Sunday, October 24, 2004

Necessity, the Mother of Invention

Warning: The following story is gross. If you continue to read, just remember, you've been warned.

Being from Southeast Texas, a lot of my friends are hunters. Several years ago, a friend told me a story about being stuck in the middle of the woods on a hunting trip in freezing weather when, for lack of a better term, intestinal distress hit him. It was a lengthy story and I must have quit listening at some point because, it seems, the point of the story was that he had to walk from the middle of the woods in freezing weather without a shirt. Huh? How did we go from taking a dump in the woods to being without a shirt? I tried to connect the dots of his story before having to admit I didn't know how he became shirtless in freezing weather in the middle of the woods. However, I couldn't put the pieces together and finally had to ask. His reply, "I was in the middle of the woods. I didn't have any toilet paper." Okay. Sorry I asked.

On our most recent trip to New Orleans, we were enjoying Hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's and discussing what everyone was going to do the next morning. The same guy from the "shirtless in the woods" story looks at his wife and says, "Well, for one thing I have to buy some underwear." We all looked at him and he proceeded to explain why he needed more underwear.

Part of the group had gone to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch. During lunch he was once again struck with the urge to purge. That's one thing about New Orleans. You eat so much and you drink so much that you are either constantly in the bathroom or you are hopelessly plugged up. Either way, when the urge hits you, you pay attention. He excused himself and hurried to the bathroom. He realized, too late, that there was no toilet paper in his stall.

He contemplated his options. There was a guy in the stall next to him but that would involve asking the guy for paper. Evidently, men don't do this. The next option was to crawl naked to the stall on the other side. He, wisely, decided against that as well. There was one option left. From his deep woods survival training a brilliant idea came to him. "I shall use my underwear," he thought.

That was fine and dandy but guess what our hero did with his underwear after performing his makeshift personal hygiene task. He flushed them. That's right. He sent his tighty-whities down the 200 year old sewage system of one of the lowest lying cities in the entire country.

Allow me to explain the drainage situation in New Orleans. I cannot tell you how many times we have plugged up and overflowed toilets in some of the finest hotels in the French Quarter. I was actually once given a toilet paper disposal lesson by a hotel maintenance man after overflowing a toilet. To my credit, I tried to unstop it myself with a coat hanger before calling maintenance but he was unimpressed. "Now, dahlin', didn't your mama ever tell you how to fold toilet paper? You're in the Quarter. You can't just go crumplin' the paper up. You got to fold it like this." This was told to me in a very matter-of-fact fashion with no embarrassment at all on his part. I, however, was wondering if I could flush myself down the toilet.

I am not providing the name of the restaurant in question because I have a feeling that they had a huge plumbing bill not long after we left town. Either that, or the offending Jockey's are somewhere between Toulouse Street and the Mississippi River on their way to some soon to be very surprised alligators.

1 comment:

Lorna said...

gross, yes, but kind of charming. How did you manage that? And how do you get your friends to talk about their underwear? The closest I've ever come was a talk about why sleeveless shirts of a certain type are called "wifebeaters" and frankly, I was glad I had to be told.