Tag Archives: toilet

Dark Humor

This re-run was originally posted on 6/28/2012.

Several years ago I was initially reluctant to put this “out there”.  But this is what makes me tick.  This is the essence of Marcus.

Poop humor makes people smile.

Lights Out

This is one of those iffy subjects.  I am wondering if I can pull this off without offending and bothering you.  By you, I mean specifically you.  You know who you are.  If you don’t, that would be an odd thing.  Perhaps you are in a coma and don’t know you anymore.  Sad really.  But since you are reading this, I would guess that you are alive and well.

The topic pertains to the bathroom which is one of my favorite topics when I am trying to produce something that will make you smile.  Producing humor that is, not anything else that you may or may not have been thinking.

You have to understand that I am a man.  I’m a grown man–someone who is raising a family.  I have my fair share of responsibilities and I am a decent member of society.  However, you also have to understand that before all of my so called maturing happened, I was a little boy.  And after that, I was a male teenager.  And then for a while, I was a guy in college.  Poo-poo jokes and embarrassing situations revolving around the bathroom are something that I embrace.  I can’t not smile when I am confronted by a story that involves gas or someone caught with their pants down.  I have to admit and acknowledge that its part of me.  It makes me, me.  I’m ok with it.

So, that being said and understood, I’m entering a small public restroom the other day.  It’s a nicely constructed with all the newer no-touch devices—lights, toilet flusher, sink water, towel dispenser, etc.  I walk in the lights click on automatically.  I proceed to the stall, to do what people do in a stall.  No details needed there.  You get the picture.  (“Everyone Poops” is a great book.  Look for it if you have never seen it.)

Then some time passes.  I’m not known for being fast at this “particular activity”.  If a book or a magazine is handy, I’ll take in a few stories.  But honestly, who wants to be known for either outcome: fast or slow.

“Hey, isn’t that Marcus over there?”

“Yeah, man it is!  Boy, he can move fast.”

It’s a good compliment for a football player, baseball player, or a track star, but not for someone seeking to relieve their biology.

Anyway, time passes and the sensor and timer controlling the automatic lights conspire against me as they make the decision that there is no longer anyone in the bathroom.  Lights out!  All at once, I am subjected to total darkness.  It’s alarming and very hard to describe the feelings that rush over you in that small moment of time.  In an emergency, the battery back-up lights would kick on, but this is no emergency.  This is simply an energy saving piece of electronics doing its job.

I am an evil device. I can turn Marcus into a blind man!

I think to myself for a plan.  This is a problem I can solve.  I’ll stand up and wave my hands around in order to make the lights click back on.  I do just that.  Nothing.  I’m in the stall with my pants at my ankles flapping my arms so hard I nearly took flight.  Nothing.  Still total darkness—like complete total darkness.  Ok.  I’ll open and close the stall door real fast.  Nothing.  No effect.  Darkness continues.  I can’t believe that the sensor isn’t covering the entire room, but it makes sense.  The sensor is designed to watch the door only, not the entire bathroom.  Despite my situation, I can actually appreciate this design.  I have issues when it comes to devices that “watch” humans in the bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the auto flusher.  First off, it’s watching me sit there.  It sees me.  Creepy.  Secondly, I always cover that “eyeball” with a piece of toilet paper so as to avoid the premature flush.  Nothing worse.

I have a friend on Facebook that posted one of those one-liner jokes that makes its rounds on the internet every so often.  “How does a blind person know when he is done wiping?”  It’s a great question.  Great question.  Well the memory of reading that really hit home just then.

This is the touchy part that might cause you to never return to my reading ever again.  I’ll do my best not to lose you.

I do what I can in total darkness to clean up my… situation.  I am, at this moment, in every aspect of the description, a blind man.  Ok, moving on.  I raise my pants and fix my belt.  I then do the mad dash out of the stall toward the door.  The lights click back on and I reverse the mad dash back into the stall.  In fact, if you had the chance to see me, you would have said, “Wow, that Marcus really moves fast.”

I realize that since no one actually saw me dealing with this whole incident, the story becomes somewhat anti-climatic.  But there I was, back in the stall.  (This is the part where losing you really concerns me).  I return to the seated position in order to check my work.    Let’s just say, as a blind man, I did good work.  Although I still don’t know the answer to that great question—how do they know?

