Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bathroom Tip Jar

Yesterday's run started off well enough. I was in my bright green Under Armour, looking like a young gay boy. The fog had lifted (not my hangover fog, but the literal fog covering Longmont yesterday). The air was a crisp 29 degrees and I was listening to Shots and Barry Manilow something cool in my ear.

It was about mile one where I got the cramp. Not a runner's muscle cramp, but an intestinal contraction. This is a very familiar feeling for me. Unfortunately this contraction foreshadows a cleansing of my lower intestines (aka big messy dump). At mile two I started wondering if I should make a pit stop at the general store at my half way mark (mile three). These cramps are tricky. One moment they are upon you with such a vengeance you fear you'll be Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber and the next moment you're thinking, "No big deal. I can make another ten miles without so much as a fart."

As I near the general store, I knew I should seize the moment. I always feel badly about going into places and dropping a big one and not even buying a piece of gum. This particular store is in the small town of Hygiene (ironic, eh?). It is a cyclist's haven being the jumping off point to many popular scenic and long rides. I know this store gets lots of bathroom activity. I'm sure they're sick of it. But when the urgency is at the door and it's either that or contaminate my new running capris, I know what I need to do.

I walk in the store, and no one is there. Score! I notice something I have never seen before. There is a glass jar outside of the bathroom with a sign on it that says, "Bathroom tip jar." This means one of two things:

  1. So many people come in here and use the facilities and don't buy anything, so their contribution is a little monetary tip, or
  2. So many people come in here and take massive dumps and ruin the sewer system and use so much toilet paper that even if you buy a case of Gatorade each time you visit, it doesn't offset the cost of running the lavatory.

All I know is I couldn't be bothered with those details at that moment. Something was honking for the right of way. I did my business, it never takes very long, and headed out. The cashier was back by then. She was sweet, just gave me a look and said, "So how are YOU today?" As if she was looking for some major disclosure. So I said, "I'm FINE. I just took a ginormous dump and I don't have any money on me but I'm planning on making a non-cash donation in the way of air freshener and Charmin next time I'm in these parts to make up for what I did in there." Well, I didn't say that, but I felt I should have. Some day I will walk into that store and put a 20 spot in that jar just to compensate for my actions on February 1, 2010.

The next three miles home sucked. The cramps got so bad at one point I yelped out loud. I thought I should wear a bumper sticker that says, "I run so fast because I have to poop." I made it home in one piece and only had some mild clean up to do of the under garments in the shower. No one would have been the wiser if it wasn't for the panties hanging on the bathroom door to dry.

How was your run today? Don't lie if you messed yourself. It's okay we all do it.

Drinking: Starbucks Verona coffee

53 comments:

  1. I'm new to your blog, but I LOVE it. And I just about died reading this. I am also familiar with that feeling... the "oh crap (literally), I just might mess my pants in a few step." You're hilarious!

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  2. I kid you not my boyfriend sent $5 to a store he used the bathroom of once. I'll never understand why but now that I read your post it makes total sense. LMAO!

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  3. OMG, well at least you made it!! I'm a new runner and had something like this happen for the first time on my run this weekend. I just hope it won't happen on a race day! :P

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  4. I feel your pain! Not literally , but figuretively! I have been in that situation and know that my stomach only acts up when it is not possible to stop for a bathroom break. It can be giving me problems all the way up to the stall door, and then be fine, but once I get somewhere between halfway home and halfway to a store...LOOKOUT! Thank God I run on paths through the woods, if it is good enough for a bear...

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  5. So funny..but glad I read this before lunch.

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  6. i would buy that bumper sticker or t-shirt, for sure!!!

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  7. Thankfully, the store was nearby. I hate those intestinal contractions which seem to occur with me about once or month or so.

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  8. oh no! You NEED to make that bumper sticker. I would definitely buy one. lol We had a joke that we're not only running a marathon in all 50 states, but also pooping in the woods of all 50 states... I've gotten MOST of the same states that I've run. Something to be proud of, huh? haha ;)

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  9. I eat lunch at a coffee shop in town at least once a week just to balance out my bathroom stops there on the weekends.

