Don’t Leave the House

by Nava

Please consider yourselves warned: This is not a perfume post. It is the Friday before Labour Day weekend, so maybe many of you are not paying close attention anyway. If you are, please accept my apologies. (The names in this post have been changed in order to protect the innocent.)

It’s been a rough few days here in Shangri La; I’ve not only been experiencing prolific writer’s block, but also prolific difficulty in obtaining compensation for all the writing I’ve been doing. When I worked in corporate America, it didn’t take me long to figure out that the Accounts Payable department of any company is always the subterranean rung on the office ladder. Now, as a “vendor”, I am being treated like some sort of contagion; every time I attempt to inquire about when I am getting paid, I meet with resistance akin to the pillar of fire that thwarted Pharaoh from going after Moses and the Hebrews. It is frustrating and downright insulting. I perform a valuable service and I wish to be paid. How simple is that? On paper, yeah; in the real world, I’ll have more hair in my ears and nose than I will on my head by the time I get a check. Stay tuned…

In the meantime, I had a pretty amusing conversation with my cousin Jessica yesterday, that made me forget about my own troubles for a bit. I was fairly certain I was going to punt this weeks entry, until she provided me with material that was too good to pass up.

Jessica went for her very first colonoscopy yesterday. Anyone I’ve known who has had one always tells me the preparation is the worst part. No need to tell me twice; I’ll need to chain myself to the toilet, correct? Correct. Except, if you’re my cousin Jessica, you think the rules don’t apply to you. My “blocked” cousin embarks on her “prep”, experiences no immediate “movement”, and decides to go grocery shopping. Where do you think I am going with this tale?

Jessica, children and housekeeper in tow, head for the local supermarket, which is walking distance from their house. Jessica loads up her cart with the necessities, makes it to the checkout line and…

Jessica leaves children and housekeeper in the store to finish checking out, gets into her car, encounters a parking lot snarl, manages to disentangle herself from it only to get back to her house, get to her front door, put the key in the lock and…

After a shower, Jessica heads back to pick up children, housekeeper and groceries. I am on the phone just gobsmacked by the image of my gorgeous cousin (she really is; unfortunately I was bestowed with the pierogi genes) having this prolific “accident” on her front porch, in view of all her neighbours. If that would have been me, the cute UPS driver would have pulled up just as I was in the middle of…

The clean-up did not take place until after children, housekeeper and groceries were picked up. The one thing she said to me was, “I just couldn’t get over the number of flies that were buzzing around. I was only gone for 10 minutes!” My response was, “Well, you know the saying, flies on…”

After dissolving into peals of uncontrollable laughter, I admonished her for thinking that the worst could not possibly happen. So, the lesson we learn here is, don’t leave the house when you’re prepping for a colonoscopy. Most of us know this, but just in case there are a few who don’t…

Don’t worry; I’m not going to ask for any sharing. There isn’t anything that could possibly top what Jessica did. But just in case there is… After all, this is the Friday before Labour Day weekend – the end of yet another summer. If anyone could use a little cheering up, let ‘er rip.

Have a great holiday!

  • Nava says:

    Have a great time with your guests, and enjoy your Labour Day as well. :)

  • Kitty says:

    As middle age progresses, and the lock on my front door sticks more and more, another fundamental rule emerges: “Always use the ladies room before leaving the restaurant!” I haven’t had Jessica’s issue, but HATE sneezing while I’m trying to unlock the front door! Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, everyone. We are cleaning up for guests next week. How great is that?!

  • Wordbird says:

    That was laugh-out-loud funny! Thank your cousin Jessica for letting you tell us the story.

    • Nava says:

      You know, there was I time when Ms. J. wasn’t capable of being so self-effacing. She knows I shared her story and she doesn’t mind a bit. :)

  • Fragrant Witch says:

    Oh I feel the pain here.. I have Crohn’s disease so this is not an unknown or unfortunately all that uncommon situation. However , since having my daughters (4 and 18 mos) it has become much more of a trial as I need now to hustle them along, find bathroom ( ideally one that we can all fit in) and then answer mortifying questions/ comments from my 4 year old that are delivered at top volume: ‘Mummy, why have you pooed yourself like my little sister? Do you need a nappy? Do they make nappies that big?’ Ack…
    Good luck on getting

  • Rappleyea says:

    Oh, where is the rolling on the floor laughing guy when you need him?!? Nava, what have you started here? Your cousin’s story and the rest of the stories here are priceless and gave me a great laugh to start the weekend. Happy holiday to the Americans here! And hoping you get paid – you deserve it!