While washing my hands, I had one more flashback.  A long time ago when I was just a little punk, probably somewhere around nine years old, I had a friend named Dave (no last name given in order to protect his identity).  We found it amusing to kill the lights in public bathrooms as we ran out the door when we observed someone’s feet occupying a stall.  We would hear these people’s shocked voices echoing out, “Hey, turn the lights on I’m still in here!” as we were running out the door casting them into total darkness.  We would laugh so hard.

Now, it is so clear that I must apologize to those unknown peoples that we tormented so long ago.  I understand now exactly what they were feeling.  Exactly.  What goes around comes around.

I am sorry.

I wonder if they ever wrote out their story.  Probably not.

Oh, and if I offended any blind people actually reading this story… oh wait, never mind.

Buy my book for the back of your toilet!

Diapers and Wipers

I think its time to give you another sample from my book.  A fellow blogger recently passed through this section.  She then repeated it to her mother and they both had a good laugh.  So in summary, my book has the ability to bring you and your mother to a new level in bonding–a real relationship builder.  No need to thank me, just buy the book.

As a father raising infants and then toddlers, I was always looking forward to the day I no longer had to change diapers. I can recall other parents mocking and laughing because their kid was just one stage ahead of mine. They were done with diapers. I was still doing the changing thing. And then when the day finally arrived and my boys were done with diapers, I realized that I was not done cleaning up turds after all. It’s a little secret that nobody wants to tell you in advance. After you’re done with diapers you still have a good year or two of a little voice yelling from behind the bathroom door, “daddy, wipe my butt!” My mother (the Grandma in the next status update) told me this story and I had to share it. Mainly because misery loves company—especially when wiping dirty little butts.

September 16, 2009 at 8:00 am

Marcus Matherne: My niece yells from the bathroom, “Grandma, wipe my butt!” Grandma says, “You’re old enough to do that yourself.” She yells back, “But if you do it, I don’t have to wash my hands.”

Absolutely brilliant.

Buy my book–and no I won’t wipe your butt.

Toilet Paper Packaging

Does anyone have a need for toilet paper ads anymore?  You’re probably already sold on the product.  It’s a need, not a want.  And yet, the ads and packaging are out there—no signs of relenting.  Recently, I was looking at the packaging of several different brands names and I saw a baby, a puppy, and a cartoon bear.

Let’s discuss.  Shall we?

A baby?  Adorable yes, but does a baby make a good mascot?  Nope.  I think babies should stick to selling diapers.  What do they know about toilet paper?  They have no business selling toilet paper.  Baby wipes are the correct tool for their world, not toilet paper.

A puppy?  How does this sell toilet paper?  Perhaps if you are training a dog that continues to crap on your carpet, this is the brand for you.

A cartoon bear?  Maybe the company owning this particular brand of toilet paper is trying to answer the question, “does a bear shit in the woods?”  Yes, he does!  And then he wipes his rear end with a set of two-ply cotton-like extra strong squares of the softest paper known to man and bear alike.

No.  No, these are all wrong.  A better choice for a picture on your toilet paper packaging would be a grown man holding a half eaten burrito in one hand and a tube of hemorrhoid cream in the other.  You see the logic here?  This image would clearly highlight the credibility of the paper product.  Obviously this guy will not be as cute as the puppy, but he will clearly be a more effective example of the scenarios that this toilet paper can handle.

Would you buy my book if it had a baby, a bear, and puppy on the cover?

The Subway Dash

My family and I got to witness an event that just made me smile. Ear to ear! The amount of joy was overwhelming. I know that there is something wrong with me, but I can’t help finding happiness and joy in the oddest of places.  It’s a good thing, right?

We were all enjoying a meal at Subway. Well, maybe the word choice of “enjoying” is a bit strong. My family and I were all stomaching a meal at Subway. My wife was distributing the food to her boys while the straw wrappers were bombarding her from both sides. Actually, three sides. She is raising three boys—one of which she decided to married a long time ago. Her choice.  She knew what she was doing.

