So I guess some guy apparently went 102 days without taking a dump. But (a) he was critically constipated, and (b) Uncle John’s Bathroom Book of Extraordinary Facts and Bizarre Information is not exactly reliable reference material. Still, it got us thinking about shitting, about not shitting, and also about torturing people by making them hold in their shit for as long as they can. That led to deliberations about physiology and mind over intestinal matter that carried on into the wee hours. We simply had to know if we could convince a few strangers to put on diapers and swallow a bunch of laxatives and have a contest to see who would shit first (or last). And you know what? We did it!
Over the course of eight hours in a balmy living room, two guys and two ladies consume the following “natural” laxatives: a saltwater tonic, tea, bad Mexican food, cigarettes, coffee, beer, rum, and caffeinated soda. Peeing is allowed, but defecation must take place off the toilet (an official excreta ref was present throughout the event to ensure no BMs took place covertly). Whoever shits first loses. Safety concerns warranted adult diapers and a vinyl dollar-store bed cover for the futon.
VICE: How often do you crap?
Alexandra: I poop about every other day, usually around lunchtime at work. Sometimes it’s in the morning. The last time I went was yesterday.
What kind of stuff gets you going?
Beer and malt liquor.
On average, how does it check out?
Most of the time it’s pretty good—at least a couple of solid logs.
When was the last time you shit your pants?
A few years ago I was driving cross-country with my roommate, and during a pit stop I got some potato skins with cheese and bacon. When we got back on the road my stomach started acting up and I felt like I might be coming down with the runs. I let go of this gurgling fart in the car and my friend was like, “That sounded disgusting. I bet you got shit in your underwear.” But I didn’t think I did until we pulled over at this gas station and I was like, “Fuck!” For whatever reason I didn’t want to throw them away so I just rolled them up and put them in a plastic bag. I had diarrhea and was on my period for three days after, and actually ended up having to wear them again because I messed up another pair even worse.
Are you shit-phobic now?
When I was little I sort of had a pooping phobia. I would hold it for a really long time. Once at camp I didn’t shit for five days because I was afraid someone would hear me using the toilet. But I’m over it. I fart freely all the time now.
When’s the last time you did some work atop the Oval Office?
Matt: It was this morning at two. My normal schedule is to go somewhere between 11 PM and 3 AM. Most of the time it happens right before my bedtime shower.
Describe the last few stools you passed.
I would say they looked healthy. They were mostly brown with some tints of yellow.
When was the last time you had an “accident”?
During the first week of college something happened when I was on a date with this girl. We went out to dinner before coming back to my place to hang out. I had to cut one so I did, but all of a sudden my pants felt soupy. I immediately excused myself to “the bathroom” and ran to my backyard, pulled off my underwear, used them to wipe my ass, then threw them over the fence. I came back inside as if nothing happened and we ended up sharing a bed that night. She didn’t smell it but was curious as to why I wasn’t wearing underwear. I just told her, “It’s laundry day.”
What is the longest you’ve gone without sweet relief?
At least a couple days when I was on a road trip a little while ago, but it wasn’t a problem. I do squat thrusts from time to time, and those build your hind muscles to maximum potential. It’s like a Kegel exercise for your asshole.
How regular are you? Don’t be shy.
Grace: It happens pretty much every day or every other day.
What kinds of substances make you produce feces?
Whiskey seems to do the trick.
Are we talking firm or loose?
It’s pretty normal, I think, but it’s not like I have anything to compare it with. Not too hard and not too soft. I don’t really check it out afterward.
Do you remember the last time you lost control?
The last time I really shit my pants in public was in kindergarten, but one of the first times I drank alcohol was in eighth grade, and that night I woke up on the toilet with every type of excrement and bodily fluid all over the bathroom. I don’t know if that really counts, but some shit definitely fell onto the floor and probably my clothes. It was the worst hangover I’ve ever had.
Yep, that counts. Did your parents find out?
No, because I stayed up until four in the morning to clean everything up.
Can you give any tips on delaying the inevitable?
I have a phobia of pooping in public, so if I’m outside of my element I’ll be too scared to just let it happen. Even when I’ve been on vacations with my family and in hotel rooms, I just hold it in.
What’s your usual ordure regimen?
Jacob: I go about once a day, usually at night. I guess you could say I’m a night pooper.
Do certain things set you off?
Usually I have to shit after I drink—especially hard liquor. After a few drinks I’ll almost always take a large dump. Coffee is another culprit, but I don’t drink it as often.
In a spectrum with expulsive dysentery at one end and anus-lacerating, petrified dung at the other, where do your droppings fall?
I’d say they’re moderate. It’s mostly soft serve, definitely closer to diarrhea. It doesn’t always stay together once it hits the water.
