Why can’t anyone poop?

I assume most are familiar with the above product, but in case you aren’t, this is Activia yogurt. For a long time, they advertised themselves as a yogurt to “make you regular,” or, in non-polite speak, make you shit if you’re currently unable. That’s what that discreet little arrow stands for. And it was primarily marketed to women.

Then you’ve got those fiber cereal/granola bars, which there are a ton of floating around on the market. These are also supposed to “make you regular.” In fact, fiber has become quite the buzz word in the past few years. There used to be products like Metamucil that were covertly advertised as poo-inducing, but the fiber craze has really taken hold as of late–the emphasis on this digestive aid has increased quite a bit.

Additionally, now the sugar substitute “Splenda” comes enriched with a bunch of other stuff. Splenda Essentials include B-vitamins, antioxidants, and (of course) fiber. In fact, the commercial suggests you put it in your morning coffee. I think the subtext here is, “If you couldn’t shit with Metamucil, get ready for your ass to explode.”

On the whole, these products are marketed as products to “make you regular” and they are primarily targeting women over thirty. So I ask: American women, why can’t you poop?

Now, this is not a matter of being too dainty to poop, since they’re all smiles and talking about pooping in a not-so-secretive way on primetime TV. They/we want to talk about “fiber” all the time, and any idiot knows what that means. So what gives? If you’re not too dainty, and you’re not too shy–because its painfully obvious that neither of these options is the case–what is wrong with you? Don’t you think that instead of self-medicating with all these whack products, you might need to go see a doctor? Or, alternatively, you could do something like eat a carrot or two. Eat some whole wheat bread. Pick a salad instead of a burger. Really, there are ways to get fiber that don’t involve adding it to your coffee, drinking orange colored and flavored powder, or eating weird yogurt advertised a little too enthusiastically by Jamie Lee Curtis.

Seriously! This is goddamn terrifying!

I leave you, reader, with the people who can discuss this best: the cast of Saturday Night Live.

The Middle Stall.

A while ago, I read that the middle stall, on average, is the most frequented of any in a given bathroom.  WHY? Why?  WHY?

Why would the middle stall be most appealing to people?  I really don’t get this.

The middle stall just seems yucky, and I don’t like it.Relieving yourself in the middle stall (assuming all others are available) leaves you more vulnerable.  Rather than being safely next to a wall, a wall which cannot produce alarming smells, noises, or ask you for toilet paper, people are choosing to sit and wait for others to surround them with their bathroom needs.  You’re just so much more exposed to danger.  Your shoes are more likely to get weirdly close to someone else’s, and who knows what will happen?  People are more likely to interact with you.  This is a private time.  It’s not social.  It is also more likely that the movement of someone else’s door will jumble yours and cause it to come undone – sometimes stalls are mounted all together, so when one moves, they all do, which creates a strange game of chance out of any potty party.  It’s awkward.

Walls protect you.  Go with walls.

Walls cannot spy on you.  Walls will not vomit on your shoes.  Walls will not text while pooping.  Walls will not cry on the phone.  Walls will not talk to their friends around you.  Walls will never leave the bathroom without washing their hands.

If you sit your bum in the middle stall, you are forcing people to sit next to you while they relieve themselves.  Give everyone space.  Don’t choose the middle stall first!

Politics of Pooping: Dating Edition

Pooping scares people.  That’s why people’s pooping patterns can tell us so much when dating…

The Politics of Date-Poop

  • If a man poops in your apartment, the first time he is there, he is not interested in dating you long-term.
  • If a man poops at your place right before he leaves to go home, he is an asshole without proper manners. Just wait 10 minutes until you get home!
  • If a man discusses poop in front of you within two weeks of knowing you, he considers you a dude/bro, and he does not want to date you.
  • If a new girl in your life discusses poop in front of you (if she’s a new mom discussing baby poop, she’s not crazy, just annoying… although, how did you dating a new mom…), she’s probably a weirdo.
  • If a chick poops in your apartment without major stealth measures within two months of knowing you, she is not interested in sleeping with you.  Girls tend to be pretty weird about poo.
  • If a first date discusses bowel patterns, you need to run. RUN.
  • If someone wants to involve poo or poo-talk, you also need to run. RUN!
  • If a date says, “Sorry I took so long in the bathroom…. There was a line.”  Believe them.  They are trying to maintain their dignity.  Just don’t make eye contact and move on.
  • If your date is a potty-mouth, you may proceed.  Well, if you’re fine with hearing every goddamn thing they say…

Announcing – A Week of Bathroom Talk

That’s right, y’all.  We’re going to devote an entire week to bathroom talk.  Kate and Patty are sick of people acting so weird about the bathroom.  We all use it; it’s okay.  It just seems like our culture denies existence of the camode, or disrespectfully uses it so often.  Why can’t drunk people flush, aim, or wash their hands?  Why do ladies get so mad about the being left up – shouldn’t we look before we sit?  Why aren’t we looking?