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  10. hahaha that's too funny they set up the jar! I had the dreaded cramp hit me with at least 4 miles lefts from home so I stopped in a 7 11...they pretended not to speak English when I asked where the bathroom was. I finally walked behind the counter and locked myself in the bathroom. Nice try Russians, but I clearly heard you speak English to the guy paying for his coffee.

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  11. That was too funny! I can't believe they have a tip jar. I have definitely had those runs too (no pun intended!) Glad you made it back unscathed!

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  12. Ugh I almost had that problem last week. Before I read the caption I really thought you had posted a video of yourself going to the bathroom..that was definitely gonna be a new one for the blog world hahaa

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  13. ROFL. Been there done that. Thankfully, I run in my neighborhood. My gfs know that I have to stop by every once in a while and use the facility. I am ALWAYS embarrassed! One time my friend's 5 yr old son said, "Is Ms. Jen here to make the bathroom stinky again?" I was mortified and apologized profusely as I closed the bathroom door and turned on the fan.

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  14. Classic post -- we have all been there. I went to Kona for the IM world Championships and one gal had a blowout during the marathon. As she ran by us at about mile 24, my buddy turned and asked me, "Is that what I think it is?" I counted out loud, 5...4...3...2...1...and then the smell hit us.

    He knew the answer to his own question right about then.

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  15. ROTFL. You've got to make that bumper sticker!

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  16. God I hate the stomach cramps!! Thank goodness for stores with rest rooms:)

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  17. Loved the post even before I got to the link. (Thanks for that.) (And I love the idea of a bathroom tip jar. That little store in Hygiene has some chutzpah!)

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  18. I seriously am in need of a store like that!!! Well, any place to let me take a dump while I am out running. My run last night could have mirrored yours minus the stopping to take care of business part. I don't think the people living in the mansions I run past (just oogling at their houses, do not own one myself) would let me in to use their poop bin. Needless to say my shorts and panties are hanging out to dry!

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  19. I love how frank you are!

    I've been cross training but the other day I ran on the treadmill which I HATE. I tried closing my eyes to forget about my surroundings...and I fell off the treadmill. I immediately thought of your fall. The gym was busy enough I don't think a lot of people noticed. Fortunately there were no scars.

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  20. I spent about an hour in Whole Foods in Cherry Creek once...I'm certain the patrons were livid they couldn't use the facilities during that time, nor did they want to for an hour after. Oh well, you do what you gotta do (I'm convinced sugar in my diet has a lot to do with this. I've had to give up GU products and turn to Hammer products b/c of this issue. Seems to be working a smidge better).

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  21. I'm having intestinal cramping right now because I am LAUGHING SO DAMN HARD! You seriously crack me up every.single.time.

    You're the only one who will admit to these kinds of behaviors and I love it!

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  22. I have yet to shit myself, but I know it's only a matter of time. My bowels hate me. They're just waiting for the perfect moment. Probably in the middle of my next marathon...

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  23. I was on a run once and got about 3 miles AWAY from teh bathroom stop when "THAT" feeling ht me. Sad thing is - I felt like I needed to go as I wisked by the bloody bathroom stop at THP here in Houston. I walked the whole way back and had to stop a couple of times cuz the turtle was trying to come outta the shell..lol.

    I carry toilet paper with me now.

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  24. I've never pooped myself--- but i did pee my pants... in a grocery store parking lot once. i was with my girlfriends and laughing my butt off. it was hilarous. :) wow i cant believe i just announced that!

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  25. you are too funny! haha Oh don't worry my best 3 mile time was when I was running like the wind not to beat my time, but so I could get to the bathroom! It's one of those clubs. You aren't in it til you're in it.

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  26. Somehow when I crap myself on a run, I don't exactly have the same eloquent words you do to share in my blog! BTW, I so have had the panties hanging in the bathroom! LOL!

