by Jacob Sprecher
If you’ve ever been drinking at the Banshee downtown—or rather, if you’ve ever had many drinks at the Banshee downtown—you’ll have no doubt used the bathroom. Inside those bathrooms, both men and women’s, is a chalkboard. These chalkboards are typically used for doodling, which makes sense; it’s fun to doodle after a piss or a bowel movement, and it probably helps cut down on graffiti in some weird way. But I propose a different usage: A shit tally. It’s quite simple, really. Every time somebody takes a shit they mark a single slash. Each day the board is erased and the process starts over. It’s not a game so much as it is a simple point of interest or conversation. You could walk out of the restroom at 1 AM and begin conversing with friends about how 11 people have shat that day, or wait—make it 12! I’d be particularly curious to find out what the women’s tally might be, seeing as most women shy away from admitting that they take dumps in bars. We all know they do it, and it’s time to face the music.
I’m not sure why this all seems pertinent at the moment, but when I saw that chalkboard the other night it all seemed too clear. Actually, shitting at the bar is something of an art. So much so that Synthesis once published a weekly column by Dick Steel that focused solely on reviewing downtown men’s rooms. But while I seem to be joking when I laud the merits of a shit tally, shitting at the bar is actually a serious business. It’s no badge of honor. Walking out of a bathroom affront a lengthy line and being that guy isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. But if executed properly, a successful bar shit can be nothing short of gratifying.
The first method in successfully taking that oh-so-public dump is very simple: Be aware of your surroundings. So if you’re drinking at the Bar X, for example, you should know that the men’s room has multiple stalls and already smells like Don Don Canneloni’s asshole. Nobody is going to pin the stink on you. In other words, release the hounds!
The second path to a successful bar crap is lowering your standards. If you have to leave the bar you love for a place you hate, so be it. All this means is that you walk out of Bar Y and into Bar Z where nobody you know hangs out. So no matter how crowded Bar Z might be, you just do your business and move on. Who cares what those people think when you walk out and a cloud of brown engulfs the room? You don’t know them. You don’t care.
The third and most difficult modus by which to shit? Own up to it. This will come about when you simply can’t hold it in or don’t have any other reasonable options. Café Coda is a prime example for owning up, as they only have one bathroom and are several blocks from the next available public restroom. So when duty calls, you lay it down, walk out, look the next person directly in the eye and with a knowing smile say, “I’d give it a minute.” Trust me, it works. That person, male or female, will appreciate your honesty, and it leaves them the choice of either waiting it out taking it on with a pinched nose. The same goes for crapping at LaSalle’s, where, in the men’s room, the shitter has no door. Yes, you could leave the bar and pursue Method 1, but maybe you don’t wanna miss too much of your buddy’s band. My old band mate used to walk in there with a newspaper, drops his drawers and just go for it.
But I’m running out of space. Perhaps our Back To School issue will feature a full spread on “How To Shit At The Bar.” Perhaps is won’t. In any case, don’t be ashamed. Let nature take its course. Because “he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man [or woman].” Get that?