Intestinal pressure is inconvenient at the best of times. It simply isn’t often enough that one finds himself already in the proper position, at the proper location, and in possession of the proper extracurricular activities to effectively get the “one-up” on his bio-mechanisms. In most cases the advanced notice the body gives a person to meet the aforementioned criteria is but five minutes. Sadly, it often comes when one has just waited fifteen minutes in line, and is finally just two patrons back from his daily double grand latte and oversized chocolate chip and pumpkin spice muffin. One is then left with two choices- to either step out of line in an obvious flee to the facilities, effectively surrendering his morning jolt of sugar and caffeine as a porcelain sacrifice, or to endure the next eleven agonizing minutes in line waiting for his order before uncomfortably shuffling off to the restroom where he again finds himself at a crossroads. Staring at the shiny blue gender designation plaque, he must decide to leave his hard earned breakfast unattended at the mercy of ravenous morning commuters, or bring the order in with him and balance the items on the edge of a dirty sink where they act as sponges, soaking up invisible poo particles floating in the air.
We covet this scenario, as annoying as it is, when we find ourselves in the precarious situation where our “rectal receptionists” are seemingly “out to lunch”. Such an occasion is desperately more inconvenient than the situation described above. This predicament usually occurs at precisely the moment Mrs. Bottoms should theoretically be bursting into President Brain’s office, her glasses crooked and hair a fright, clutching an emergency plan of action dossier, exasperatedly pronouncing, “Close the flood gates! There’s a hole in the dyke!” In this theoretical scenario, however, Mrs. Bottoms is instead standing at the door to the Ladies Room, shifting uneasily from one leg to the next and nervously contemplating what to do with her double grand latte and oversized chocolate chip and pumpkin spice muffin.
Overwhelmingly more inconvenient and sensationally more precarious than either of these predicaments is the one a young teenager named Taylor found himself in during his high school cross-country running meet. Taylor happened to live on an American military installation in Augsburg, Germany. Taylor’s dad was an intelligence officer for the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany for a three-year tour of duty. This, of course, meant Taylor’s entire family was shipped oversees to live on an army base. There were a number of military installations speckled throughout Germany and each of them was entirely self-contained. Each military base had a high school, and each high school offered the same sports and activities as would any good old fashion high school in the continental U.S., like one in, say, Moberly, Missouri, for instance.
This inconvenient and sensationally precarious event, a predicament that molded Taylor’s entire fecal future (for better or worse is hard to say), came to Taylor in disguise- an innocent cross- country running meet. Taylor, a well adjusted and balanced kid, who had never experienced so inconvenient and sensationally precarious an event as the one now in question, was forced to face a harsh reality. His ideas of base bodily functions, unicorns, and even core governmental sovereignties tied into this one enormously incredible incident. By no accident, the setting for Taylor’s encounter with fate happened to be deep in the luscious forests of the German Alps.
The German Alps (who are a nephew to those stuff-shirted, pretentious, sky-nosers in Switzerland but have not yet made it into Switzerland due to an unfortunate incident involving the mountain’s morning muffin, a teetering sink ledge, and a stopped-up toilet) are quite steep, if you ask the Appellation mountains, who’s Little Mountain Syndrome sometimes writes checks its rolling hills can’t cash. In fact, the Appellation range finds its trees shaking and snowcaps melting in the presence of the Alp Boys, who it is believed are biologically enhanced super mountains created in secret communist caveman laboratories. From what we know about communist cavemen, the idea was to create a sledding hill big enough to satisfactorily launch an army of “Commie Caveys” into the farthest reaches of Pangaea, spreading dogmatic lies, and conquering villages along the way. Needless to say, the Alps, even the German ones, are extremely difficult to run races on, as was the plan for Taylor on this day, and nearly impossible to convert to capitalism.
Taylor, who happened to be a fan of running up and down steep hillsides and who was also an avid proponent of capitalism, found himself walking along a tree-rutted path in enemy territory with a group of like-minded boys and girls from three American high schools. They were joined together in their common interest of trampling communist mountains while seeing who could do it the fastest. Before the contest could commence, however, it was customary for all the runners to familiarize themselves with the course by walking it. It was then, during a three and a half mile march through the forest without coffee, a muffin, or even a facility to stew in front of, that Taylor received his first important memo from Mrs. Bottoms.
