Chances are you are like me and you take a lot of modern conveniences for granted. There isn’t really anything wrong with that, I guess. I mean, here in 2016 [Editor’s note: remember to change the date when we are low on content and re-post this in a year or two] we just assume such things as sanitary products, electronics, and other assorted things are our God-given and rightful property. We feel a great sense of entitlement, and therefore have really stopped appreciating these simple pleasures that keep our world up and running smoothly. It’s just hard for someone who has grown up with such things to understand…
Until you have to do without.
My friends, I had to do without recently. I didn’t have to part ways with my cell phone, or microwavable food items, or anything like that. If that was the case I’d JUST DIE! No, I had to do without something that plays a rather large role in our lives. I had to do without a goddamn shitter: the unsung hero of household items. That’s right, I had to use the toilet without having a toilet to use. You might have trouble wrapping your head around this, because really, the toilet is always there. It’s like a good, dedicated friend. You can always find comfort in its consistency. Cold, white, incredibly heavy but blissfully unaware of just how big it is, and usually full of shit. Now that I think about it, it really is just like a lot of friends I’ve had (and you have probably had as well).
But imagine briefly, that when you need that friend the most, they are nowhere to be found! That when you reach out and expect that helping hand you’ve grown so accustomed to grasping you and pulling you to safety… it doesn’t happen. Of course, I am completely to blame for the incident I am writing about. Looking back I can clearly see where I went wrong.
The 1st Mistake: Egg Breakfast
My ladyfriend has the distinction of fixing the best food-stuffs I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. I’m not just saying that because she usually reads my stuff on here (or actually proof-reads most of it and has saved me from looking like a complete fool… even though here I am now discussing THIS kind of subject matter). I’m saying it because she has the Midas touch in the kitchen. Of all the things she has prepared, I have to say that I am very partial to her breakfast food, notably the eggs that she fixes up. Cheesy scrambled eggs fixed to perfection. Okay, enough ego-stroking in the hopes of receiving extra sexual favors. She fixes some pretty damn good eggs, and I have no trouble with consuming several of them at a time.
My stomach treats eggs the same way 95% of folks in the welfare line treat a job. It just doesn’t like to keep them for too long. Add the cheese in there (the trouble being that lactose and I are slowly drifting apart) and it’s essentially something I eat, wait 20 minutes, and then part ways with. It’s almost as if this dish has some magical way of taking out all of those curves of your intestines and just making them into a straight pipe. That wasn’t the case on this day, as we were busy apartment-hunting. So I finished my breakfast and almost immediately stepped out the door — not knowing that I when I next stepped into my home it would be as a changed man.
My stomach obviously knew I had just fucked up, but was feeling generous and decided it wouldn’t unleash the fury on me quite yet. Instead, it communicated by infrequent small cramps and a little stinging every now and then as if to say, “Man, this ain’t gotta go right now but I’d rather it not stick around all afternoon.” But what could I do? I was at prospective new homes with what could be my new landlords, so I was more intent on getting off on the right foot rather than taking a loaf out of the oven. Besides, I was surrounded by toilets with no working water at the moment. Of course, now looking back at how big of an asshole a couple of those folks were, I should have went in one of those non-working commodes.
At this point in time I honestly think I could have made it all the way home. But then I was hit with a moment of great self-hate. Some folks cut themselves, some throw themselves into meaningless and unrewarding relationships with folks who may or may not have all of their teeth, and some dudes get women in heels to stomp on their junk… but when I want to lash out against myself, I do something far more stupid and painful: I hit the Chinese Buffet.
The 2nd Mistake: Chinese Food
So Damn Good! There is one particular buffet in High Point, NC, that I simply refer to as “The King.” Everything on it is not only good, but amazing! Sweet and sour chicken, several types of rice, honey chicken, and you know the General is involved. I did my usual buffet work. Two plates full of food (mostly chicken and macaroni & cheese) and a big ol’ heap of dessert were consumed. I don’t ask why a Chinese place has better macaroni & cheese than any American place I’ve been to, and I suggest you don’t either. At the counter while I was paying, I was overcome with a wave of stomach badness, but for whatever reason I just wrote it off as nothing to be concerned about. I thought briefly about going to the restroom, but foolish pride took over me and I convinced myself that I could make it home.
At least I got halfway there.