    • Nava says:


      Lord Geek is returning from vacation this weekend. We’ve got a nice long list for him.

      When I writer is “blocked” you just want to write about anything to get those juices flowing again. 8-|

  • Erin T says:

    Oh, those colonoscopies are awful. Not discouraging people from having them if they need to have one, but remember, everybody, fecal occult blood tests often work instead, daignostically sound, and are much less hassle! (And less dangerous. Colonoscopies are the only routine screening tests where there is a chance of injury or death, though the risk is admittedly not high.)

    My funniest story regarding the runs actually involves running. My youngest bro got some gastro bug as we were making a 13-hour drive home from the East Coast, poor fellow. When we crossed from the US back into Canada, the border guard informed us there was only a public toilet on the Canadian side. He saw our distress, so he kindly advised my brother to get out of the car and make a run for it, he’d call ahead. So there is my bro, the star athlete, making a furious sprint across this patch of ground between the two countries. Halfway there, to our horror, he stops dead and *squats on the lawn* under a flagpole. Luckily, after some deep breaths and weird faces, he was able to jump up and complete the run and he made it safely to the loo, no international incident.

    • Nava says:

      Thank goodness! Good think it wasn’t one of the land crossings involving a bridge. I don’t think he would have fared as well if he had to swim across the Niagara River!

  • susan says:

    Frustration. I really need to learn to spell…

  • susan says:

    As a freelance writer who previously worked for a large company, I understand your frustion! I’m still waiting to be paid for stories that I wrote over a month ago for our local newspaper. BTW, hilarious story about your cousin! I couldn’t stop laughing.

  • tammy says:

    Wiping away tears, here. I worked in GI for years, so I know better!

    • Nava says:

      Jessica is a labour and delivery nurse, so you think she would have known, too. Then again, she usually works the night shift.

  • Ann N. says:

    I can certainly sympathize with your cousin, Nava, and all the other posters who shared their um- “accidents.” I, too, have one to share and mine is entitled “Both Ends Burning” (BTW, also the title of a great Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music song).
    I was at work several years ago and began to feel sick, the kind of ill I’ll call the “big D” variety. After a trip or two to the ladies room (on a far-away floor, for anonymity, of course), I thought the worst was over and went back to my desk. After about 15 minutes, my stomach began to rumble and the even more dreaded feeling of nausea began to hit. So I hot-footed it to the nearest restroom and proceeded to assume the position in front of the porcelain. And as I was heaving, the hindquarters began to let go as well, and I was powerless to do anything about it. On top of feeling awful, my mortification was beyond belief. A good friend came into the bathroom just then, luckily, and I got her to fetch my coat (thank goodness it was winter and not summer!) and my purse and asked her to tell my boss that I was violently ill and had to go home immediately. I grabbed some newspapers, skulked out to my car, put them on my seat and drove home with the windows wide open in 38-degree weather. I learned my lesson that day: Always keep a plastic bag in your desk drawer for those occasions when trouble stirs at both ends.

    • Nava says:

      Oy, I have a specially designated Tupperware bowl for those occasions. Needless to say, I’ve been where you were.

  • Kate says:


    wow! Jessica ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer now is she? There are rules and then, well, shit happens. har har har.

    Make a ruckus and get the dosh, girl.

    • Nava says:

      No, she isn’t, but she’s my fave cuz and I love her. Whaddaya gonna do, right?

      Working on getting the dosh, trust me. :d

  • Style Spy says:

    Happily I have not had this experience personally yet, but I do believe the brilliant and hilarious Billy Connolly has the definitive word:

    Warning: not safe for work. At all.

  • Kelly says:

    Anyone who has been there can sympathize – anyone who hasn’t? Your day is coming. Mine was in Ukraine – apparently I drank some punch made with unboiled water. Public toilets are a rarity there and a real “western toilet” even more impossible to find. I walked, and walked, and walked – sweating and contemplating how one manages intestinal disturbance in a “squatty potty.” Finally, I found a coffee shop that had a real, above-ground toilet – up two flights of stairs. At the summit – my legs cramping, my heart pounding and my guts rolling it was all that I could to do get my pants down. And just as I moved to sit and started to exhale – the toilet lid fell shut beneath me…

    • Nava says:

      Oh my…

      Everyone has at least one story. Don’t let them fool you. Spontaneous combustion among humans is basically non-existent, is it not? :d

  • Musette says:

    Nava –

    I am trying to not befoul my own seat here from laughter! Too funny. I learned a valuable lesson re being a vendor – will share with you off the blog, later. I’m off to IA, bless its corn-fed heart (and I MEAN that! I Love Iowa. It is the source of many paychecks for us and my customers are incredibly wonderful)….and the Britt Draft Show starts today – work, then continuation North, to the Minnesota border. bliss.