Taylor’s duodenumal discomfort heighted with each carefully planned footstep. Running a race on a communist sledding hill that preferred each contestant to finish at exactly the same time or not at all was a challenge in itself, never mind having to do it with a collection of yesterday’s nutritional rejects forcing their way to freedom like a bunch of East Berliners. It was poor strategy.
By the time Taylor and his merry band of athletic capitalists crossed the pre-race finish line (which, in accordance with the Alp Boys’ conniving plan, happened to occur at precisely the same time) Taylor endeavored to relieve himself of his biological handicap. The thing about that, once Taylor took to the task, however, was the total lack of accommodations, portable or otherwise, by which the deed could be done. Taylor, instead, found himself standing cross-legged and flinching as the crack of a pistol sent a batch of teenage girls sprinting up the German mountainside in the name of free enterprise.
Sweating, shaking, and in no condition- or mood, really- to press a prehistoric squabble between economic and governmental philosophies, Taylor had approximately twenty-five minutes to find relief before the girls returned and it was his turn to step up to the starting line. Then it dawned on him. He was standing amid the biggest toilet known to man or beast- nature. Taylor quickly salvaged some napkins from the glove box of a chaperone’s car, nonchalantly sidestepped the group, and disappeared in the exact opposite direction of the race loop.
It was not easy fighting uneven terrain when the contents of Taylor’s stomach were now spelunking eight inches into his “squishie-squashies”. He trudged as far and fast as his gurgling guts would allow- a mile and a quarter, at least- when he decided he’d created a large enough buffer as to assure his absolute privacy. Standing out in perfect contrast to the green and brown palate of the Bavarian forest, Taylor stood motionless in his tiny blue shorts and tight white tank top and took inventory of his surroundings.
The forest really was beautiful. Ancient deciduous and evergreen trees reached authoritatively into the clear blue sky, creating a canopy of leaves and branches. They interlaced in such a way as to force small rays of light through an intricate web of photosynthesis, making it appear as though countless sunbeams were trickling, like dewdrops, off the leaves high above, and splashing down in little puddles on the forest floor. The terrain itself was covered in a fine layer of decaying leaves and pine needles. Garnishing the hillside was a fairly dense variety of plant species. One of these plants, which happened to be a respectably sized bush, was particularly eye catching, in that it appeared to be the perfect sort of shrubbery for tucking one’s bottom against and enjoying a relaxing poop.
Taylor scanned the landscape panoramically before nudging into the leafy sanctuary of his chosen vegetation. He spread his legs into a wide stabilizing stance, slid his blue rayon running shorts to his ankles, and . . . nothing. Stage fright at a time like this? Taylor tried to relax. He took a deep breath and exhaled deliberately, counting down from five to one. It seemed that Mrs. Bottoms had cancelled Taylor’s appointment with Mr. Brown, or perhaps rescheduled. Either way it meant she would now have to run down the hall and try to catch Mr. Brown, explain the mix-up, and lure him back with the promise of a complimentary coffee and pumpkin spice muffin.
Going to the bathroom outdoors shouldn’t feel so unnatural. The answer to the age old question “Does a bear poop in the woods?” used to be “Yes, and so do I”, but not anymore. Prehistoric communists moved to move movements to the inside of family caves, in response (reportedly) to the staggering frequency of frostbitten fannies, which they knew, of course, would mark the first victorious battle in the communist power play for Pangaea. It took longer than expected, but they succeeded, and now the vast majority of the earth’s population voluntarily lock themselves in gas chambers, whereupon they are faced with two losing propositions upon completion of their business- cracking the door to the bathroom, thereby allowing funky fumes to filter through the house and kill everyone slowly, or close the bathroom door and prevent unsavory odor leakage, but run the risk of instantly killing the next person to enter the bathroom.
Even though Taylor should have felt perfectly comfortable using nature’s facilities alongside bears and other undiscerning defecators, he wasn’t. As a point of fact he felt quite unsettled and a bit foolish. Buried in a bush more than a mile from anyone, Taylor could not ignore the nagging feeling that there must be a hidden camera somewhere documenting his every move. Because of this tickle in the back of his mind, Taylor simply could not relax and therefore, in the interest of time, chose to break a cardinal rule of intestinal evacuation- he forced it.
