hate using a public john, but occasionally you’ve got no choice. Usually, I’m an expert clencher. I’m not child, I’ve got adult control over my backyard. Still…when you’ve gotta go – you’ve gotta go. Whenever I’m forced to sit down for the brown in an obscure space, I think about this one particularly embarrassing experience I had at work.

It was late afternoon, and I was in the middle of dropping a hefty load; I hadn’t moved my bowels in over a week, so it was holed up there, so to speak, and emitted a vile, necrotic odor. Just as I was shooting another log down the flume, I heard some shmuck barge through the door, sounding in a big hurry. I despise it whenever someone walks in on me while I’m in the process of evacuation. I recall being even more horrified when he took the toilet adjacent to mine; it had been a major breach of protocol. After all, there were 13 floors to choose from in the building and a polite person, noticing the occupied stall, would’ve taken his dung-filled intestines to another level and given me some privacy, that’s what a polite person would have done anyway. In his presence I wasn’t able to go all out, and had to muffle my asshole with toilet paper to prevent him from hearing my bodily noises. I tell you, it’s a sin to inhibit someone like that. Of course, he hadn’t possessed any of my manners, moaning like a rutting moose as he released a barrage of concussions that nearly shattered the tile. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what the hell he was doing in there – his stall literally shook. It was funny, really, all his grunting, groaning and carrying on, and me in conspicuous silence with a conscientious wad of toilet paper shoved up my crack.

After he’d wiped himself clean, I heard him move to the sink to wash his hands. I remained on the can, even though I’d been done as well; after all, I didn’t want to reveal that it had been me who’d been stinking up the joint. As he left, he exclaimed in a snide voice, “Jesus, Reuben, what did you eat for lunch today?”

It was my boss.

I sat there for a few minutes more, staring down at my goddamned shoes, before slinking back to my cubicle to close out the rest of the day in shame.

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About Author

I'm a writer/editor with a penchant for saddle shoes, pontification and fried pork rinds. Equal parts gadfly, cut-up, provocateur, philosopher, and silly-willy. My personal heroes include Reggie Jackson, Elvis Costello and Philip Roth.

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