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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Don’t Get All Pissy, Dude — It Happens to Everyone

Deep down, I’m a helpful person. An assister. An enabler, if you will. Not only do I like to see people better themselves, I often enjoy nudging them along. Preferably against their will, kicking and screaming. With a cattle prod, if I happen to have one handy.

(Hey, I said I was ‘helpful’. I never said I was ‘nice’. You can’t have it all, people.)

Anyway, I’ve recently come up with yet another way to aid people. This one involves helping people to overcome their phobias and become more productive members of society. And — since I’m all about sharing the wealth — I want to recruit all (okay, both — don’t rub it in) of you to do the same. I think you’ll find the suggestion most agreeable.

So, the cause du jour is to eliminate ‘stage fright’. But perhaps not the kind of stage fright you’re thinking of. When most people think of ‘stage fright’, they have an actor or public speaker in mind, and the person is stuttering and sweaty-palmed at the thought of delivering speeches or memorized lines in front of a roomful of strangers. That’s pretty much the standard definition of ‘stage fright’.

This, however, is not that kind of stage fright.

No, this is a phenomenon — nay, a harrowing and debilitating psychological condition — that predominately affects the menfolk of the world. It’s possible that women suffer from it, too, but I don’t have data on that sort of thing. Any insights on that — once I get to the damned point and tell you what I’m talking about — would be greatly appreciated. Ooh, and pictures would be nice, too.

(Yes, you’ll realize how perverted that is in just a minute, if you haven’t guessed already.)

Okay, where was I? Ah, ‘stage fright’. Right.

Now, like all proper harrowing psychological conditions, this one manifests itself in the bathroom. Public bathrooms, most often, though any old pissbucket will do.

(Which, coincidentally, was also the motto of the folks who first colonized Louisiana — ‘Any Old Pissbucket Will Do’. Seriously, why the hell else would they have stayed there? Hot, humid, swampy and ‘gator-ridden… look, catfish and ‘crawdads’ can’t taste that good. I don’t care what you’re puttin’ in the hushpuppies, dude. Get the hell back to civilization, would you?)

But back to ‘stage fright’. And here’s what it is, in case you’re still not sure. Imagine you’re a guy.

(Guys, you can skip this step. Unless you’ve been having second thoughts, of course. Then, you should play along, too.)

Now, imagine you’re in a shared bathroom of some kind. In an office, or a stadium, whereever. Now, imagine you’ve got to take a whiz.

(Sorry if that’s a bit saucy, ladies — remember, though, you’re a guy right now. We say shit like that when you’re not around. And quite often, even when you are.)

So, no problem so far. But. But. Now imagine there’s someone else in the bathroom, too. Using an adjacent urinal, maybe, or washing his hands, or just milling around by the towel dispenser. Maybe there are several people in there with you — you know, if it’s a really big bathroom, or you’re in Turkey. Something like that.

Anyway, ‘stage fright’ happens when that other person or people — your ‘audience’ — gets the better of you, and you simply can’t go. You want to go. Sometimes, you need to go. But you can’t. It’s self-consciousness, or embarrassment, or shyness — doctors aren’t really sure. All we know is that you’re about to empty your bladder, and then — no go. Wee-wee aborted. Piss prohibited. It’s the ‘other’ cock block.

Sometimes you can fight through it. You can calm yourself, and take a deep breath, and just squeeeeeeze like hell, and you might get the flow going. But that’s rare. Usually, there are only two options. One is to wait the situation out, and hope the onlookers-who-almost-certainly-really-aren’t-looking get the hell out and let you throw down. The other is to admit defeat, zip up, and go on your way. Neither of these are good choices. And so goes the horrible disease known as ‘stage fright’.

Just about every man has had it at one time or another. For some, it’s chronic. They go into the loo just praying for a solo flight. Others are afflicted only rarely. But we’ve all been there. We’ve all felt the shame. It’s nothing to get all maudlin and weepy about. We’re all in this together. Each of us has stood there for half an hour with our weiner hanging over the bowl and finally walked out, pissed off but still full of urine. Sure, most of us have remembered to wrap Mr. Happy back in our trousers before retreating, but still — there’s a lot of pain and frustration there.

