catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 8, Num 18 :: 2009.09.18 — 2009.10.01


Worst Christmas ever

I was nine, maybe ten years old. And I got constipated.

Never been constipated before. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been constipated since. I remember that after my mother explained to me what was happening, I had trouble pronouncing the word.

“Con. Sti. Pate. Ed.” She said a few times. I was too busy crying to pay much attention.

But I should start at the beginning. Sometime after we came screaming down the stairs, opened our presents under the glare of Grandpa’s massive camcorder headlight, (remember, this was an early 90s camcorder) and stuffed ourselves with breakfast sausage and eggnog, I felt the need to use the bathroom.

In those days, I was not a reader. The throne room had not yet become the reading parlor that it is today. I ran into to our brown tiled bathroom, slammed the door, dropped the pj’s, and tried desperately to find relief.

One minute passed.

I pushed a little more, anxious to get back to my new purple “Jokermobile” complete-with-Jack-Nicholson-Joker-action-figure.

Two minutes passed.

I began visualizing my brother throwing my Joker across the living room.

Three minutes.

Now I was pushing! I mean really pushing! Pushing like I was great with child and trying to deliver salvation.

Four minutes.


Don’t cry, you big baby.

“Mom?” My voice cracked and I could feel that pebble forming in my throat.

“What is it sweetheart?”

“I can’t go to the bathroom!” Now there were tears.

“What?” Then she was in the bathroom. “What’s wrong?”

“I feel like I gotta go really bad, but it won’t happen.” I was blubbering.

“Did you try and push already?”

“Yeah, real hard.”

“Oh, dear.” She started rummaging through the medicine cabinet. “I think you’re constipated.”

“What’s going on in there?” That was Grandma’s voice. “Is he alright? Can I come in?”

“No, mom. He’s fi-” and Grandma came in.

My pants were down. I couldn’t go. Both Mom and Grandma were looking at me. Life stunk.

“Do you think I should use this or this?” Mom said to Grandma. She was holding a package of what looked like little wax footballs and a blue squirting device that I associated with turkey basting.

“Use one of those.” The wax footballs.

“Do you need my help?”

“No, I got it, mom, thanks.”

Grandma left and I was instructed to lie on the floor. I remember asking my mom a lot of questions about the wax football, and what was happening to me, and if my brother had played with my Joker figure. She continued the necessary procedure while I babbled.

“Now I’m gonna leave and I want you to grip the bowl with both hands and push real, real hard. Okay?” So I gripped the bowl. I pushed. I winced. I re-gripped the bowl. I pushed again.


“Are you alright now?” Grandma asked. I ran past her, desperate for my Jokermobile.

“Umm…sorry,” my brother said as I entered the living room.

He handed me the Joker, one leg busted off.

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