It’s Tuesday and the anonymous mailbag is here to help solve all your life’s problems.
As always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to email@example.com, anonymity guaranteed.
Okay, here we go:
“When I was in my early 20’s, I was at a family reunion on the coast. This place was fairly remote and you had to drive 15-20 minutes to get to the nearest town to shop for necessities. Everything was going well, until I made the fateful decision to go with about 8 other adults to shop for food, rent some movies and hang out together.
After we arrived in town, my stomach joined the rebellion and decided that it’s first victim would be me. I went from being annoyed that the group was taking so long to pick a movie to full on panic in about 4.2 seconds. I looked around for the nearest restroom and the clerk informed me that the only store with a public bathroom was about a block away. How do you walk if the next step could end in streak-marked failure?
The first order of business was to inform the group that I needed a little fresh air. I’m pretty sure they could see the abject desperation on my face, but they played it cool and promised to pick me up at the next store. That done, I waddled liked I’ve never waddled before. Several times during that “walk”, the pain got so intense that I had to stop and reassure my little stomach demons that their exorcism was only a matter of a couple minutes away. Finally, I arrived at a mid-sized, all-in-one store. It was like heaven’s gates were opening when I crossed that threshold to the bathroom, and that’s when it happened. See, this store only had one stall and a urinal. The stall was occupied by some sadist who had decided to bring the newspaper into the stall. THE FREAKING NEWSPAPER!!! I was beyond my limits, I had nowhere else to go. I had finished the race and, at the end, I found some smug punk who needed to catch up on a little reading in a public restroom.
I pulled my pants down, turned around and unleashed hell on the urinal. It was probably only 20 seconds or so but the immense relief was only matched by the hideous stench of the act. In fact, the best part of the story was that Mr. Newspaper actually gasped in panic when that smell hit him. I could hear him gag. It was awful, it was sublime. I cleaned up with paper towels and did my best to make the urinal presentable but the damage was done. You only can flush so much poo down. I washed my hands and left the bathroom with the psycho still sitting in the stall.
So, advice time, to this day I believe my best play was to force the employee at the first store to let me use their private one, followed closely by just using women’s restroom. However, I do feel vindicated by forcing the newspaper reader to deal with a stench so rotten that fly’s drop dead when they near it. So, what is your call?”
Once you saw the newspaper reader, I think you should have gone straight women’s bathroom.
If anyone questions you, just say you identify as a woman. Boom, you’ve not only saved a poop disaster, but you’re also a hero according to ESPN. (In all seriousness, I’ve used unoccupied women’s bathrooms before in situations like these. It’s the better option than pooping yourself or using the urinal. Especially because your time in the bathroom if you sit on a regular toilet is, what, two minutes? It’s not like you’re inconveniencing a woman if the bathroom is empty).
I do wonder, however, what the video store employee’s reaction would have been if you’d told him, calmly, but with a hint of the deranged man in desperate need of a poop look in your eyes, “I understand your position, but if you don’t let me use the bathroom right now at this exact moment, I am going to pull my pants down and be forced to poop in the middle of your store.”
Yes, that’s a bit of poop terrorism, but I think he would have likely complied and aided you in finding the poop release you needed.
And if he didn’t, you have the poop detonator, you warned him what was coming. If you truly can’t hold it, what other options do you have?
Lacking this poop staredown — the Bay of Pigs of poops — I’m not sure what else you could have done under the circumstances. Sure, you could have demanded the newspaper reader vacate the toilet because you were about to blow, but he had squatter’s rights, even if he was choosing to hang out there for far too long, it’s unlikely he’d move.
I also think you’re underrating the poop in the outdoors here if there was an outdoor area on your walk that wasn’t easily viewable.
I’d rank your options thusly:
1. Video store poop staredown (I really think you under sold the danger to the store clerk. Plus, could you not bribe him? For $20 I bet he lets you use the bathroom)
2. Women’s bathroom
3. Outdoor poop in the trees if this was an option
4. Men’s urinal poop
“Clay – I was in a locker room the other day and an old timer was rocking a jock strap. My guess is this guy has worn one since junior high school in the 60s-70s. Today it looks out of place and quirky.
My question is what’s your favorite old school ritual (if that’s what you call it). I’ve heard of rice in a salt shaker, freezing batteries, car windshield covers in the summer,… and they’re are probably so many more.”
What kind of strenuous and dangerous workout — or how gigantic of a penis — does this old guy have that he needs to wear a jock strap at a local gym workout?
You’re lucky he didn’t see you mocking him for the jock strap, he might have knocked you down and choked you to death using his gigantic penis as a rope.
I was actually thinking about this recently. What old man attributes do I cling to that will be ridiculed over the next twenty years? I’m a newspaper reader, the old school newspaper reader kind like your guy on the pooper, so I already feel like this a bit when I’m looking for a newspaper at the airport and ask people if they have them and, increasingly, they don’t even carry newspapers at many airport shops that were initially designed, like thirty years ago, primarily to carry newspapers.
I asked my wife what old man traits I have and she said, “You can’t use a printer or any features on your phone other than the most basic. (I have no idea how to make a photo look better for instance. I don’t think I’ve ever used a filter.) You are totally unaware of today’s music and what artists are popular. You talk about politics and the stock market all day long. You watch TV really loud, but mute the commercials and you still watch things on TV that have commercials.”
Also I’ve never paid for any digital music — the only music on my phone is that free U2 album that I don’t know how to get off the phone — and I’ve never boiled water in my life. But these feel more like idiosyncrasies than old man moves.
