Updated: May 7, 2020
By Earl Fowler Somewhere near the opening of Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut digresses into a famous limerick that was much on his mind in those days. Now that I’m older than he was when he wrote it, I think I know why. It goes like this: There was a young man from Stamboul, Who soliloquized thus to his tool: “You took all my wealth and you ruined my health, and now you won’t pee, you old fool.” That’s the problem in, you’ll pardon the expression, a nutshell. I saw a movie once where two old guys are standing idly in front of adjacent urinals. One looks forlornly at the other and says: “Even when I’m peeing, I have to pee.” OK. Maybe it wasn’t a movie. Maybe it was Thursday at Superstore. The point is: This is the wet spot many of us here at You’re Going to Die will be standing on until we all give our mortal coils a final satisfying shake. Take a step back and watch out for your slippers as you do. (And don’t get me started on those fashionable handcuff hand dryers spreading like genital warts in public washrooms.) For most of us, I think we can safely rule out pregnancy or a permanent urinary tract infection. As likely causes, that leaves what doctors charmingly describe as an “overactive” bladder (hopped up on meth), an enlarged prostate or, God save us, some form of cancer. There are no good options, though some are obviously worse than others. I was just reliably informed by Dr. Google that pain or post-urination leaking can occur when “your brain tells your bladder to empty even when it doesn’t need to.” Thanks a pantload, brain. How about, for once, you instruct the thick skull in which you are so generously housed to sprout some bangs, even when it doesn’t need to? I have also just learned that “needing to go more than eight times a day or waking up in the night to go to the bathroom more than once is considered frequent urination.” Thanks again, medical science. Where do you come up with all the complicated terminology? I’d say more, but I’m starting to sound pissy and anyway, it’s that time again. I started out on burgundy but soon hit the men’s room door. When you spend more time staring down at your own Stamboul tool than gazing at the stars, you’ve crossed the Rubicon into a land where no-spill wine glasses are effective only at the intake level and drip coffee comes as advertised. You don’t want to be standing in front of Juan Valdez outside the Porta Potty at a Seals and Crofts tribute festival.