In response, we’re talking about the bathroom.  We’re going to rant about poop, pooping, the middle stall, people being annoying about bathroom usage/maintenance/standards.  There will be talk of politics, dating, work, public vs. private, and washing of hands.  We love to wash our hands.  We will also rant for a while about jerks in the potty room.  You get the idea.

Get excited.

You’re Not Funny, You’re Offensive

There are many people who are easily offended. Their comedy sensibilities are seriously lacking, and instead of seeing the funny element of a joke, they concentrate on the stereotype being presented, and thus categorize the joke as “offensive.” This is not entirely accurate. However, all joking aside (I couldn’t resist the pun), there are some “jokes” that aren’t jokes–they’re just offensive statements.

I’m all about what someone I know once called “equal opportunity offenders.” Think Mel Brooks, Chris Rock, Kat Williams, Dave Chappelle. The greats tend to fall into this category. Equal Opportunity Offenders make jokes about every stereotype in the book; they can laugh at other people and at themselves. They don’t make these jokes to alienate, discriminate, devalue, or otherwise hate on individuals or groups of people. They make fun of everybody for the things we don’t necessarily choose, and some of the things we do: our race, our geographic location, our nationality, our religion, our sexual preferences, our genders, etc. But they do this as a method of moving the conversation toward larger issues, and the humor comes from the stereotype. We don’t laugh because we actually think all such-and-such people do/are this, but because its a stereotype of what that group is or does. Sometimes it’s true, but it’s not meant to be the kind of statement that narrows the possibilities of individuals.

However, there is another category of ‘comedian’–if one would deign to call them such–that doesn’t fall into these bounds. Let me explain with a short anecdote.

I was riding in a car with a large group of people when a country song I was unfamiliar with came on the radio. I found it a little distasteful (it was about “titties and beer”), but not offensive. I could chuckle at it. Yet, one line deeply disturbed me, and as everyone around me laughed it up, I sat stone faced: “Thank God I ain’t queer.” What?! That’s not funny. That’s not saying, ‘Hey, Gay men are like this and Women are like this, yuck yuck ha ha.’ That’s just a mean-spirited cut against anyone who categorizes themselves as queer. It’s a stupid and ignorant statement, not a funny one.

Another example: using language that is racist, unless you’re reclaiming it, is not funny. Ever. Black people can say the N-word in a comedic setting because it’s theirs to reclaim and refashion in meaning. Sorry, white people, it’s not yours in any manner except the racist one. So don’t use it in your comedy. Calling someone a nasty name based on their race or ethnicity often results in a few nervous chuckles, but it’s not funny; it’s racist. Same thing goes for any other nasty words directed towards women, gay people, and other minority groups. It’s not funny when you call someone a bitch or a fish wife or a fairy or a fag. It’s just not.

Being nasty toward people for things they don’t choose isn’t funny. It’s mean, nasty, and often falls into the category of one of the -isms (racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, etc.). Instead, why not focus on the little idiosyncrasies that make people funny in general. And if you’re gonna pick on one group, be prepared to pick on them all, including your own.

Stop Comparing Me to Fruit

I’m sure by now, most women have heard of different classifications for body shapes. There’s the “hourglass” (think Marilyn Monroe and every pin up girl ever) and the “rectangle” (as in you don’t have a natural waist) and sometimes even varieties of triangle (standard and inverse, apparently). But all of this is weird. No one actually looks like a triangle or a rectangle. Hourglass, sure, I can see that. Then there’s the stupid food comparisons: apple, pear, and (this one was new to me) banana. I’m sorry but I definitely don’t look like a piece of fruit. This comparison is just weird and nonsensical.

In this case, the fruit doesn't even fit. And that does NOT look like a banana, damnit.