How many other people in America today who are my age do you think have never bought an iTune or any digital song or boiled water? (I don’t cook anything that needs boiling water and have never cooked anything that needs boiling water.) I have to be a part of a small group here.
“One of my best friends is in a pickle.
I’ve heard you say ‘before marriage, the man holds all the leverage and after marriage, the woman holds all the leverage.’
So my friend meets a girl and within 1 month she starts staying the night at his place Monday-Friday. They live 2 hours apart and both work from home.
She is 34 and READY to have kids. He is 29 and not so ready. I personally believe she manipulated him early on so that she could basically move herself in progressively over time. He is realizing she has a very low self image and she is clingy. He’s voiced many concerns about her to me.
Here’s the question: How would you go about starting the conversation about all of his concerns because she is definitely the type that would use her manipulation to make him feel bad for breaking up?”
As a general rule, you should be leery of someone completely uprooting their life this early in a relationship. I’m not saying true love doesn’t exist or you can’t get married quickly, although I’d discourage against it, but this woman is 34 years old. She’s not 22, she should have things going on in her life that make uprooting everything to live with a man after a month’s relationship virtually impossible.
I’ve argued for years that someone else can’t be your lifeline. That is, you shouldn’t ever find yourself in a situation where you’re so desperate for meaning in life that you jump this full bore into a relationship.
But this is not all this woman’s fault. Your buddy is 29. It’s not like he’s 18 years old. He should know better than to allow anyone to take over his life if he isn’t comfortable with the decision that’s being made.
You need to ask your buddy what his plan is here. And make him aware that this feels like the kind of relationship where he needs to be careful about getting her pregnant. This woman is ready to be with your buddy for a long time to come.
Is he ready for the same commitment? If not, he needs to bail now. Not only because it’s the wrong move for him, but also because it’s the wrong move to continue to lead this woman on. Remember, what your buddy is telling you may well be completely different than what he is telling her.
But be careful with the conversation because if he tells her about it — and he very well might — she will use it as an opportunity to end your friendship and to take more control over your buddy’s life. This entire conversation is dangerous because the end result might be your buddy feeling like he has to pick you or the new girlfriend.
And she has something to offer that you don’t — sex.
“My wife and I had our 3rd kid a couple of months ago, so needless to say between all of the feedings, I’ve seen lots of her boobs lately, which I’m loving. I’m still in the ‘no-fly zone’ for any real action because of her recovery and what-not, so I’ll take what I can get; even breast-feeding boobs work for me.
I had a family dinner recently and my sister was there with her kids – she happens to have 6 month old twins who are also breast feeding. My sister excuses herself to go feed one of her kids and I continue on with my conversation. After some time, I left that room, turned the corner and I see my sister pull down her shirt, extract her breast and shove it in her kid’s mouth. Now I’m not one to breastfeed shame – do what you need to do – I just don’t need to watch my nieces sitting down for supper at my sister’s breastaurant. My sister also wasn’t in the room with a closed door like she said she would be – otherwise I would have obviously avoided that area of the house altogether.
As someone in his mid-30s, I realize I am overreacting and immature here, but I can’t seem to shake that image from my mind. On top of it all, now every time my wife feeds my kid, it serves as a reminder of what I witnessed. As a staunch believer in the First Amendment and boobs, I am seeking your advice as to how I can get that image out of my head and go back to continuing to enjoy looking at my wife’s beautiful body.”
I’ve got to be 100% honest with you here, I think you’re being a total pussy. (Edit: I initially read this as the sister-in-law, not the sister. But my answer is still the same, get over it. And the sister-in-law is actually a more interesting question than the sister. So consider my advice for both here.)
I understand the fact that you were maybe a bit startled by seeing your wife’s sister’s boobs, but shouldn’t she be the one bothered by this, not you? After all, it was her exposed nudity, not yours. And it doesn’t sound like she has any issues here at all. That’s probably because your sister-in-law has six month old twins and is likely so tired and stressed out over her breastfeeding responsibilities for both babies that she doesn’t have time to worry about things like people who might inadvertently see her breastfeeding.
Now I might feel different if everyone was sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner and your sister-in-law just pulled her boobs out and started breastfeeding at the table, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. She excused herself and you stumbled upon her.
If anything, I’d think this would be something to joke about to help ease the awkwardness.
Plus, up to this point were your wife’s boobs the only boobs you’d ever seen in your life? I don’t know why you’d have PTBS here, post traumatic boob syndrome. Every time I see my wife’s boobs, I don’t flash back to all the boobs I saw before. I try to enjoy the ones in front of me right now, not the boobs of yesteryear.
It sounds like to me like you’re not being completely honest here. As in, maybe you enjoyed seeing your sister-in-law’s boobs too much and that’s why you can’t forget about them?
Because I’m going to be 100% honest with you, I can’t ever think of a time where I’ve seen a woman’s boobs and was bothered by it. In fact, I can think of way more times when I didn’t see a woman’s boobs and was bothered by it. I mean, you’re talking to a guy who was of the generation that would occasionally walk to the edge of a television screen and look down to see whether there might be a nipple just beyond the TV screen frame, a generation that would watch scrambled Playboy television on the off chance that we might see an occasional blue boob sideways on the screen.
If seeing one pair of boobs made most men not enjoy seeing other boobs then, to be frank, I’m not sure humanity would still exist today. Mankind exists, to a large extent, because most men don’t ever get tired of seeing women naked.
So my humble advice to you is this: you need to stop being such a pussy.
Okay, as always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, anonymity guaranteed.
And I hope you all have fantastic Tuesdays.