The Hustle To Maintain Dignity
Truth be told, I would have made it home without having to move my bowels. In the end, it was a strong need to urinate that would be my undoing. I was on the stretch of highway that leads me back home, surrounded by plenty of restaurants, gas stations, and hotels that would have suited my cause just fine. So when that strong urge to make water struck, I quickly took the first exit I saw.
As we turned off the ramp and started to drive down the street, all of the houses and empty fields I viewed slowly told me something. The North Carolina countryside is something beautiful to behold, but on this occasion all of this emptiness was not a grand sight. All of those green fields and slow-flowing creeks were not giving me that sense of relaxation and oneness with nature. No, instead I realized the harshest of realizations. I had picked the ONLY exit that didn’t have jack shit.
Panic mode kicked in. There wasn’t even an in-between phase. I went from calm and cool to in a sweat. In all of my 30 plus years, I have worked hard to earn respect and to maintain my dignity, and soon it was all going to be washed away in a yellow torrent down my pant-leg. Soon I would lose my status as being the ONLY Sneer Campaign writer to have not soiled themselves. Well, Amandoll hasn’t either unless you believe a certain bit of lore.
I knew I was down on my luck. I knew this was a moment of great desperation and how I acted in the next few minutes was going to play a major role in the rest of my life. So it was then, in my most desperate moment, I did what so many losers and alcoholics do: I went to church. A nearby church was the only non-home building on this desolate stretch of road, so I whipped my ride in without a second thought. I had always heard that church was a place to go to be saved, and brother, I was hoping for some sweet salvation.
I had caught my ladyfriend up fully on the situation at hand, and instructed her that she would function as my lookout. She would essentially sit in the car, and if another car pulled in she would… well I hadn’t planned that far out. She could either strike up friendly conversation, or if they wanted to shove their nose further into my business she could kill them or something like that and blame it on Satanists.
So I start the journey into the woods, and promptly urinate behind a nearby tree. As I said before, I could have held that other urge in for the duration of the trip home, but this pee I was taking was causing some complications. It seems that the strain from trying to get out every last drop was just enough to cause a chain reaction that led to me… let’s just say I ALMOST did something I hadn’t done since I was in diapers. I knew there was no turning back, so I started to travel a little deeper into the woods.
I got to what I assumed was a good spot. My head shot to the left: the coast was clear. My head shot to the right, and there was a goddamn house. I was literally in the backyard of some asshole in khaki pants and a wifebeater. I know this because I was pretty much twenty feet away from his sliding glass door. So I walked a little deeper in the woods, sweat starting to form on my forehead. I found what I assumed yet again was a quiet spot. A check to the left revealed nothing but trees, to the right was more of the same. Of course this is when I peered straight ahead and realized I was EVEN CLOSER to the back door of someone else. This poo-inspired hysteria had really caused me to lose awareness of pretty much everything around me.
Once again I wrapped my arms around my stomach and pushed forward. This walk was with much more purpose. Sweat started to run into my eyes, causing a stinging sensation that actually had no pain… probably because it was being drowned out by the pain in my stomach. I kept one arm wrapped around my stomach, as if my intestines were spilling out and I was desperately trying to keep them within. With my other hand, I reached almost blindly for anything that I could use to help keep me up on my feet. Several small branches snapped once I grasped them, and once I almost fell to a knee. I think for a very brief moment I gave up. Deep down in my brain I knew this wasn’t going to work, and that I should just admit defeat and fill my pants right there on the spot. Then another voice came to me. A voice that told me that I would in fact not be filling my pants on this day, but rather I would get up and finish this job. I traveled deeper still, with somewhat renewed energy and determination. I was marching through the forest, chopping away at branches and weeds like some country-ass Crocodile Dundee. Finally, I found a very secluded spot probably 5 minutes away from the car. My ladyfriend went on to tell me that it was around this time that she started to seriously consider contacting the authorities for fear that I was lost.
A Man’s Gotta Do
I’ve never shit in the woods before. If you were there to see me in action, you probably would have noticed. Hell, if you were there to notice then I really don’t like you and you have some serious troubles. I’m assuming I went about everything all wrong, as I have heard stories of woods-shitting before and none of it seemed quite as tragic as mine.
