An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Every comment should include the word “poop”

So it’s time to talk about some of the good things going on around here in regards to feedback I get from this site because my chi or my energy or whatever is all so negative lately that my four day pooping streak SUDDENLY ENDED. And just let me start by saying that I don’t remember the last time I pooped four days in a row. Maybe never? Jon may be mad at me for publishing this, but he is a day-to-day pooper. I married a man who considers it a problem when he goes more than 24 hours without a shit. Obviously our marriage works only because my poop and his poop cancel each other out.

I call him when I poop, he calls me when he doesn’t poop.

The other day I went to my New Faux P.O. Box and found a little pink slippy thing that told me I had an oversized package I needed to pick up. I nearly pooped my pants, and this was before the four day streak had even started! A package! For me! This was in addition to some awesome things I have already received, including lots of cool postcards and letters from around the world, places like New Zealand, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Australia. I got a “More Cowbell” lapel button from Ali in Virginia, and a lovely woman named Tess even sent me the Justin Timberlake CD (I actually did pee my pants when I opened that package). Alas, no where in the liner notes is he naked. That’s when the pee traveled back up my pants leg and into my bladder.

I opened the oversized package before I even got back to the car — I set Leta on the curb and hoped she wouldn’t fall over into the street, because I was drunk and had knives in my hand, and I was listening to Satan on my MP3 player, don’t say I can’t multitask! — and inside was the “Jeopardy!” Quiz Book 2, and my new bedside companion, Put Hemorrhoids & Constipation Behind You, from a another lovely woman named DeAnn. This is the best book ever written because there are illustrations inside that show how to insert suppositories correctly and which is the best position to sit on the toilet for prime poopage.

At least once a week I get an email from someone who tells me that the reason I am so constipated is because of my horrible diet, that my horrible diet is going to kill me and my daughter. Did you know that all I eat are pop tarts and Doritos? IT SAYS SO RIGHT THERE ON THE INTERNET. Here is lesson number one in today’s entry: 1) Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. In addition to pop tarts and Doritos, I eat small kittens for lunch. You wouldn’t know that unless you knew me, unless I had come out and said so right here on my website. I EAT SMALL KITTENS.

The truth is (can you handle the truth?) I have a pretty healthy diet. I indulge in Doritos about once a month for lunch on a Saturday afternoon with my husband outside on the porch. Jon and I share pop tarts in the morning, and I rarely finish mine. The pop tart complements our glass of orange juice and a small portion of a whole wheat bagel. I eat a high fiber, whole grain lunch, and for dinner we usually have lean meats and a green vegetable. Yes, occasionally we’ll eat pizza, and yes, I will give half of my piece to the dog, but when someone says, “My favorite food is ice cream,” THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY EAT ICE CREAM FOR EVERY MEAL.

My constipation goes deeper than my diet. I don’t know how deep it goes, perhaps all the way to my toes, but I have to follow a pretty strict regimen to stay regular, a regimen including weekly exercise and a specific amount of water intake a day. I also get a lot of email asking me for advice on constipation wondering what I did during pregnancy to curb it and what I do know to make sure the poop flows. So in addition to thanking DeAnn for the book and everyone else for the wonderful things they have sent me in the mail, I wanted to take this post and help out those people whose bottom systems are giving them problems.

Lesson number two in today’s entry comes from the constipation book: 2) Did you know that you’re supposed to be able to poop in less than two minutes? IT SAYS SO IN THE BOOK, MEN. The optimum time from urge of evacuation to actual elimination should take no longer than SIX MINUTES! Which means you shouldn’t have to take in any reading material. I have never in my life known a male who can poop in under 30 minutes, who doesn’t have to take in an entire year’s worth of MacWorld to see him from start to finish.

I’m leaving comments open on this post and I’m asking for your advice! GOD! I’m so confusing! First I say, no advice, and now I’m asking for it. Think of it as a discussion. How do you stay regular?

