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“No shit”

~ Sherlock Holmes on constipation

11:38 PM, Wednesday night. You're watching House, a pint of Ben & Jerry's firmly in hand; the streets outside are pleasantly alive with the sound of passing cars, and your neighbor beating his wife. As you watch a full-grown man piss blood on himself, you can't shake the feeling that something is amiss in this otherwise perfect scene. Suddenly, you're aware of an odd feeling in your bottom. Casting it aside as a simple case of soreness, undoubtedly the result of lying on your ass all day, you re-adjust your position and return to watching television. But all night, strange sensations have been at work within your most intimate reaches. Now they have come to a head - you struggle in your seat as you feel your inner bowels clench and unclench; a great cataclysm draws near.

You wince in discomfort as the forces at work grip your rectum. You try to ignore the feeling, put your feet up on the coffee table, lie on your side, and eat more ice cream. But the pain will not dissipate. With a knowing heaviness, your heart sinks to your knees. The moment is at hand; the final hour is upon you. Wide-eyed horror grips your body as you run to the bathroom, and open the door. The toilet lies stern on the bathroom floor, its great jowls open wide as if to welcome you into its watery depths. Terror takes hold. You take a deep breath, pray one last time, and turn to face your enemy.

Stage 1: Denial

Hello Kitty, beloved anime feline. Adored by millions of 12-year old girls. Suffers from constipation.

You are now firmly seated on the toilet, its cold porcelain embrace surrounding your cheeks, seeming to pull them in. Slow, deliberate breaths contrast sharply to your restlessly beating heart. Memories of that night in the hotel, when you couldn't poop, are flooding back. This isn't happening, you say to yourself. It's probably just a regular old stomachache; I ate some bad curry. You embrace this idea. Yeah, that's it. Just a stomachache. It'll be over soon, I just gotta calm down. You resolve to take some Pepto-Bismol. But something holds you back, bars its way between you and sweet pink relief.

Stage 2: Anger

"Fuck!" Anger and doubt rush back. Why the hell did I eat that curry? I don't even like Indian food! In your frustration, you try vainly to alleviate the pressure building up. You squeeze and you force, tightening your bowels in rhythmic ascent. Blood rushes to your face as you turn red. No, not this time! Squeezing and squeezing ever harder, you slowly begin to feel something inch its way down, bit by bit. Your body desperately wants to release, and the prospect is so near. You jump up and down in your seat, thrashing about. I will not give in! You will not give in. Pushing and pushing, the seemlessly endless mass creeps forward - it's almost out. Your face is crimson red, your knuckles white as they clench the nearby sink. A couple more efforts and you should have it. Push...push, damn you! The final stretch, it's almost there; and just as it's about to exit: rejection. The turd retreats back into your body. "Fuck!"

Stage 3: Bargaining

Even Jesus suffered from a little constipation. Fortunately, he managed it through prayer. And Ex-Lax.

The fury is gone, slowly replaced by desperation, as you turn to religion. Please, God, please...I promise I'll be good; I'll never eat curry ever again! You make promises you can never fulfill. I'll even come to church again, please just let me shit one more time! By now, you're not even trying to defecate. You reach for the nearest roll of toilet paper, only to find you threw it across the room during that last stage. Suddenly, a knock on the bathroom door. "Yes?" you manage to blurt out through the tears. It's your beloved partner. They must not know what is happening. "Honey, are you pooping in there?" they ask.

Umm, no! You reach over to turn on the faucet, letting the reverberations of rushing water mask the sounds of your shame. I was just, uhh, cutting myself! And now I'm washing up. A lie told in good faith. They'll forgive you later.

"Oh, alright dear. I thought you were taking a load, or something disgusting like that." You laugh nervously: Hehe, don't be silly! As they leave, you breathe once more. With the embarrassment of your situation evaded once again, hollow victory sets in. You let the guilt overtake you, and settle into a state of deep sadness.

Stage 4: Depression

He can diagnose West Indian pygmy flu, cure rectal cancer, and be back in time to yell at Foreman. But even Dr. House gets constipation.

The pain has now subsided. You and your anus are too numb to feel anything at this point. Whereas before you might have made a final attempt at relieving the discomfort, now the effort seems vain and pointless. Why bother? you ask yourself. I'll still have to crap tomorrow. This sadness seems overwhelming; you can't fight the inevitable conclusion. Sighing and lamenting over lost opportunities, narrowly-missed chances, and missing the end of House, you finally manage to stop yourself, and you come to terms with the empty, painful truth.

Stage 5: Acceptance

There's no reason to persist, you say to yourself. Slowly, you get up from your seat, the chilly hold of its white arms now only a frigid blush upon your cheeks. You pick up that dropped roll of toilet paper, spray a shot of Glade, and wash your hands one last time, knowing full well If I'm going out like this, I'm at least going out with dignity. And clean fingers. After all, tomorrow's a new day. A new chance to crap.

With the weight of your shame lifted off your shoulders, and a glimmer of hope in your heart, you steal a final glance at the toilet. Maybe we're not so different, you and I... As you turn off the lights, a warm glow loans you strength from within. Looking out into the hallway, you know that nothing has changed. But it doesn't bother you. You've emerged from that lavatory a newly-made person, ready to face whatever this cruel world can dish out. Ready to move on, maybe even take a tinkle. And as you exit the hall, and plop yourself down on the couch, that heavy weight is lifted even more in the loving embrace of your soul mate. Yes, you reassure yourself. Everything is going to be alright.

Too bad you just shit yourself.

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