more involved. One of the guys hunting with us recalled a day when his buddy had to dump in the blind, so they sent him around back where the boat was tied up. He hung his ass off the side of the boat and took care of business.
It had been quite cold the night before so the lake was frozen in the morning and they had to break ice with the boat on their way to the blind. Our protagonist unknowingly (or perhaps not), shit on a piece of ice, thus leaving his steaming pile above water. Sometime later the wind carried the turd-berg from behind the blind to the front of the blind and left it floating in front of another hunter with a weak stomach. This resulted in dry heaving, complaining, and threats of bodily harm. The turd-berg remained stubbornly in place in front of his seat, wafting it's powerful aroma directly up into his face.
After some time, he'd had enough, leveled his shotgun at the turd and pulled the trigger. This resulted in the turd blowing up and back into his face, hair, and across everyone else sitting in the blind. Realizing what had happened, the dry heaves turned into full on vomiting, adding insult to injury.
Never, ever, shoot a floating turd.
In the summer between my junior and senior year of college I interned with a well-respected publishing company in NJ. One morning, I'm in the stall and hear what sounds like a man snoring a few stalls over. So I lean down to do the 'under the stall peek at the shoes' (not sure what I expected to see) and realize the man is indeed sleeping. Pretty weird, I thought. Anyways, I proceed to finish up my business, wash my hands and exit the bathroom.
I go the cafeteria, get some coffee and return to my desk. After a few minutes I start to notice a really strong, ripe odor of poo. I check my hands to see if I missed a spot washing them, but they're clean. A few more minutes go by and the smell is really getting bad. So I head back to the bathroom to check my drawers, thinking I must've failed at wiping...but nope, clean as a whistle. Then, when I return to my desk and start to sit down I notice something on the chair — upon closer look its a quarter size smudge of poop, smack dab in the middle of my chair. I'm horrified and bewildered. Pretty quickly, I realize that somehow there's poop on the OUTSIDE of the back of my khakis AND I'VE BEEN WALKING AROUND THE OFFICE with it there. Apparently, when I was on the can and leaned over to see the snorers shoes, I dropped a dingle-berry and it plopped directly onto the back of my pants, which I then smushed into the chair when I sat down. I dash back into the bathroom, do my best to wipe off the back of my pants, go back to my cubical and as discreetly as possible, switch my chair with one from a nearby conference room. I can only imagine what the poor soul thought when they made the unfortunate mistake of choosing that chair for the next conference room meeting.
When I was 16, I went to India for my sister's (5000 guest) wedding. Lots of good food and such, and of course I came down with a normal case of the poops soon after. Been there, done that, didn't think anything of it. The next day, both our families took a train to a temple in some hills a few hours away. Sharing a cabin with about 10 people (half of whom were newly family to me by marriage), I nodded off for a nap. Suddenly I shot up, feeling an unfamiliar squishiness in the pantaloons. I ran for the bathroom, peeled down my pants, and realized I had shat myself.
I have no earthly idea how no one noticed the smell, but I had more important things going on. India train bathrooms are a new level of filthy, no such thing as a trash can or toilet paper - running water if you're lucky. But there was a hole going down to the tracks (where the toilet empties), so I just shoved my boxers down there and hoped for the best. Cleaned up my legs/junk as best I could using whatever cholera water was available, and returned to my seat.
Over the next several days, and in close quarters with family/new in-laws, I kept shitting myself (usually) when I was asleep. I'm talking at least 7 or 8 times. For some unknown reason, I didn't find this concerning enough to bring up to any of the 6 doctors I was surrounded by. If I were 5 years old at least I'd have stupidity as an excuse, but I've got nothing. I wasn't even embarrassed, just sort of matter-of-fact. "Oops, there goes another pair of boxers. Good thing I've taken to carrying around a spare". I'm sure my pants had at least some shit-stains on them, but no one seemed to notice, or at least comment. I just assumed this was a particularly bad case of food poisoning, and happily returned to the United States.
My first night back, I woke up seeing bright light, but unable to really see. Thinking I had gone blind, I cried for my dad, who rushed me to the hospital. Turns out, I was in the early stages of contracting meningitis (an exotic disease that infects the brain/spinal cord, thus the photophobia). During my intake, they realized that I was also in the late stages of TYPHOID. I had to spend a week and a half in the hospital (the end of summer break), getting gawked at by a bunch of Missouri doctors who weren't used to the Oregon Trail diseases. Because America.
Good job, India. Well played.
When I was 13 years old, my brother and I were in a bad car accident that led to 3 broken femurs between us and a few week stay in the hospital. About halfway through our stay neither of us had a bowel movement. So the nurse had to give us a suppository in hopes of speeding up the process. FUN! A nurse's finger up my ass! Unfortunately, I was in too much pain to enjoy it.
Fast forward to the same evening and both of us felt the urge. Our parents were out to dinner and our poop anxiety led us to be too embarrassed to tell the nurses that we had to go. So we waited an hour or so until they got back. Immediately when they entered the room we told them and they retrieved bed pans for us. Bed pans are the WORST. There is no possible angle to make pooping with a bed pan comfortable. I find it hard to believe that modern technology hasn't advanced past stupid bedpans. (Sidenote: PEEING in bed is great. Sometimes I wish my femur was still broken so I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to pee) Anyway, I was at it for 15-20 minutes sweating and agonizing in pain. I felt like I was giving birth. Finally, I was able to prop myself up high enough off the bed to get the rest out. And when my Dad took the bed pan he showed me my masterpiece with this smirk on his face. I'm not exaggerating to say that I had let loose a softball size shit. SOFTBALL!
I'm 25 years old now and realize that it doesn't matter what I do the rest of my life. Nothing will top the pride my father felt towards me that day.
About fifteen years ago I went on a church-sponsored mission trip to a poor city in central Mexico. In the week prior to the trip, we were bombarded with standard anti-Montezuma's Revenge instructions. Don't drink the water. Don't open your mouth in the shower. Brush your teeth with bottled water. Anyway, after losing my luggage in the Mexico City airport, tramping around the mountains of Mexico for three days in a Mexican XXL I Heart NY t-shirt that was basically a body glove, drinking my first several dozen Mexican beers, and eating all manner of roadside tacos, my intestine decided it had had all it could take.
The morning we were supposed to leave, I woke up with a tremendous stomach ache. Sharing a room with an adult sponsor (a long-time friend of my parents) who was already packed and ready to go when I woke up, I waited until he went downstairs to head into el banos. Several minutes into an unsuccessful attempt at a morning deuce, I realized I had to hurl immediately. Boxers around my ankles, I pivoted. The effort expended to vomit was enough to jar loose what to this day remains my only experience with explosive diarrhea. Uncontrollable vomiting persisted for nearly a full minute before I could turn around and see that I had created a small lake of liquefied shit on the floor of this Mexican hotel bathroom. Hungover, gripped with the first stage of a terrible case of food poisoning, and in desperate need of a shower, I threw a towel over this lake of shit and got in the shower. Fun fact - the boxers that were ruined in the initial poopsplosion were the only underwear I had. Going commando on three different airplanes with the 'rhea might be the worst thing ever.
After my shower, I left all the money in my wallet on the bathroom counter and went downstairs to head to the airport. On the drive to the airport I managed to hurl twice, once on the carphone of the Suburban we were taking to the airport, once out the window and all over the side panel of the car. The three girls in the far backseat were traumatized.
I never told a soul about this incident for five years.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Art by Jim Cooke