Bathroom Emergency (August 2011)

Before you read this be warned; this might be too graphic and intimate but remind yourself that everyone poops. I would also advise you to read my June 2011 entry ‘Random Notes’ as to fully appreciate this story.

I was in Calabar waing for a bus and I had the sudden urge to go to the bathroom. I dislike Calabar as you can’t just go to the bushes, dig a hole and do your business (though don’t worry you can still urinate basically anywhere). There also are not a lot of public toilets so I suddenly found myself in a pretty tough spot. Being the uncivilized brute that I am, I first looked for some bushes. Nope, far too much development around. Next I tried to see if there were any business establishments that would have a public restroom. Nope, even worse it was Sunday so nothing was open. I was waiting for the bus in a sort of office complex like building and the urge to go to the bathroom was going from immediate to urgent. I decided that the office must have some type of restroom on one of the three floors. i checked the first floor and there were bathrooms…but they were all locked. The false alarm all but guaranteed I was going to crap my pants so I now ran up the stairs to the second floor and found an unlocked bathroom. Wow, that was a close one. But in my haste to find a suitable poop spot I forgot all about my toilet paper. No big deal, as an experienced traveler I have torn a piece of my sock when in a pinch. Heck, when I was in India I even used my hand a few times provided there were proper wash basins. But alas, I was wearing sandals and no water or soap. I began to scan the room and got a little worried because I was about to ride the bus for two hours and I am far too old to be getting diaper rash. I noticed a waste basket to the side of the toilet and I looked in to see a solitary object: a cob of corn.
Under normal circumstances this would mean nothing and I would resume my search for proper material. But in reference to my post, ‘Random Notes’, I have learned a lot in Nigeria. And it is only fitting that as I previously mocked Nigerians corn butt wiping techniques, I would one day find myself at the mercy of a cob.

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