Tag Archives: kitchen

Tossed Salad

by S. Nazkar

In the mid-1990s, I was playing in a band and working as a tour guide, navigating massive Belgian horses and sweaty tourists through the side streets of Charleston, SC. I lived outside the city in a flop house populated by fellow band members and various hangers-on, and I often didn’t feel like driving all the way home after working all day in the Southern heat while wearing a Confederate uniform replete with wool cap.

One night, I went with a bunch of co-workers to see the Squirrel Nut Zippers at a local club. We dutifully played up to their 1920s vibe; I wore some kind of old hat and odd vest, and to make matters worse, I drank old-school cocktails all night (I usually only drink beer and wine, never any sort of mixed drinks). The show was great, but I was too drunk to drive home, so my co-worker Cindy said I could crash at her and her roommate Collette’s place.

The next morning I wake up on the couch in one of those fuzzy, “Where the fuck am I?” states. After remembering where I am, the next thing to hit me is the realization of a sour stomach and the overwhelming urge to shit a violent miasma of mint juleps and late night Waffle House remnants, but the bathroom door is closed—I lean closer and hear the shower. By now, the urge is bad enough that I contemplate just walking in the bathroom and shitting while Cindy showers, but then I picture her screaming like Janet Leigh in Psycho if I just walk in and erupt. We had only started working together a few weeks earlier and were not yet in the “it’s-totally-cool-if-you-shit-next-to- me-while-I’m-lathering-myself-naked” phase of our friendship.

I contemplate other options. The bowel foulness is making me sweat now and impairing my logic. I exit the apartment, waddle down a flight of steps, and approach the downstairs neighbor’s door. I raise my arm to knock when it hits me: Who the hell is going to open their door to a complete stranger and let him shit in their bathroom? I clench my teeth and wobble back up the steps, hoping the bathroom is finally vacated.

The bathroom door is still closed and the shower running. Now frantic, I waddle outside to the piazza, which is basically a square-ish Charleston porch that looks out over the street. I loosen my pants, pull down my underwear and prepare to let loose over the side of the porch. A momentary feeling of calm seizes me as I recognize relief is near. Then I realize I’m about to hang my ass off a third-story porch and let loose on the sidewalk and street down below. And looking down from three stories, I see a construction crew looking up at me from the cracked sidewalk they are repairing. I hurriedly raise my pants and cross the piazza off my list of possible shit places.

By now the turtle is poking its head out of the shell, so I grit my teeth and stumble inside. I approach the bathroom and hear the shower still running. I think of what I could possibly say to Cindy if I just barged in and shit while she saw me from the shower. At a loss for words, I realize I won’t even make it to the bathroom and detour into the kitchen. By now, only the lizard/animal part of my brain is working. I debate shitting in the sink but realize the drain sieve is much too small. I scan the kitchen for anything suitable and a large soup pot in the drainer catches my eye. I pick it up, but I worry it’s not big enough for the rumbling in my bowels; then I see a huge wooden salad bowl out of the corner of my eye and grab it. I want to shit right there and then, but her roommate’s room is right off the kitchen. So I stumble into the living room like a dehydrated person finishing a triathlon, half-squat behind the couch, and fill the salad bowl with pounds and pounds of brown hummus. It feels like it starts under my breastbone and scours every inch of my innards on the way out. Rainbows and unicorns wash over me, and I smile through the sweat as I know the day is going to be fine now.

The feeling of happiness evaporates when my rational brain returns and I realize I’m standing in a relative stranger’s living room holding a giant bowl of shit. The smell of it starts to gag me and I peek my head round the corner to see the bathroom door still shut. I weigh my options: Can’t flush it down the toilet. Can’t throw it off the piazza. Can’t just hide it nonchalantly in the trash. I stow the bowl in the far corner of the porch and take a quick few breaths of crisp (for Charleston) morning air to clear my head, even pausing to sit on the porch swing and think about how lucky I was they had a massive salad bowl. After my heart beat had returned to normal and I stopped sweating, I went in sans shit-laden salad bowl to see if the coast was clear. The bathroom was empty. Finally! I figured I’d just haul the bowl in, pour it out, use a plastic scraper from the kitchen to get whatever stuck to the sides.

I go back to the piazza to retrieve the bowl from the porch, but I am stopped in my tracks. Now Cindy is sitting on the swing, rocking back and forth. The salad bowl of shit is now lightly steaming in the corner of the porch behind her. I figure she already saw it, but I position my body between her line of sight and the salad bowl just in case.

“Good morning,” I mutter.

“Good morning,” she said. “Sleep okay?”

I’m still waiting to see if she’s messing with me, but it becomes clear she’s not. She’s hung over, too, just simply gazing out over the city. We make a little small talk about leading tours when hung over, then I remember the problem of the giant bowl of steaming shit again. All I can come up with is a lie.

“Umm… I think I heard Collette calling you.”

Cindy furrows her brow. “What did she want?”

“Umm.. .not sure, she just said she needed to talk to you or something.”

“That’s weird,” Cindy says, then she gets up and walks off toward Colette’s room. I spin immediately, grab the bowl, spring to the bathroom, flush the contents down the toilet, rinse it in the sink and put it back in its rightful spot in the kitchen.

I go back to the porch to celebrate and Cindy is there again.

“What the hell? Colette was still sleeping, said she never even woke up yet.”

