A few years ago I was traveling a lot for work. It was always hectic and I was constantly running here and there, staying overnight in a new hotel in a new city three weeks out of the month.
This proves to be a slight problem for a homebody like me, most especially when it comes to pooping. Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t act like your shit don’t stink. We all poop. It’s a life necessity. You know the old saying, “You only have to do three things in life, pay taxes, shit and die.” (OK, so I made up that last part. Whatever.)
Anyhow, I am very particular when it comes to pooping. I choose to only drop a deuce in the sanctity of my own home, or in the glistening private toilet of my hotel room when traveling.
Another monkey wrench when it comes to traveling is that my normally Dagmar-dictated healthy diet is interrupted by my inability to turn down garbage food.
When traveling I tend to eat the most unhealthy food you can imagine. I don’t want to join my coworkers at some vegan, breast milk-sauteed, kind-harvested, free-range lettuce bar.
I’m more of an overcooked convenience store hot dog kind of dude on the road. My diet sinks to the lowest of the low and then sinks even lower.
Pork rinds and beer for dinner? Sure. Spaghettios eaten cold from the can and washed down with beer? Why not.
When I’m away it’s just “garbage in.”
So let’s review
I’m a very-private pooper and when I’m home my wife does her best to make sure I’m eating healthy, but when traveling I shovel processed bullshit down my pie hole.
On a business trip a few years ago these two quirks collided.
After a full day of traveling, I’d arrived at the hotel before my room was ready. Normally that would be a bitch, but on this trip it was no big deal because there was no time to dawdle before getting down to business. My only option was to leave my luggage at the front desk and collect it after work.
Moments later, my traveling partner and I headed to the office where our duties would commence. Because we were in Europe and dealing with people on the East Coast of the U.S., we worked through the night to compensate for the time difference. We didn’t wrap up until about 2 a.m. the following day.
In the midst of working I just ate whatever was at hand.
Because my body was accustomed to eating well, I could feel the familiar bad travel food bubbling in my stomach. Since I was nowhere near either aforementioned proper pooping place, I decided to suffer through the pain and hold it.
A normal person would listen to their body, ignore their idiosyncrasies and head to the nearest bathroom. A normal person would be like, “It’s just shit. Get rid of it, brutha.”
But not my stupid brain. Nope.
My idiot brain says, “You can hold that until later. We’ll go back to our hotel room and do it there.”
Because my brain hates me.
When my coworker and I arrived back at the hotel lobby he decided we should chat about what the following day’s schedule would be.
At this point, literally, all I can think about is going to my room to use the bathroom.
As he drones on and on, I start daydreaming about using the hotel lobby restroom. But I’ve held off shitting for so long now that, even though I’m fantasizing about breaking my stupid rule, I continue to hold it because I’m a complete moron.
Seriously think about that fact for a moment. In the hotel lobby at two in the morning when my coworker and I are the only ones there I refused to go use that bathroom.
I have no idea what my coworker was saying. My head was swimming. When he finally says goodnight, I’m panting and sweating. I rush past a bathroom and make a beeline for the elevator.
Here’s where it all goes to shit.
In the elevator it’s private, quiet and two in the morning.
My body, wracked with pain from holding back what I can only imagine is a monumental turd of epic proportions, tells my brain, “Hey, this place is perfect. Take a load off,”
My brain tells my body to shut the fuck up because we’re in a goddamned elevator.
My body is tired of being told to shut up.
I don’t know exactly what happened and I can’t recall any specific trigger point, but it began with a shudder and then a roar. There was no way to stop it. My body was in full revolt and, obviously, full of shit.
There’s just no delicate way to say this: If my bowels could talk they would have bellowed, “Freedom!” like Mel Gibson in Braveheart.
I just simply began to shit my pants. I don’t mean I farted and a little bit of poop came out. I mean, I started to shit my pants. I was like some weird overfilled Playdoh spaghetti maker. I had to literally – in the proper use of the word – hold my ass cheeks together with my hands in an effort to maintain some kind of control. But the reality was, there was no way to control this torrent. My colon, or whatever I have down there, had enough and the shitgates opened. This wasn’t a solid shit either. Solid never follows belly bubbles. This was liquid and it was not going to be easily contained. As an uncontrollable waterfall of scat spilled down the back of my legs, the elevator doors opened and I waddled in some spastic duck walk to my room. After fumbling with the key card to get in, I did a combination duck-walk bunny hop into the bathroom.
