I had this thought at Isaac’s Little League game yesterday.
At a time when no one can agree about anything, when blame and finger-pointing are more instinctive than blinking, when the only snowflakes left on our roasting planet are the snowflakes who are accusing everyone else of being a snowflake, even now--I think we can all agree that the porta potty is the high dive of potties and bathroom use.
No one likes a porta potty. No one. A porta potty is a last resort pottying situation, and when you're forced to use one for #1 or--GOD FORBID--#2, it's like gearing up for a jump off the high dive.
You know the feeling, especially if you're a woman and can't just easily sneak off to the bushes and whip it out.
You’re at a kids’ sports game or an outdoor music festival or fair. You can feel half a day’s worth of beer or lemonade or coffee or whatever slowly filling up your bladder, and you know it’s only a matter of time before you have to succumb to the call of nature.
There it is. That pit in your stomach/bladder. The tipping point at which the needs of the human excretory system trump the visceral aversion to the inside of a porta potty. You approach the hulking mass of plastic and sewage like it was a high dive, staring at it, willing this experience to be over before it’s even begun.
You take the leap.
Pulling open the plastc door, you put your head down, hold your breath, and keep repeating—as you would on a high dive—don’t look down don’t look down don’t look down don’t look down. Because you can’t let yourself see it. If you do, you might puke, lose your nerve, and give up. You hover over that seat with your eyes closed and try not to visualize what’s six inches below your ass right now.
The fetid slurry of wadded-up toilet paper and piss and shit; the cloying smell of electric blue chemicals that do little to mask the stench of human excrement. You’re holding your breath with your eyes squeezed shut, peeing as fast as you possibly can. You burst out into the light before you even have your pants all the way up and stumble onto the grass with a sense of accomplishment and relief.
Like wow, I can’t believe I actually did that. I’m so BRAVE. And now I can drink another seven beers cuz there’s room in my bladder again!
No doubt about it: porta potty use is an epic gauntlet and making it through the other side is an achievement worthy of self-congratulation for the rest of the week.