The Squirt Locker
“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” -- Samuel Johnson
Chalk it up to the aftereffects of drinking one too many bottles of fermented prison ketchup masquerading as 'The King of Beers" the night prior, or the more immediate repercussions of scarfing down a basket of sweet and sour sewer rat at the food court's China Max, but I was at the mall and I had to shit. Urgently. I suspended my shopping and retreated toward the food court restroom, waddling like a penguin with rickets the last few yards to keep from becoming the subject of this story.
Normally not one to impose such ghastliness on myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find the facilities unoccupied. Better yet, all indications were my chosen stall had seen less action than Penny Marshall’s rape whistle. It boasted a fully stocked toilet paper dispenser, a seat unbefouled by the beastly stains of pissanthropy and tomstoolery, and a crystal clear pool of water just begging to be defiled--a request which I dutifully set to oblige.
I had a nice little session going when the door flew open. Two presumed teenagers hit the urinals. Seeing as how they interrupted my dump and seemed happy, I hated them instantly. Their conversation went something like this:
“…so I bet T-Square he couldn’t name five planets The Celestial DreamFleet liberated from The Terdonian Empire in less than twenty seconds."
“Twenty seconds?! I could do that in twenty shakes of a cesium atom!”
“I know, right! That’s what makes this so comical, the first ‘planet’ he named was Melnar-9!”
"What?!" his buddy cried. "Melnar-9 isn’t even a planet. It’s the tertiary moon of Zyxton! And Zyxton isn’t even within 1500 parsecs of The Terdonian’s globular cluster!"
Yes, this dynamic duo clearly needed a night out with a brick of Cambodian bath salts and an unbaptized lumberjack. What they got was a globular cluster to call their very own.
Because the door opened again, and a gentleman took a seat in the stall next to me. I had him pegged as a stool shark the moment he addressed the stench bench, as he clearly knew the importance of proper footwork. He adopted a wide sumo stance, weight on his heels, toes planted firmly at a 45-degree angle--a firm mooring that affords the experienced dungslinger extra hip socket stability, pelvic torque, and unmatched sphincter dilation. Oh boy, I thought, I’m in for a treat!
Most great public defecators like to limber up with some sort of preamble--a polite round of air biscuit preliminaries to emotionally condition his or her audience for the tumbling of feces to follow. I wondered what sonic fartscapes this gifted turdsmith would explore: the elusive, high-pitched squeaker, calling to mind the plaintive cry of a helium-addicted jaybird with its nuts cinched in a c-clamp? Maybe a succession of trumpeting blasts, reminiscent of the upbeat stylings of Mr. Herb Alpert? Or perhaps the ever-popular air splitter that strained compliance with the nuclear test ban treaty?
The answer, as it turned out, was none of the above. For I was not in the presence of a shithouse savant. I was seated next to Dysentery Bradshaw, and artistry in presentation was something for which he had neither the time nor the inclination. With wet, watery abandon, he unleashed the crackin'.
"...I mean, the very idea that a Terdonian warrior would deplete one ion of impulse power traversing the immense void of The Forbidden Zone, much less The Nebula of Floculence, for a satellitic geoid of negligible militaristic and mineral-extraction worth is absolutely fatuous and I for one...”
Nothing--and I mean nothing--stunts a conversation quite like the jettisoning of a bowel movement so torrential, so violent, so completely devoid of architecture that it’s expulsion activates a sleeper cell in Des Moines, Iowa.
There followed a moment of silence--just enough time for it to dawn on my sci-fi friends and I that we were about to be the victims of a hate crime--before Lower GI Joe tore into another deuce of loose caboose juice. His stall crackled with the kinetic energy of charged electrolytes and atomized bootie sugar rifling through the air as if shot through the Large Hadron Collider, slamming into defenseless, breathable molecules and creating exotic new sharticles like obnoxygen, potassium thighanide, and 4,5-hydrosphinctonium. My mouth hung agape, and I inhaled a mouthful of the noxious aerosol as it rode the rectothermal updraft such savage elimination necessarily created.
Another sloppy spoutburst soon followed, featuring so many staggered, glottal stops that it sounded like a snippet from the AudioBook version of “’Mein Kampf‘: As Read by Wilford Brimley’s Spastic Colon."
When last I encountered anything even remotely close to this (see ), the offender was compelled by his torment to voice a series of primitive grunts the likes of which hadn’t been heard on this earth since a confused young Neanderthal explored gender reassignment surgery on himself with a jagged warthog tusk. But Squirt Reynolds yielded not a peep. His Kaopectate cannon was doing all the talking, and it was all about “keepin‘ it ‘rrheal." Another cascade of bunghole balderdash sent biblical scholars worldwide scurrying to add a footnote to The Book of Lamentations.
Like an assisted living lap dance, it was revolting and arrhythmic, tortuous yet spellbinding, and the horror just kept flowing downward. I coughed in a pathetic plea to get Delhi Belly to dial it back a bit. I unfurled some toilet paper, indicating submissiveness and my imminent departure. I racked my brain, trying to remember a safe word that didn't exist. My reward: the son of a bitch somehow fired off another toe-curling jet of Louisiana slot sauce. I had to get the hell out of there.
The restroom door opened again. The now thoroughly dispirited sci-fi guys had apparently had enough slam chowder for one day. Hopefully they were off to hug their loved ones and see the zoning commission about having this property converted from commercial to swampland. I heard some poor bastard thank them for holding the door open as he entered.
Geyser Wilhelm decided to teach this interloper a crash course in the fluid dynamics of force-funneled fecal meat. He reached deep, tapped into a long slumbering burrito, and liquefied that motherfucker before our very ears.
Then, four simple words…
“What was that, Daddy?”
Well, I thought, at least the plot was thickening.
Because now we obviously had a kid involved. Would the presence of a small child finally impel Splats Domino to ease off the throttle?
I wasn’t going to stick around to find out. But I had to hear how Dad was going to explain the audible insanity of a man imposing his will on a public toilet to an innocent:
--"I believe that's an example of hydraulic fracturing, son, or 'fracking' as it's more commonly known. It's a drilling procedure that involves fistfucking the earth's crust with megagallons of hypertoxic fluid at high pressure and velocity to expose natural gas."
--“That, my son, is the reason why, from this day forward, you'll be sleeping with the lights on and Daddy will be using two bottles of cooking sherry to make a tuna melt.
Dad settled on tactful diplomacy. “C’mon, buddy, just go pee.”
I exited my stall. Dad had cradled the boy, who I'm guessing was about four years old, under the arms to lift him up to the urinal. I was impressed by his composure and attention to proper lifting technique as he barreled through the five stages of grief.
We made brief eye contact, and to my surprise he seemed to recoil a bit. Surely he didn’t think that I was the one who… Then I saw myself in the mirror, and I understood. I possessed the haunted, faraway gaze of a man seized by a sudden and catastrophic neurologic event. The 1000-shart stare. “Sweet Angel of Death,” my imploring eyes beseeched, “take me now.” I believe it may have been the last thought I had at the cognitive level of an adult.
I washed my hands and left, my assailant forever unseen.
Sometimes at night, in the ever-waning moments of lucidity before the demons come, I hear him still--ruling his 3'x5' fiefdom atop that white porcelain steed, riding that bitch the way it was meant to be ridden: hard, fast, and mercilessly.