    I once had that happen to me in Holland. I foolishly had spekpannenbrot (a pancake with bacon) and my system said 😮 but it was in the country and there were no loos to be had, etc….so I managed to hold it – just. My then-boyfriend (now good friend – we still laugh about this) drove like a demon, with me clenching and clutching and moaning and STILL trying to look elegant through all of that. FAIL. But at least I was able to keep my contents in. Barely.

    Now, 30 years later, I heed my mother’s admonishments to my 16-yr old self: “there will come a day when you should never pass up the opportunity to use an available bathroom”. Wise woman.

    xo >-)

    • Nava says:

      With all due respect to your mother, I’ve wandered through a few European cities reluctant as hell to use public facilities. But, I will say, the public loos I’ve been in in Paris and London were lovely.

      My current “employment” situation is such a conundrum. It simultaneously give me such joy, and such frustration. I love the fact that I don’t have one employer busting my chops all the time, but to feel like a pariah when it comes to compensation is not something I am at all comfortable with. I look forward to hearing your story. 😡

  • Louise says:

    Well, crap!

    This is totally gross, dude. But it’s serving to remind me that I well past due for scheduling this procedure, and will do so toute suite.

    Please let you get paid, doll, and for us Americans, enjoy the weekend.

    p.s. I still need to followup on your kind offer. The first too weeks of school just…blasted me out ; )

    • Nava says:

      Oh, admit it; you were too stoked on muscle relaxant! The bottle ain’t goin’ anywhere, so whenever you get around to it.

      And if my post did a good thing by reminding you to schedule the procedure, then my work is done. 😡

  • Masha says:

    PS: And I hope you get paid, soon, Nava, because those people are horrible, unethical,—- (OK, I want to stay polite) if they don’t pay you for your excellent writing!

    • Nava says:

      Thanks, Masha. Unfortunately, this is the way business is conducted. Luckily, I have some connections back in Brooklyn, so if I need some legs broken, I know who to call.

      • Masha says:

        Yeah, like a friend of mine once said, it’s good to have a few friends who happen to be 500-pound-gorillas! Of course, he was referring to his lawyer friends….

  • Masha says:

    OK, I wrote this note to March, too, cuz’ it’s time to re-name this blog! You can’t have a blog called “Perfume Posse” about colonoscopies. I’m an RN and I’ve assisted at those things, and believe me, we must change this blog’s name. Now. Perfume and colonoscopy- these words should never meet….
    So how about “Plethora Posse”? “Panorama Posse”? Or, if we want to get away from the alliteration, “The Whole Enchilada Posse”?

  • Tamara*J says:


    tmpoo, your lil’ icon goes with your story!

    I haven’t let er’ rip in a public setting since I was little but lemme tell yah, I’ve gone on my trail runs (ha) feeling confident I’m cleaned out and then realized in horror, I am not done, not even close, but your in the middle of the woods, no mercy to be had.
    I had to straight- up hobble back,the trail had never been more difficult than with every wave of urgency pounding on my back door to the point of feeling nauseous because I need to release the demon before I explode. But I had to walk slooooooooooowly.

    I have never,ever been more happy to reach the top of the hill to be in a stank ass port- a -potty in all my life- I made it!

    Just to realize there is no TP.

    • Nava says:

      Oh, that’s been me, many a day at the gym. Add to that the inconvenience of surrendering the cardio apparatus and not being able to use an available one after you’ve completed the deed.

      At least in nature, it’s the natural thing to do right? Then again, I’ve never been camping for precisely that reason.

  • tmp00 says:

    You didn’t ask for it but I’ll share. I was once back in my teens at a friends house when some distress came up. I didn’t want to sit in their powder room disgorging it so I decided to go home. On foot, less than a mile. Within a block of home the clenching of the butt could have bent steel. At the point of entering the drive the accident happened and I waddled into the house from the garage, peeling off the befouled undergarments and going to the lav, where I spent the next few hours fire-hydranting everything out of me. I trashed the clothing and took a long shower.

    Since then I’ve done internal cleanses, but know not to go more than three feet from the toilet, and if there are outside forces causing it, DO NOT MOVE from the nearest available loo. Because I can toss a pair of chinos. My driver’s seat? Not so much..


    • Nava says:

      No, not at all! I left a lot of details out of my tale, fearing TMI, and if it makes you feel any better, the driver’s seat did come up.

      I think everyone has a story or two like this in their arsenal; it’s deciding who you want to share it with that makes it so much fun!