For those of you who don’t know what a Subway restaurant is, you must not be from around here. From around Earth, that is. If you really don’t know, Google it—as soon as you figure out what Google is.

When all of a sudden, this well dressed man comes barging in. In a major hurry. As in, get-out-of-my-way hurry! There was a definite urgency in his arrival. Was he near death from lack of food? Was he malnourished? Did he ingest a poison that required a cold-cut-combo as an antidote?

Nope. His first stop was the men’s room. How utterly degrading. This poor soul had a biological break down and was forced to make an emergency deposit at the Subway. And my whole family was there to watch it unfold. Yes, it is true, we all discussed this man’s plight in great detail while he was behind closed door arriving at the end game of his ordeal. Success was his.

Upon emerging from his relief zone, he got in line to order. When he reached the front of the line, he declined to order a sub, and instead grabbed a simple bag of chips. He then paid for his less-than-one dollar bag of chips and was on his way.

At heart you may find his action to be the actions of a good man. He used Subway’s restroom and felt so much relief that he obligated himself to repay them by spending a dollar. He felt it was the right thing to do. However, as a public service to you, the reader of this text, I need to let you know how to properly execute the Dump and Run. It’s really quite simple. You enter, dump, and run. There is no need to purchase anything—especially a bag of chips that you don’t even want.

There is only one other rule that you should consider and it actually goes hand in hand with the Run part. Avoid eye contact with the employees. Do you really think the teenager working the sandwich assembly line wants to interact with you—the man who obviously just destroyed the restroom that he’ll have to be cleaning at closing time? No, I think not. Exiting as swiftly as you entered is the appropriate course of action. If this were an actual subway, would you feel obligated to get on the train and travel to the next stop? No, I don’t think so.

So the next time you feel that overwhelming urge, remember what you’ve read here. It’s a simple two step process. One, dump. Two, run. Dump and run. And do nothing else.

Buy my book to have handy during your next Dump and Run.

Household Tip #77

I named this blog entry the 77th household tip because of the Star Wars lesson.  They started with episode four and years later made zillions of dollars filling in the first three movies.  Since I started with number seventy-seven, I am guaranteed that public will demand that I fill in the previous editions.  I’ll be rolling in the cash.  Genius.  Wait a minute.  No one is paying me for this blog.  Not Genius.

I don’t carry my laundry basket up the stairs often.  It’s not a chore that brings me joy—unlike cleaning a toilet.  Now there is a chore that I just can’t get enough of.  The cleaning part doesn’t produce the joy.  No one wants to clean a toilet.  The joy comes from the sitting on a cleanest toilet seat in the whole world—knowing that your butt has been placed on a surface that is 99.99% free of all household germs.  At least that’s what the bottle of cleaner claims.  A movie theater seat is only 23.78% free of all household (and public) germs.

Back to household tip #77.  Like the Dos Equis man:  I don’t always carry my laundry basket up the stairs, but when I do, I make sure the clothes and towels stand and teeter at least three feet above the height of the basket.

In my household, the four of us each have our own basket sitting next to the dryer in the basement.  When we are folding the laundry, the item gets placed into the owner’s basket.  That way, each person becomes responsible for bringing their own laundry up the stairs.  My basket often stands towering over all the others with towels, jeans, shirts, socks, and underwear.  This tower of clothes isn’t necessarily a sign of laziness.  Oh no sir.  I see it more of a challenge and a good work out.  I’m a tall guy, so if I extend my arms as low as they can go, lean slightly backwards, and use my chest as a place to support the tower of laundry, I can carry this load up two flights of stairs and receive an excellent bicep workout in the process.

So here is where household tip number 77 comes in.  When constructing the tower of clothing, and preparing for the journey up to the bedroom, do not complete the tower by placing underwear on the very top.  I did this the other day and I didn’t work out so well.  After I squatted down, placed my hands on the basket handles, adjusted my grip, and propelled the laundry tower upward like an Olympic weight lifter, the underwear at the very top of the pile was exactly at face level.  Sure, they were clean underwear, but they were still full grown men’s underwear right in my face.  In my face!  Let the challenge continue.

