Straight from the Ant’s Rants travel log comes the sordid tale of a man on a quest. He seeks no gold, no fame, no worldly wisdom. The only treasure sought along this road is the mighty Porcelain Throne. Enjoy the ride…
Road Journals: Excerpt I- The Toilet Pages
Hundreds of miles lay in my wake. The hours of cross country trekking were finally catching up with me. My gut was grumbling and my bodily functions were screaming for action. By the time I hit the backwoods of Georgia, my Hanes were in danger and my fountain was on the spritz. As much as I hated to push a nugget in the porcelain jungle of a public piss pen, it seemed a far better choice than inside my $30 American Eagles. Problem was, it was about three o’clock in the morning. Any clean and respectable establishment was closed until the AM. Technically, of course it WAS morning but not the time generally suited for bacon and eggs. This hour was ripe for hookers, cocaine and curious clergyman… possibly all as part of the same transaction.
I’d been fighting my inner needs for the better part of two hours and I knew I’d never make it until the cock cried. If my eyes weren’t already brown they sure would have been after the level of urgency rose as high it did. Let’s just say things can really back up on a guy driving for hours on end with nothing but Slim Jims for sustenance. Waiting any longer was just out of the question. I’d simply have to settle for less than ideal conditions. Sure, in a perfect world I would calmly place myself on a heated velvet toilette and gracefully let nature take its course but that seemed like a rather tall order that time of night. I mean, a scantily-clad French maid to mop my crack with a silken cloth would have been stellar but equally as difficult to obtain on such short notice. Especially, with the wages I was offering. Besides that, I hadn’t seen any kind of man-made structure in fifty miles. Anybody actually living in the woods I was driving through was bound to be a white-tail deer rapist. All I knew was that if I didn’t take care of business within the next few minutes, I’d have to renege on my personal oath to never again poop in the woods. Decades earlier, the Scouts taught me to wipe my ass with leaves, but not how to identify poison ivy when I see it. Needless to say, several youthful days were spent dripping ice cubes down nature’s valley for relief. A debilitating addiction to Calamine Lotion ensued. Eventually, I was weaned off the sauce with bacitracin and cold cream. Since then though, I’d held my vow to never drop my drawers in a non-tiled room. Miraculously, that promise would remain intact as the opportunity soon arose for me to complete the most fetid of bodily functions. Salvation stood alone in the middle of an otherwise uninhabited roadway and came in the form of a rundown gas and food-mart. I would later find that the gas came about an hour after eating the food.
My eyes saw the Gates of Heaven and its sign said Fuel. That building contained everything I needed to feel complete again; sugar, caffeine and most importantly Porcelain. Of course, the dirty deed was top priority and not to be delayed. I careened into the parking lot driving at highway speed with my foot dragging outside the door in anticipation like Fred Friggin’ Flintstone. I hobbled as fast as I could over to the store, swung the door open with full force tearing out the bottom hinge and knocking over a newspaper rack. Standing in the doorway amidst the broken glass, not a soul could I see. As if no other words or action were necessary, I barked out the lone word “Bathroom!” to the open air in the center of the store. Pause. Nothing. As I prepared to paint the place brown, a head slowly popped up over the counter from underneath a wrinkled newspaper. Without ever actually looking at me, the head’s owner mumbled, “outside” while holding out a key tied to a 2×4. I grabbed the pebble from his hand and left the temple posthaste. Outside again, my head spun around like Linda Blair on a coke binge, but I failed to see the bathroom anywhere. In fact, I found no doors at all other than the store entrance. I felt panic setting in as my underwear feared the worst. After circling the perimeter twice, I scratched my head and pondered aloud, “Where the fuck is the damned crapper?!”
Minutes later, something caught my eye at the far end of the rear parking lot. It was a tiny shed-sized building standing alone in the darkness. Surely, this must be the place for which I seek. Indeed it was. It was a cold, dark, and damp little shithole in the middle of nowhere. A thing of beauty, indeed. My chapel. My church. My saving grace. Tears of joy welled in my eyes as I waddled across the lot with my legs squeezed tight and my arms stretched before me like Herman Munster on his way to the parlor.
At first, the door seemed locked, stuck or rusted shut but with a few sharp kicks and a pulverizing head-butt it scraped open to reveal my soiled savior. Moments later, I remembered the key in my hand and decided to keep it as a souvenir. The only light inside came from the moonlight shining in through the vents in the roof. That luxury skylight was probably the only reason the smell in there wasn’t worse than it was. The sensation was gag-inducing. I cringed in Poe-ish horror as I imagined being entombed alive like Fortunato. That stony crypt could easily have become my final place of residence if I hadn’t used my emergency pocket shoe horn to prop the rusty door open. If it came to pass that I got trapped in there though, I’d be forced to live on toilet water and excrement until someone found my decaying remains still trying to claw their way out of that Walnut Grove hell-hut. All my mail could be forwarded to the rooftop air vent and dropped below. The thought was almost enough to initiate retreat, but at that point there was no way I could turn back without shitting to regret it. I’d come too far to walk away with funky undies.
Shunning the darkness and all its horrors, I unfastened the butt-flap in the back of my Michael Landon long-johns and mounted the porcelain pony for that joyous ride to Relief Town. Sure enough, pulling open the chute doors allowed ten years of life to return to my broken body replacing the buckets of junk food that just departed through the Southernmost exit. I unleashed weapons of ass-destruction never before thought possible. I slumped forward in post-orgasmic satisfaction unfazed by the fact that I hadn’t even covered the seat with anything protective. If I hadn’t been so pressed for time, I probably could have fashioned some type of sanitary wreath out of mud and twigs. Surely that would have blocked at least a few germs from getting in through the out door. Nevertheless, as I sat on that toilet in the Georgia outhouse at 3:00 A.M., I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I’m sitting on a toilet in a Georgia outhouse at 3:00 A.M.” As comfortable as that sticky ass-ring felt on my tired backside, I knew it was best not to rest there for too long. As dark as it was, there was just no telling what kind of matter might me festering beneath me. Besides, I would only get more tired if I rested there longer. Worse than that even, I would procure an unattractive oblong indentation around my posterior. Nope, not for me. It was best to buckle up and clean up… although not necessarily in that order.
As I stepped up to the basin, I encountered yet another unpleasantry. Not at all to my surprise, there wasn’t a single drop of water running in the little prison style sink with which I could wash my hands. Nothing but rust stains from the corroded faucet covered its chipped porcelain skin. The shadowed moonlight revealed what might have been a roll of paper towels lying in a rain puddle on the floor, but I couldn’t be sure. It could just as easily have been the slumped cadaver of some poor animal that got trapped inside while seeking shelter. Or perhaps, some drunk the night before stumbled in and missed the commode after bingeing on Captain Morgan and Cool Ranch. Too chancy. Just as my Aunt Jemima always told me, “Never touch unidentifiable objects in dark Southern outhouses without rubber gloves, tongs and a friend that works in the germ ward.” For lack of a better idea, I washed up by way of the ole’ Denim Dry Rinse Method. Thanks to dark jeans, nobody would ever know my dirty little secret, sans the smell. It was just me and the open road, anyway. With my intestines contracting back to normal, I split that concrete hellhole as quick as my rubber legs could carry me. Problem was I was still exhausted and now famished. I hadn’t eaten anything of consequence all day. Let’s just say the quality of snacks that went into me was similar to the way the snacks came out. I needed food. I was starting to feel as hungry as the Olsen twins look. In the middle of nowhere, I had no choice. Fuel.