Saturday, January 28, 2023
The Kind of Girl Who … urinates with the hoi polloi

You guys! A TMI post that isn’t even TMI Thursday! I know you feel so blessed. You can probably skip reading this if you’d care to. Just a disclaimer.

NTKOG #52: The kind of free-spirited, “anything goes!” girl who — when trapped with pretty dire choices with regards to personal hygiene — chooses to use (ugh!) a Porta Potty.

I am: on the “refined and ladylike” scale somewhere way above “will use a porta potty” but apparently below “will blog about using said porta potty.”

I am not: ever going to use one of these things again. SPOILER ALERT.

The Scene: Salem, Halloween, early afternoon (before the whole city started reeking of Twizzlers and rum). I thought I was pretty familiar with the basic guiding principles of Salem, that great American symbol of the pilgrims’ progress: Puritanism, pre-determinism, hysteria, misogyny, etc, etc. But I had not realized that, as it sloughed off these old-school values, the city acquired an even more grim mantra: No. Public. Restrooms.

So early afternoon, I’ve been chugging water all day, and it dawns on me that the only relief option is a bank of Porta Potties lined up in the park. Usually in situations like this, I’d have two options: bust into a store, make a small purchase, and explain to the clerk (with increasing hysteria) that I’m three and a half months pregnant and need a restroom immediately; or else chug a few beers until I feel comfortable enough to, y’know, find a bush somewhere, because there’s something kind of pleasant about peeing outside when you’re drunk. But the city was crowded and besides, I’m TKOG. I told Sister I had to go and she locked eyes with me. “Porta Potty,” she said. “For the blog.”

Fair enough.

And while I’m not going to hit you with the details, a modest proposal, ladies, on the proper use and maintenance of a Porta Potty on public events days: can we all just agree to sit? Please? Because I know you all want to show off your pilates muscles and squat/hover abilities, but here’s the thing: when you squat, you’re going to miss. There is going to be urine all over the Porta Potty seat and the weird little plastic shelf thing and the floor and, ultimately, the shoes of the next person who’s going in there. The next person who — by the way — will be forced to squat. And miss. And decant a bladderful of urine all over the mess you’ve created. And so the cycle is bound to continue.

Keep in mind that this friggin’ atrocity was going on at 3pm, when people were still sober and actually trying to aim. I can’t imagine what those Porta Potties must have been by midnight. But I’m imagining a jarringly warm flood every time the doors were opened, like the blood pouring out of the elevators in The Shining. Except, y’know, scarier.

Holy fucking christ. I always imagined the first time I made contact with someone else’s fresh urine, said urine would be the product of one of my own children. Or I guess maybe a partner but he’d have to ask super super nicely and I’d really have to think about it and probably would not be wearing shoes or a cute outfit.

As soon as I was done, I stormed across town, found the one shop with a customers-only public restroom, and frantically offered the restroom attendant bribes in increasing dominations to unlock the men’s restroom so I could go in and wash my hands — which he let me, for free, because I think in his heart he knew that Hell hath no fury like a woman who desperately needs to run the hot water in a public restroom sink and scour every inch of exposed flesh off of her body.

The Verdict: Never the frig again. Never. Never. OMG NEVER.

Lessons I learned from this harrowing experience: 1) I will never again make fun of those girls who carry Purel and Kleenex in their purses everywhere they go; 2) huge public gatherings and music festivals are not for TKOG; 3) nor will I ever borrow shoes from the types of people who go to public gatherings and music festivals; 4) thank god for men who are fundamentally mystified by and scared of the myths of the whole female reproductive/urinary/pulsing mollusk female situation, because their ignorance and fear opens some dang doors. And they are public restroom doors. And it is, in this situation, good and noble.