Sweat started to play a major issue. That sweat that was once covering my forehead was now dripping from under my arms. My back could only have been wetter if I was laying down in a tub. Yeah, there was swamp-ass too. As I started to take down my britches, I found myself muttering something and caught myself in a moment of amazement. Was I praying? I hadn’t actively prayed since September 11th when everyone was on a paranoia high and that night before I went to bed the air condition unit outside of my apartment started whirring really loud and then basically exploded. I’m not going to say I was praying on this occasion. It was more like wishing really hard. But if I was praying, how funny would God consider it to be? I could hear it now as he sits on some big golden chair and listens as prayers from around the world funnel through.
“God, please keep my children safe while I’m out of town.”
“Lord, let my mother make it through her surgery.”
“Please Sweet Lord, don’t let me shit on my pants.”
“Heavenly Father, help me fight this cancer.”
Pretty sure even the big fella himself would do one of those double-takes and then either erupt in juvenile laughter or smite me and change the wind direction so that my blue jeans would be blue in name only from then on.
I pulled my pants down to my ankles, which I figured was the correct thing to do. I nervously coughed and steadied myself the best I could on a too-skinny tree. I began doing my business. From what I could tell things were going well and my pants were going to survive this outing. As I was finishing, it struck me that this really wasn’t that difficult at all. I looked around for some good-sized leaves only to realize that I had two options:
- A billion small leaves about the size of my thumbnail.
- Old dead brown (not from me) leaves that crumbled upon touch.
This was the ultimate insult to injury. It was like running a marathon only to arrive at the finish line to find out that they added on another 10 miles. It was like having sex with a really hot girl and then finding out she has some horrible STD afterward. What should have been a proud moment was quickly spiraling into happenings that belonged in the worst of nightmares. Fortunately we had forgotten to do the laundry around the house and I was wearing what I considered to be my least favorite undergarment. I’m pretty sure the decision only took a fraction of a second to make, but it sure seemed like I spent an eternity thinking it over. I distinctly recall saying to myself, “Are we really gonna do this,” as I started to remove my pants entirely.
So there I stood in my damned jacket and socks. Ass to the breeze, I took hold of my former unders and took a deep breath. Then I got started. When I think back on it now and try to picture it, I see myself letting out one of those Rambo yells… but I’m pretty sure I was quiet. Of course this was the point in time that I heard a sound. It sounded an AWFUL lot like footsteps and the brushing away of branches and bushes. I stumbled. My foot immediately felt wet. My brain told me that it was perfectly fine to cry now. Thankfully I had the nerve to look down and realized I had only stepped in mud. Nature-mud, not butt-mud. The noise went away, but the sick daydream of the noise being from a group of church school-kids on a nature walk stuck around for a long while after. They would discover this mess, one of them would fall in it, and of course the others would get hit with it. All mouths would be open at the time of impact. But yeah…
I pulled my pants up, got my shoes on, and readjusted my jacket while I got back up into a full standing position. I had been crouched for so long that it took me a moment to straighten back up. It never crossed my mind at all to try and clean up this crime scene. Going with my usual rationale of “if the Indians did it then it must be fine,” I decided to leave it and let it stand as a monument to the willpower and strength of Man.
A Life Forever Changed
I got back to the car and sat down. I was covered in leaves, worms, and dirt. I threw my head back against the seat and took a moment to take all in my act of taking it all out. I figured as I walked back to the car this would be an act I would always be ashamed of, but it was quite the opposite. I freely admitted what I had done, and for the next few days would brag to anyone who would listen. When they would laugh and try to look down on me, I would stand tall and let them know that I might give a shit in the woods, but I don’t give one when it comes to their opinions. I explained to them about how this was such a freeing exercise, and how for the first time in my life, I felt that whole “at peace with nature” thing that so many long-haired guys had talked about on television. Boy, I sure lost a lot of friends that week.
I got home and finished the job completely, but from the comfort of my own commode. It felt good to be back home and using a toilet for my waste-disposal purposes. My body was planted firmly to the bowl, but my mind was still in those woods. I still find myself thinking about it every now and then. The thrill of cutting a new path to that perfect spot, the rush of staying hidden from the public. I could do without sacrificing a pair of drawers every time though.
So am I ashamed of what I did? Not one bit. Hell, I’d do it every single day if I could. Though I guess technically I could do it whenever I wanted but I’m not doing it so maybe I’m not as into it as I thought. But still, I carry absolutely no shame over what took place in those woods, and if the situation ever calls for it again, I won’t have a single second thought about throwing some brown around in that green.
Of course I’m keeping a roll of toilet paper in the trunk from now on. Just in case.