Because one can’t talk about porta-potties enough, yes, I have another story involving a porta-potty. Yup. Don’t read during a meal or directly following having anything to eat. It’s one of those. You have been warned.
I have mentioned my dear Grandma Dorothy before. She has passed, but not a single family get-together goes by that we do not fondly recall her crazy antics or reminisce about her depression-era perseverance. She is still a very important part of our lives, she just lives on through our favorite repeated stories.
After my mother read my “Porta Poop” post, she insisted I had to write about my grandmother’s experience with a porta-potty. It it one of our favorite stories, so I have to share it.
Disclaimer: My grandmother suffered from dementia. She was disoriented 99% of the time and I, in no way, condone laughing at someone suffering such a cruel disease. Why my family finds this particular event humorous is simply due to it being fucking funny, and because, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. We knew she would have preferred we spent her last years laughing, rather than crying. She loved to laugh, and thus we did.
Before my grandmother got really bad, before she attempted to eat her false teeth, and before we sadly had to move her into a home, my mother and aunt would take her on day-long car trips. Even after her dementia settled in for good, she could point out her favorite make and model of car. She loved to ride for hours just looking, watching.
While adventuring to God-knows-where and for God-knows how long, a pit stop was in order. Because my family is the type to use a random porta-poop, they didn’t even think twice about doing their business in one on the side of the road in BFE.
They got Grams to go in and insisted it was a safe place (I still think that was a cruel, cruel lie), so she entered without too much complaint.
After what seemed an exponentially long amount of time, my aunt knocked on the blue door to see how Grams was getting on.
Grandma’s response: “I’m washing my hands and I just can’t seem to get this soap to lather”.
I can only imagine how my aunt’s expression changed from confusion to complete horror.
Aunt Dana: “Ma, you must be mistaken, there is no sink in there”. I’m sure she was praying hard that she just misheard.
No. She did not mishear.
Grandma: “Yes, there’s this nice, little sink in here, with this pretty pink soap. It just won’t get soapy”.
In case you haven’t caught on:
SHE WAS “WASHING” HER HANDS IN A URINAL, WITH A URINAL CAKE.
I still can’t even. I’m gagging right now.
In utter panic mode, my aunt attempted to coax Gramdma out of the porta-potty with as calm a voice as possible.
My mom was waiting in the car and suddenly saw a blur of Grandma and Dana, reeling down the hill from porta-hell. My aunt had my grandma by her wrists and she was holding her arms as far from her as humanly possible. She was yelling as if someone just got murdered. My mom opened the door and all she heard was:
“URINAL CAKE! WIPES! URINAL CAKE! GOOD GOD, LORD ALMIGHTY!”
After they wiped every square inch of my grandmother off with wipes, Grams says: “I don’t understand what the fuss was about. It was a perfectly good sink. And perfectly good soap!”
That day, we were glad she had dementia. I don’t think anyone would recover from learning they had gotten down to business with a urinal cake.
Sometimes dementia is good, but only when it involves porta-potties, urinals and “special” soap.