07 May Catholin’ – A Love Story
Disclaimer: First, this is in no way actually a love story. Second, the subject of this post is bowel movements. If you can’t handle that, you may want to navigate back to buzz feed.
Pooping. Everyone does it. Humans, for as long as I can tell have done it. Babies do it. Your boss does it. Grandma does it. That hot chick in marketing does it. Even Nicholas Cage does it. I know this may be shocking. For some of you, you’ll never look at Nicholas Cage the same, and for that I apologize. But these are just the facts. It serves an important role in maintaining our mediocre health as civilized humans. We all do it and it’s never pretty. Now that you know where I’m going with this, you may want to put your Bagel with jalapeño spread down for a minute.
On the trail it’s called “Catholin”. Some are more discreet than others but generally your trail mate will let ya know “You keep on going, I gotta go catholin”. At this point you know two things: 1. You need to get upwind 2. Your trail mate is entering into a dangerous gamble that could change the entire direction of this day.
Now, performing a movement of the bowels in civilization is like taking 10 minutes at a spa. You bring your favorite reading material, you’re in a quiet safe place where no one will intrude, the rolls of toilet paper seem endless as you relax on that butt shaped porcelain throne that hardly requires you to bend your knees.
On the trail? Oh buddy.
First, you decide that you have to go bad enough to face the dangers. You’ve already waited too long really because you wanted to be sure you don’t go through all the trouble just for a hot aired false alarm. So now you’re almost at red alert mode. Sweats and awkward waddling already in effect.
Second, you must find a place. You look frantically. Is the ground soft enough? Can I dig there? Maybe I can just lift that rock. Is there a snake under that rock? Can anyone see me here? Am I far enough away from the trail? Waddling over bushes, around rocks, tapping your trekking pole like a blind man in the hopes it’ll scare away rattlers, looking around frantically, back and forth. What if I’m too far away? What if there is a trail I don’t know about just below me? What if a group of ten school children on a nice nature walk is about to get their world views shattered when they come around that bend and discover me here…hovering. No time. Train is coming to the station, it has to be here.
Start digging. Gosh I hope there isn’t a wasps nest here or a family of jumping scorpions. I wonder how high a scorpion can jump…can scorpions jump?
Squat over the hole. Wait, seriously? You want me to squat? I’ve sat at a computer or on a lazy boy for the last 18 years of my life and have the flexibility of sheet rock. Now I need to do a full squat and hold it? On this steep grade? And unstable footing? I look around for something to hold onto for balance. I grab some shrubs even though I know they won’t hold. I grab anyway because hope is heartless and dishonest when you’re desperate. I’m already exposed and I just know a Mountain Lion is already tracking me or that school group is coming any second. Lets be honest, probably both. I grab the shrubs and squat.
If you’re lucky, it’s not a false alarm. All goes well and bowels move.
Now, you find yourself exposed with pants at your ankles hovering precariously over a self made death trap grasping to shrubs that are slowly pulling out of the ground like a ticking time bomb and you’re still looking frantically and pathetically in all directions to ensure no one can see you. And now you must wipe. As you reach for your “shit kit” which has your toilet paper, you say a prayer to all Gods that have ever been. It goes something like this: Dear All Gods Ever, please hear me now, please just this once make this an easy wipe, a clean pinch. You pray because you already know. You already know you’re screwed. You already know you were off balance and tilted to one side. You already know the protein bars never treat you well during departure. You already know that you’re down to your last sheets of TP. And so quietly with the focus only fear can provide, you take your first square of TP and wipe. Peering between your legs you almost slip, the shrubs finally pull free from the ground and only by some miracle are you able to windmill your free arm behind you in time to catch yourself. Now you’re doing some sort of one armed backward bend over the aforementioned death trap. You breath a sigh of relief and finally evaluate the results of the first wipe. You’re screwed. You have three more squares before you have to resort to pine needles and sticks. Somehow with that last square you’re adequately clean and you escape the terrible alternatives. Ants are crawling up your legs, your hip is cramping, and your stabilizing arm is beginning to wobble. You roll away from the cat hole and pull up your pants just to realize that you peed all over them. Well at least you weren’t mauled by a mountain lion. You cover your tracks, fill in your hole, and tap your trekking poles back to the trail hoping that once was enough for today.
Just another day in paradise.