Quality Time With the Family
July 9, 2009
Some of you may have noticed that I have a fixation with potties. I like my facilities to be clean. Not pristine, not gorgeous. Just clean.
While my family was out hiking, I felt Nature’s promptings. I jumped quickly out of the rain and into a porta potty to relieve myself. I hardly need to express my shock and horror at finding the outhouse in such disarray. Now I have a better idea of what Marlon Brando meant when he said, “Oh dear, the horror!”
For one thing, it smelled TERRIBLE. I don’t want to get too graphic, but try to imagine this: poop and pee, from several people, mixed together indiscriminately.
And then left to stew for DAYS.
And I am pretty sure that nobody had mopped the floor since the paleolithic era. Although I’m no archaeologist, so cut me a little slack on that. In any case, the floor was in such a state that I felt it prudent to not just drop my pants, but to remove them altogether.
Next, my confidence in the cleanliness of the business end of the facility was between low and none, for the following reason: there was piss all over the seat. Which makes me want to ask: who pisses on toilet seats? Is it a joke? Have I been punked? Or is there someone out there whose aim in pissing is as poor as my own at spitting?
And then it began to rain much harder. I cleaned up as quickly as I could, given the lack of proper sanitation facilities (i.e., my magical toilet), because the family had begun to congregate. I couldn’t blame them. This was the only place with a roof for miles.
“Here I sit all broken-hearted,” said Holden.
“Don’t read that!” shouted Kim. “Those people are sick!”
I can tell when Kim gets angry because she raises her voice and clenches her fists. These are the kinds of subtle clues you pick up on when you’ve been married for 18 years. It’s all fun and games until she directs her anger towards me. “Dug, I don’t care how hard it’s raining! We can’t stay in here! I think I’m going to be sick!”
“So leave,” I didn’t say. Instead, I explained that sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Even very good people, like my wife Kim.
“Is the converse also true, Father?” Maddie asked. I rolled my eyes.
And then I felt a resurgence. A need of a practical and immediate nature. As to its cause, I’ll simply say that all sushi is not created equal, and Sushi in Green River, UT is probably especially non-equal.
As I sat down, I felt that warm and wonderful outhouse feeling of having the air rush up from below. It’s no magical toilet, mind you, but it feels damn good. And then it felt like my innards exploded.
“Gross! Dad, that is sick! I’m going back outside!” the youngsters threatened in chorus.
“It’s perfectly natural,” I said over the din, trying not to whimper.