(p.s. I went to my mailbox today and got another over-sized package, a beautiful picture book of pictures taken from this site and professionally bound, and I don’t know who sent it to me. Did you send it to me?)

(p.p.s. I should point out that the four day streak of consistent pooping has everything to do with the soybeans we’ve been eating every night for the past week. I love edamame!)

  • Work in an office with only 2 bathroom stalls for women, both of which are non-private due to the 2 inch gaps between the door and stall walls on either side. And make sure your boss is in there primping her hair and re-applying her make-up.

    You’ll have to poop every hour. Or at least that’s what works for me.

  • My old roommate Jodi always said she had patented what she called “Lean Back Technology.” Lots of people lean forward, some people even rest their head on their knees, when they’re attempting to poop. But the primo pooping position is actually to sit on a toilet like it’s a chair and lean back (yes, I know the back of a toilet usually isn’t something you want to be leaning on, but trust me, your pooping will usually work better if you lean back).

  • Kimmie

    I’d love to answer the question, but I can’t.

    I have IBS and I have the servere opposite of your problem. I can’t stop going.

    So. This isn’t a helpful comment at all. But I couldn’t resist saying something.

  • meilaan

    OMG. This is MY KIND OF SITE. Poop on, friends! (Note the comma.)

  • Jay

    Think about a second Bush Administration. That’ll have you shittin’ bricks.

    BTW, reading through these comments, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a comprehensive resource for various shitting techniques. Why don’t you design a pamphlet, insert all these shit suggestions, and make loads upon loads of cash selling them in doctor’s offices?

  • As someone who gets diarrhea with enough frequency that I know how to spell “diarrhea”, I’ve found it’s in my best interest to STAY AWAY from anything that says “Chocolate Liquor” on the label. Soy Delicious Chocolate Obsession Soy Ice Cream will always prompts an episode of Bathroom Boogie for me.
    I put in another vote for fresh pineapple… especially if it isn’t very ripe.

  • My mother has always had a problem pooping, much like you. Last year she had a colon-thingee done where they put a probe up her butt to look for colon-thingees (polips?), well, they went waaaaaay up her intestine and found a small infection. So they put her on special antibiotics. After about 6 weeks they probbed again and the infection was gone and, well, she poops normal now for the FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE AT 52 YEARS OLD.

    Poor thing.

    I used to mock her. “Hey, Mom,I went poo 4 times today” … but not too often because that’s SO cruel.

    Also, if you go, and it is enough to curl into the bottom of the toilet (if it can say together that long), that, my fellow bloggers, is called a MASTERPIECE.


    Everyone ought to have a moment in their lives, especially Dooce, when they can look down into the toilet and be totally impressed with themselves.

  • Bec

    Six minutes?? So I’m guessing three days is too long to wait then?

  • P&P

    Go to the nearest drug store and buy a calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement. Take the recommended dose on the bottle right before bed with a big glass of water.

    You will never know constipation again.

  • Kath

    Here’s my ‘Constipation Chronicle’ story. Several months ago I had a 30 minute totally embarrassing constipation episode at work where I thought I was gonna die…after I passed out.

    So I asked one of my close co-worker buddies for ideas (she used to be an RN and was 6 mos pg at the time) and she recommended Flax Seed Oil gel pills. I take 2 in the am, 2 at night, and haven’t had a problem since.

    Life is so much better these days!

  • So although Ive never had much of a problem with staying regular, my husband has been on a stool softener for prostate problems (they’re hoping that his poop was too solid and therefore annoying his prostate as he passed it)
    Anyway, for some unknown reason my 23 year old husband who is now on stool softners has become constipated for the first time in his life.
    The other morning I woke up and the shower was already running. I had to pee so I just walked into the bathroom and was surprized to find him on the toilet. He’s always been very open with his toilet habits so this alone was not a surprize (other than the fact that I thought he was in the shower).
    The surprize was in the way he was sitting on the toilet. He’s very tall and skinny therefore really, really limber and there he was pirtched (sp?) on top of the seat.
    I mean he had both feet on the toilet seat itself, and was sitting there. Naked I might add.
    I promptly turn around and closed the door.
    Later he would tell me that he heard that in asia they have toilets designed this way to help ‘pass stool’. I told him to never say ‘stool’ again, and now I get ultimate making fun of him rights.
    Anyway, Im not saying for sure that this works- but Im saying for one limber and balanced man- it has helped.

