3odpdhDuring Jr High and my Sophomore year of High School I landscaped. It was by far my favorite job looking back with some miles and years between the memory and living it. It was a painful occupation. Depending upon the day, you would come home with a distinct parting gift.

  • You could win the coveted blister package on your hands from throwing the pick into rock filled dirt.
  • You could receive the almighty sunburn! This gift kept giving the next few days as your clothes were a constant reminder of your failure to wear sunscreen or a hat.
  • You could have the ‘raw foot’. This was from standing in puddles of water from installing or fixing sprinklers. Cheap sneakers are not kind when worn wet for 10 hours straight.
  • You could be delirious all night because you thought Coke was an acceptable substitute to water on a 101 degree day.

Sometimes you would win more than one. But the one parting gift I never received? Having to poop.

The owner/boss would swing by this gas station up on Foothill Blvd and get cheese sticks every morning. Finally one day when we asked why, and he replied “It clogs your pooper so you don’t waste time in an outhouse or looking for a shitter.”

It’s true. To this day, if I have a long road trip or somewhere to go where there isn’t a bathroom that I would want to use – I eat something with processed cheese to put a temporary stop to that problem. It sounds gross, but there is no such thing as a port a potty with a small enough risk factor to chance pooping in. There is also no polite way to knock on a customers door, covered in mud and sweat and shorts you haven’t washed since Monday, and ask to use their bathroom. Because no one asks to use a bathroom to pee. It is always to poop. And then even if you did by chance get to use it, they would just be staring at you out the window of their kitchen. Watching you clean their yard. Your nasty cheese you finally pooped from two days ago filling their house and fueling their anger.

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