Blue Water

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI’m a regular guy. You know, regular. Every morning, before breakfast, I like to spend about 15 minutes on the toilet reading a magazine or catching up on yesterday’s sports section. No one rushes me, I do my business, and it relieves me to start the day that way. I take moments like that for granted, just like I do the miracle of the flush toilet.

Here in beautiful Gulfport/Biloxi, I’ve learned all about the miracle of the Port-a-Potty. I know all the manufacturers: Sebach, Eastern Alabama Portables, United Site Services — I hate ‘em all. In the 16 days I’ve been here, I’ve gotten to use a flush toilet exactly twice. That means minimal privacy, a mélange of indescribably foul odors, and the weird guilt trip of finishing your business and not flushing behind you. Instead, it’s hand sanitizer, and if you’re lucky, a foot-pump cold water hand wash. No more lingering with a magazine; it’s all about finishing your business and getting the hell out of there. I may have mastered the art of the 60-second poop.

I’ve been woken up many mornings with a full bladder with visions of just whizzing in a quiet corner of the barracks—simply because I can’t stand having to get out of bed, put on my shower shoes, walk all the way out of the warehouse and then over to the smelly Port-a-Potty to relieve myself. I’ve made myself stay in bed, desperately trying to will myself back to sleep, just to put it off a little longer. Misery.

The Port-a-Potties at SeaBee base tend to be overworked and extra pungent — or worse — so for a while I waited to perform my morning ritual until after we’d been shuttled over to Kitchen 35. Sometimes I was even able to find a freshly cleaned unit, home of the fabled blue water. (That’s the color of the detergent solution in the bottom of the potty.) But recently I’ve had to go earlier, and been forced to use the base facilities. I try to find the most out-of-the-way potties, hoping they’re the least-used, but still… Yuch.

There’s nothing better than baptizing a blue water potty, and there’s nothing more prized than knowing where they are. One of my favorite things about Bill, my driver on ERV 1166, is his ability to find us blue water units during our run. He knows all the areas and seems to always find the units that were just cleaned that morning.

Bill, this one’s for you. Ahhhh…

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[ blue water! ]

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About joshcomix
Brooklyn-based cartoonist specializing in nonfiction comics about topics like Hurricane Katrina, the media, travel, and finance.

4 Responses to Blue Water

  1. man_size says:

    At the very least, Biloxi taught you how to write scattalogical poetry.

  2. deadredfred says:

    My dad belongs to a hunting camp of about 20 other people that has a double out house. Back to back, not double decker. It’s disturbing to think that there is only a thin sheet of plywood holding you aloft the region of accumulated smell below. And if you go in one side and have to hear the activity emanating from the other side… They share the same pit.
    I know what you mean about the not flushing afterword thing. Unfinished biz!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Re: It seems to me…
    Here is yet another thing in life that could be moderately improved by a little attention to design. I’ll have to think about it.
    But really, they designed a toilet for the freakin’ space shuttle already.

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