Well the tower of clothing started to wobble as I placed my foot on the first step.  I quickly corrected for what could have been a catastrophic-laundry-failing event by slamming my nose and chin downward onto the top of the stack.  More determined than ever, I trudged up the first flight of stairs with a renewed sense of determination and a pair of whitey-tighties pressed against my face blocking my breathing passages.

Breaking into a mild sweat, I cleared the final step of the basement flight of stairs.  I was now maneuvering around the foyer toward the upstairs flight of steps.  As I was approaching the front door with underwear pressing into my face, slowly becoming part of my inner soul, the doorbell rang.

Some of my preteen children’s friends have an annoying habit of ringing the doorbell and then immediately pressing their faces to the glass in order to watch inside the house to see who is coming to answer their call.

I continued breaking in a sweat while carrying this amazing tower of laundry.  The door bell startled me.  The big kid face pressed into the window startled me even more.  The handle of the basket sliped from my sweaty grasp.  The beautifully arranged tower of clothing collapses, covering an awesome amount of floor space in my foyer.  And I am left standing there with a pair of my own underwear clinging to the perspiration forming on my face.

I look toward the window to see this kid staring at my underwear decorated face with this odd freighted look on his glass pressed face.  He screams and runs off.

Household Tip #77:  How to teach children to ring a doorbell and respect the privacy of those inside.

Buy a tower of my books.

Toilet Training

Have you heard the story about the man who uses the toilet at a Home Depot only to find himself super glued to the toilet seat?  I recently got to hear this story again.  It seems like it surfaces on the internet every eight months or so.  The description of the story is always attributed to a real major news source.  Even without that, I have no reason to believe that the story is a fake.  It certainly could have happened, and it probably did.  However, the following is what I have issues with?

Who drops their pants and jumps right on to a public toilet?  The poor soul that got his rump glued to the seat is also a gross poor soul.  There is a protocol that must be followed.

1)        Open the stall door.  Observe the toilet.  If “full” move to the next stall.
2)        Enter the stall and close the door behind you.
3)        Use a foot to flush the toilet to ensure a fresh bowl.  Do this even if the bowl appears fresh.
4)        Wipe the seat.  Use an enormous amount of toilet paper to ensure that absolutely no finger parts actually touch the seat.
5)        Cover the seat with multiple layers of paper.  Consider three layers to be a minimum.
6)        Drop pants to knees.  Do not push to ankles as this will increase the probability of your clothing touching the bathroom floor.
7)        Finish the job as quickly as possible.

The remaining steps of this protocol are obvious and are left to the reader as an exercise.

So what did this guy do?  He ran right in and plopped down on to a seat of glue.  If he had followed the steps above, the incident would have never occurred due to the failed execution of step four.  Instead of his bum being stuck to the seat, a wad of toilet paper would have taken his place.  Perhaps a finger or two if step four was executed poorly.

Can you imagine the subsequent humiliation of having to call out for help?  This action is almost worse than the original cruel joke.  Can you picture how that goes?

“Hey out there!  I’m stuck on the toilet in here and need some help.”

“Dude, I know.  We all have those kinds of days, but there is no way I’m gonna help ya.”

“No, I mean my ass is glued to the seat.”

“I hear ya.  This one day I was on the throne for over two hours.  It was horrible dude, but you’re still on your own man.”

Buy my good toilet reading material books.

Attention Please

The person working the front desk at my work place has access to the intercom system.  The intercom system has speakers scattered everywhere throughout this building.  There is no way to miss an important message.  Often you will hear announcements such as “Mike Jones, please call the operator” or “Shirley Smith, please call extension 321”.  This concept is nothing new—a service appreciated by people trying to reach others who are away from their desk phones.

Sometimes you’ll get to hear, “There is a storm rapidly approaching.  If your car windows are down, you still have time to roll them up.”  This is very helpful for those park-and-crack-your-window type of people.  Thanks operator person!  You’re the best.

“A silver Ford Taurus parked on the East side of the building has its lights left on.”  Again, thank you oh master of the microphone.

