That filthy jam

One thing I have a hard time resigning myself to is Porta-Potties. I stand in line behind scores of people at whatever race/fair/concert I’m attending and pray for reabsorption. Like if I hang out long enough, my loop of henle will get with the program and pull any excess water out of my bladder, redepositing it into my blood stream where it belongs. But sadly I haven’t evolved that far just yet. So I stand in line. And I watch dirty people tromp in and out of the little green cubes ahead of me, often looking as if they’ve been holding their breath for a while. As I near the front of the line, I start keeping track of how long people have been in each cube, knowing that longer than three minutes is going to equal a particularly unsavory experience for me when I reach my destination. I end up picking whichever cube has had the fastest turnaround for its last several guests. This is usually unhelpful, as a fast turnaround could just mean a very efficient two-ser who has been holding it for long enough that they don’t need to dally in the facilities. Finally, it’s my turn. I’m anxious, I’m disgusted, I’m a little lightheaded because I’ve been holding my breath for the last 15 minutes…but I gird all of my loins and enter. I spend a good five minutes redecorating the entire cube with toilet paper, so there isn’t a surface from which I could contract unknown strains of disease (Hepatitis R?? WHAT THE HELL??). In those moments I manage to achieve acts of levitation unheard of by modern science. I float about 3 feet above the “seat,” trytrytry to get rid of unnecessary systemic water, and then bolt, gasping for air. Three out of four times, I am unsuccessful; my anxiety displacing biological necessity. Or my loop of henle FINALLY pulling itself together and completing the task for which it was designed. And that is why I hate Porta-Potties.

So imagine my predicament this past weekend at Austin City Limits, where flood-level rains created a 350 acre mud swamp, resplendent with 100,000 concert-goers carrying Tecate tall-boys, most of whom were so covered in mud that you could easily mistake them for hunks of earth, were it not for the grayish-brown smoldering joints poking hopefully from the corners of their mouths. Imagine all of those people chowing down on rain-sodden fair classics like hot dogs and kettle corn and cheese fries, drinking their own weight in cheap beer, and then trying to share a very limited number of Porta-Potties. Hunks of mud slopped casually onto every potty surface, so that one couldn’t decipher where one kind of filth ended and the next (more horrific) began… I’m pretty sure I would have left Woodstock midway through the third act, regardless of any joyful balls-tripping.

I did manage to reach some kind of biological nirvana, in which I drank a liter of SmartWater AND an entire bottle of wine out of a squeezie bottle, then thoroughly enjoyed hours upon hours of Flogging Molly, Mos Def, The Decemberists, and Dave Matthews without going to the bathroom ONCE. Granted, I may have ruptured certain renal heavy-hitters, but you gotta do what you gotta do, am I right?

And I had a blast. On Friday I saw Kings of Leon, Thievery Corporation, Bassnectar, Them Crooked Vultures, and Phoenix. We went out on 6th street for a bit afterwards, where I realized that I am old and no longer enjoy the college bar scene. There was a teenage girl dancing on a stage in such a way that I said “What is she DOING??” and Chris replied “she’s presenting.” We went back to the hotel, slept, then woke up to a hot breakfast that included a fucking waffle in the shape of Texas (gaaaaaaaaagggggggg). Headed back to the concert for the Saturday lineup (mentioned in the previous paragraph) and finished our weekend with Dave. The highlight of Saturday was not the music, nor the bladder miracle, nor the fact that I managed to rig my wine like a hamster water bottle using only a beer coozie and the strap from my purse: No, it was a tie between having a good friend in town visiting from CO, and having a truly delicious lunch at Maria Maria before heading to the grounds.

Max came to visit, which gave us a much needed dose of someone who a)lives in a Colorado ski town and could talk snow-porn with us and b)was not interested in cowboy boots


Steak burrito with a mango and spinach salad dressed in a honey-lime vinaigrette. SOSOSO good.


Chris’s dish was a steak burrito as well, but smothered in the pasilla-tomato cream sauce and Mexican Crema that I had requested on the side. Oh, and he had a Caesar salad, because he loves them and will get them anywhere we go

So it was, by all accounts, a great weekend. I think I learned that I prefer to listen to music while I’m running or cleaning the house, though, rather than while I’m being shat on with mud. Also, when I’m cleaning my house I have access to a pristine bathroom. And I do so love that.

6 thoughts on “That filthy jam”

  1. Porta-potties! GAH!! I was at a town fair up in Thunder Bay (waaaay North Ontario)and had to go really badly. I chose the potty in front of a mud puddle because I figured it would be the least pungent. I was…. traumatized by what I found inside. I couldn't have been in for more than 5 seconds before I THREW myself out the door, tears streaming down my face. I still don't have the heart to talk about it. GODDAMMIT I hate porta potties.

    I'm so jealous that you did Fun Live Music Events. I used to be fun. Now I'm a boring old alcoholic who shops at Suzy Shier. The shame of aging.

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