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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!

Our Potties, Ourselves

The human body is an amazing machine. It bends, it stretches, it adapts — capable of feats of raw strength and subtly delicate manipulations. Every body is different. Yours might run twenty miles an hour or be double-jointed or practiced in juggling Crisco-slathered chainsaws. But each of us has a body with a special trick or two up its sleeve.

Or colon, seeing as how most bodies don’t have sleeves sewn in. It’s not a perfect analogy, sadly.

Or maybe it is. Because over the course of the weekend, I’ve discovered my body’s special trick, the wondrous and awe-inspiring feat that maybe some day will end up on a segment in a bad show on TLC at three o’clock in the morning. And what is that trick, you ask?

Apparently, I can go three days without pooping.

I never knew this before. Frankly, I’d never really considered it. I’m not one of those people who keeps a schedule of bowel movements, or who tracks that sort of activity for health purposes. Or entertainment purposes. Or to disgust my wife.

“It’s the equivalent of holding your breath for two minutes, or going a full hour without thinking of Scarlett Johansson.”

But if I had to guess, I’d estimate the call of nature swings by once, sometimes twice a day. So three days is kind of a long time to go without. It’s the equivalent of holding your breath for two minutes, or going a full hour without thinking of Scarlett Johansson.

See what I mean? Amazing.

Now, evidently I can only pull this special “poopless coup” under very special conditions. Most important seems to be prolonged lack of access to a private bathroom. This could be accomplished, say, with long flights to and from a weekend away, a cabin shared with in-laws and a wedding / reception at a family member’s house.

Speaking hypothetically, of course. You know the drill.

Oddly enough, I didn’t even notice my amazing physical feat while it was happening. It wasn’t as though I was “holding back”, in any active or conscious or leg-crossedly squinchy sense. Instead, the very idea of pooping just… never came up.

Well. Maybe it came up, once or twice. At which point, I’d think to myself: Sure, you could use the bathroom now. And then someone who you’ll be spending the next several hours or days with may follow next, and it’s possible that you’ll never be able to look them in the eye again.

And then, the urge went away. For three days, give or take a squinch.

In fairness, I suppose this was less a physical feat, per se, and more an accomplishment of an overactive and neurotic mind. But the brain is part of the body, last time I checked an anatomy book, so I’m taking it.

Speaking of which, I’m home now. And we have a bathroom in the back that not even my wife has to use. So it’s high time I tried “taking” something else. After three days, maybe there’s another feat of sorts in store.

Yeah. Don’t wait up. Sorry.

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