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2:55 p.m. - 2001-09-06

THE HISTORY OF POOPAPHOBIA

I don't know about women...but most men I know are not public poopers.

Something about sitting down at a toilet that isn't in your home...us guys have a real problem with that.

A few hours ago, I ran across a guy who had apparently never suffered from poopaphobia.

He works here in my office and is a pretty nice guy. I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth and preparing for my trip to the dentist when he walked in.

We exchanged greetings. At least, he said hello while I said something resembling "Huffalo"...having a mouthful of toothpaste and saliva at the time.

I spat and we talked about how busy we were today (Yes...I made stuff up).

Then he enters one of the two stalls here in the office building.

I'm all like "Dude...if you have to pee, there's two urinals over there."

Uh-uh.

This guy had to drop the kids off at the pool, if you get my drift.

I was all like "Dude...I'm trying to brush my teeth here."

He kept babbling about his day while I heard his pants unzip.

I turned on the sink just to cover up any noises that may be coming out of the stall in a moment.

Kids.

I coulda turned on a thousand sinks...it wouldn't have masked what I was about to hear.

I've eaten Chinese food and washed it down with 12 beers.

I've eaten 12 Krystal burgers at a single seating.

I've eaten a bushel of raw broccoli on a dare.

But I have NEVER made sounds like this guy made.

At first, I thought he was choking a moose in there. There were noises with high pitches. There were rumbles. There were splashes and there were sounds that resembled an 18-wheeler blowing out 16 of its tires.

It sounded like the tail end of your average July 4th fireworks celebration.

All the while, he's talking like nothing's going on. Talking about the weather report for this weekend.

"Dude...it sounds like a thunderstorm in that stall of yours...that's about all the input I have for ya on your weather report."

You remember that scene in "Dumb and Dumber" where Jeff Daniels is going to town on the toilet? Take that scene, add the scene from "American Pie" where the kid's in the girls room and having to pinch a soupy log and multiply the results by 20.

THAT'S what this guy was doing.

I couldn't quit brushing my teeth fast enough. I had only graced the backs of my teeth when I just packed it all up and hauled ass outta the bathroom, running quickly out of the building so nobody could poke their head out of their office and say "Hey...weren't you just in the bathroom strangling a moose?"

I go to the dentist...everything's fine in my mouth which is a relief. I mentioned early on that I was on my lunch HOUR and I had one HOUR to get back to work.

Because they are incredibly slow at my dentist's office. Everyone's real sweet and all and want to get caught up on my life. That's great and it was really great when I had the entire afternoon to babble on and on about my life when I was at the paper. But today...uh-uh...one hour people...I want my teeth cleaned, I want the dentist to come in and poke at my gums with a sharp object and I want to be OUT OF HERE before my hour's up.

So what do they do??

Want to talk about football.

I live in Alabama where football is sacred. Football this, football that.

I like football. That's no secret. But damnation...don't stick all kinds of weapons in my mouth and then start drilling me on which coaches need to be fired and which need raises.

The hygienist cleaned my teeth and said she'd send the doctor in.

The doctor comes in, sits down, messes with one tooth and then gets into a LENGTHY discussion with the hygienist about last weekend's games.

He stops what he's doing in my mouth and they go back and forth about the UCLA-Alabama game from Saturday.

It's Thursday, people. Haven't you both had enough spare time this week to talk about football?? Do you REALLY need to be sucking up my lunch hour to discuss the finer points of Coach Fran's debut for Alabama and what a horrible defense we have this year and how they need to make Sparky Martinez the new tailback and blah blah blah??

I DON'T GIVE A CRAP!! CLEAN MY TEETH AND LET ME GO, DAMMIT!!

So I finally get out of there and head back to the office.

I told Edweird about the bathroom incident and he couldn't quit laughing.

So then we got to the crux of the situation...why we are poopaphobes.

When we were both teenagers, we used to terrorize people at our jobs when they'd use the workplace's toilets.

He did it at Service Merchandise. I did it at Opryland.

Whenever his co-workers would use the toilet, Edweird or his buddies would soak some paper towels and toss them onto the guy on the toilet.

Then they'd turn out the lights, leaving the guy on the toilet in total darkness and covered in wet paper towels.

He said one time a guy was in there, in the dark, went to reach for the toilet paper and it fell off its perch and went rolling out of the stall.

The guy did NOT want to get up, leave the stall with his pants around his knees and feel around on the floor for toilet paper.

So he sat there for two hours until one of the older employees came in at which point the kid said "I'm having a problem here" and had the toilet paper handed to him.

My thing when I was a toilet user tormenter was to fill up buckets of water, sneak into the bathroom and then pour the water over the stall door, soaking whoever was inside.

I was notorious for it. That and walking into bathrooms, disguising my voice and humiliating the person on the toilet.

"My God ...did something die in here? It smells like something died. Something nasty like an armadillo or something."

Yep.

Then of course, it backfired on me one day.

Bucket of water thrown on me.

Yelling and screaming and laughing.

Then I had to walk around the amusement park soaking wet for an hour or so.

And that's why I'm a Poopaphobe today...the always inevitable fear of the bucket being flown my way.

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