Monday, August 25, 2008

Into the wild and out of my can

Direct from Alaska, Crapspotting Turdespondent Mitch K. presents this exclusive report:

My family and I just spent a week on the Star Princess cruising to and from Alaska. I had never been on a cruise before, but was well aware that both the cabins and the bathrooms were smaller than a breadbox. With my eating habits, this would in no way be a good thing for me, my wife or my two kids. Odds were that they would throw me overboard after my first dump. I made sure to clean the pipes before we boarded, however, as soon as the first wave hit, I'd have to let it fly and then sneak out of the room to avoid the wrath - or so I thought.

We arrived on the ship last Sunday around 2:00 pm and I figured disaster would surely strike before midnight. By 3:00 pm, we had completed a warm up round one at the buffet. By 4:30 pm, after a fruity, rum-vodka "welcome" drink and a light beer, I had added half a cheeseburger, fries and a slice of pizza, along with a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie to the mix. It was going to be lethal, but no pre-dinner dumpage. Dinner that night consisted of at least a four course meal with a spicy cajun shrimp pastry-encrusted entree finished off with 2 scoops of butterscotch ice cream and a bite of my daughter's blue cheese from her international cheese plate. And just to make sure my schpincter would not dissapoint, I capped it all off with a double decaf espresso. I was with my brother-in-law, who probably ate more than I did during this initial run. He also had my same predicament - sharing a room with his two daughters.

After dinner, with both of our brew lights on red-alert, we were able to temporarily put them on yellow as the casino had just opened and the money was burning holes in our pockets. Had we actually made a run back to our rooms at that time, which were right next to one another, after our respective explosions, they, no doubt, would have had to have quarantined the Starboard rear section of the Emerald Deck at least for that night and perhaps for the rest of the cruise.

In any event, as we were watching my dad roll dice, Darren gave me one look and I knew exactly what he meant. If he did not find a place to drop his deuce on the double, he'd give new meaning to the word "craps." By that time, I had $25 on the pass line and another $50 at 4:1 that he'd keep his shorts clean althoug the rest of the crowd, seeing the look of horror on his face, had their money at 3:2 that he'd have to launch his boxers before he retuned to the table. He bolted to the back of the casino, not knowing if, or when, he'd find a bathroom in time, and came back 15 mintues later with a big smile on his face and looking 5 pounds lighter.

It was not the extreme relief he obtained that put the smile on his face, but the pure pleasure he experienced in unknowingly stumbling upon nirvana tucked away between the hallway between the casino and the Grand Showroom. (Yes, he made it succesfully and I netted a quick $100 after winning Darren's bet and shitting out at the table) As the photos reflect, this mini-suite of a dumper came complete with a ship-to-shore (shit-to-shore?) phone for the extended session and had leg room to spare. All that was missing was a little bed on which take an interim nap. I believe the crapper was dialed directly into the engine's exhaust system - not a remant of the scent created by the strongest of yiddish gastrointestinal systems was ever left behind. Aaron Spelling had it all wrong - this is what "The Love Boat" is all about. I am convinced that we were the only ones to stumble upon this sacred palace as it was never occupied and was always freshly cleaned, cleansed and sanitized.

Thereafter, every morning after a quick stop at the Lido Bar for a Double Americano, I took the steps one floor down, and headed for the casino, gently picking up the pace as the taste and aroma of the coffee turned my brew light a bright red, arriving just in time to evacuate the prior day's consumption.

My family and Darren's family wish to thank Princess for this hidden gem of a john.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What's Your Carbon Crap-print?

The other afternoon, I had just finished lunching with a friend on Main St. in Santa Monica. I had a mixed meat panini and a diet root beer of some kind. Ostensabily, both easily digestable. Wrapping up lunch, I walked down the street to the Starbucks to do some writing (the one on the corner of Main and Hill). Feeling strong, I ordered a full on cafe mocha with real milk and set up shop. No sooner had I guzzed down the last drop then my stomach began to gurgle. Ironically, my ancient semetic genes are equipped to survive in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, but unable to handle a mild dose of caffeine and sugar.

I was code red.

I quickly threw my laptop in my bag and hustled over to the bathroom. A frequent guest of this SBUX, I knew what to expect: a single stall, ample toilet paper, and the requisite piss puddled floor. No big deal. I could handle it. What I wasn't prepared for was the Mommy and Me line comprised of no less than two Yoga Moms and their four little girls. I was screwed. There was no way my stomach could hold out this long.

My car, luckily, was only a few blocks away, and my house, gratefully, was less than two miles. I could hold out. I must. Racing home, I tried to preoccupy my mind with the thought of how many others there must be like me right now. Those fellow intrepid shitters, yearning for the toilets of their homecourt, pushing their car to borderline illegal speeds and maneuvers. And then it hit me-- How much gas was being wasted daily by people who drive home to shit? With the lethal combination of burrito joints and clogged highways in L.A., the numbers here alone must be staggering. And at what cost to the environment? Due to poor and overly crowded restroom facilities, what begins as an innocuous, carbon free gas in our ass can quickly turn into a gasoline based pollutant. This is a job for Al Gore. I am calling him now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Magic Crapdom or The Not So Happiest Place On Earth

Mark F., a Crapspotting correspondent, sends in this field report:

The other morning, my wife and I decided to surprise our three boys with a school day trip to Disney. Keeping up the ruse as long as possible, we treated this morning like any other so as to not arouse suspicion. My normal school day pattern is to to drop them off at school then do my own “Drop Off” either back at home or at work. On this day, however, there would be no return trip home so I decided to let my bowels work their magic at The Kingdom.

