Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

The Great Poop Debate

Having recently endured several weeks of bowel disorientation wherein everything just, well, stopped, I’ve become acutely aware that men and women practice wildly opposing bathroom rituals. I guess I should say more acutely aware, because I’ve always been aware. I’ve just never been so positively sure that the woman’s ritual is the better ritual, and should thus be the only ritual.

The woman’s ritual goes as follows:

1. A woman enters the bathroom with the desire/need to make water or to poop.

2. She speedily finds a suitable stall (in the case of a public restroom), enters, locks the door behind her, and removes a Handi-Nap from the dispenser above the toilet.

3. Once the Handi-Nap is adequately covering the toilet seat, she removes the appropriate clothing (perhaps pantyhose, perhaps pants, perhaps nothing in the case of those women who dare go pantyless, the shame!) and positions her bottom directly over the opening in the Handi-Nap.

4. While silently emptying her water or ridding the remains of her lower intestine, she prepares the toilet paper for service, eagerly folding the cotton squares into the proper amount of absorbent thickness.

5. After wiping the nasties from her delicate, spring-fresh ass, she immediately zips-up (or pulls-up, or laces-up, what have you), flushes and leaves the scene of the crime.

The man’s ritual goes something like this:

1. A man enters the bathroom thinking, “I don’t necessarily need to take a shit, but I’m sure that if I sit in here long enough, it just might happen.”

2. On the way to the only stall in the restroom, he passes the mirror and pauses to look at the underside of his chin, making sure that he doesn’t need to shave for at least two more days. It’s during this self-survey that he realizes he’s forgotten reading material. Panic ensues.

3. After several minutes of manic dashing around, picking up and discarding magazines — “No, not long enough. My god, I can’t poop to this!” — he finds a copy of PC Magazine or Macworld, regains composure, and heads back to the restroom.

4. Upon entering the stall, a small dark cave completely covered in dried piss stains, he tries to figure out how he’s going to unzip his pants without setting the reading material on any disease-infested surface. It takes him seven minutes to determine an acceptable solution.

5. Placing his hairy ass on the uncovered toilet seat, he immediately turns to the table of contents, takes a deep breath, and settles in for a long winter’s nap. By page 6 he begins grunting.

6. Page 8: more grunting.

7. Page 9: more grunting.

8. Page 10: the grunting turns to groaning.

9. Groaning interspersed with exaggerated sighing continues until the end of the magazine, which in most cases is 112 pages long.

10. With nothing left to read, the man decides that it’s finally time to stop being polite and start getting real. So he hums for another 14 minutes until he’s turned his entire colon inside-out.

11. After one last, hard-earned sigh he reaches over to grab a fistful of toilet paper, only to discover that the dispenser is empty, devastatingly empty.

12. A full 17 minutes after mopping up his mess with 22 pages of PC Magazine, he leaves the stall, passes two other men waiting their turn and warns, “Dude, I wouldn’t go in there just yet.”

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