If the bathroom could talk it would recount the moment by quoting Revelations 6:8 “and hell followed with him.” (Shit, is that blasphemous?)
Before I could lift the lid to the toilet my body just said, “Fuck you, we’re alone now in the bathroom, I’m letting loose.”
And let loose it did.
As I desperately tried to pull off my pants, my ass was just spraying shit. First it was spaying shit in my pants. Then, as I lowered my pants and aimed my ass at the toilet, it sprayed shit on the wall. As I tried to raise the toilet seat, it sprayed shit on the toilet seat.
By the time I managed to actually sit on the pot, the fire hose was a trickle.
I took inventory of the situation before me.
There was shit in my pants and on my pants. It was in my shoes and on my shoes. It was on the walls. It covered the toilet. It was all over the floor. I sat in dismay and disgust just surveying the damage and thinking about what the fuck happened.
I mean, there was shit on the toilet paper roll mounted next to the toilet for fuck’s sake and I hadn’t even wiped yet.
At some point you just have to start “recovery operations” in a story like this.
Every great “there was shit everywhere” story has a moment where you start to clean up. I stripped off my pants, shorts, socks and shoes and dumped them into the bathtub and began running hot water. Next up, I grabbed all the washcloths and hand towels and began to wipe up my filth, little swath by little filthy swath. Each wipe was followed by hot water and soap. Wipe, wipe, rinse, rinse. Before long the bathroom was reasonably clean looking (the smell was disgusting sure) and every towel in the joint was stained.
I looked at the muddied bathwater and realized the pants and socks were a total loss, but I was still wearing my shirt, and tie …
Holy fuck, I realized, the pants were not only a total loss, but they were now soaking wet. Soaking wet shit-covered dress slacks.
And I had no luggage.
In my hurry say goodnight to my coworker and rush to my bathroom, I hadn’t picked up my luggage. I had no clothes in the room.
I was trapped.
While I won’t name the hotel I will say this about it: It is a hotel that caters to military people. It isn’t a major chain and I knew the staff on hand numbered no more than five at this hour and wasn’t going to be very responsive.
But, I was naked from the waist down and everything I could wear to cover my naughty bits was covered in shit and soaking wet. I pondered putting on my dress shirt, wrapping a towel around my waist and going to lobby to get my luggage.
That particular course of action seemed to fall into the “last resort” category for reasons that are obvious.
It was hopeless. I was going to have to call the front desk for help.
As the phone rang, I converted to Christianity.
“Please Jesus,” I prayed, “make sure a dude picks up.”
You see, I was going to have to ask someone to bring up my bags, and when they balk, and they will balk at the idea, I’m basically forced to be honest about why I can’t go down to the lobby to pick up my bags.
“Please Jesus, let it be a dude. I’ll sacrifice a goat or something.” I don’t know a lot about religion, but whatever Jesus likes I’m willing to do at this point.
“Jesus, please, cut me some slack. I know my pooping proclivity is ridiculous. I’ve seen the error of my ways. Please, Jesus, let a man answer the phone.”
A man’s voice said hello.
I tried to play it coy and asked if my bags can be delivered, but he said no can do, I’d have to come down.
I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I full-up told the guy at the front desk what happened.
“Dude, I can’t. To say I just pooped my pants would be a gross understatement. It was basically a shit apocalypse. I can never wear those pants again, I’m trapped,” I explained. I decided the best way to play it was to be funny while also conveying my desperation. I laid it all on the line. When I finished telling the story there was silence for a split second before he just busted up laughing.
Ten minutes later he delivered the bags. I tipped that fucker $100 dollars and assured him the money was reasonably clean.
The next morning he saw me in the lobby. We made eye contact, shook our heads and enjoyed another private laugh. I then discretely slipped out the door to deliver my bag of crap-encrusted pants and socks to a dumpster behind the hotel.