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That's Bathroom Talk, Young Man

April 17, 2011

(A post from the archives)


Day 26 (of 30)

Do you ever sit in the bathroom and wonder how many other people in the world are doing the exact same thing? What if we all flushed at the same time?

Usually, I sit and try not to think of what might be crawling up from the drain into the bowl. That is about as vulnerable as a human being gets on a daily basis, so what if something just skewered you in a kind of reverse Alien chestburster scene?

Disturbing thought, I know. My mind tends to wander to some dark recess when I'm idle. It's not really my fault, though. When I was going up, my grandfather used to take me to the local video store to rent movies. It was the 80's, so horror movies were in a unique place. I remember seeing this particular movie poster every time we went in the store: Ghoulies. It's a pretty disturbing poster for a seven or eight year-old. Hell, I think I'm re-disturbed by it. I can safely say this poster influenced me deeply at least until early adulthood. (And I never saw the actual movie!)

I used to sit in the tub as a kid and keep a watchful eye on the toilet. I honestly expected one of those green things to pop out as soon as I closed my eyes. I got pretty used to shampooing and rinsing with my eyes open. It helped if the lid was down. I thought they might not be strong enough to push it open, or it might give me that second of warning I'd need to get away. To this day, I really don't like the sight of an open toilet. Partly that's because, as an adult, anything I drop in the bathroom tends to gravitate toward the toilet. But, I can safely say it's also because of that movie poster.

The bathroom scene in Dreamcatcher also really got to me. It's much scarier in the book, but the film has a real visceral quality you can't deny. It's a wonder I can go to the bathroom at all.

Next time you go to sit down, please don't think about what could be slithering up from the dark, ready to take a bite out of your ass. I would hate to be responsible for that.

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