One friend told me she can't go in public unless it's at Starbucks (the identical bathrooms put her bowels at ease). Another confided she only goes once a week. And yet another friend, who suffers from Crohn's Disease, coined the term "poomergency" to describe the types of accidents she'd occasionally have at the most unfortunate times: while bending over to retrieve her luggage at the airport or right before a long car ride home from a hike with her then new-ish boyfriend.
It's not all bad though. Sometimes we'll share tips and tricks. My friend Dianna just showed me this new contraption she got called the Squatty Potty, which she had delivered to work. It basically positions your body into a more natural squatting posture over the toilet for faster and easier elimination. When she went to pick it up at the front desk, the receptionist said he'd gotten one for each of his daughter's for Christmas. The absurd name had already piqued my interest, but now, people I actually knew were buying them in multiples. My mind raced. I had to know more. Was it legit or was it a joke? Was I missing out? So I set off in search of the truth: I checked Amazon reviews.
And let me tell you, the reviews were glowing. It's been described as perfect, deeply satisfying, and genius. People go on trips and can't wait to come back home to use it again. One guy wrote that it changed his life. His hilarious review made me laugh out loud.
Here's Mark Jaquith's account of the Squatty Potty:
"I gingerly climbed on top of the plastic contraption now ringing my porcelain throne. It soon became apparent that I couldn't keep my britches at my ankles as I normally did. No, they had to go entirely, along with my underthings. And if there is anything more ridiculous on this planet than the sight of a human man wearing a t-shirt and nothing else, I have yet to experience it. So in the interest of saving myself this unfortunate view, I doffed the shirt as well. Now entirely naked, I again attempted to step onto the device. I was unsure, but it seemed to hold. I settled down to the seat, with only the extremities of my posterior touching. My knees were up at my chest. This, plus my complete nakedness, felt very primal. It felt third-world and adventurous. It felt... RIGHT. I concentrated on the task at hand. I had felt a slight urge to go, and had been eager to try out the new purchase. I had been intrigued by the promise that my business would henceforth require substantially less effort on my part, because of the wild beast–man position it forced upon me. But I was still skeptical. It sounded too good to be true. Surely the difference couldn't be that dras— HOLY HELL I'M POOPING.
Well, let me clarify. It wasn’t so much that I was dropping a deuce. Oh, it was being dropped; that much was undeniable. But I couldn't really claim agency on said descent. Gravity was doing the work. I was merely the meaty husk from which it made its hasty escape. Used to more of a segmented approach to waste disposal, I was quite surprised that the creature making its egress from my nethers had more the appearance of a python. Smooth, and consistent in width, it coiled luxuriously in a pool of toilet water that is (or at least was) cleaner than the water that most of the people on this planet drink. As it continued to coil, my emotional state flowed from one of surprise, to horror, to amazement, and then again to horror as the snake coiled higher and higher, like soft serve ice cream at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. It was now surfacing above the water line. But still, the snake showed no signs that it was anywhere near finished with its journey. In a panic, I pawed at the flusher. The poor toilet strained, but eventually sent things on their way. But I wasn’t done yet. As the toilet flushed the waste away, more came to replace it. As the flush subsided, the coil started anew. And then I was done. I tried to catch my breath as the toilet flushed a second time. I felt my liver shift and expand, unsure what to do with all the extra space now afforded to it. I cleaned up and stood, almost dizzy after the affair. “Wow. A+++,” I thought to myself. “Would poop again.”
“Very well,” my bowels seemed to answer, “let’s have another go!”
“Surely you’re joking,” I thought, scrambling to once again work myself into proper Tarzanic stance. There couldn’t possibly be anything left inside of me. I genuinely began to worry that what would come out next might be some vital organ, brought to a freedom-seeking frenzy by all the commotion. But no, it was yet another perfectly formed tube of human excrement. I sat, mouth agape, as number two (round two) breached the water line and came to a graceful finish, leaving an improbable conical shape below me. As I flushed the toilet for the third time in what had astoundingly only been about 70 seconds I wondered if life would ever be the same again."
According to Dianna, the verdict is still out on its effectiveness, but I'm so curious. Would you give it a try?
(Top photo by Liz Daly via Design Sponge)