Well, folks, I say ‘No more!‘ I’ve had enough, and I’m ready to help rid the world of this wretched nightmare. And you’re going to help. Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna keep a lookout for guys who are suffering from this condition. And every time we’re the ‘other guy’ in the bathroom, we’re gonna do our part to help eliminate ‘stage fright’ forever. And what’s our part? Well, it’s this:

As soon as we detect a ‘problem pisser’, we’ll angle over to the sink. We’ll wash our hands — or just pretend to, as usual — and then head to the exit. We’ll open the door, step aside, and let it close. Without leaving, mind you. We’ll hang out right by the door, being vewy vewy quiet, until we hear those first precious drops flowing into the urinal. That’s when we’ll unleash our cure. Which consists of simply leaping wildly at the person’s back and screaming,

Aha!! So you can piss with someone in the room! Hah! You’re cured!

Really, I think it’ll lead to some truly beautiful moments. Tearful hugs and heartfelt thanks. All that shit. It could be the most important psychotherapeutic technique since electroshock. I think it’ll be big, and you can all be a part of it. Sure, it could get a bit messy. But I for one think it’s worth it. Now who’s with me?

Permalink  |  11 Comments

11 Responses to “Don’t Get All Pissy, Dude — It Happens to Everyone”

  1. Buzz says:

    Ok, I tried to help some poor fool this morning and it seemed to work! He was so startled by my sudden appearance and subsequent scream that I not only cured him of #1 stage fright, but by the smell of things he was also cured of #2 stage fright. Bravo, I say. Of course I am typing this on my laptop whilst on the way to the hospital as his next reaction leaned a little to the violent. I’m sure it was just knee-jerk, however, and that he will thank me tomorrow.

  2. Ash says:

    OMG! That is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. I have to admit that I too have a problem taking a “whiz” when other people are around. And yes, I am a female. I’m curious to know if there are any other ladies out there that develop “stage fright”.

  3. Ash says:

    Oops I forgot! Buzz sent me.

  4. kelly says:

    ooooh i snorted my coffee.

    that’s a bummer.

    but hey, it was still funny.

    and i am a girl with stage fright.

    i used to have my friend stand in the bathroom and run the water or sing.

    now i just hover there painfully and hope the other people will 1. leave and 2. not think i’m taking so long because i’m ‘dropping some kids off at the pool.’

    girls don’t DO that.

  5. P says:

    i can see one minor problem with your plan however. what happens if mister-stage-fright-man decides to turn around to see where all the cheering is coming from? he’s gonna hose down my shoes, that’s what! i think i’ll keep with leaving the water running in the sink to inspire them, then leaving the room.

    oh, and buzz sent me too!

  6. Lara says:

    Why don’t you guys with this problem just go into the stall. Wouldnt that solve the problem nicely? And hey…there won’t even be any women around in the men’s room (one would hope anyhow) to scream at you to, “please put the toilet seat down when you’re done!”

  7. Faye says:

    That was seriously funny. My co workers now think I am crazy, laughing at my computer screen. I too suffer from stage fright in the most terrible way. I really hope no one ever screams at me from the other side of the stall though. Still laughing at “the ‘other’ cock block”.

    P.S. Buzz sent me too

  8. kernyen says:

    I never realized you guys had this stage-fright thingy going on. Hell, I thought bodily functions were a breeze for guys! Would it be considered wimpy if you just urinated in a stall instead of at a urinal?

    BTW, Buzz sent me

  9. Brad says:

    I suffer from this, but I have always called it “shy bladder”. I am pretty sure this would not work for me. I have had someone startle me while the urine was flowing, and I immediately stopped pissing. I couldn’t get it going again. I had to wash my hands and walk out not “completely relieved”.

    Oh, I found you through Susan.

  10. Em says:

    Thanks A Lot! Diet Coke now decorates my sticky keyboard! HILARIOUS!!

  11. Josh says:

    So that was rather amusing. I have this problem and it really sucks. For some reason, I’m only not able to go when there is only one other person in the bathroom. If there are two people, and they are conversing, then it’s easier. I’ve also tried using the stall instead, but the draw back to that is that i’d rather not make a lot of noise from the splash. I have a feeling that the other people will think i’m wierd for using a stall to just whiz. I found you on google, and it did make me laugh a few times. Very nice.

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