  • eco2geek

    Having nothing to say about poop, let me offer some advice about how to deal with the flu, if you get it.

    1) Go to your doctor and make him/her give you some Profen Forte DM. These 12 hour pills have a walloping 90mg of pseudophedrine in them. (Remember, they can make meth out of pseudophedrine pills. If you take them at night, you won’t sleep. 🙂 Your doctor can also prescribe cough syrup with codeine, and nasal spray, both good things.

    2) Buy the softest nasal tissues you can find. Buy some Kleenex stock while you’re at it.

    3) Coffee contains a natural decongestant. Per my brother. Is it true? Who cares. Drink lots.

    4) If you can’t hear because your head is so stopped up, remember, this has its uses. Especially if you’re married.

    The virus I got took a week for the major ickies to subside, and my head is still congested a 1/2 week later.

    Best advice: Get a flu shot, if you can, *before* you get the flu!

  • Laura

    I stay regular by taking medication and milk of magnesia. I have suffered from chronic constipation my whole life. My parents swore they only have to change a poopy diaper every 10 days… And planned babysitters around that. I have not been able to regulate anything by more exercise, a certain kind of exercise, more fibre (bowel buddies! My room-mate ate one and swore she went to the bathroom more times that day than she has fingers – but sadly they don’t work for me), less food… etc.

    Last year after going my entire university exam period without going poo once I went to a doctor who put me on Zelnorm. Unfortunately Zelnorm wears off after a while, so I have to alternate it with milk of magnesia.

    The only problem with discussing it with the specialists is that he likes tests. He is currently trying to schedule me for one where I have to practice “expelling” a water balloons for an hour with a “technician.”

  • Chicago Anon

    Dried apricots. Or Frappuccinos.

  • Mariah

    As a nurse, I often find WARM prune juice works wonders for my patients. The key is that it has to be WARM to make ’em poop.

  • Rabooka

    To make sure I poop a few times a week I visit my local starbucks for a crappooccino, I mean a frappuccino and a banana bran muffin. The only downside is that I have to poop at work. I HATE pooping at work.

  • Amy

    Honey. Nut. Cheerios.

    oh, yeah. and Poop.

  • Two words for you VITAMIN C. My daughter has poop problems to such an extent that I thought someone had sealed her butt with cement and hung yellow “do not cross this line” tape as a warning to any excrement that might try to escape. Here is the link to the land of regularity. Don’t take more than a teaspoon or you will be doing the clinched butt-cheek dance. It has no adverse side effects, and is not toxic if you over-do it. Put some in a glass of juice as your daily regimen, and as Scarlett O’Hara said “As God as my witness, you’ll never be poopless again.”

    And may I take a moment to kvetch here. I know it’s not my site so I have no right to be bossy but PEOPLE, if she WANTED your advice/comments about her posts she would open up the comments. SEE? LIKE THIS! Stop cluttering the daily photo comment section; you’re harshing my mellow. Thank you, that is all.

  • Lisa

    Kittens are best in roly poly pudding…but they are pretty yummy with sweet hot mustard.

    Seriously coffee and melon keep me regular.

  • eat bran for breaky (works every single time)
    run and do exercise
    eat boiled pumpkin, boiled carrot brocoli
    and she’ll be right mate
    or have a big night of dinking and a greasy fatty breakfast afterwards with fried eggs and bacon and hey presto you get what you want.

  • Sally D

    Metamucil is highly recommended by the Upper Canada Lower Bowel Society. Yup, there is actually such a group.

