All illustrations by Nick Gazin
At some stage in our development we all shit ourselves. Wastefully, most of you squares fall out of practice when your newborn incontinence privileges are revoked, not taking the craft back up until you're too close to death to truly appreciate it.
From the shitty reception my scatological anecdotes tend to receive in polite company, I’ve come to realize that I’ve shit myself more than your average woodland creature. I’m working on a theory that everyone has discolored their unmentionables at least once during adulthood, they just don't dare admit it. You know who you are. You just bundled up that grubby little memory with your soiled undies and disposed of it. In the interest of pioneering an openness on the subject, I’m quite happy to publicly air my dirty laundry and recycle it for your reading pleasure.
It will serve as a memoir of those plops destined to escape the standard fate of their nameless brothers. A testament to those happy, lucky few that dared to dream and lived to experience the delicate embrace of my underwear. If you’re deterred by the slightly anti-climatic nature of each chapter (SPOILER ALERT: shit hits the pants,) don’t worry—each combine to form a larger, more meaningful story arc. A true coming-of-age story of intestinal insubordination and colonic revolt. A tale of bowels who refused to bow down to societal pressure or the will of their master.
Chapter I: A Shit in a Million
I must have been 13 or so, and a relative novice in the undie-sullying game. My little brother Jake and I were strolling home from school, chatting away, blissfully unaware of the punishing trial being plotted by my colon.
As we began to climb the steep incline that led to our family home, my gut began to shift slowly and uncomfortably like a drunk driver stirring in a drunk tank. I’ve got this covered, I remember thinking. I was young, arrogant, and headstrong. In as few as four careless strides, things went from manageable to bad to worse. It was coming.
My face turned as white as a squash enthusiast. I deployed preventative tensing measures, but the dark forces were mounting—the outer chamber had been breached. I masked my discomfort as best I could, but close as we are, Jake saw a change in me. He knew something was up. I couldn’t let on, knowing he’d have no sympathy.
It peeked out. One inadvertent clench of my butt cheeks, and I was done for. There was still a good 200 feet until we reached home. Like a weary gunslinger, I waddled bravely on. I couldn’t keep up the front and risked sharing my burden with Jake. Not really appreciating the severity of the situation, he laughed and began shadowboxing inches from my troubled gut. A flinch triggered an involuntary squeeze. The turtle was beheaded. I’d shit my pants.
As I was wearing those old-school baggy grandpa boxers, there was no safety net. I tried to play it off. “I feel all right actually,” I mumbled, a little too chirpily, taking off at a suspicious pace. I felt it bounce and trail stodgily down my hamstring like a slug in the breeze. Then with a stealthy flick of my school pants, my poop was liberated. I didn’t look back.
The sounds of Jake's guffaws alerted me that I’d been rumbled. Beaming complacently up at me was a perfectly spherical, meatball-sized ball of phosphorus orange dung. Oh, how it glowed. I might have gotten away with it, if I hadn’t birthed a scaled-down replica of the sun.
Eventually the laughter died, and we stood over my ungodly creation in silent awe.
Chapter II: No Shit Without Fire
My little brother’s 20th birthday took place on a pleasant summer’s evening. A group of us were getting drunk, gathered around a bonfire in my yard. In an effort to mark out the celebration from merging into the dateless mishmash of forgettable piss-ups, we played Edward Fortyhands: competitors must duct tape a 40-ounce of malt liquor to each palm and the first to drain both wins.
As an overweight, alcoholically-ambidextrous urinal personality, with terrible circulation and a can-do attitude, I was odds-on favorite. I was making serious headway through the left-hand bottle when nature called, but only to spitefully inform me that I’d already shit my pants.
A shart, as stealthy as it was soggy, slipped under the radar of my ever-faltering warning system; it was an un-ignorable, but not devastating, quantity. Still, my years of field experience told me: this ain't over.
While the others prodded the fire and joked, I hovered, weighing up my options. An unscheduled pit stop could jeopardize my title hopes. My warped sense of pride just couldn’t take that.
