Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Writer: blocked

I had to buy some stool softener the other day.
Assuming I didn't just lose everybody under what I completely understand could be construed as an imminent threat of incoming TMI, let me offer assurances that this will not be a crude, graphic post about poop.

Listen, I'm getting older and certain bodily functions need a boost sometimes. It's nature, that's all. But like so many things in life, natural or otherwise, necessary or not, it's an avenue that is fraught with peril.

For starters, once I was presented with the obvious evidence that led to an immediate, successful and unfortunate self-diagnoses, I had to do research. What is the difference between a laxative and a stool softener and which one would best suit my needs?

Again, I don't need to give you graphic details but it was immediately apparent from what I read on-line that the stool softener presented the best plan of action.

Off to the drug store I went, where I was confronted with more questions.
How soon would it start to work? What if I took too much at the wrong time of day. I had visions of Turbo-laxing myself, producing results too immediately. A sudden gurgling from down below telling me I shouldn't have taken a fast-acting remedy before getting in my car. The key question being, where do you want to be when your stool softener starts to work?  Or, more accurately, where do you NOT want to be?
This requires using math and a clock to back into an optimal time to take the medicine. The instructions said to expect results in eight to twelve hours. That four hour margin makes a big difference. I decided to take it when I got home from work, expecting it to kick in during the middle of the night rather than chance that happening while I was at work. And also hoping that I wouldn't be experiencing an especially sound sleep that night.

Second, and only slightly less important, you don't want to go up to the register with just that. I decided to enlist the strategy I used when I was a teenager, trying to buy porn at a convenience store...
"Yes, let's see, I'll have this bag of potato chips, these two bottles of root beer, and if you could get me a comb, this month's issue of Juggs magazine, some baby aspirin and a pine-scented air freshener for my car, I'll be all set, thanks."
"Huh? Juggs magazine? No, clearly I said Jet magazine. Yes, that makes much more sense, since I'm a white 16-year-old male. Ha ha! Okay, can I leave now?"

It didn't work then, I didn't expect it to work now. Still, I didn't want to walk up to the cashier with my bottle of poop plunger (I'm so sorry) and nothing else, like there's nothing else going on in my life at the moment, even though that's an accurate assessment. Because when you want to go and you can't, well, everything else kind of takes a back seat (again, I am so very sorry).

I'm fine now; the product worked as advertised and without embarrassing incident which is a huge relief on a number of levels. Now I just have to live with the internal stigma that comes from the fact that I'm a person who has used stool softener.

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