Potty Humour

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I have a severe phobia of public restrooms.

I know this condition of mine isn't unique. I remember it being discussed by a few other bloggers - one entry in particular by her from a while back springs to mind - so I'm not going to bore you with the gory details or the reasons about why I have this fear. I'm sure you're all imaginative enough to figure it out for yourselves.

I also won't tell you about the great lengths I go to in order to not have to go to public restrooms. So luckily for you, you'll remain blissfully unaware of how I dehydrate myself like a thoroughbred Saharan camel for at least three days before I dare to venture outside the vicinity of my very private and safe home bathroom.

But oh, dear... sometimes such thorough preparations can't always be undertaken. Like, well... when unexpected stuff happens.

As you've all heard by now, I suffered from apparent brain freeze during the still very cold days of early spring, because during the time that my brain was numb, I auditioned to be in a play.

Unluckily for me, the same ice gust appeared to have swept past the director's cranium, because he cast me!

When my brain finally thawed by mid-May, I received a letter about the auditions, and then all the repercussions of being in a play actually dawned on me. And the one thing that jumped out at me immediately was the prospect of having to leave the house on a regular basis for rehearsals and performances.

Which also meant leaving my beloved bathroom...

Not to worry! I requested a rehearsal schedule and started planning my pre- and post-rehearsal food and beverage intake with military precision.

It worked and for the whole month and a half or so of rehearsals I never once saw the inside of the theatre bathroom.

When the performances began the weekend before last, it called for a bit of tweaking in the feeding and drinking schedule.

This was a bit more complicated, since the dramatic onset of nerves and the pesky side-effects of said nerves now had to be taken into consideration as well, while still keeping the larynx sufficiently moist in order to retain the ability to speak and PROJECT on stage.

It required a fine balance, but one that was successfully met with the help of some sparing sips of coffee.

And so the first weekend breezed by, public-theatre-restroom-free.

And this past weekend, the second in our round of performances, breezed by.

Well, almost.

Until Sunday. When my carefully orchestrated schedule fell to pieces.

Our director informed us that we had to attend a matinee performance of another play before our own performance on Sunday.

So I went. Sufficiently dehydrated and clutching the trusty coffee (see? Now my addiction finally has a purpose!) in my one hand.

And throughout the performance of the other play, I absent-mindedly (but only because I was so engrossed in the play) sipped my coffee.

And I drank ALL OF IT.

Well, I bet you, my three loyal and very clever readers have already figured out what happened next.

When we got to our theatre, I had to go to the bathroom. And I had no choice in the matter.

So it came to be that I carefully (or rather, as carefully and as slowly as my urgency permitted) entered the public theatre restroom for the very first time, my eyes pinched shut, my breath sucked in.

When I finally dared to open my eyes just a little bit, I was actually met with a small but very impressively clean bathroom.

(We all know that germs and cooties are mostly invisible though.)

I dared to breathe, and I took a courageous step towards one of the stalls.

I stepped inside and when I shut the door behind me, I realized that I couldn't turn around. My knees were against the toilet bowl and my butt was against the door. And yeah, while I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly petite, I don't normally get stuck in confined spaces.

But man, I'm telling you: this stall was smaller than an aeroplane bathroom!

It required tremendous skill to shimmy around. And oh, the operation to then remove the appropriate items of clothing!

And of course, then I remembered that I still hadn't papered the seat.

So I had to do the shimmy to turn back around, again. Only, this time, I didn't have the luxury of pointing my knees in opposite directions for enhanced shimmy action, since above-mentioned clothing items were now very much binding them together and rendering them pretty much useless.

Then, the shimmy back the other way again so that I could proceed with what had by now turned into an Utmost Emergency.

And when it occurred to me moments later that I wasn't going to have the luxury of sitting down, and that I had therefore not needed the paper-layer in the first place, I cursed myself, loudly and continuously.

Luckily the relief quickly... um... drowned out my frustration.

Then came the part involving more paper. And suddenly everything I had to go through up until that point seemed like a cakewalk.

Let's just put it this way: several flailing limbs later, and after contorting my not-flexible-at-ALL body into muscle-tearing shapes, and after a succession of moves vaguely resembling the limbo, I was done. And exhausted. With a few pulled something-or-other-parts in the most surprising places...

Luckily, after enduring all of that, I didn't even have strength remaining to be nervous about my pending performance.

But I've been plagued with nightmares about being trapped in a tiny bathroom stall with a gigantic gaping toilet bowl threatening to swallow me whole ever since.

9 Comments

emily said:

You poor thing! You're lucky to have made it out alive. ;)

mcbk said:

Dude, Red ... you can make even the WORST situations sound funny.

Just hope that that theatre bathroom didn't have one of those sick voyeur cameras in it, or else they might send it to America's Funniest Home (Voyeur) Videos!

(Okay, that's just wrong, I know.)

Dude, you're bizarre, and I love it.

I don't have a public bathroom phobia, but when I was supposed to go to the Southwest, I realized I'd have to go to the bathroom out in nature. That struck fear and disgust in my very heart. So I can totally relate.

martha said:

wow red - you really have talent for describing things in ways that can make people snort food out their noses...

Dishy said:

He girlie, oops, Oh She Of The Iron Bladder - a tip from another public bathroom phobe, I use my foot to flush the loo. A swift kang-fu kick does the trick. Yeah, I actually made it to your site. Impressed?

pylorns said:

my old roomie is like that. That and whenever someone farts he has to spit.

kim said:

see, this is why i keep coming back even if you're too busy to write for a few days/weeks because you're an actress now. a story like this makes it all worthwhile!

.......... still grinning ;o)

miked said:

my only public bathroom phobia is when I'm the only one at the urinals and some dude comes and uses the one next to mine... meanwhile there is another 4 more that he could have chosen.

In cases like that the eyes go toward the wall, and it's time to evacuate.

I'm sure a lot of guys out there have the same fear. heh

Helen said:

I have the world's tiniest bladder. For real. It's about the size of a post-it note. I am constantly in toilets peeing, that's just the way of life.

The good news is, I have thighs like the Hulk now.

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • Helen : I have the world's tiniest bladder. For real. It's about the size of a post-it note. I am constan... [go]
  • miked : my only public bathroom phobia is when I'm the only one at the urinals and some dude comes and uses ... [go]
  • kim : see, this is why i keep coming back even if you're too busy to write for a few days/weeks because yo... [go]
  • pylorns : my old roomie is like that. That and whenever someone farts he has to spit.... [go]
  • Dishy : He girlie, oops, Oh She Of The Iron Bladder - a tip from another public bathroom phobe, I use my foo... [go]
  • martha : wow red - you really have talent for describing things in ways that can make people snort food out t... [go]
  • Cleveland Natalie : Dude, you're bizarre, and I love it. I don't have a public bathroom phobia, but when I was supposed... [go]
  • mcbk : Dude, Red ... you can make even the WORST situations sound funny. Just hope that that theatre bathr... [go]
  • emily : You poor thing! You're lucky to have made it out alive. ;)... [go]
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