Beware the Port o Potty
This is kind of a fun story to reset. It’s a nice reminder as parents that there are some things that don’t seem like a big deal to us, but are major, traumatic issues for our kids. And sometimes those fears follow us into adulthood.
It does involve being a dad, but mainly it involves being a man to whom nature calls from time to time whilst in public. So here it is…I fear the port o potty.
Ah, yes. The convenience of a plastic fortress in which you may answer nature’s call with a thin veil of privacy while still in the company of what appears to be an entire city around you. (My blood pressure is already up thinking about this.) The port o potty is generally installed in places where large numbers of people arrive, AND (here’s the kicker) where there are bountiful amounts of food and beverage.
The port o potty can also become a prison.
We all know about the question of cleanliness that comes with the port o potty. I’m not going to delve deeply into that, however, if you have ever taken a child into one the risks of being slimed by any number of unwanted variables seems to be magnified. But the real danger is getting stuck in one.
I was locked in a port o potty at a very young age. Not in a wicked Repunzel like imprisonment (gosh could you imagine THAT hair in a port o – no I just can’t even).
No, I got stuck. Let me explain.
It was a time of innocence. A time of play. A time when I could play outside for what seemed like hours after dinner. but the rule was simple – “Once you come back in the house, you are in for the night.”
The neighbors had a yearly bash in their backyard that warranted the delivery of two port o potties. Double the freedom. When natured called, it was a simple decision. The green fortress was an opportunity to continue to play. I ran gleefully to the plastic rectangle of privacy and closed the door. A fortress of solitude. A commode of confidence. A, well, you get the idea.
But before I could proceed with any business, something told me to check the door.
It wasn’t just locked. It was stuck. My heart sunk and my fists started to bounce pound on the plastic walls. I suddenly felt very hot. The air was starting to disappear. At the tender age of 6, I had already constructed the headline, “6 Year Old, Found In Port O Potty 10 Years Later”. I thought I would get stuck there forever. I feared I might perish in the potty.
What happened next is still a blur. There were voices outside. More than my father’s. I had never been so happy to hear his voice. The walls started to shake a bit, which if you have ever been in a port o potty is a scary thing even if it is newly delivered. (By the way, what is the green liquid they put in those things anyways?? Grosses me out.) Suddenly, the door opened. I fell out of the hole to freedom. I think I may have kissed the ground like I had seen Bishop Desmond Tutu do on the news when he got off the plane. I think my dad carried me the 300 yards to my house and my day was over.
The next morning I remember peering through the windows looking to see if they were still there. My version of the Jabberwocky was not a monster. It was, and still is, the port o potty. A necessary evil, but beware the risks.
Beware, the port o potty, my friends. The doors that lock, the germs that catch.
Proceed with caution.
An Alternate version of this post originally appeared on Life of Dad