    I eat a high fibre diet, lots of vegetables, I drink stupid amounts of water and limit my cheese… everything you’re supposed to do. I DEPEND on coffee. Still, I am always excited when I poop, which isn’t nearly often enough.

    When I was pregnant with my son, I was often desperate enough to drink prune juice that I warmed in the microwave. Good for a gag n’ go.

  • saraha

    And here I thought *I* was the only one in the library/bookstore with that problem. I always chalked it up to either the smell of books, or too much reading on the john (conditioning?).

    I also wanted to second leaning back, or leaning forward while you push (start sitting up straight, then lean forward to your knees). Something about moving the hip/pelvic area seems to help.

  • Amy

    More cowbell.

    Seriously, any of those foods with artificial fats, like olestra (anal leakage anyone?), but watch out, the result gas is seriously toxic.

    Also, being a sweet freak, I’ve noticed that LOTS of sugar and artificial sweeteners tend to have a laxative effect.

    I suspect I may have IBS because I flip-flop from the Clench-Cheeked Poop Sprint, to the 4th-day-with no-action-and-I-can-no-longer-fit-in-any-of-my-pants-dear-lord-someone-help-me-birth-this-battleship-poop constipation.

  • zebob

    A coworker was selling chocolate bars for her kid. I ate three bars, each one containing approximately 4 ounces of chocolate.
    Ask Yahweh as my witness, I have pooped more today than Dooce has probably during her entire lifetime.
    That is all.

  • What can be added? Oh, dear. Spinach. Spinach is actually BAD; too much poop! And it’s GREEN! And the classic coffee. My boyfriend works for Starbucks, which means we get free Starbucks, which means we’re REALLY regualr around here. Only the boys (even the little one) still take a half an hour. You haven’t lived till you’ve noticed that your eight year old hasn’t been around for a while, yell for him, and hear a muffled “I’m doing number two!” from the loo. Priceless.

  • I’m trying to visualise the motorcycle position… but no matter how many times i re-read it and try and picture it working, invariably the visual always ends with the poop coming out onto the back of the toilet seat.

    maybe i’m leaning too far forward, or maybe i’m missing the point. after all, i guess it’s better to have poop on the seat than no poop at all.

    side note: if was available, i’d buy it and redirect it here.

  • Olivia

    I second whoever said hundreds of comments ago that Kashi made them poop. I eat about a cup of Kashi Heart to Heart at work as a snack, and I poop when I get home. It usually works until my poopster goes on the fritz… then who knows, the thing has its own agenda. Poop! (I just had to write it once more.)

  • I agree…I lovvvvve edamame!!! And they also help me to poop. Along with coffee. 🙂

  • My breakfast cereal has the word BOWEL in it. Surprisingly, it doesnt taste like ass. I poop constantly.

    I’m gonna send you an oversized package too. As soon as I find something exciting to put in it.

  • Cranberry juice. I’m all about the cranberry juice. I went on vacation last weekend and had no cranberry juice and didn’t poop for the entire 4 days I was out there, because all I could find was ORANGE JUICE and what kind of pathetic excuse is that for a beverage.

  • In the event of emergency there is always Waffle House Hashbrowns All The Way…..if that mixture of grease and chili doesn’t do the trick nothing will…corse that tip is only good in the south (but I’m sure there is a greasy spoon resturant some place in every town)

    This is only a last ditch effort in the event that NOTHING else works.

  • What is it that my little brother’s always saying about reduced fat potato chips? Oh yeah–anal leakage. It just might work!

  • mb

    I, uh, just eat fiber. To poop. And drink water. Nothing special.

  • Micki

    Yes, yes, but does CHUCK poop regularly?

  • Marinating the kitten for a few hours before consumption helps keep a lot more moisture in, and will probably help contribute to regular bowel movements. If you’re a girl-on-the-go however, just stop at your local Mobil gas station for a small coffee and you’ll be clamoring for the nearest bathroom before your first sip.

