This weekend in Los Angeles: Bathroom Follies!

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I've been to LA twice in the last ten years. One time was to visit my in-laws in Long Beach, so that doesn't count. The other time was my first meeting with Feral House, the company publishing my book, back in 2004. The editor took me out to dinner. This was my first day back in the US after six months in London, and I was jet-lagged and grumpy. I picked at my salmon-and-avocado pizza at some trendy restaurant while the people with whom I ate—an author, a publisher, a designer, a comedian/CBS sitcom regular, and a few others—dropped the names of famous people and talked about parties they went to. To me, this was LA in its entirety: beautiful people talking about beautiful people while looking around to see if any of the beautiful people in the restaurant are looking at them.

But it turns out there's some hope for LA after all. Because this weekend, LA plays host to Bathroom Follies, a dance work that sounds to me like PoopReport.com set to music.

In fact, it just might be PoopReport On Stage. The choreographer, Jamie Benson, has been in touch with me; I sent him two PoopReport t-shirts that he promises he and the costume designer, Andrae Gonzalo, will wear at the premiere.

Here's how Bathroom Follies is described on the theater's website: "An examination of artifice and its function in the American psyche through the combined vernacular of dance and fashion. The hidden truths of the human experience lie behind 'closed stalls.' They are the 'garments' we are left wearing, after being fully exposed. Only when we bother to start looking, do we truly begin to see."

Yes, that description is a bit opaque. But bear with me -- contrast that with this line from William Plank's essay The Psycho-Social Bases of Scatological Humor: the Unmasking of the Self: "Scatological humor removes the props by which the self attempts to create and control its image: clothing, privacy, secrecy, composition of the face, and self-control."

I'll translate further. To paraphrase myself from that book of mine that I can't seem to shut up about: what we hide in the bathroom is the one thing that makes us just like everyone else.

And therein lies the power of PoopReport: we embrace the one thing we all have in common.

Now imagine that in dance form.

For the first time in my life, heaven help me, I wish I lived in LA.

11 Comments on "This weekend in Los Angeles: Bathroom Follies!"

The Big Wiper's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

I could not agree more with the blurbed comment from 'Dwell' magazine, namely that "open-mindedness begins in the bathroom."
The sentiment is obvious to someone like myself.

On the other hand, there exists a 'locked door' mentality when it comes to bathroom use. There are some who simply refuse to or cannot use a public facility; who cannot tolerate other people being in the room with them or in the stall next to them; who are so Shameful that it's downright painful.

There are obviously degrees of privacy expectations. Mine are extremely low. And while I can appreciate that other people have high, if nearly impossible standards, I'd like to call everyone's attention to the expression on Andrae Gonzalo's face while he is posing on the toilet.

Note the smile. The free spiritedness. I'll wager that translates into open-mindedness as well. It certainly reminds me of my approach to bathroom use.

The "Bathroom Follies" concept sounds terrific and lots of fun. I know where they're coming from--it's an easy-going place to be.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

The Thunderous Crapper 63's picture
k 500+ points

Wow hope this show makes it big and comes to Philly, consider me first in line for tickets! Finally a show that everyone can relate to.
_______
The Thunderous Crapper 63 Enjoying home toilet advantage since 2004!

AHHHHHEMMMMMMMMMM JUST CLEARING MY THROAT!! ;)

Bunga Din's picture
j 1000+ points

If I sit on the can a certain way I can doo "The Twist".

Fart Poopie's picture
j 1000+ points

The Big Wiper, your post makes me think about how shameless we are raising our children to be. My 5 year old will often walk in on anyone who's using the toilet (the doors have no locks) if she needs something in there and thinks nothing of it.

I'm trying to teach her to knock and ask permission, but the shameful part of me hopes she doesn't do it at all at other people's houses.

The Big Wiper's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

I think you're doing the right thing to make your children comfortable with the bathroom and not make using it a no-man's (or no-woman's) land.

But your concerns about other people's houses isn't out of line, either. You can always say to your children that when they are not at home, they should respect other people's privacy.

I think you can pull this off without seeming to be inconsistent.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

TBW wrote: "I think you can pull this off without seeming to be inconsistent."

I don't know what it is, but this just seems wrong...its probably just me, my perception has been all screwed up lately.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

The Big Wiper's picture
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Can you be more specific? What seems wrong? Suggesting that arrangements in other people's houses may be different from their own?

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

TBW, I was making a lame attempt at being funny, with a rude visual in my head...I won't go any further, not necessary, not funny. I truly have lost it. I AM DF!!! Kill me now!!!

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

The Big Wiper's picture
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Got it. I just returned from a big job interview. Guess my serious face was still on. Heh.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Bunga Din's picture
j 1000+ points

Well Wiper if you said in the interview "I can create a dynamic team paradigm capable of delivering consistently superlative results producing greater profitability while reducing extraneous human resources" stow it, that only works at Reardon Metal according to John Galt.

Oh yeah, also when the interview is almost over and they ask if you have any questions never say "is the asswipe free?" (learned that one the hard way)

The Big Wiper's picture
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Howard Roark laughed.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!