I got up this morning and saw all the tell-tale signs that I’d soon be taking a crap in a port-o-potty. A chain link fence, 25 sweaty union guys, a big “Budweiser” banner, the Mississippi river… it’s the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis TN, where we opened for Foreigner in 2000 and three of us reviewed their performance in the road journal (go ahead, scroll through 7 years of road journals and dig it up, I dare you). We’re back today, playing with BNL and Counting Crows on the very same stage where we caught Lou Graham sucking air from an oxygen tank behind the drum riser seven years ago.
Back to the matter at hand — me taking a crap in a port-o-potty. The golden rule of port-o-potties is “always avoid port-o-potties,” but should you have to skip that one, another good rule is “get in there early before everyone else does.” I had this going for me at 9am when nature called. Let’s take a trip inside the red door, shall we?
You know the smell of fresh-baked bread trickling out through the vents of an old Italian bakery on a spring morning? That’s nice. This port-o-potty smelled like a little closet where people pile shit on top of shit. I noticed that there was a tiny mirror hanging on the door inside the john, something I’d never seen before. Is it possible that someone thought it’d be a good idea to include mirrors in port-o-potties … for purposes of vanity? I just proved to myself that I can hold my breath for three minutes — while moving my bowels — and now I’d like to make sure my hair looks just right before I leave this dark steamy crap pit!? Port-o-rule-number-3: Don’t spend a second more than you absolutely need to inside the closet (unless, of course, you are writing a road journal and need to go back and get your camera for a brief photo shoot).
Are there women who would consider re-applying their make-up in one of these things? I doubt it. I think what we have here is a situation where the people who are designing the port-o-potties are not the same people who are shitting in the port-o-potties. They’re out of touch with civilians like you and me. I can see them now, in their mansions, dropping cake crumbs on their drafting tables and pooping in air-conditioned bliss while the royalty checks pile up in their mailboxes. “Let them have small mirrors” they say to one another, and then stencil small reflective rectangles on their blueprints and gorge themselves on sturgeon and fine cheeses.
There’s really no good way to end this. I’m just too angry.
Here’s a fun game. See if you can figure out which Steve Don’t Eat It I’m stealing from in this road journal. Hint, it’s not the one where he makes a BLT out of Beggin’ Strips dog treats.