And then there are the days of announcement abuse.  There’s one particular operator at this office that is a little too microphone crazy.  An example of this happens every Friday.  My company makes real popcorn with one of those fancy popcorn cart machines every Fridays.  The whole building smells like a movie theater.  Buttery smells fill the corridors and infiltrates every single office.  Typically about five minutes after the scent has fully surrounded my sense of smell, the operator will announce, “Popcorn is now available in the kitchen.”  Really?  Was that necessary?  I suppose that it helped clear up that the smell is actually coming from the popcorn and not some bizarre acid rain accident from the butter factory across town.  Thanks microphone man!  Way to keep us in the loop.

A couple of days ago an operator was apparently feeling informative, and yet lazy.  She simply announced, “It is about to begin sprinkling.”  She didn’t mention the car windows this time.  I was actually walking toward the bathroom when this announcement was made.  I stopped in my tracks.  Did she say “sprinkling” or “tinkling”?  Am I being watched?  I immediately decided to hold it.  I’ll visit the bathroom in a bit.  Very troubling.  Stop tracking me microphone woman!  Where’s the camera?

Later, I swore that I heard her say, “Attention please.  Bob sprinkled on the toilet seat again.”

Attention please. Buy my books.

Automatic Flusher

The following text was taken from the book that I continue to shamelessly plug with the link at the end of each of my blog entries.  Click it this time, would you?  And when you arrive at the amazon page, buy it too.  You can also “click inside the book” at amazon and read the first fifteen or so pages.  Enjoy!

My Status Update Journey: A Quirky In-Depth Analysis of the World from the Voices in My Head

This could be yours!

August 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm
Marcus Matherne: I can’t stand when the toilet flushes before you’re finished.

This might get a little too personal, but I’m willing to give it a go.

So you’re sitting there doing your business on one of those fancy automatic flushing toilets.  The toilet paper is contained in a mounted industrial size holder.  In the ideal case, you reach for the exposed hanging trail of paper, tear off a piece, finish the job, and you’re out.  Done.  Nothing to it.  However in my world, the toilet paper container is mounted just a bit too low and I have to lean awkwardly forward to grab the loose end which, by the way, is hiding up inside the contraption and is not willing to show itself.  While I’m scratching at the roll, rotating it all the way around for the third time searching for the mysteriously missing loose end, the little magic eyeball gizmo makes a ruling that I must be on my way to standing up, and thus signals the start of the flushing process.

It freaks me out!

First off, the splash factor is simply bad news.  Gross!  It might be different if the water giving you the misting was absolutely fresh, but I’m not even sure that would be acceptable.  I can’t say I’ve ever tried the bidet style of toilet, but it just doesn’t seem like a good idea.  I’ll pass.

Secondly, there is the surprise of the noise.  Public toilets often have the most powerful water pressure to ensure a low probability of creating a clog.  Loud.  Startling.  Being surprised with your pants at your ankles could easily cause and injury that is very difficult to explain to a doctor in the emergency room.

The doctor inquires, “How did you cut your forehead, Mr. Matherne?”

“Premature flushing,” I respond.

“Oh, of course.  I hate when that happens.”

And how does that magic eyeball thing work anyway?  I have a theory that it is actually a camera, and that it is actually someone’s job to monitor the stall and commence flushing at the appropriate time.

Here is a possibility of what the training manual may contain.

“When you see the ass lowering to a seated position, be ready to take action.  Wait for the user to complete his/her business.  As the ass is returning to the upright and standing position, activate the flush sequence.  Take all precautions to avoid premature flushing as this may cause injury to the user of the toilet.”

Have you ever stood up and there is a slight delay before the flush begins?  That is due to the networking delay introduced by outsourcing this job overseas.

Think about it.  I may be on to something.

Buy my book and read it on a toilet.

My Son’s New Toothbrush

On my way home from work the other day, I was tasked by my wife to stop and pickup a new toothbrush for my son.  Apparently, he was goofing around with his brother while they were brushing their teeth.  “Something” happened (neither wanted to explain exactly what the something was) and my wife had to extract the toothbrush from the toilet bowl.  Of course, she moved it from the bowl directly to the garbage can.  No stops in-between.

