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Abstract Academic: The benefits of bathroom humor

My in-laws have a wonderful dog named Moose, and Moose can go for almost two minutes.

You know what I mean by “go,” right? Of course you do.

And it’s true. They’ve timed him. For a German wirehaired pointer, he holds on to water like a camel. My mother-in-law calls him “Old Ironsides.”

I think this is hilarious. I would love to write an entire column just about jolly old Moose dashing outside to take the world’s longest urination vacation, looking back at me over his shoulder with that sloppy grin, as if to say, “Dude! I know, right?!”

But the world has decided that potty humor is humor in its lowest form. Newspapers, especially, have a long history of nixing bathroom jokes. To me, it seems a piddling matter, but for publishers and copy editors, it’s no wee trifle.

Tragically, the well of No. 1-related humor never seems to run dry (rim-shot!). I’ve always found writing about the bathroom cathartic, or even (dare I?) relieving, but editors seem to think readers will be put off by it (they may even get a little pee-ved).

And it isn’t just wee-wee that gets the no-no. I can’t write about blood, either, which is too bad, because I currently work with seventh-graders, and seventh-grade boys always seem to be bleeding from somewhere. I know this because they love to show me.

“Here!” they say, holding a used bandage in my face. “Look what came out of my elbow.”

Scientifically speaking, seventh-grade boys actually have an extra quart of blood stored up in their bodies at all times. Whatever higher power you believe in put it there because God/Allah/Nothing/Whatever Tom Cruise believes in?/the Aztec Sun is a pretty good man/woman/spacious void/goat with the head of a falcon/John Travolta, and he/she/it/? knows that seventh-graders love to bleed. This extra quart is stored in the head, gumming up the part of the brain that controls listening to specific directions, dribbling with the left hand, and remembering to bring the eight coats they have stuffed in their locker home.

Vomiting, like bleeding, is also hysterical, as long as it isn’t happening anywhere within my immediate vicinity. If it weren’t for those stuffy people whose feathers ruffle at the word “regurgitate,” I’d write a column every week just about its many descriptive synonyms (my current favorites: “yak,” “bazooka barf” and “exorcize some demons”).

One of the only things more funny than vomit, of course, is feces. If you ask me, or any of my three brothers, the funniest word in the English language is “POOP.” Go ahead. Say it aloud. You laughed, didn’t you? Of course you did. Pooping is hilarious. Poop, poop, poop.

And don’t even get me started on crotch-related injuries.

But I can’t write about any of those things. Sigh. Oh well, So, instead, here are all the stories I wish I could tell in this column, without actually getting to tell them:

One time, when I worked as a janitor, a bunch of kids used the No. 1 facilities for No. 2 purposes. That was really fun to clean up.

One time, while living in Taiwan, I learned that they weren’t exaggerating at all when they decided to call it “explosive” diarrhea. Surprisingly accurate and realistic, in fact. I learned this while riding on a bus full of high-schoolers who, apparently, had all eaten something unpleasant for lunch.

One time, I pulled my groin. Not nearly as funny as it sounds, nor as naughty.

One time, I sat down in a bathroom stall, only to be followed into the room by three men filming an underwear commercial.

One time, in the middle of a junior-high quiz bowl competition, I answered the question “Who was the third president of the United States?” with a long and surprisingly steady stream of vomit, which followed me out the door and into the hall and ruined my favorite blue tie (it had little palm trees on it).

Now, this isn’t to say I love all that Adam Sandler-izing, Ren and Stimpied filth-mongering. I can barely even type the word b-o-o-g-e-r, much less think about it.

But boogers (blech!) aside, I wish the rest of it were fair game. Instead, I’m tied down by euphemisms, which are fine. I’m thinking of even changing the name of my weekly column from “Abstract Academic” to “Vaguely Euphemistic” (this would also be a great name for an album cover).

And I apologize that, instead of entertaining editorials full of words like “tinkle” and “spew,” you’ll continue to get boring political diatribes and retellings of my visits to the DMV.

But that’s just me. Always professional, and taking care of my business.

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