Decision reached, I positioned myself on the far side of the fire and toasted my little brother with a short speech, rounding off with “Happy Birthday!” Then, with a sharp 180-degree turn, I pivoted to reveal a bare booty, ceremoniously parted my cheeks and ejected a bursting, viscous fountain of liquefied crap, coating the open fire. With each telling, the trajectory grows more cartoon-like in its explosiveness.
Laughter and revolted surprise rang out. No one saw that shit coming. One witness let rip a manic cackle, only to have his laughter muffled in his throat by an eruption of upchuck, as if he were chuckling at his own drowning.
The fire sizzled. I bowed deeply, then nimbly began the operation of using newspaper and my boozy prosthetics to cleanse my asshole. I finished drinking my bottle first. I was the victor, but at what cost?
The next day I did think to myself, Fucking hell, Sam. You’re fucking 22. You’ve got friends with kids going to primary school and here you are shitting on an open fire to entertain your friends. That morning, I made a vow never to shit on an open fire again. I’m taking it one step at a time. Each day is a challenge, but I didn’t shit on an open fire yesterday, I haven’t shit on an open fire today, and I can only hope my resolve will hold and I won’t shit on an open fire tomorrow.
Chapter III: Merde, Je Me Suis Chier Dessus
When I was about 10, my family would vacation at a postcard-perfect campsite on a cliff overlooking the sea in the south of France. One night, I awoke with seafood coming back to life in my stomach. The urgency of the situation was obvious. I whipped on a T-shirt and some stripey briefs, then scrambled for some toilet paper and made a break through the pitch black campsite towards the distant glow of the communal toilet.
As I bolted between tents, my gut performed lumbering somersaults. With my focus occupied on the psychic strain of compressing my internal sphincters, my foot caught on the tent, and I hit the deck hard. On impact, I instantly shit my pants.
The remainder of the walk was a slow, teary, squelchy one. My tighty-formerly-whities were bulging and hemorrhaging spurts of poop. An inspection showed the tide of sludge had coated my little baby dick brown. I mopped myself up, cried, and scrunched up my tainted pantaloons.
Yet to accept shitting my pants as a unique, hilariously quirky character trait, I was mortally embarrassed and couldn’t handle my family finding out I’d shit my pants like a little shitty pants pants-shitting baby. Disposing of the trace evidence was crucial. I bombed back to my tent and shotput-tossed the contaminated undies over the cliff and into the darkness. The perfect crime.
I awoke to my mum's humming, as she hung out the washing on the makeshift line between our tent and the chain link fence that separated us from the cliff face. Only some light chafing confirmed that the night’s stinky mishap wasn't an ugly dream. To my horror, I spotted my undead briefs glaring back at me, dangling smugly from a bush in plain sight. The fuckers had come back to haunt me.
Before I could do anything, my mum caught sight of them and with an “ooooooops!” plucked them down, assuming they’d gone astray from the washing process. She held them in her hands, looked at them for half a second, then without a fuss or so much as a word or a look, went and rid me of them once and for all. I don’t think I could have loved my mum more in that moment.
Chapter IV: The Host with the Most (Shit in their Pants)
I was hosting a house party in college and everything was going swimmingly. People were saying things like "nice party," and I was saying things like "thanks." En route to the bathroom, I bumped into a girl I know, who offered me a line of ketamine. Ket isn’t really my cup of tea, or at least not in an environment where any interaction is required. It tends to transform me into a hunched, jittery, jabbering gorilla, wrestling my wayward motor functions.
Not wanting to be a wet, ungrateful blanket, I accepted, despite the line looking a tad adventurous. In the toilet, I dwelled on an intriguing tile and promptly forgot the purpose of my visit. As I left, with mind elsewhere, my sworn enemy—the shart—crept out of me from behind.
There’s nothing like a full diaper to jolt you back into consciousness. Fuck, I thought. I’d better keep this on the down-low if I want any chance of impressing women. Then, realizing the potential of a steaming pant-full for weirding someone out, I reconsidered. I surveyed the crowd milling around, evaluating who would be the most deeply affected by the official announcement of my little bundle of joy.
I locked eyes with some smooth guy who was peddling coke, casually leaning on a wall. The kind of dude that just reclines, expression icy blank, nonchalantly soaking the party in, as if any proactive involvement in a party, or even a smile, would irretrievably fuck up their laid-back persona. I introduced myself, with something like “All right, mate. I’ve just shit myself. Like, my pants, right now, they’re full of shit. Like, loads. Trust me!”