I’m sorry, but none of these shapes make any sense to my brain. I just don’t get it. Supposedly, because I’m small-chested and big-bootied (is that even a term?) I’m a “pear” shape. But I’m also supposed to have tiny, wimpy shoulders (which I don’t) and thick ankles (also don’t). I get the impetus for classifying body shapes–supposedly helping women dress to flatter their most “alluring” features–but it really needs to be rethought. On top of only being able to represent these so-called universal shapes that are supposed to fit all women on the planet in odd drawings without faces or  with creepy identical faces, when someone does try to represent these shapes in the real world, you wind up with ridiculously inaccurate representations. See, for example, figure three. All of these women, despite the fact that they’ve been classified as “different” shapes, all look the same to me. They all have chests of roughly the same size, they’re all fairly lean (though red bathing suit and black bathing suit have weirdly thin thighs that don’t touch), and they all have pretty defined waists. I’m also increasingly convinced that “inv” triangle and triangle are the same woman with a bit of photoshopping on the booty/thighs area. Alternative to the “models come in all shapes and varieties of anorexic!!!” photo above is the “all women look like worn out slobs and stand with their arms awkwardly lifted and suffering from an inexplicable case of bowleggedness” picture below. Kudos to the creator for using real women, but at the same time, it seems somewhat unfair to try to accurately represent body types when you’re using women whose ages vary from the fairly young (maybe 24, “lollipop”) to the fairly old (65? “column”), and whose relative body weight fluctuates from the very skinny to the verging on obese. And forgive me for asking, but what idiot came up with these horrible names. There’s the classic food items, but wtf is a cello body shape? Lollipop? Goblet? And can we all agree that “brick” is a terrible term for a woman’s body shape? As if you could be any less interested in making a woman feel beautiful–“Yes, dear, I believe you’d be classified as a ‘brick.'” C’mon!

This is not to say that using women of a variety of ages and weights is a bad thing, but it’s hard to get a sense of your body shape if you’re at the right weight but don’t look like Ms. Lollipop, Pear, or Cornet. What about women of average weight who are hourglass-shaped? Or heavy women who are column or goblet shaped? This system just sucks, to be honest.

Additionally, in my evening internet cruising, I keep seeing advice for pear and apple shaped women that encourages them to “hide” their big hips or busts, respectively, while telling hourglass ladies to just let it all hang out cause they have nothing to hide. What kind of message does that send? The only worthwhile, sexy shape is an hourglass one, I assume. Everyone else better try to wear dark colors or use ruffles to give the impression they actually have the hourglass shape instead of just embracing the great assets they do have, regardless of whether their top and bottom halves match.

I say, eff that. Whether you look like Barbie or you don’t, stop dressing to cover up what some people like to call “problem areas” (i.e. anything that’s not an hourglass), and just start wearing what you think looks good and gives you confidence.

Birth Control Is Good

What’s the deal with hating birth control?  It’s a good thing.  It’s not your business.  I don’t want to have a baby, but I will continue to have sex.  These are facts.  People have sex.  I’m not ashamed, but you might be.

My vagina and I like to make decisions on our own.

Now, back off and shut the hell up.

Yay!  Condoms!

We Get It, Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day needs to settle it down.  Seriously, why are we putting so much value in this little old day?  It shouldn’t make or break a relationship, it shouldn’t define us as people, and it shouldn’t depress us based on whatever relationship status we can use to describe ourselves on that day.  It just shouldn’t.  I’m actually not sad, lonely, or depressed (this year), but I still think Valentine’s Day is a little evil.  A person cannot escape hearts, red crap, shiny shit, lacy shit, feathered shit, champagne shit, chocolate shit, expensive shit, diamond shit, more heart-shit, etc.

Why not just do something nice for the people you love?  Even if it’s not sexy, you’ll feel good.  If you are in a relationship, you’re expected to have a fancy dinner, eat chocolate, drink champagne, and then put on crazy lingerie and have the hottest sex of ever…  That’s unreasonable.  You will be bloated.  You will not feel like having sex with the lights on.  Just willing myself to get into a corset is enough to ruin a nice meal.  “I’ll have the side salad without dressing as my entree…”  The expectations are unrealistic.  Shouldn’t this be reserved for anniversaries?  What happens if a chick is unavailable for the supreme pleasures of Valentine’s Day doin’ it?  Ladies get this thing every month, and it complicates things?  I’m just saying: what if?  That’s a lot of pressure for a reproductive system to handle.

I’m also infuriated that the V-Day tropes are that dudes spend cash while ladies put out.  Blerg.

I just don’t want to see hearts everywhere.  I don’t like them.  I don’t want everything to be pink.  I don’t want my boyfriend to feel like he has to send me roses or I will kill him.  THAT’S STUPID.  No one is entitled to roses.  I’m certainly not.