  • Cath

    I have to add my two cents’ worth, just so you know how many people read your blog! Now….here’s the poop on poop! There are biscuits called Bowel Buddies that can provide incentive to poop. But (Ironically) tonight I was reading an advertisement about a supplement that cleans the runway and rids your body of all toxins. It almost made me barf. Here’s a quote: “One man wrote he passed two gallons of black, green, and yellow rope as hard as a rock and he lost 30 pounds in the stomach area. Another lady wrote Herbal Fiberblend caused her to pass polyps, two pulsating masses, and a gallon of black fecal matter with worms.” Nice, eh? Makes me want to run out and buy the stuff! Apparently Herbal fiberblend is your friend for waste removal!

  • Liisa

    I have to agree with the ‘ol coffee and a smoke. I only smoke one cigarette daily (NOW how many of you hate me?!)and that is why…so I can bend one around the old U pipe every day without issue.
    But, for those nasty clogs, try a daily dose of mineral oil. Or molasses. My folks have had WAY too much luck pooping with those two items. Or try cat food. It sure as hell works for my DOG!(and maybe lay off the kittens since hair does not digest. Or maybe just try coughing up some fur balls…?)Poop on! sister.

  • Sarah

    You know, I REALLY just missed the boat on this one. Heather, I just TODAY sent you a letter in the mail that includes a “solution” to your pooping problem. I found it in a magaizine. It’s so funny. I won’t ruin the suprise, so you’ll just have to wait and see.

    Well, you should get it Monday or Tuesday. I hope you still think it’s funny when you get it, even after all the comments.

  • girl

    Bran muffins every day for breakfast. Every day.

  • mel

    holy crap. 128 comments containing the word “poop.”
    129 now.

  • Psyllium husk powder mixed with pure cranberry juice and a splash of water.

    And coffee and cigarettes.

  • ooops. poop. and another poop for this comment.

  • I poop almost every day. I started this habit years ago when I’d wake up and stagger straight to the computer. The computer chair acts as an ass stimulant like nothing else. Run to bathroom. I’m done before your average person can even choose a magazine to read.

  • Oh yes, I almost forgot, 3 words:


  • Mark

    One word for the terminally constipated – Colonic Irrigation…okay that’s two…

    This is necessary for the poop challenged among us. The colonic irrigation specialist my partner sees every so often tells this horrific story…that after John Wayne died they weighed his bowels and found they weighed more than 45 pounds in weight. Apparently that much fecal matter had built up over the years.

    Being constipated can cause a build up over time and a series of colonic irrigation treatments will help to remove this build-up.

    Incidentally, I am still gathering the courage for my first visit. Maybe I should just get out the garden hose…

  • Ali (yes, THAT Ali!)

    I am so beyond elated to have been mentioned I could…sit here and type this. Dooce, you are my hero.

  • Kim

    Yeah, pooping problems here too. I get a stomach ache every morning. Then, hopefully, I poop. If I dont, stomach ache continues. My fiance says I poop more than anyone he knows. The problem is, its ROCK SOLID. And it HURTS! And yes, I too have hemorriods. Oh the pain! And the embarassment of showing your ass to your doctor. So I try to eat high fiber foods. And 2 glasses of Metamucil a day helps as well… Sucks ass. Literally.

  • amy

    Coffee + cigarette = morning poop.

    Not the healthiest recommendation I am sure but seems to keep me regular. (The times I have tried to quit always send me to the pharmacy for help. Not being one familiar with constipation it IS a rather uncomfy feeling. Probably preferable to lung cancer though..)

    And what IS it about certain men? Do they ENJOY sitting in that little room with reading material smelling the fruits of their labor??

    Hope your opening up the floor marks the end of your PMS. Mine almost gone… Good thing I take anti-depressants for it (she says with a snarl.. sigh.)

  • RazDreams

    *Anything* from McDonald’s (before they started selling healthy stuff)… Goes right through ya.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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