It’s potty time


By Les Linz

Pooping. You hated it as a child — you love it as an adult.

As a college sophomore, I wrote a paper on the book, “Toilet Training in Less than a Day” — you should have seen the looks I got from child-bearing aged women as I scurried across campus to go from class to class, clasping the bright blue paperback to my chest. If looks could kill, I was already dead.

The manual has sold over 2 million copies, and was compiled (oops — maybe that’s not such a good word, considering) by Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx (both with Piled Higher and Deepers — I mean, PH.D.s).

The volume boasts of methodology that is supposed to bless you and your child with success in about two hours.

As far as I know, my late mother-in-law never read the book, certainly not the English version. Though not a master of the suggested skill set, she had some formidable ideas when it came to training up her grandchild in the art of relief.

When our daughter was 6 weeks old, Mo would hold the child’s naked behind about a foot above a waiting shoe box, lined in white crepe paper. She would encourage the girl with grunting noises, while she simultaneously shook her kin’s booty. After 20 minutes of shaking, a “gift” would appear, and Mrs. C. would praise her grandchild profusely. To this day I cannot pass a shoebox without trembling.

Fast forward about 17 months.

Mom was enjoying a night on the town, and the two of us had daddy and daughter night. Marie had been making considerable progress in the “do it yourself” department, and wanted to demonstrate her prowess. I encouraged her independence, but asked her to leave the bathroom door open, just in case she needed any help, to which she was amenable.

I smiled to myself with pride as I heard her make the preparations. Suddenly, I heard a dreadful noise, which apparently involved our linoleum bathroom floor.

“Marie, are you okay?” I asked, startled and scared.

“Oh yes, Daddy,” she responded cheerfully, “I’m just moving my stool.”

Yes, she just wanted to make sure she could get up to the seat alright. Linkletter, Cosby and Haddish were all in agreement — kids do say the darndest things.

Younger people are one thing — older people are another.

Recently, I experienced the trip from hell, as I went southbound on I65 to get to my Louisville destination.

Let me shoot you a story problem: Add one cup of coffee to a 63 mile drive on a bumpy road that’s already under construction PLUS those who can’t read a simple sign about the right lane being closed up ahead, causing the resulting delay, PLUS, a bladder whose apparent mission in life is to instill in its owner the prospect of imminent explosion — and what do you get? Answer: Teeth that do not merely float — but swim.

The lowers did the backstroke while the uppers swam the butterfly — the molars were in need of a lifeguard

And speaking of older people, just as there is a tremendous amount of baby diaper brands, so it goes for the adult variety. With a name like “Serenity,” you would think peace would flow, no matter what else does.

Kids’ diaper varieties include, “Huggies, Pampers, Luvs, All Good, Good Nites, and Cuties, — those born under the sign of Aquarius must be what “Little Swimmers” (from Huggies) had in mind. And the kids on the covers look so happy! Usually when our daughter needed to be changed, the face she made was not a happy one — or was ours.

ADULT BRANDS consist (in part) of “Depend Real Fit” (with a super jock on the cover — almost makes me want to become incontinent just to have a physique like that). “Prevail” (maximum absorption Really? I was hoping for minimum). “Assurance” (I know an insurance company by that name — they’re supposedly ‘stretch briefs’, but if they stretch TOO well, they won’t be Assurant brief’ anymore). Reassure. Tranquility. Attends (for university students that have the crud scared out of them by their new professors). Always (“discreet” max protection), and then there’s Supreme Briefs (no doubt what Amy Coney Barrett wore under her modest garments to her confirmation hearings).

I know we’ve talked here about kids, and about adults — now we’ll take a moment to talk about adults that ACT like kids.

As a janitor, I’ve seen bodily byproducts used as wall hangings, and more recently, as hood ornaments, placed by so-called adults with IQs lower than the children whose diapers they merely aspire to fill some day.

And then there’s the adult that was at one time a kid — who had a kid of her own — a beloved family member that had an even scarier situation concerning potty exploits.

She had just completed radiation treatments after removal of the thyroid, as her tonsils had likewise been shrunk via radiation years earlier. Every time she changed her baby’s diaper, she was required to check his waste with a Geiger counter, making sure she wasn’t passing a problem on to him. Glad to say that years later, he’s fine, and she survived the emotional terror that no novice mother of newborns should have to experience.

February is normally (all) Cancer Awareness Month — and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in particular — but in honor of all those that fight the good fight against that dreaded disease in its many forms, please do your part this month, to help put “poop” — in its place.

Les Linz is a Seymour resident who writes the “Humor: More or Les” column. For information about Linz, visit his author page. Send comments to [email protected].

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