Plus, dudes can’t handle all this pressure.  It makes ladies crazy, and guys can’t live up to the crazy expectations pushed into female minds by rom-coms and Hallmark commercials.  I think I’ve even seen a cat food commercial about human love recently.  What? How? Why? COME ON.

Ladies, settle it down.  If a dude doesn’t buy you flowers, it’s okay.  Maybe just take a moment to appreciate the people you love instead of buying everything in CVS?

If you’re single, Valentine’s Day is just gigantic reminder that you are not in a relationship, and that you will likely not be needing any lacy accessories.  Why should singles be tormented further by our weirdly couple-obsessed culture?  Being single kind of rules… because there are no rules!  Okay, not really, but still.   This can be such an awkward day.  We should just act normal.

Why are heart shapes so anatomically incorrect?  It really bothers me.

Friggin’ Valentine’s Day…

How to let your Valentine know you really wish she was 5 and had a tail.

Lately when I’ve been tuned in to MSNBC, I’ve noticed this really awful ad they’ve been running from a company called “Pajamagram” for their product called “Hoodie Footie.” Oh, yes, that is exactly what you’re picturing: full size footie pajamas for adult women. Behold:

What the HELL? First, I doubt any adult woman would be excited to receive footie pajamas from her Valentine. There is nothing cute or romantic about your significant other getting you the same kind of pajamas that five year olds wear. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NOTHING ROMANTIC ABOUT BABY PAJAMAS. If I received these for a Valentine’s gift, or really at any time, I’d start to wonder whether my significant other was a pedophile, or at least had weird pedophilic tendencies.

Additionally, what is going on with the leopard print one? A TAIL? This, on top of toeing the pedophile line, makes me think of furry fetishes–you know, those people who like to dress up in giant stuffed animal costumes and have sex. Yeah. This Hoodie Footie business is now doubly weird, right?

Thinking of this in the larger context that includes the infamous “Snuggie,” I’m starting to wonder who all these people are that are cold all the time, so much so that they need bizarre–and incredibly ugly–products in order to keep warm but still be able to partake in sedentary activities. Turn up the heat in your homes, you morons. Or, I don’t know, do something that involves movement instead of sitting around. That will be sure to warm you up.

FYI, Valentine’s gift buyers, male and female alike: your partner is not a child. Your partner does not need to look like an animal. There is nothing romantic about receiving a gift that implies you are or should be more childlike in the context of an adult relationship, nor is there anything sexy about being dressed as an animal (take note, Halloween costume creators!). The only people who want to have sex with other species and/or children  are socially shunned as perverts. For the sake of the longevity of your relationship, do yourself a favor and don’t imply that you’re one of them.

This week in UNACCEPTABLE: Axe for Women?

A couple of days ago, I was at the gym, doin’ my thang on the elliptical, when all of a sudden it hit me. No, really, it hit me: a giant wave of stench. It smelled vaguely like spicy rotting fruit. It was… AXE. You know, that stupid body spray that guys think will make you want to sleep with them but really just smells like they forgot to take a shower this morning? Yeah, that stuff. I proceded to gasp for fresh air, and, it being inside of a gym with no air movement, began to hack up a lung.

Seriously, though–Axe smells like the equivalent of perishable cologne. Manfume gone bad. Very bad. But dudes LOVE this stuff; especially big meaty dudes who hang out at the gym and apparently think showering is for pussies. Or something. The gym always reeks like this crap (and the smell of feet/dirty socks, but you know. It’s the gym.) I don’t understand where–other than their awful ad campaigns–guys got the idea that any self-respecting female actually likes the way this stuff smells. A shittier version of Old Spice doesn’t make me want to jump your bones. Sorry.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, lo and behold, I was proven wrong while watching the Super Bowl.

Now women get to smell like spicy rotting fruit, too! Oh, joy. Actually it probably smells like the crappy cotton candy body spray everyone used in my middle school. I wouldn’t be surprised. I almost wished for a moment I had smell-o-vision so I could smell this strange new product. What’s the verdict? Weird rotten fruit or typical fourteen year old cotton candy smell?

More importantly, how will an ad campaign for women even work? Given that Axe’s big claim is, “Hey, AnyDude: use our stuff and hot models will come creeping out of the bushes to have sex with you all the time,” how would that work for women in a non-creepy way?

Funny or Die asked that same question, and here’s what they came up with.

Despite the crass ending to this commercial, they’ve got a point. Bottom line: Axe is unacceptable (or unacceptably bad-smelling) for dudes. It’s bound to be equally unacceptable for women, if not just plain weird.

Read more about “Axe Anarchy” in this New York Times article.