The I-just-pooped face

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I just took a dump. Now it’s your turn.

So I’m sitting in a delightful coffee shop in Encinitas, California. It’s very crowded and noisy, which I dig, but only has one bathroom—which I don’t dig.

A few moments ago I needed to take a piss, so I tried opening the door. It was locked.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, after a solid five or six minutes (time stretches when one needs to pee), a woman opened the door, looked at me, grinned and exited.

I’m not a fan of boldfacing words here, but I both boldfaced and italicized grinned for a reason. Put simply, there is no grin in the world quite like the exit-a-bathroom grin. It’s a subtle-yet-unambiguous acknowledgment that something just escaped my body, and you’re now going to have to either:

• A. Smell it.

• B. See some of it in the toilet.

• C. See some of it on the seat.

Best-case scenario, the person urinated perfectly, without so much as a dollop left behind. Actually, scratch that. Best-case scenario is the person thought he/she had to pee, but nothing came out. Also, no tushy sweat on the seat (so nasty, and more common than one might think). Alas, the positive scenarios rarely happen in business restrooms. Lord knows, I’ve seen it all.

Anyhow, back to the grin. It’s hard to explain that specific facial gesture. In a way, “grin” is too strong. It’s more like a grin-grimace conglomerate. A joke … combined with death. Chocolate … mixed with salmon. Justin Bieber having sex … with Helen Mirren. Really, there is an intrinsic homo-spanien need to contort our faces in some post-excretory mannerism, and it’s the best we’ve come up with.

OK, back to work.

PS: I Googled “awkward grin,” and the above photo of John Edwards came up. I have no doubt John Edwards grins awkwardly after he shits. I also have no problem with a Google search of “shit” and “awkward” bringing forth Edwards’ face.

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