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Puttin' on the Ritz

            One pot smoky wintry Saturday, my older brother, Sandy ,and my girl-friend, Doris, were sitting in my East Village apartment bemoaning the fact that my landlord had refused to fix my upstairs neighbor’s leaky kitchen sink water pipes until Monday. This caused drops of brown water to rhythmically drop from a ceiling and into a living room bucket. Every three hours, I’d “bail out” my living room by emptying a bucket of water into my toilet.

            Ahhhhh, this was the life!!

            As my brother flicked a joint ash into the bucket’s brown water, he remarked how the mushroom soup colored puddle looked like what was floating in a discarded toilet in front of my building for the last two months and counting. Doris was surprised…not because that toilet hadn’t been moved yet, but because no hipster had moved into it…yet.

            “I mean, there’s more room in half of that toilet than there is in this whole apartment.”

            I pointed at the bucket and said, "I’m surprised my landlord hasn't tried to rent out this toilet of an apartment yet."

            "Hey. Why don't we give him your toilet?" my brother said. He had what I called his evil “Satanic sparkle” in his eyes; which made me demand:

            “Okay. Let’s hear your latest bordering-on-illegal plan.”

            He picked up the bucket.

            "I’ll fill up this toilet--and place it in front of your landlord’s building.”

            He then calmly walked into the bathroom and took what he called a “Titanic Turd” (half in the water, half-out) in the bucket.

            "Anyone care to join in the fecal festivities? You know where to find it.”

            It was a payback plan that seemed logical when you’re drunk/stoned—but senseless when you’re sober. We voted on it and decided that temporary common sense trumped permanent senselessness.

            We all chipped in to his pottie plan by peeing in the bucket for the next few hours to form a stench stew. Of course, the smell was unbearable so Doris had the bright idea (well, it was bright at the time) to pour the portable cesspools in three Tupperwares and freeze it until our special delivery to my landlord. There, it froze (being poor back in the day, there was nothing in my freezer to freeze except long-forgotten Chinese dinners).

            Then, we drank and smoked and drank WAY more than we should have, which caused me to reason, “It doesn’t sound too healthy to have human waste in a freezer for longer than 24 hours. It’ll ruin the molds in the food in mt fridge, man. I’m throwing it out.”

            But by then, it had frozen solid and couldn’t be flushed down my toilet. Not wanting to find what happens to frozen poop and pee when it’s “microwaved,” we all went outside to toss the rock hard concoction in a garbage can. Just as we were about to throw the Tupperware away, the “Satanic Sparkle” returned to my brother’s eyes as he brainstormed, “Why waste a day of doing perfectly good human waste? Let’s take our turds to ‘The Ritz.’”

            “The Ritz” was a way too crowded and way too expensive rock night club—back when rock was played (and not programmed) by humans. My brother, who worked there as a bartender, then explained what he was going to do with the ice-stank:

            “I’ll put the Tupperwares under my winter coat, they’ll let us in free, we’ll dump the dump out in the corner, then kick the frozen fecal matter onto the dance floor. We can then watch it melt and be kicked around like a bloated, brown hockey puck by the catatonic crowd. How does that sound?”

            “But you work there, man!”

            “Hey. I’ve taken enough shit there to last a year. Now, it’s time to give them back shit. Well?”

            That sounded like an indoor activity you don’t see every day and so, we all agreed:

            “LET’S DO IT!!”

            After we finished doing a few more Tequila shots and a lot more joints to send off our frozen matter into the cold, cruel club world, we watched my brother wrap the three Tupperwares in Saran Wrap, tuck and secure them inside his pants’ waist line and put on his baggy winter coat.

            “Let the ‘Dance of the Doo-Doo’ begin!”

            Our crap carrying crew successfully entered “The Ritz.” We retreated to a corner of the club. My brother turned the three Tupperwares upside down as if they were beach buckets full of wet sand and tapped the back of them. Three half-circle brown mounds fell from the plastic and rattled on the floor; making me think a Hulk Hogan sized bouncer was going to approach us--then wish he never approached us.

            My brother nonchalantly kicked the crap away from us. It slithered and occasionally rolled on the floor like a horse shoe crab on ice. We watched the mounds slowly slide then come to a rest near the middle of the dance floor. We then ran to the balcony area and jostled each other for the best view.

            The first point of contact came from a back of the heel from a well-heeled, pale Goth patron.

            “Cleanest thing she’ll touch all evening,” Doris noted.

            Gothie turned around to see what she had kicked only to see a crystal-filled trail of brown and yellow slime on the floor. Her nose wrinkled when she saw it sliding back her way and go in between her legs like a lopsided football soaring through goal posts. Her eyes were saying, “No…It can’t be…Not here….But it is here! It is!!!!” She ran from the dance floor, letting out a shriek that could be even heard over the so-called music. Her dance partner followed her, nearly slipping on the slippery substance. We could see other dancers back into the other two “Tupperware turds.” Their reaction was virtually the same: a slight slip, see the slip’s source, sniff, get wide eyed then beat a very hasty retreat. Word spread like a methane fueled wild fire in acres of dried cow dung as the sweltering club’s heat began to turn the frozen substance back to its natural soft, stinky state. The crowded dance floor quickly became “uncrowded.” It reminded me of those cartoons where a pack of elephants see a mouse and react like, well, like a pack of humans do when they see they’ve been dancing on human waste.

            The lights went up in the club and the dance floor was cleared as we cleared out of the place. My brother said we should seek out the poor busboys who had to clean up our frozen “Poop-Sicles” and apologize for giving them a cleanup job they’d forever curse in their native tongue.

            As for my landlord—once we were sober, we decided not to send him an extra special delivery. We thought that with our luck, we’d take the Tupperwares on a subway to his office, only to be stuck on a train in a major delay. We’d then have to explain to an irate transit cop what we were doing with Tupperware holding something it wasn’t made to hold.

            Besides, who wants to to start a rap, huh, crap sheet?

- Mark Daponte 



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  • Penny Powell on

    What a LOAD….lol


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