You know that good old-fashioned special internet feeling, where you discover a site or writer or whatever that has been around for a while, but you never knew about it, and once you discover it you gleefully waste about six hours of your life thumbing through the archives in pure orgasmic delight? (That may be dramatic. Orgasms are rare during standard web surfing, even for geeks like me. I’m talking two per week, max.) Think back to the first time you read Stuff White People Like, or Dooce, or Life as a Loser. It’s rare, but when it happens, oh good god is it a fine time.
I’m here to report a writer I just discovered (though I’m ashamed to have overlooked him up to this point): Joshua Green Allen. The guy has been around for years, pumping out genius internet content, but I just recently happened upon Wiretap Follies, a website with this mission: “In January 2007 I went into a bar and tried out my new pickup line: “Pretty mama, I’m gonna assassinate that bush tonight.” The government tapped my phone for a year. These are the transcripts.”
Some real hilarity over there, enough to get you in trouble by the boss for extreme procrastination. But the real gem, at least to me, was a write-up I found at another one of Allen’s sites, Fireland. I’m going to go ahead and retype the whole thing here, because it’s that funny and I don’t trust you lazy bastards with the simple task of clicking on a link OK that was unfair I’m sorry here this will make you feel better:
Boy what a time I had in the office bathroom! Where to begin. I go into one of the stalls and see that there is still pee in the bowl. I briefly consider moving to the next stall but that’d be a middle stall, and who wants a middle stall. Nobody is who. So I flush the toilet and it gets going on a very hearty, loud, industrial-strength flush, the kind you can only get in office buildings. I admire its thoroughness.
OK, Josh, so far nothing noteworthy! Your story is delivering exactly zero goods! I know, I know, but just wait! See, here’s the surprise twist: The toilet never stops flushing. It just keeps churning and eddying in its thorough, office-building fashion. And I’m standing there waiting for it to wrap things up but it won’t stop. This roaring flush is locked in an endless loop.
I am of course frozen in terror, unsure how to proceed. There was at least one other gentleman in the bathroom, probably snickering at my mistake of flushing The Toilet That Everyone Knows Is Broken (why else would the previous user just leave his pee in there). Do I make a quick transfer to the middle stall? Do I skulk out of the bathroom and maybe try again tomorrow? (I can do that, you know — I have that level of control over mine own biology.)
Then I’m all: Whatever, let’s do this. So I sit right down on the flushing commode and get down to business. The result: Best shit I ever took.
1. The constant flushing provides a nice level of white noise, which covers up all other bathroom-related sounds. This puts the user at ease, minimizing embarrassment and encouraging him to void with gusto.
2. All waste product is immediately whisked away, as if it were never there to begin with. This makes the user feel like a being of pure light, above the petty and corporeal concerns of ordinary men. Special bonus: Hardly time for any stink to get out.
3. The splashback from the neverending flush provides gentle bidet-like action, which users find both titillating and refreshing.
4. Said bidet action and decadent waste of water makes the user feel like a member of a royal family or chairman of some powerful board of directors. The user may find himself engorged with a sense of cruel entitlement, and think less fondly of his loved ones, who suddenly seem crass and filthy.
I was in there for like half an hour. The thing was still flushing when I finally left. I felt dapper and confident. I was a man who could crush the whole world in his mighty fist.
Wow. That’s the best toilet bowl prose I’ve read in, like, forever. Kudos to you, Mr. Allen.