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34-Year-Old Asks For Big Piece

MADISON, WI—Directing the server to the large square in the corner, local 34-year-old Matthew Hinke asked for a big piece of cake during a workplace birthday party, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Mom Produces Decorative Gift Bag Out Of Thin Air

LEXINGTON, MA—Conjuring the item into existence along with several sheets of perfectly coordinated tissue paper, local mother Caroline Wolfson, 49, reportedly produced a decorative gift bag out of thin air Tuesday within a mere fraction of a second of her daughter mentioning she needed to wrap a present.

Cake Just Sitting There

Take It

CHICAGO—Assuring you that there was nothing to worry about and not a soul around who would see you, sources confirmed Tuesday that a large piece of chocolate cake was just sitting there and that you should go ahead and take it.

Roommate Skulking Around Edge Of Party Like Victorian Ghost Child

SEATTLE—Appearing initially in the far corner of the living room and then several minutes later on the threshold between the kitchen and the hallway, local roommate Kelsey Stahl was, by multiple accounts, seen skulking around the edge of a house party Friday like a Victorian ghost child.

Man Praying Interviewer Doesn’t Ask Any Questions

MINNEAPOLIS—His mouth going dry and his palms growing sweaty as he arrived at the offices of Regent Advertising Partners to interview for an open account manager position, local man Devin McKee reportedly prayed Thursday that the hiring manager wouldn’t ask him any questions during their meeting.

Man Had No Idea Cough Was Going To Be Wet One

MUSKEGON, MI—Caught completely off guard by the viscous lump of sputum that was dislodged and sent rocketing upward from his lower respiratory tract, area man Luke Reese confirmed Wednesday he had no idea his impending cough was going to be a wet one.
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Search For Public Restroom An Epic Ordeal Of Alienation, Humiliation, Human Cruelty

AMES, IA—A local resident's search for a public bathroom became an epic odyssey of alienation, humiliation, and human cruelty Monday.

Webster revisits one of the many establishments to reject him during his harrowing ordeal.

"You have no idea what I've been through," said Pete Webster, 27, recovering from the harrowing ordeal in his apartment. "From endless 'Bathroom For Paying Customers Only' signs to toilets so disgusting they're unsuitable for vomiting, I saw it all."

Webster's bathroom search began at approximately 1:15 a.m., 30 minutes after leaving Burrito Bob's, where he consumed a double enchilada platter and a 32-ounce Pepsi. Though he felt fine upon exiting the popular late-night eatery, he soon felt an overwhelming need to defecate.

"I should've gone at Burrito Bob's," said Webster, who had spent the night barhopping with friends. "But I didn't have to go when I left. Besides, I figured I could always just dart into a gas station or some 24-hour restaurant and do the deed."

"What I failed to factor in," Webster continued, "is the unfathomable darkness of the human soul."

Rather than head back to his west-side apartment, a 25-minute walk from the downtown area, Webster made the fateful decision to search for a public restroom. His first stop was the Rite-Aid 24-hour pharmacy on West Gentry Street. Asking for the bathroom, he was told by a cashier that the facilities were for employee use only.

"I offered to buy a candy bar or something, but this bitch cashier said that wouldn't make any difference," Webster said. "How could a drugstore not have a public bathroom? Explain that one to me. Isn't public health in the interest of a drugstore? What's a more basic public-health issue than having to take a shit?"

The pressure on his bowels steadily building, Webster was able to obtain the key to the men's room of an Amoco gas station on Kellogg Avenue at 1:50 a.m. But an unspeakable horror awaited him.

"The toilet was backed up, and sewage had slopped over the lid of the toilet onto the floor," Webster said. "There was no toilet paper, no soap, no paper towels, and no stall door. Still, I decided to go for it."

The alienated Webster stands on the outside, looking in.

Gingerly attempting to hover above the bowl without making contact, Webster stopped himself when he was suddenly overcome by a fear of splashback. He promptly returned the key to the gas-station attendant.

"I told the guy the restroom was unusable," Webster said. "He gave me this look, like I was acting like some sort of diva."

Unable to find a place to defecate, Webster decided to give himself partial relief by urinating. Even this effort, however, brought nothing but torment and pain.

"I snuck behind a tree to piss, but I couldn't get the piss going without the rest coming out, too," Webster said. "Sometimes, I can take a piss when I actually have to do more, but this time it would've been too much to hold back."

At 2:10 a.m., Webster encountered a group of Iowa State University students, who directed him to the school's student union.

"They said, 'Oh, yeah, there's a bunch of bathrooms in [the union]. Just head a few blocks down Marston and take a right at 12th Street, you can't miss it,'" Webster said. "When I got there, the whole place was lit up. I can't tell you how happy I was running up the steps of that building."

The building was locked, closed since midnight.

"When I saw the union was closed, I started thinking about that one guy who was having a hard time keeping a straight face while the other rattled off the directions," Webster said. "I guess they decided to have a little fun at my expense. I didn't know them, and they didn't know me. It was just a bit of senseless, cruel fun. I guess they didn't realize they were toying with a broken, desperate man."

The student-union episode was followed by several more spirit-crushing glimpses into the howling void. Webster encountered a Port-A-Potty in a local park which turned out to be padlocked, was denied restroom access by the acerbic employees of a bail-bonds office, and came across a convenience-store restroom dubiously declared "out of order" by a makeshift sign scrawled on notebook paper.

Finally, at 2:45 a.m., Webster decided to accept defeat and begin the 25-minute walk home. Within moments of opening the apartment door, relief was his.

"In retrospect, I should've just gone home right at the start," Webster said. "But I really thought it'd be faster to find a place downtown than to walk home. Even when I hit the one-hour mark, I still thought I'd find one any second. That's the thing about bathroom searches: No matter how bad it's going, you still think some mythical golden stall with a clean seat and a fresh roll of paper is just around the corner."

The ordeal has given Webster new perspective on society's treatment of outsiders.

"Before last night, I never realized what second-class citizens people without ready access to toilets are," Webster said. "I'll tell you one thing: If I ever encounter someone in that situation, I will not put them through this. I'll let them use my own toilet, or personally drive them around until we find a halfway-decent crapper."

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