Tell us about the last time you soiled yourself.
About a year ago, when I was a sophomore in college, I had just bought some new underwear, and I was kind of amped on them. They were blue and pretty rad. I was just sitting at my computer working and leaned to the side to let a fart out, which ended up being a pretty heavy shart. I thought I might’ve just farted really hard, but I checked my pants, and it looked like one of those fun-size Snickers bars was melting in there. I ended up leaving the undies in my bathroom for like a week and a half, because I thought I was going to clean and rewear, them but it didn’t happen.
Are you good at staving off poo?
Yeah, I think I can hold it in. I ride bikes a lot, so I’ve got these impenetrable butt cheeks.
THE MAIN EVENT
Things started off with a nice spread of Mexican food: nachos, guacamole, a burrito, rice and beans, an enchilada, salsa, and a couple of tacos. We didn’t want to feed them too much—just enough to get things percolating. Overeating can block the small intestine for hours before digestion occurs.
The grub came from a place renowned for its vile, colon-expanding mouth garbage—a takeout Mexican restaurant run by illegal Chinese immigrants whose menu brags about their automated tortilla-making machine. Surprisingly, everyone wolfed it down in what seemed like an attempt to psych one another out.
Next up was the first of two saltwater flushes. It’s supposed to work like a top-down enema, completely sandblasting your gullet. Each serving consisted of two tablespoons of gray Celtic sea salt diluted in 32 ounces of purified water. This suggestion came from someone on the Master Cleanse who claimed she had to be near a bathroom for at least a couple hours after guzzling it.
Straws were provided as our research found it was the easiest way to choke down what basically amounts to a liter of seawater. Matt finished within four minutes, followed by Jacob, and then the girls. Everyone agreed it was awful.
Immediately after the purging solution, the players engaged in some stomach-relaxing calisthenics. An article on the internet listed tummy rubbing, raised-arm swinging, toe touches, and the Bhujangasana (cobra) yoga position as ways to loosen up the guts when constipated.
Right before dinner we brewed up a pot of Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move laxative tea, steeping both the chocolate and organic varieties. This stuff is supposed to take about eight hours to kick in, so we made enough for four servings apiece to maximize its effectiveness. From this point on, we administered it every two hours.
Following our first teatime everyone sat around for half an hour to let things settle. The guys claimed to have intermittent gurgling while Grace and Alexandra said everything felt OK down there. Matt’s postulation was that taking a leak would reflexively unclench the anus and cause a brown waterfall.
After our little break, we soldiered on with coffee and smokes. Three of our contestants went for a piss within 15 minutes after finishing their java. Matt’s hypothesis was disproven when nary a turdlet was left behind.
Sometime near the end of hour four, Jacob reported feeling “something” and started with the shivers. He conceded that a few bullets were in the chamber but remained confident in his urge-suppression abilities. Matt also reported a cavitary sensation, while the gals were steadfast in their refusal that anything was coming down the pipe.
Hours five and six featured more laxative tea and a second saltwater cleanse, along with more cigarettes, a tobacco-leaf-wrapped blunt, and beer. Then, for 30 minutes, it was a YouTubed Sweatin’ to the Oldies workout. Afterward, they “rested” on their right sides (a position that supposedly encourages swift passages through the viscera). Jacob said he felt sick, and he farted in Grace’s face numerous times.
With dawn rapidly approaching and no perceivable shitstorms on the horizon, we decided to focus on boozing. It was the consensus that anyone could easily take the kids to the pool at this point, but no one was willing to go first.
As the eighth-cum-eleventh hour approached we resolved to do everything possible to empty their breadbaskets. This included a final dose of laxative tea, more alcohol, exercise, and turning the entrants against each other. Round-robin stomach presses seemed to cause some serious discomposure, unleashing a barrage of foul wind from at least three of our participants.
Sensing that someone was close to striking brown gold, we asked them to assume the classic squatting-in-the-woods position for the final 10 minutes. Jacob seemed to be struggling to maintain.
Approximately five minutes later, the idea was jokingly brought up that the winner should be whoever was able to shit before the closing bell. Jacob immediately perked up and said, “That won’t be a problem!” Without any further discourse or prompting, he relaxed his colon, pulled the trigger on a machine gun of flatulence, and produced a nugget.
The oily, melted-crayon-stub excretion wasn’t much, but Jacob assured us lots more was on its way as he hastily retreated to the toilet and punished it for our sins.
Victory crap. The next day everyone checked in. Matt said, “My asshole is like a melting universe.” Alexandra reported “peeing out of my butt all day.” Grace claimed to be swimming in a sea of bodily fluids. Our vanquisher, Jacob, spent a good three intermittent hours on the john and was worried about shitting himself during his job as a delivery boy. Each one vowed to hate us for eternity.