Travel Advent Dec. 5: My Second Worst Poop Experience

This is by no means my worst poop story, but it was certainly the scariest.
Lost somewhere in Northern Borneo exploring a Sun Bear preserve in the early hours of the morning, nature called and she rang her bell-like a bullhorn. Off to the tropical bathroom I went, sporting my long adventure pants that make the shoop-shoop sound when you walk and my long white shirt, already drenched by early morning Bornean dew.

The process itself was quite lovely. Borneo and Malaysia in general have a wonderfully diverse and nutritious culinary culture. The problem arose in the post-poop epoch, still in the bliss of release while not quite ready to pull up the dungarees and head back into the humidity. Deep in meditation, elbows resting on my knees, my head hung down pondering the moisture accrued on my underwear like a Rorschach test — when suddenly my meditation was interrupted by a shadow disappearing under the crumpled up pants hanging around my shins.

“No…” I pleaded to some God far away in the clouds bowling with Buddha. I rationalized to myself, telling myself I was simply tired and was having jungle fever hallucinations. But that to put a pit in my stomach, as it was indeed the jungle after all and no space was devoid of Jurassic Park-sized creepy crawlies. I gathered the strength to investigate the scene. I pleaded, “Don’t fuck with me Borneo — I survived Bruneian border control and I can survive you. Don’t fuck with me, jungle priestess.” I slowly lifted one side of my pant legs, each independent hair on my legs, erect from fear, sliding up along with my shoopy-shoopy pants. The shadow began to take form as I slowly lifted my pant leg, and to my horror, the shadow began to materialize into a fuzzy spider with long thin limbs the length of my gigantic human fingers. Below me, in the warm moist crib of my shoopy pants, sat a non-hallucination spider that could easily steal a newborn baby and drag it back to its layer. The kind of spider that talks to Harry Potter, or the kind that shrink-wrapped Frodo and tried to suck his sweet Hobbity juices.

As soon as my human brain connected the dots, my monkey brain took over control, and my reflexes sent me flailing into the sky, dingle flapping freely through the moist air like a majestic hot dog being thrown during a food fight at a competitive eating contest. I jumped to the right, and the spider jumped with me under my pants. I jumped to the left, and the spider jumped with me. We danced together like this for some time, doing the toilet tango, me in the lead and my salty sumptuous spider mistress trailing me like a retired cougar coming after my moist youthful giblets.

I continued jumping around in the stall when suddenly I realized the shadow was no longer following me. “Shit shit shit” I shouted under my breath. Lifting my pant legs, I noticed that to my even greater horror, my spider mistress had decided to go to the bar for a drink instead of dancing. I looked under my shoes, around every corner of the small bathroom stall, but there was no spider to be seen. A pit dropped in my stomach, and I realized that the spider must have come aboard the S.S. Skidmark to hitch a ride and explore the amenities on board.

At this point, I felt there could be no other option but to strip and shake out every individual piece of clothing. I stripped off my sausage casing clothes over my shoes, and standing naked except for my socks and ratty Vans from Target, relentlessly shook out each article of clothing trying to expunge the demon within. I shook and shook, but no spider sprung loose from the web of my clothing. I hung my clothes up over the stall and peered around each corner of the bathroom again. You may be wondering how large this stall was, and I’ll tell you. Fucking tiny. There was no room for a spider the size of a juvenile panda’s face to just disappear.

Eventually, I gave up, seceding victory to the spider queen who had reinforced my belief that you should always poop before meeting a pretty lady. I pulled my sausage casing back up over my shaken body and emerged from the stall as if nothing had happened in the first place. To this day, I still wonder if the spider is somewhere exploring my body, always moving to be perfectly out of reach.

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