I pulled into some convenient store and began my endless quest in search of a new toothbrush.  I can’t find where they stock them anywhere!  I’m pretty sure that I covered the entire store—not sure how I missed them.  As I am about to start my second pass up and down each aisle, I notice this lady creeping around and seemingly following and watching me.  Whenever I turn around to double check the aisle for the mysteriously missing toothbrushes, she quickly looks away or pretends to have interest in the items near her.  This stalking-like crazy behavior continues the whole while I’m looking for the toothbrushes.

I finally find the toothbrushes and select an appropriate one (hey, maybe this one will float).  I make my way to the checkout at the front of the store.  As I approach the end of the aisle, I notice that my “stalker friend” is making her way down the next aisle.  I can see through some of the displays and she is clearly racing me toward the check out.  As I reach the end of the aisle, I discover about six people in line.  The creepy lady jumps directly in front of me as I was approaching the end of the line.  She was carrying one of those two handled baskets and it was jammed full of all sorts of stuff.  She had hair coloring, cookies, a bottle of pop, several candy bars, a magazine, shampoo and conditioner, and bunch of other things that were out so sight as well.  Great, I’m going to be here forever in line behind the crazy lady.  I give her space.  A lot of space—wacko.  Even while we are standing in line waiting for the incredibly slow kid working the only open register, she is peeking over her shoulder, looking at me, and then quickly looking away.

I can’t take it anymore, “Hey lady, what’s your problem?”  Perhaps that was a bit harsh, but she was really freaking me out.  She apologizes for staring at me, but doesn’t really stop doing so.  “Really?  Why are following and looking at me?”  And then I get her answer.

“I’m sorry.  It’s just that you look so much like my son.  He was tall too.  And your face… Your face has all the same features.  My son was killed instantly in a motorcycle accident about two years ago.  I never got to say goodbye.  I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.  It’s just… never mind, I’m sorry.”

Well don’t I feel like a loser now.  Here is this lady having a rough time with some memories that I managed to stir up and I’m the one barking at her.  With a heavy heart I say to her, “Wow.  I’m really sorry for snapping at you.”

She replies, “It’s ok.  I should not have followed you around like that.”  At this point she is almost teary eyed.  And then she hits me with this request.  “Can you do me a favor?  When I leave the store, can you wave to me and say ‘bye mom’?”

Oh no!  No way!  What and incredible awkward moment.  How weird is that?  She wants to use me to say goodbye to her dead son!  Somehow I uttered “umm… yeah.  Sure.”  A couple of minutes pass by and I’m feeling more awkward than any other time I can think of in my life.  I feel like I’ve been standing in line for hours—even days.  She finally reaches the register for her turn and rings up all her stuff.  My mind is whirling.  She grabs her bags and heads to the door.  She looks back at me.  I raise a hand in a half hearted wave and say, “Bye mom.”  She smiles and disappears around the corner.  Well I’m certainly thankful for that to be over.

My mind is still swirling as I hand the kid at the register my son’s new toothbrush.  The kid scans it, pushes a few buttons, and says, “That will be $77.12.”

I say, “For a toothbrush?!”

“Yeah, your mom told me on the way into the store that her son would be paying for her stuff.”

Click!  The light in my head goes on!  Now it makes sense.  “You guys just got robbed!  Hang on I’ll be right back!”

I leave the register (and my toothbrush) and I dash out the door.  I spot the woman opening the door to her car.  I run over to her yelling, “Stop!”  I don’t even know what I’m doing.  I didn’t do anything wrong and yet I’m thinking about confronting and stopping her.  Just as I reach her car, she slams the door shut.  I reach down and open it again.  She didn’t have time to lock it.  She starts yelling, “Go away!  Leave me alone!”  I reached in and grabbed her shirt up by her shoulder.  She instinctively pulled away and fell over toward the passenger seat.  At this point she was sort of laying down on the driver’s seat and started kicking at me.  While trying to avoid her attempts at kicking me, I grabbed her ankle.  I wanted to pull her out of the car so that she couldn’t leave.  So I’m pulling her leg.  She is yelling.  I’m pulling her leg.  Just like I’m pulling your leg.

I’m pulling your leg!  Get it?  I love telling this story and I so wish I could see your face.  I told this story to my mother years ago.  She actually cried real tears in the middle of the story.  I felt bad.  But just a little bit.

Buy my book, it’ll be less stressful than this story!