The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Who Told You Not to Poop in Public?

I was at Borders bookstore on Saturday, and as much as I would rather not have, it became apparent that I must use the bathroom for "number 2." I went in, hoping no one else would be there, but someone else was in a stall. I assumed the position on the toilet, and by looking at the foot action of the person next to me, I began to suspect that she was probably wrapping things up, so to speak. Maybe I could get the bathroom to myself if I could hold out for another minute or two.

I was right, and she left. Actually, with the noise created from the flushing of her toilet and then the running of water as she washed her hands, I was able to get things underway before she was all the way out of the bathroom. I wasn't experiencing any kind of catastrophe or anything like that. Just normal stuff needed to come out, and it came out in a timely manner, and then I was done. But as I sat there for about a minute or so, feeling the time crunch of not knowing when someone else might enter the bathroom, I had a flashback.

I was about 10 years old, and I was at a Bob's Big Boy restaurant with my mother and one of her friends. I had to use the bathroom, so I excused myself and went. I don't think I knew until I was sitting on the toilet that I could poop. But from that position, it became apparent that I could. It wasn't like the above experience from Saturday where I knew going in that the stuff was at the gate and ready to come out. It was more like my body said, "Oh, it's a toilet. Let's see what we can come up with." I remember sitting there, and I contemplated just getting up and returning to the table, but then I thought, "Nah, I'll just stay here and wait it out." As things took a bit of time to work their way down, I remember vaguely feeling the time crunch, but dismissing it by thinking about how long my mother could be in the bathroom at home. The woman took a book in there and it could be 20-30 minutes until she exited. So I decided that I would just stay there until things were done.

When I returned to the table 10 or 15 minutes later, my mother joked, "I was about to go see if you fell in!" Her friend laughed. I felt that I should be embarassed, but I wasn't sure why. I said, "You spend lots and lots of time in the bathroom sometimes." The smile slipped a bit from my mother's face as she glanced sideways at her friend, and then she said, "Yes, but that's at home."

And that was basically how I learned that one should not poop in public. As I washed my hands last Saturday (the bathroom still thankfully empty except for me), I wondered if everyone had an experience like the one I'd had at age 10. Did everyone need to be told? Or did most figure this out without a somewhat explicit social tip like the one I got from my mother?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Is it wrong to covet the closest parking space to the door at the gym? Really, you have no idea how much satisfaction I get, the sense of victory that overcomes me, when I get that parking space. And then I think, "I'm at the gym. Isn't the point to get some exercise? Shouldn't I be happy to walk from one end of the parking lot to the other?" But no. That spot, next to the door. That's the one that I want. And when I get it, I often cannot restrain myself from doing a fist pump and uttering a gutteral, "Yes!"