Toilet Trepidation: Number Two

Warning:  If you have a weak stomach, don’t read this.  Come back next week instead.  I promise not to tell any gross stories then.


Last week, I mentioned a few reasons for my troubled relationship with toilets.  I have more.

You may think that having to use an ancient outhouse in childhood would be enough to leave me with an antipathy toward outhouses.  Not so.  That came later.

When I was a teenager, I volunteered at a children’s summer camp in the Lake of the Woods area around Kenora, Ontario.  I’m not exactly sure why I did this, because kids in large numbers tend to make me run screaming.  Fortunately, I was the archery director, not a counsellor.  My only responsibility was to keep the archery equipment repaired and prevent the kids from shooting each other.  Or us.

One day, I was sitting with a few of the counsellors when a six-year-old dashed up to us, screaming the words of doom:  “Shawna’s down the biffy hole!”

A volley of sidelong glances between the camp staff, accompanied by mutters of, “Not MY kid.”

The unfortunate soul who was responsible for Shawna rushed to the scene of the disaster.  I heard about it later, and that was as close as I cared to come.

Apparently, Shawna had dropped a candy down the hole.  She wanted to see if she could see the candy.  Don’t ask me why.  The logic of kids eludes me.  But it was dark down there, so she got her flashlight.  Apparently Shawna had grip issues or something, because she dropped the flashlight as well.

Horrified that she’d lost her father’s new flashlight, she delegated one of her six-year-old friends to hold her by the ankles while she retrieved the flashlight.  Guess the other kid had grip issues, too.

On the up side, I think Shawna must have had a pretty good life since then.  Getting dropped head-first into a pile of shit is probably about the worst thing that’s going to happen in her lifetime.  Nice to get that out of the way early.

And speaking of getting things out of the way…

Many moons ago, I lived in residence at Tache Hall at the University of Manitoba.  Communal bathrooms were down the hall.  About once a week, I’d find an enormous mound cresting out of the water in the toilet bowl.  I’m not sure whether the Phantom Shitter didn’t know how to flush, or whether he/she was simply so proud of the pile that they wanted the rest of us to be able to admire it, too.

Or, what do I know?  Maybe it was a team effort.  There were some sick puppies living there.

I used to have a recurring dream.  In my dream, I needed to go to the bathroom.  But every bathroom I found had something terribly wrong with it.  I couldn’t find the toilets.  Or the toilets were overflowing.  Or the cubicle walls ended at knee-height.  Or I started to use the toilet and discovered that it was leaking all over me.  It was an utterly repulsive dream.

When I looked it up on a dream-interpretation site, it said toilets are symbolic of expressing or repressing emotions, or that these types of dreams might have indicated I was afraid of what people thought of me.  Or something.

I’m not so sure.

I think it was probably just a flashback.

Anybody else have that dream?

15 thoughts on “Toilet Trepidation: Number Two

  1. Pingback: Manitoba Chinese At The Paris | Diane Henders

  2. I have a recurring loo dream, but the toilets in them are really elaborate affairs; very spacious; very clean. I very often dream of being in large rooms, but don’t usually mention the toilet ones…
    However, Diane, is it cruel to admit that I found the story of the six year old being dropped more funny than harrowing? It was still gross, but funny.


    • Elaborate, spacious toilets, how cool is that? Wonder what the dream interpreters would make of it. It must be another sign of your super-powers.

      And to be perfectly honest, I’ve always thought the kid down the biffy hole was funny, too. Then again, I didn’t have to deal with the cleanup. That may have taken the humour out of it…


  3. You’re going to make me get serious, now, and I hardly ever do that. I had a recurring dream that I had to take a dump, and right now, but every toilet I found was more or less public: in my mail sorting case, where anyone could walk by, or in the plumbing store out in the open, etc. I had this dream for a couple years, and mentioned it, laughing, to my posse on our monthly dinners. One of my friends said: “Sounds like there’s something you’re really ashamed of and you can’t admit it to anyone, or maybe to yourself.” I went from laughter to tears immediately, because she was right. I suddenly realized I was deeply ashamed of feelings I was having towards my sister, who needed my help. I never had the dream again, once I realized it. After my sister died, I had one dream where I got to take a dump in a private place, but there was an earthquake, and I peered out the door to find the building in shambles. I made it out through the wreckage, and stood outside the ruined building in relief. Everything was okay.


    • Wow, maybe the dream interpretation site wasn’t too far off after all. Come to think of it, I was going through a bad time then, too. It’s good to be rid of the dream, and the associated “shit”.


  4. Amazingly disgusting story, I’ve heard a few stories about people falling into outhouses. I used to use one when I went to a family reunion camping thing once a year as a kid. I have to say, I was never tempted to test my grip skills, the odor was enough for me to not want to linger at all. At least you made a good positive point about the rest of her life. It would be hard to top that as worst life moments.

    Now, I have a few stories for public bathrooms, but they would mirror other comments and and yours with the lack of flushing. Working my day job in an office with several hundred people, I’m surprised at least once a week with the soggy candy bar thing on the seat, or the splatter of something across that back of the seat. Of course everyday there is the other lemonade splatters as if it takes tremendous effort to lift a seat before blasting it. Some people just have no decency. I have come to the conclusion though that your bathroom habits mirror your personality. True or not, I have learned to not shake hands or follow someone through the goodie day line after witnessing them drop a load and then exit without even glancing at the sinks. To me that is just as gross as dropping a candy bar on the seat.

    Your stories are tough to top though, lol.


  5. Yep, I’ve had that recurring dream. I’m in an abandoned building and urgently trying to find an acceptable place to pee. Every restroom is amazingly, freakishly disgusting, like something out of a horror movie. So maybe that means I suspect people find me amazingly, freakishly disgusting? That would be awesome if that also translated into getting fans of my writing. Fans who are into amazingly, freakishly disgusting horror, that is. 🙂

    Oh yeah- once my husband and I stopped at a NYC rest stop to use the restroom. I was all excited to be in NYC even though we weren’t actually in the “actual” NYC with all the la-de-da attractions. But I had finally “made it” to NYC and I knew I would remember my brief visit. In the restroom, I opened the door to one of the stalls, and at first wondered why somebody had flung mud all over the toilet, floor, and up the walls. Then I realized it wasn’t mud. After making a wobbly exit, I asked my husband why anybody would do such a thing. He said, “Welcome to New York City.”


      • Yep, someone “make it big” in NYC. LOL Hard work pays off, and all that.

        Thanks for reading and commenting on my flash fiction, I’m glad you enjoy it. Though I might have to find other inspiration (again). It goes back to an issue you previously discussed on your blog. Much worse than poo, and much worse than gratuitous violence, IMO. A “story” right there in that blog’s comments for all to read. I don’t know how disturbed I’m supposed to feel, but I now know the bar for decency is lowered yet again. I want no association with that, not even by accident. 😦


  6. I have a similar dream.. I’m looking everywhere for a bathroom, and when I find one, there’s no toilet in the bathroom. But I wake up realizing that I have to pee, so I don’t think it symbolizes anything but pee.


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