Save the trees, flush twice

By Richard Magda
February 6, 2003

Lauren Joseph

For the first time in my life, I couldn’t go to the bathroom. No number one, no number two and not because my anatomical pipes were clogged. Instead, the toilets to the right and to the left of my room were clogged – one for a week, the other for two days; one with feces, the other with vomit.

The hellacious stench lingered through the upstairs hallway of house seven during the daytime as we fought with all our might, using country-scented air freshener to coat the walls and carpet. But by night, the stink found its way into our rooms, and eventually into the stitching of our clothes. The fumes were winning the battle and we were running out of ammo.

With the upstairs bathrooms clearly in need of quarantine, I could have used the bathrooms downstairs, where the women of the house live. But why should they be on the receiving end of the mess? They have never bothered us upstairs, and they handle the early morning thumping of drunken lunatics quite well, I thought. When it came time, I ventured to the woods behind the house. I was putting myself at risk of a public urination violation, but it was better than using the shower, which became the public urinal come party time last Saturday.

So there I stood, day after day, relieving myself near the same tree, a good tree. I’d stand there looking at the bare branches thinking about how cold its lumber must be without leaves. I was warm, with my coat and hat, but that poor tree. Zip. My thoughts never went further than that, but I felt better about myself for thinking of the tree that didn’t have to deal with the stench of feces or vomit, but must have been cold.

I couldn’t help but wish this tree could comprehend what was happening. Its roots were absorbing human urine because belligerents couldn’t manage sufficient flushing. I wanted the tree to lean over and smack them all – one swift blow to knock them to their senses.

By this point, college students should be able to take care of their own crap – flush twice, damn it.

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Richard Magda

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