Now, you and I know that forcing something is not the way to do a job right. If you force a cog into its gear sequence, it will grind. If you force feed a camel a very large tree branch, it will spit on you, and if you force nature to call, call it will. A cork popped somewhere between the final two turns of Taylor’s “turd tube”. He wrenched over in anguish as Mrs. Bottoms kicked Mr. Brown from her office for, apparently, insinuating that she should have cracked the door to the restroom earlier, and that she must be out to get him. Taylor agonized through the confrontation. He bore down, squealing and grunting like when his little brother sucked his lips and tongue into the vacuum cleaner pipe and couldn’t break the seal to remove them. (As a side note, in case you are ever tempted to try it and wonder might become of you, this left Taylor’s three year old brother with a very large hickey around his mouth and severely dehydrated taste buds.) In any case, Taylor concentrated all his energy, gave one final, liberating bellow from below . . . and tranced to Zen.
Taylor found himself looking upon the forest in a whole new light. He had entered a place where man dared not tread for fear of insulting social graces and inviting shame and ridicule. His eyes were opened. Suddenly the great mysteries of the universe were revealed to him. He basked in wonderment at this place of beauty and deliberate design. The trees were taller. The sky was bluer. The birds sang in concert with small woodland creatures. A unicorn stepped majestically into the clearing, verified its existence, and bowed to him. The whole forest seemed happy- an eruption of double rainbows and emerald green leafiness.
Taylor, a portrait of peace and serenity, a man whose face showed in every way his transcendence to a higher law of existence, was snapped back to reality quickly and abruptly when his bush- the bush he was backed into- began shaking ever so slightly, like someone had a hold of its stem and was rattling it. His body cinched. His senses sharpened and he listened. The rattling was a rhythmic undulation that went against the rise and fall of the cool breeze. As he listened, a small incoherent sound faded into the arrangement following the same start and stop pattern as the movement of the bush. The new sound appeared directly overhead and to the right of Taylor.
Taylor forced himself to confront the source of this sudden invasion of his unicorny paradise. Now, shaking every bit as much as the bush, Taylor tweaked his head up and behind him and found, to his complete and utter shock, two bright, white eyes piercing through the broad leaves of the bush back at him. The eyes blinked twice and were promptly joined by a full set of teeth, pulled into a glistening smile. The strange sound that accompanied the shaking of the bush grew until it burst into a resounding, cackle of laughter. The shaking of the leaves grew more and more intense with the ferocity of the laughter. Incomprehensible though it may seem, the bush appeared to be armed with a very large gun. Taylor, with his tiny blue shorts still at his ankles, broke wind and watched helplessly as his bush- gun and all- towered to its feet and marched away in a fit of hysterics.
Taylor remained stooped over his mess, too stunned and frightened to move or speak. He was left bare-cheeked and exposed in the middle of a clearing. The nearest cover was now fifteen feet away, but before Taylor could regroup to the point where his brain resolved to seek the shelter of it, that bush, too, stood and walked away, hooting and hollering. Then another. And another. Like some sort of sick joke, half the forest’s low lying plants rose one by one, slung guns over their shoulders, and shuffled beyond the horizon, taking the chorus of laughter at Taylor’s expense with them.
Jerking his head into uncomfortable and awkward contortions, Taylor hunted for a hidden camera. He remained in his position in the clearing until his rear was cold from exposure and his legs numb from lack of circulation. He dared not move until his mind fully repressed the events as they transpired. When it had, Taylor used one of his salvaged napkins to clean himself with. He stood, slipped his little blue loincloth back into place, and waited apprehensively for the return of the unit of infantry bushes, fully expecting them to advance in their ranks along the communist mountainside toward him. When he was certain the coast was clear he poked through his remaining napkin with a sturdy twig. He plunged his improvised white surrender flag into the “heiny heap” at his feet and then dashed wildly through the forest, putting as much distance between him and the enemy as he possibly could, until he burst through the tree line and into the safety of his capitalist reinforcements.
Perhaps the unit of infantry bushes were simply well disguised American servicemen engaged in a realistic battle simulation wherein their camouflage was successfully, though inadvertently, put to the test when Taylor stumbled into their training exercise, but that’s not what Taylor thinks. Nope. To him the battle between communism and capitalism rages on in the jagged, stony hearts of the Alp Boys and the gold bullion bravery of a bunch of American high school runners. To this day, the “Commie Cavey’s” mission rolls on as they poison the world, one bowel movement at a time, in gas chambers built into every house and building, on every continent, and in every country across this beautiful planet. Whether Taylor chooses to give into the communist plan to turn his own bio-weaponry against him is yet to be determined, but one thing is absolutely certain- Mrs. Bottoms is up for review.