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Get it Out!
By Cara DiPaolo

I realize how this is going to sound and it's not what you think, but I've recently become obsessed with bowel movements, and not just my own. A friend of mine mentioned how he'd read this book called Get It Out! in which the author stipulates that a healthy person should be "voiding" at least three times a day. Three times a day. I'm lucky if I go once. And to be honest, I'm not even sure I could afford the extra down time for two more a day. I don't know about the rest of you, but I need to let things…percolate for a while; maybe read a few pages of a magazine, play with the cat, you know, ease my way into things. And that takes time. Between my hectic work schedule, my active social life, my infrequent exercising, and my 4.5 hours of TV a day, I barely have time to take a shower let alone schedule in three "voids" a day.

According to this book, as humans became more civilized they started going less. Apparently civilization made us embarrassed about our bodily functions and as a result we began to "hold it in" leading to all sorts of common diseases and ailments. The author studied some barbarian-type people, who, unhindered by propriety, just dropped a load whenever the mood struck them; be they working in the field, having dinner with family or sharpening their nose jewelry, whatever. Out it went. No apologies necessary. And by and large, these people lived longer, healthier lives than us -- if you didn't factor in the high incidences of death by animal goring.

In any event, the book got me thinking that maybe I should be more concerned about my regularity issues. The truth is, I have a very small window of poopertunity in the morning between breakfast and my shower and if I miss it because I'm rushed or out of coffee or the phone rings -- I mean if there is any deviation in my schedule whatsoever -- that's it. I'm stopped up for the day. And it doesn't just end there. If I miss one day it's not like I can easily make it up the next. It's like missing a day of work. Your inbox gets piled high with an extra day's worth of stuff, plus new things keep coming in and you don't have time to go back and empty out the old stuff. Your system gets all screwed up. When I miss a day, it can sometimes take me a week to clear out my "outbox."

And traveling is the worst. I can't go in strange bathrooms. I'm too distracted. Is the door thick enough? How does the lock work? Which side is the toilet paper holder on? What temperature is the seat ring? Will it be too obvious if I leave the faucet running? It's all too much. I avoid going out of town whenever I can. People think I'm a recluse, anti-social, but in reality I'm just beholden to my bowels.

I began wondering if there were others out there like me. Clearly I couldn't be the only one if our so-called civilized void average was on the decline. I started asking around. People were a little tight-lipped at first, but eventually I got them to open up and I was amazed by my findings. Here's what I discovered: women are perpetually constipated. Men are not. It's that simple. Sure, there are a few exceptions to the rule -- the sensitive boyfriend here, the liberal gal-pal there. But I'm talking maybe a two percent margin of error.

In general, I found that men can eat binding foods like bananas and bread and cheese for days on end and twenty minutes later, ffft! out it goes. They can go anywhere, anytime. They don't care if it's the only bathroom in the house and it's right next to the living room and there's a line of people waiting to get in. They take their time, stink up the place and swagger out winking and waving an emphatic hand in front of their noses: Woo! Sorry about that! Might want to light a match in there.

Women, on the other hand, are much more sensitive to their surroundings. They can't go if someone is near. They can't go if they think someone is near. They can't even go if someone might be near in the near future. One of my girlfriends recently told me she was stopped up for 14 days because she was staying in close quarters at her in-laws' house and there was only one bathroom. When she finally went, it was at a restroom in Wal-mart and she stayed in the stall for over an hour to make sure no one witnessed her coming out.

One of my former co-workers used to use her entire lunch break every day to drive home so she could go to the bathroom in private. Another woman described how after seven years, she still gets up in the middle of the night to do her business whenever her boyfriend stays over. And in all that time she has never once passed gas in front of him. Not once, in seven years. Meanwhile I have personally witnessed her boyfriend making a show of lifting up his leg to punctuate his incessant flatulations: That's what I'm talking 'bout, (FART)!

And it's not like these women are choosing to be this way either. One of the ladies I interviewed described how she goes out of her way to eat high fiber foods like beans and prunes when she knows she's going to be put in a compromising toilet predicament. I try. I really try. But my body just won't let me go, the woman remarked sadly.

And suddenly, it dawned on me. This is a major epidemic.

I mean, I don't know exactly what I had hoped to gain from my informal research -- it started out as a simple quest for knowledge. But my findings really enraged me. It's not fair that women should be so afflicted and men just don't care. Why should we be penalized for being nice and conscientious? What's in it for us, except apparently a lifetime of common diseases and ailments? Well I, for one, have had it!

I refuse to be put in this box where I'm not free to express myself, even if that expression is coming out of my ass. Don't you see, ladies? This is just another self-inflicted barrier we've placed on ourselves, so we can appear pure and ladylike. It's all in our minds! We're eating the same things as men! We're drinking the same water! It doesn't take a genius to see WE are allowing this to happen! Well, not me. Not anymore.

I am on a crusade, and ladies, I dare you to join me. I'm making it my personal mission to stink up every facility this side of the Pacific Ocean. And even if I don't have to go, I'll make the noises, god-dammit! From now on, I'm poopin' loud and I'm poopin' PROUD! And, whatever it takes, I will GET IT OUT!

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