Parking in the main structure throws you out to the tram area where you are then transported to downtown Disney. We entered California Adventure Park where my kids immediately needed to use the urinals. The facilities in the entry area of this park are very useable, clean and relatively new. Knowing that Disneyland prides itself on the cleanest public and private areas, I assumed the facilities in the park would be as good if not better than these outposts and I pressed my luck.

This was a mistake.

I believe Walt would roll over in his bed of dry ice if he could see the current state of facilities As we moved from the Gold Rush ride over to Mr. Toads Wild Ride the long delayed cappuccino finally took effect and I bolted for the nearest john. What I ran into was not pleasant! Toilets that were un-flushed; toilet paper stuck to the seats and rims of the bowls; urine on the seats…etc It was so bad that I was faced with the question of trying to pop out a quickie in this disgusting venue or hold it in for home, which was still 75-90 minutes away.

As I'm sure you can appreciate, I chose to hold it, a choice that really threw my cycle out of whack. I pride myself on being both regular and consistent and this late afternoon disaster upset the balance of my entire weekend.

My recommendation for future travelers is to either take care of things at home or find an area in either park that is newly designed. I feel that the Disney team tends to keep those areas up to better standards.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Avalon Hotel -- Beverly Hills

As promised, the traveling crap show is back.

Last night I went out to the 90210 to meet a friend for pre-poker drinks and a bite to eat. After a plate of marcona almonds, assorted olives, half a burrata flatbread, some spicy chinese-esque chicken, and ceviche on potato chips, I knew the third act was almost upon me. Not quite ready to go, I did a reconnaisance run to the john to prepare for a future drop off.

With pleasant recessed lighting and inviting, warm orange'ish tiles, I felt instantly at home and so did my sphincter. I settled into the stall earlier than expected, disappointed that I didn't have the foresight to grab a paper or magazine from the front desk. The high fiber nuts mixed with the seafood provided all the combustion I needed and I was out of there unexpectedly quickly. Kind of a bummer as the zen atmosphere clearly agreed with me.

On the way out, I was pleasantly surprised by the premium white mulberry hand soap. All in all, this place is quite a find. More of a destination shitter than a casual drop off, but definitely worth the trip.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mea Crappa

Dear fellow shitters,

Please accept my humblest apologies for my absence. It has been far too long and my remorse runs as deep as my runs.

I only realized how important this site was when I was at the Borders Books here at the 3rd St. Promenade just the other day. It was then that a harried, middle-aged woman rushed in, asking where the bathrooms were. The disinterested employee on hand curtly replied that they were out of order, and went back to alphabetizing, or whatever it is they do there. This poor woman was dying. Like a crap-filled Violet Beauregarde, I could see that her head was about to explode from poop.

And so I did what I do best, and calmly directed her to the Old Navy across the street where two perfectly acceptable bathrooms reside on the second floor, just left of the elevators. If this woman wasn't about to burst from feces, she would have hugged me on the spot. BUT THE STORY DOESN'T END HERE! Another Borders customer heard my sage advice and thanked me as well. It would come in handy, he said. And that's when it struck me. "Crapspotting," is an allegedly humorous blog, but it's way more than that. It's a true public service. There are not nearly enough quality public restrooms in this world, the least we can all do as benevolent human beings is to share our knowledge. After all, knowledge is power. And power is being able to poop in peace. Conversely, by way of Modus Tollens, this may very well also mean that peace is poop masquerading as power. But I flunked logic in college, so don't hold me to that.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Whole Foods, Partial Shit (Wilshire and 20 Something)

Back and I'm brown! And a little runny, but not bad enough that you should worry.

Oh yeah, Whole Foods. Great store. Love the fresh produce, the knowledgeable staff, the fine charcuterie selection, but damn I wish taking a smash there was a more pleasurable experience.

Both the men's and women's rooms there are singles, allowing only one participant at a time. Which is great if you're just ducking in to empty your bladder. If, however, you've just downed a 12-piece spicy rainbow roll with brown rice and a chilled yerba mate iced tea, you're probably going to want/require a little more time to yourself. Which is tricky when you know there's an anxious hoard of fiber-filled and eager anuses milling right outside the door.

So I did the socially correct thing and rushed only to find that the aforementioned hoard existed only in my head. And so I ducked back in and finished. It was nice.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Eat like a Samurai, Shit like a Ninja (The Angeleno Hotel)

A friend of Crapspotting sent in this review of the newly restored Angeleno hotel. While I can neither confirm nor deny his spotting, I harbor no mistrust towards my fellow man, stranger though he may be, and firmly believe all crappers are innocent until proven guilty.

"Dear Crapspotter,

I hope you're happy-- Ever since I started reading your blog, I cannot walk into a public restroom without thinking of you. On that note, I dropped a healthy dump in the co-ed bathrooms of the Angeleno Hotel (Sunset/405) last night. One distinct advantage I found--the music inside the restroom was very loud, and might mask any particularly violent ablutions (is that the right word?).

Turdmeister X"

Thanks for your submission, Turdmeister X. I knew Turdmiester V, and if, as you claim, you're twice the man he was than you're one hell of a fellow.

I was initially reluctant to post your review as a co-ed bathroom of any sort seems immediate grounds for dismissal. However, even though "ablutions" isn't a word, you've plead your case passionately, if not always gramatically, for this location and I accept it. Indeed, you've hit upon one of the principal prerequisites of any great public depository: "Air Coverage." The option to snap, crackle, and pop while pooping is truly an unalienable right. So even though the toilet you cite here is egalitarian in nature, the fact that you can discretely drop bombs over Baghdad without fear of retaliation gives this place a gold star.