A Shit Storm in Tokyo
“Could you excuse me just a second,” I say calmly. But I think the look on my face has given something away.
“Everything okay?” he replies.
“Yeah, I think I just have to go do a sneaky vom.”
It’s so not a vom.
“Oh shit, really? You all right?”
“Yeah, all g. Just had one-too-many beers.”
What I really want to say is, “I haven’t taken a dump since I landed at Narita International, and the Asahi beer you just bought me has triggered roughly four days’ worth of airport food, stage fright and 7/11 coffee.”
But yeah, nah, totally fine.
I walk to the dingy club bathrooms, praying that no one is in there, but when I make it to the graffiti-painted stalls, I’m confronted with a lineup. A big lineup. There are actually only two people, but for the girl who is about to internally muster Japan’s next earthquake, it’s a lot.
The music doesn’t cover drunken girls’ laughter, let alone my evacuation. So, governed by the lad law that I’ve been conditioned to follow since my pre-teen days, which says “girls don’t shit”, my body dissolves whatever was there.
We all try to hide it, but I’m sure anyone (particularly the non-lads) reading this understands exactly what I’m saying. That moment where you’ve just eased in to your home away from home, and it hits you: the mother-load. But for some reason, we’ve been taught to be strategically delicate with the topic, to the extent that we’d rather tell someone we need to regurgitate the beers you’ve been buying us than go and do a dank shit.
Boys seem to have the freedom to joke all they like about the truth of their shit sagas, because they’re men with big brains and bruteing buttholes. But girls, since we’re fragile and apparently aren’t allowed to process food like the other half of the population, are programmed to hold it in—literally. We females have fed into this lad law to the extent that we’re denying our bodily functions because we’re so afraid someone will hear the truth behind our rears, and the truth is, lads, we were born with three holes, not two.
So I’m putting my foot down—or cheeks down, perhaps. As a tribute to the ladies who have held it in for literal days and opted for bowel cancer symptoms over letting it go, I present to you an example of our shit sagas.
In the middle of Tokyo, delicious food is on every street corner, but when you’re a hobo who can’t afford to dine in for every yakitori joint, 7/11 is my restaurant; and being a vegetarian, eggs are my menu option. That might sound boring for someone who hasn’t tried the konbini (convenience store) egg sandwiches, but I’m telling you, these bad boys are laced with euphoria or something of the sort. But much like any high, one must come down.
It hit me on the train. I’m not talking, Oh, I should probably find a toilet when I get to my stop; I’m talking, Holy sweet mother of God, don’t shit yourself on the train. I clench every muscle in my body in attempt to keep the back door shut and not pass out from organ ruptures.
The train finally stops, and this has turned in to a mild emergency—like might-have-to-make-an-embarrassing-travel-insurance-claim kind of emergency. Finally I make it to the restrooms, but ain’t no resting going to be had. I barge past the tiny 90-year-old Japanese lady washing her hands.
“Sumimasen (excuse me),” I call, slamming the cubicle door in her face.
Then the battle of the layers begins. Putting on two pairs of thermals plus a pair of skinny jeans seemed like a great idea this morning. Now, however, I’m smashing into tiled walls with every limb to rip them off before I have to break my bidet virginity.
I get there, eventually, and a solid 15 minutes later (and that’s not a pun, because the remains were anything but solid), I emerge. I’m alive, and I’m thankful for that, but the stank that is my 7/11 egg sandwich is wafting throughout the train station. I smile in pity to the woman next in line. But I’m more overcome with relief than embarrassment—plus, I’ll be long gone by the time she realises Lucifer exists in the form of my sphincter.
If I’d had the guts (again, no pun intended) to just man up and tell my travel buddy that there’s a stank about to fill the shared bathroom and she should probably evacuate and save herself, this all could have been avoided. If I hadn’t been taught and pressured into denying the fact that I have an asshole that works like everybody else’s, I probably wouldn’t have a stinging ring. And if every lad in my life hadn’t convinced me that girls don’t shit, perhaps I wouldn’t be scared to eat the eggs at 7/11.
So, gals, stop being the delicate women you’ve been raised to be. Learn from my shit saga and the next time you need to go, go. Make a joke about it, talk about it, and show that porcelain that girls do shit.
Cover by Jason Ortego