This past weekend, a good friend and I went to the Genoa Candy Dance. I had assumed that people would be dancing and throwing candy around. I mean, isn’t that what it sounds like it would be?? To my dismay, the Candy Dance was just a bunch of over-priced vendors and food trucks (apparently there is a dinner and dance event in the evening). The food truck part was, however, much appreciated. What I did really like about this event was that it was held in Nevada’s oldest town/settlement. For a history lover, it is a real damn shame that I had never been to Genoa before. I fully plan on visiting again sans tons of people pushing to get to a stall selling crocheted rabbits.
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.
Can I just take a moment to express how much I hate porta-potties? My hate and disgust is so strong that I will directly avoid events where I know only shit boxes will be provided. Portable toilets are hot, putrid, foul places that I never, ever want to find myself in. Ever. Today, I had to use a poop house and it was horrible. It was so horrible. I want to describe my shitty (literally) ordeal for your reading pleasure, but first, I would like to share where I believe my fear of porta-potties came from.
When I was 15, I began dating a guy who was a total Creatine-head. He drove a ridiculous, embarrassingly huge truck, with stack pipes so big you had to know they represented what he so sorely lacked in his pants. He was a hot head and a fool. I was even more of a fool for dating him, but that’s another story or twelve. Anyways, I would accompany him and his family on camping trips out at Pyramid Lake during the summer. Anyone who knows Windless Bay beach, also knows that Windless Bay really means Wind So Strong It Blows Your Tent Into the Lake, Along With Your Sleeping Bag, and Favorite Down Feather Pillow. The wind at Pyramid Lake is like a big “Fuck You” to your ignorantly innocent belief your camping trip will be pleasant.
So, let’s recap, it’s fucking windy at Pyramid Lake. This particular beach also has two porta-potties for the entire beach. Two. How generous. It’s basically a germaphobe’s living nightmare. In case anyone wanted to know, wind and porta-potties aren’t the best of friends, especially so, when the porta-potty isn’t even anchored to the ground, in any way, shape, or form. I’m sure we have all inferred at this point that I had an unfortunate experience in a portable toilet at Pyramid Lake. Yes, I had to use a porta-poop in a wind storm and the experience has affected my mental stability since. I have Porta-Potty PTSD.
I don’t really want to get into how horrible the realization that you may, quite possibly, be in a porta-potty when it tips over, because I don’t have enough Xanex and bleach to erase the memory. Simply, I wouldn’t wish, even on Kanye West, the worry that the likelihood of being covered in other peoples’ poop is frighteningly high in such a situation. It was terrifying, let’s just leave it at that. However, the absolute best part was that my boyfriend, my walnut-for-a-brain boyfriend was outside the porta-potty, as my life was flashing before my eyes, and I was hastily asking God for forgiveness for all of my minor transgressions, shaking it. He was shaking the porta-potty. He was helping the wind along. He was shaking it like a big, dumb buffoon, laughing like a fool. I simultaneously wanted God to forgive me my sins and to kill another human being. When the horrific ride in the porta-poop finally came to an end, I mercilessly beat him over the head with a flip flop. I should have dumped him then and there, but I was D.U.M.B. at 15.
So, I am really not fond of porta-potties, but who is? I mean, I doubt there is a single person on this planet who seeks out these portable nightmares, because they get a kick out of the experience.
Today, at the Renaissance Faire (yes, I went to a Ren Faire, shut up), I mistakenly thought I could take my purse in the porta-potty. For anyone’s future reference, there is not a single square millimeter that is safe for you to touch, so why subject your precious purse to possible exposure to God-knows-what? So, I had to exit, apply half a bottle of hand sanitizer, and find my boyfriend to watch my purse. Upon my second attempt, I mistakenly looked in the hole! WHY IS THERE ALWAYS DIARRHEA? Does some asshole go around and diarrhea in every porta-potty he sees, or are the runs more of problem than I previously thought?
So, now comes the decision to brave sitting my naked, innocent ass on the vile seat or risk hovering and subsequently being splashed by the diarrhea. This decision stresses me out to the point I start to sweat profusely, and now I’ve been in a nasty, hotbox for far too long and I haven’t even done my business. I decide on hovering, because contact is just too terrifying. As I attempt to dodge the pee on the ground, while trying to not touch the front of the toilet seat with my pants, I notice my hair is almost in the urinal. It’s dangling IN THE URINAL.
I can’t even.
I almost just exit, mid-pee, with my pants around my knees. Scarring children for life, or the obvious embarrassment of exposing my hairy ass, seemed better at the moment than the sensory overload of nasty in that hell hole. As a serious germaphobe, these disgusting situations make me almost insane. It took me an hour to stop sweating and convulsing, and I’m still positive I’ve contracted syphilis.
Next time I find myself out in the woods, or at a concert, I’m holding it. I’m effing holding it.