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Dear Shitter,

First, I want to congratulate you on the more-than-successful attempt at moving your bowels. In a world where people, for innumerable reasons, are unable to defecate (especially in a public restroom), you resoundingly proved the naysayers wrong. In regard to both mass and volume, this was a BM for the ages. Had he not shuffled off this mortal coil more than 25 years ago, I would have sworn that Andre the Giant himself had come through this Poages Mill, Virginia Sunoco restroom and produced the scene upon which I now gaze.

Having (hopefully) established that this is in no way an attempt to shame you for answering the call of nature, I would like to move on to make a few points that—as I clench my teeth, sweating and hopping from foot to foot—I feel I would be remiss not to explore. Again, these are all pointers, though pointers I strongly suggest you utilize here on out.

First: Location, location, location.

When evacuating, most consider it of paramount importance to land 100 percent of the material they excrete within the confines of the toilet bowl. Yes, 100 percent is a big number, and “perfection,” like “infinity,” a terrifying concept in the abstract. But I have faith that you can understand why even 10 percent of a human being’s droppings finding their way onto a toilet seat or the floor (or, in this case, both), could challenge the sensibilities of many among the ranks of your fellow man. There’s a reason the saying goes, “’Almost’ only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades” and not “’Almost’ only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and staggeringly large shits.”

Second: The thought that counts.

I couldn’t help but notice your failure to flush the ordure you produced in, on, and around the toilet in question. While the volume of material outside the bowl would have rendered the results of said act moot for the purposes of my own, badly needed expulsion, I believe I’m not alone in thinking it would have been a kind gesture. A bit of a signal to the rest of us that hey, while you did this, you’re not a bad person at heart, and still on board with the general norms of society and human decency as a whole.

Leo Buscaglia, colloquially known as “Dr. Love,” once said that “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” To that list, I would like to add “flushing whatever portion of the livestock-sized shit we just took that landed inside the toilet bowl.”

Third: You can’t take it with you.

While this had zero impact upon my life, I dare say that the total lack of used toilet paper I noted in (or on or around) the bowl you so thoroughly made your own might be a real concern for both you and those around you. While we all enjoy the occasional “clean sweep” (i.e. the production of excreta that is subsequently met with a wiping of the rump that reveals no further need for such action), I feel more than confident in suggesting this was no such situation.

While toilet paper enjoys several uses, from the defacing of the property of ones’ foes to the supply of playthings for domestic rodents, I feel confident in stating that its primary use is the cleansing of oneself after the moving of bowels. If I’m incorrect in my assumption, and you merely took the toilet paper you used with you, let me just say that it, like the Armageddon-esque asteroid of a shit you slammed into this bathroom, belongs in the toilet. 100 percent. (There’s that scary number again!)

While I could curse your name as I speed to the next service station, engaging in Lamaze breathing and wondering how you strutted off into the world after doing what you did, I instead hope that my positive attitude will encourage you to play for Team Shits-In-Toilets here on out. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the points I made above, and, as the ancient Persians said, may you “ride well, shoot straight, and speak the truth.” Especially with regard to riding toilet seats and shooting straight inside them.

John Papageorgiou

John hosts a long running comedy radio show titled Papa's Basement. He also performs standup and improv and drummed once for a Unitarian church.

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