Stuck On You,
a three act tragicomedic fecal farce by Bruce McAnus, your cybah-spaced weaver of tales.
Before I wax poetic, let me explain that there is an axiom in certain circles that one should never actually sit on, but should instead “hover” over, the outhouse bench –as one never knows who, or more importantly, what, might have sat there before you. I always rejected that as either 1) a cynical, right-wing, self-fulfilling ‘rule of thumb’, as it were, given that he-who-hovers is generally the source of what the he-who’s-next seeks to avoid, or 2) some bogey-man hysteria like, you know, “The poop monster’s gonna reach up and grab your testicles if’n you don’t hover (, man).”
When hiking logistics require you to “clench one in the oven” for many a mile, there is something about that magic moment of sitting down and letting go, an aesthetic –nay, even a visceral enlightenment –that just plain fizzles-out when you have to pose like a Goddamn Sumo wrestler to crap –you know what I’m sayin?
Besides, wouldn’t anything truly dangerous left behind by a previous customer occupy actual 3-dimensional space and therefore be visible to that low-angle view one has when bent forward but looking backward between parted knees whilst “tucking the biscuit” just prior to the sit?
So, imagine now the scene, in gathering darkness, and about –25°F, at the outhouse a hundred feet or so below the summit of Maine’s Mt. Bigelow, as I desperately balanced risk against reward, fate against chance: to sit, or not to sit, unaware of the frost-covered chameleon that awaited me….
In fading light of winter’s dusk
all that glistens is not gold,
and high upon the frozen col of Bigelow
within a shack (outstanding in its field),
the last ironic twinkle of precipitated frost
that paints upon the plywood seat
a fiery white corona ’round a lidless deep black-hole,
foretells more than its eclipsing by a woebegotten puckered moon;
And more than honey-mustard sauce
besports a weak-kneed, cold-pressed ham
who staggers back to camp, post haste
and must defrost his Frigiderrière.
Act I: Christmas Past: Some hovering lard-ass cretin misses an easy outhouse lay-up and plops a steamer on the plywood bench. Now, if there is a God (or poetic justice in the cosmic dance), this dithering near-Doo-well also plays the next role in this comedy of barers: he who’s wavering commitment to his precarious scatological position falters –and smushes his own mislaid dumpling to a mere third-of-a-turd, a patina of poo poo, a flat scat, feces without creases, a …well, you get the picture.
Act II: Exit thermal energy, Enter Ol’ man Winter: Warm and wet from its rectal incubator, our 2-D road-apple soon chills, its thermal perturbations dampened by the icy winds of Bigelow, and its internal water-of-turd blossoms upward into thin, beautiful white needles of glistening ice: our thin brown friend soon sports a delicate white muff.
Meanwhile in nether realms below the seat, a brown and white dappled anaerobic mound –heart of the reactor, a pile-‘o-poo the shitting image of Bigelow itself –slowly completes the exo-colonic digestion of trail mix and Kraft Mac&Cheese, and quietly issues (as one must, sans anus) wisps of steam and sundry aromatics –only to meet the cold, disapproving airs of winter above, and, whereupon, realizing the thermal jig is up, they trade in their vaporous vigor with a crystallizing sigh, and settle back upon the bench to aggregate with their bad-breathren into a white frosty ring, thickest at the almost-impossible-to-miss-miss bullseye, but thinning with increasing distance from the portal of their issuance –a distribution that encompases and camouflages at least one other standard deviant with a similar saga behind the formation of his ermine coat –yes, our little split Oreo, frosting side up.
Act III: Christmas “Present”: Yea, like the ring of frost around my black hole that day, as my cementaceous colonic contents danced ’round the final bend, doin’ a slow boogie to a peristaltic beat. Weak-kneed, fart-bound, cramped, and miserable, I paused but a second to admire the glistening white, apparently fur-lined crapper, reflecting only long enough to ponder this sublime poetic creation of the brothers Frost (Robert and Jack) in light of the Tao’s beautiful, bittersweet indifference to human joy and suffering, beauty and horror –as willing to proffer mushrooms for the eyes of a rotting corpse as daisies for a little girl’s fist –before my knees swooned and buckled before the onslaught of the rectal juggernaut above (OK, I sat), and my oral and anal editors immediately screamed in harmony the same vowel –a painfully large diameter, single, long and agonizing “O”, although the meaning, if not the content, of the messages were analogous, if only in the abstract, thank God: “OHHHH SHIT!”, verses “O”-shit, if you will. So what if the subliminal frost vignette melted ‘neath the early thaw of my parted cheeks, for this too is of the Tao (and not of it, and both, and neither, ad Nirvanum). Besides, a cold ass is the least of your problems when Vlad the Impaler is thrashing around your rectum, looking for peasants to punish.
Epi-Log: Enter the Draggin’ (sic): Unfortunately, the Thin Man melted too, and evidently bored of his board, instead clung fast to my external gluteus velcrosis, perhaps preferring the gentile climes of his youth, perhaps ready for a new career as a poo patch, a prostate post-it, a bum Band-Aid, a dag tag, a rear-end road kill, a crap crêpe, a Klingon from Uranus, and on and on and on…
Read more Half Ass Expeditions: How to Shit in the Woods with Snowshoes On