[I want to thank you, Black Girl Thinking for allowing me to speak on this stage. I hope this is the first of many foreign-exchange posts between us. You know, at first I didn’t know what to talk about, because our websites are a little different. (But) I was recently reminded of an incident that to this day, still isn’t funny. So no laughing…I mean it.]
You know what really grinds my gears? When people don’t flush the toilet after they finish using it. I’m not talking about public restrooms, I’m talking residential. Oh, I’m way beyond being merely annoyed at seeing yellow water in the toilet when I use someone’s bathroom. After being accused of not flushing during a social gathering at a total stranger’s house, seeing an unflushed toilet brings out the worst in me.
One summer, I went to an outdoor get-together at someone’s house with a cousin of mine in a small, small town out in the woods here in Alabama. There were lots of people, lots of food, drinks and music. Things were looking good; I hate when primates get together, so I had to keep my eyes open. It was nice to know that a few people had heard my music before, so that loosened me up. There was even a real-life Grandma there. Her feet shuffled when she walked and everything. It was awesome.
My hands were getting sticky from the food I was eating, so I asked the real-life Grandma if I could use the water hose to rinse off. She insisted I go inside the house and wash my hands in the bathroom. When I walked in the house, there were kids running around everywhere, and I noticed a couple of guys around my age playing a video game as I walked down the hall. I washed my hands and then dried them. Little did I know, there was a massive pile of poop in the toilet and on the floor around the toilet. I obliviously left the bathroom as Video Game Player One passed me to go in. I walked back outside to where my cousin and the real-life Grandma were talking. Shortly after, kids started pouring out the house yelling, “ugggghhhhhh, boo-boo!”, repeatedly. Since I didn’t know who this “Boo-Boo” person was, I turned back to the conversation. The kids ran up and starting pointing at me saying that I boo-booed in the bathroom and didn’t clean it up. Then Video Game Player One walked out telling everyone that I pooped all over the real-life Grandma’s bathroom and didn’t care enough to clean it up. I was crushed. I tried defending myself but it didn’t work. A feeling of concession came over me as I went from Mr. Chap, that guy who made the funny song about Walmart, to Mr. Poopy McDoo-Doo: Bathroom defamer.
I couldn’t help feeling like I did the first day of Second grade when I pooped on myself and got found out. I was six years old, fresh out of Kindergarten. I had skipped First grade and I was at this new school around all these older people. Before I did it, I was afraid to ask to go to the bathroom. I don’t know man, I just shat my pants. What do you want from me? I was six. Anyway, I made it through lunch and everything. I made it through the second half of the day, even got on the bus to go home. Of course the bus smelled like shit, but I played it off. Pretending to help, I was fanning my own scent around adding to the problem. As long as they didn’t say it’s me, I was okay. We were just a couple of blocks from home when one of the neighborhood kids pointed at me and yelled, “it’s him!” That same feeling of dejection, defeat and concession I felt on that first day of Second grade was the way I felt walking to the car.
Since then, it really grinds my gears when people don’t flush, so I look for violators. When I go to use someone’s bathroom, I’m going straight to the toilet, and if there’s anything other than clear water in there, I’m letting it be known. I’ll never be done the way those people did me again.
Ed “Mr. Chap” Chapman