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  27. This hasn't happened to me since I ate Subway right before a cross country meet in high school. Somehow, I managed to finish without a mess.

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  28. Never had issues tht bad, but I did stop at the neighborhood park a couple of weeks ago. Dark, creepy, oh and the stench!! I'd never leave any $$, but I thought about dropping off some Northern - just to let them know what real TP feels like compared to sand paper.

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  29. Oh my god this was hilarious - if only because I feel your pain because this happens to me All The Time!

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  30. LOL. You know I love this post. :) I was so excited when I didn't have to poo until after my Monday run. I wonder how tomorrow's will be!

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  31. Wow, you make me laugh even after a long awful, sit and look brain-dead kind of day.
    Thanks!

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  32. Just you and Britt chillin' in gas station bathrooms. :o)

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  33. Love it, absolutley love it! I always dread when I wake up in the morning and I don't feel the need t empty out before I hit the road because by mile marker one it hits me. It is those mornings that I am thankful it is still dark and no can see that I am running with form that makes me look like I have something up my hind-end.
    Cramps, oh my. I will one day have to make a donation to the public library. After a desperate pit stop there one Saturday I was afraid they would have to close the place and call in the Haz-mat folks.
    Love your blog!

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  34. I have yet to feel that feeling or have to use facilities in the area (meaning bushes I guess) but you've put the fear of God in me.

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  35. Hilarious. At least you got in some speed work!

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  36. I ALWAYS feel bad about using the bathroom of a store while running. The grocery story is totally my new fav place to hunker down for a few min...or 6. whatever.

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  37. Please make that bumper sticker and sell it on your blog!!

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  38. Funny, funny, funny! And, the bumper sticker! I'm so glad you talk about the things that the rest of us are too ashamed to say out loud!

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  39. hahaha that is great!! i would have felt very awkward when the store-person (storeperson? haha) started to talk to me

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  40. Oh my, I enjoyed reading this! I think we can all relate to similar situations and that makes this so good. Luckily all’s well that ends well!

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  41. haha. This made my morning! Thanks. Oh, and i didnt run today.... to much work at the radio station! :(

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  42. I've already shared your blog with 3 friends. Hilarious. I'll be following from now on :)

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  43. OMG!! No JOKE!! That scene was running through my head on Monday while I was out on my run. It's hard to tell your average speed when you either have to speed up to get home to poop or you're too far out and have to walk to suck it back up in there. I feel your pain sista, really I do.

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  44. holy shit. i love your poop stories. i'm so glad to know i'm not alone in this department!

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  45. Wow. New to your blog here. Well, I can say that I have never shit myself on a run, but I almost did reading this post, and looking at the vid

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  46. This is one of the funniest posts I have ever read!!

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  47. You are absolutely hysterical! I have been fortunate to have that really only happen once at 2 in the morning during a 200 mile relay across TX. After my 10-mile leg I had to beg our driver to take me to the next transition spot to get to the porta johns, lest I poop in his SUV, but the lines were long - he led me by the arm and screamed "Runner in distress, runner in distress" Thank God it worked. When I got out, there were several rolls of toilet paper waiting for me at the door. Wasn't that sweet?

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  48. The beauty of running in alaska:
    1. it is dark most of the winter and no one sees you if you poop just off the trail
    2. it is very lush and our woods are very dense in the summer and no one sees if you poop just off the trail
    3. Cheap (1.10 a pair)knit gloves keep your hands warm and make excellent disposable toilet paper....

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  49. Oh, this post made me laugh out loud! I've had many a moment... One time I stopped at someone's house I barely knew, because it was that desperate. She MADE HER HUSBAND GET OUT OF THE SHOWER so I could go in her bathroom... I really wanted to die right there. Especially knowing he was waiting until I was done so he could get back in the shower... I left before I could find out if he suffocated in there or not. We moved from that state, thank goodness.

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  50. OMG I am dying. I am new to your blog but not new to stomach cramps while running... Oy!

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