He barely flinched and coolly stated, “Yeah, you should probably do something about that.” Disappointed, I agreed.
An absence of toilet paper had me hobbling through the party and up to the third floor. Still ketty, I was overthinking every factor of outwardly appearing like my pants weren’t harboring an ass-fugitive. To conceal my discomfort, I forced a bob to the music as unnatural and wooden as a private school boy at his first rave. I tensely negotiated meets and greets, hastily excusing myself before the stench had a chance to hit.
The lack of a functioning light bulb had me washing up blind, adding another unwelcome layer of difficulty to an already gloomy and confusing process. And in the end, I drunkenly blabbed to enough people in confidence that word of my classified incident became common knowledge.
Chapter V: Shit on the Dance Floor
A stale, moderately-stabby house party led me and my friend to abandon ship for our unavoidable, regular dancing destination. We were good and drunk and pretty drugged up, but nowhere near enough to justify the events that unfolded in my pants.
While pon de floor, it dawned on me that I needed to drop the kids off, so I cut through the crowd and headed for the toilet. Upon finding it closed, I just shrugged and forgot about it, since there was dancing to be had.
Another bomb of molly had us laying siege to the dance floor, and we set about getting our vigorous fucked-up wiggle on. The tunes were ringing out. I was adrift in the wonder of my own tingly, squirming enjoyment before coming to and slowly becoming aware of a separate, less tingly warmth residing in my butt crack.
A probing shuffle confirmed my fear: I’d shit my pants. Fortunately (kind of), I was drugged beyond the point of giving a shit. I didn’t want to go home, and neither did my mate, so fuck if I was I going to let a healthy serving of unplanned poop dictate the destiny of our evening. With no toilet available, I just continued throwing it down, limiting my range of hip motion and trademark footwork to preserve my fragile, unwanted gift. There was a lot of compensatory fist-pumping in play.
I conducted all conversations with the opposite sex with my torso hunched in an attempt to widen the distance between their nostrils and my polluted undies, striving to avoid eye contact with my mate pissing himself (figuratively) in my peripherals. It seemed the club’s general aura of sweaty brow masked my ripe stank.
About an hour later, the night came to a halt. That night at least, with the MD swilling around my system, I still couldn’t bring myself to the logical decision, and figured I’d just hose on down at the next venue. Ain't no party like a shitty pants party, 'cause a shitty pants party don’t stop.
We headed to collect some surplus wine we’d stashed under a car before heading in. While rooting about for our mislaid hooch in the shadows of a Mercedes, a gruff, threatening voice boomed out “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING WITH MY CAR YOU LITTLE FUCKING CUNTS! I’M GOING TO FUCK YOU UP!”
We rose to see a mammoth, mean-looking dude pounding towards us, looking pretty intent on, and more than capable of, kicking the festering shit into me, and out of my mate, respectively. His long-range threats allowed us to begin soothing him from afar with apologetic gesturing and pilled-up earnestness. We shrewdly managed to dodge a beatdown, under the condition we fucked off immediately, without our wine.
I’ve never been more in need of a drink, so after a minute or two in hiding, I commando crawled back and began fumbling about for that sweet, sweet hooch. Once more he emerged, his rage heightened. And once again our panicky repenting managed to cool him, this time playing my ace in the hole, wheeling out the trusty shitty-pants card.
“Mate, we're really sorry, it's just I’ve shit my pants. I really, really could do with that drink. I mean, please, my pants are full of shit, as we speak. Please, please, please let me grab the wine, and we’ll be on our way.”
He shot down my pleas, showing little to no sympathy to my shitty predicament. I tried to sneak back one final time and upon hearing his murderous boom, we figured it was time to run. In our bulging eyes, the night was still young. We roamed the streets for an hour or so, searching fruitlessly for a club we’d heard of but never been to. Eventually, the effects faded and our outlook dampened. My chafing evolved into full-blown diaper rash and suddenly I yearned for a shower. I hovered for the taxi journey home and the taxi guy graciously ignored the deep, muggy stench.
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