“Huh, I must be hearing things. Sorry about that.”

“Well, we better get to work.”

A typical day in the trenches of Southern tourism unfolded. At the end of our shift, Cindy came up to me and said Collette cooked a nice dinner and invited me. I accepted. When we got there, I see a lovely spread of pastries and chicken, replete with a fresh green salad in the familiar salad bowl. I start laughing but don’t explain why when they ask. And though I always eat everything no matter what, and they know me as a grub who eats leftovers off their plates, I refuse to eat any salad and they keep asking what’s wrong. I tell them I will eventually explain one day.

About a year later, Cindy and Collette were moving away and invited me for one last dinner. I finally told them the sordid history of their salad bowl story and their faces looked as if I were Freddy Krueger. An incredulous howl goes up: “Do you know how many times we’ve used that bowl since then? I can’t believe it, I’m going to throw up!” Cindy got up, grabbed the salad bowl, and put it in my lap. “It’s yours now!”

I never could bring myself to eat it out of it, probably because I’m the only one who actually saw it brimming over with brown filth, and I eventually put it in a dumpster rather than give it to Goodwill. I’ve had some hairy intestinal moments since then where I wished that trusty salad bowl had been at my side, but nothing has compared to the violent synthesis of my weak stomach, Squirrel Nut Zipper cocktails, and Cindy’s long showers.

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Trifecta: The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

I.

by Kimberley Lynne

I was running a healthcare conference at the Marriott and PETA protested by leaving a big stinky pile of human poop right in front of the ballroom doors. As the hotel staff scrambled to remove it, we poured bags of coffee on it to kill the stench.

***

II.

I had been drinking Sambuca after the bar closed. We decided a two-hour road-trip to DC was in order, and as we drove I finished off the bottle. We got to DC about 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning. We started to walk up an empty road, and I was hit with the need to go. I think at this point I was barking like a dog, just for fun. It occurred to me that dogs just go in the road so I dropped my pants and pooped right in the road. Really odd. Didn’t drink Sambuca after I sobered up and realized what I had done.

***

III.

I ran into the house already unbuckling my pants – it was time to go. I bolted up the stairs and found the bathroom door locked. The one bathroom in the house.

I jiggled the doorknob to be sure, and my teenaged son’s voice croaked out from the crack in the door: “I had to come home early. I’m sick.”

I tried to hide the panic in my voice. “Do you think you’ll be in there long?”

He said, “I’m sorry.” Sick as a dog and the dear boy still knows his father has a short poop fuse. “I have diarrhea.”

I shouted a “No problem!” over my shoulder as I shuffled down the hall and back downstairs. My pants were around my knees, and it was hard to run. But I needed to run, unless I wanted to shit on the stairs, because it was coming, uninvited like the plague, hammering the gates of the citadel like the Hun army.

I raced to the kitchen, where at least there’s linoleum. I spied the kitchen trashcan. Perfect.

I pulled the trash can out from the wall, and with the grace of a ballerina, spun, dropped trou, and parked my woebegotten ass in the top of the trashcan.

This was not a firm one. Spraying, sputtering, machine-gun fire. I was thinking that maybe I had what my son had, and I glanced guiltily back toward the stairs. My dog sat in the doorway to the kitchen, watching me with his head cocked slightly to one side. I shouted at him to go away, and he retreated a few paces, still watching me.

See, what’s perfect about a kitchen trashcan is that not only is it strong enough to support your weight and only slightly too tall, but it has a plastic liner. When I finished, I stood up and cleaned myself off with paper towels, tossing them onto the mass of angry Huns. I tied the bag tightly shut and carried it out to the big garbage can behind the house. I shouted at my dog to get away from the outside garbage can, and I returned to the house fresh as a daisy.

Kitchen trashcans: totally my go-to place to go in the future.

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Not my job description: a triptych

I.

When I was 14 and working in a restaurant, someone laid, seriously, a two-foot coil in the loo. So us kids stared at each other dumbly, all grossed out, and asked the head cook what to do. He walked in with the knife he was using to chop green peppers and sliced the log up, then went back to the peppers with the same knife.

***

II.

A woman came into the emergency room saying that she was having a baby. Turns out she gave birth to a HUGE poop that had to be broken up with a tongue depressor before it could be flushed.

***

III.

It was a Saturday. I was the only one working. Earlier that week I had a case of the runs but it had cleared up by Saturday. Or so I thought. I had some gas and because no one else was in the office, I was free to let it rip.

Saturdays were quite slow but I was on a call when another gas pain hit, so I let that one go also. Only it wasn’t just gas. It was a blow out. Well, it could’ve been worse because even though I was talking to someone, I realized I had to do some damage control and held back what I could.

Within a couple seconds I told the client I’d have to call him back, that there was an emergency, and I asked for his number. I sat there wondering what to do. The bathroom was three hallways away, and I was, well, squishy. I was worried I’d run into someone and be forced into a conversation. I thought about closing up for the day but that would require a long, moist trip to the parking lot.

After deciding I couldn’t clean up at my desk, I glided to the bathroom as quickly and motionlessly as I could.

I cleaned myself up using toilet paper and toilet water. A pair of poopy underwear was stashed in the hygienic products bin that day, wrapped in about half a roll of toilet paper.

Got back to the desk, called the customer back, and finished out my shift.

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