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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dear Science Letter of the Day

posted by on January 22 at 12:50 PM

This letter to Dear Science just came in.

Dear Science,

This may sound like a sarcastic or “trying to be funny” question, but I am honestly curious why there are certain locations that seem to trigger a bowel movement quicker than others ie; home, office etc. Examples for me include the housewares dept @ Broadway QFC, Value Village Men’s clothing Dept., the public library & just about any bookstore. Not only do these places create a kind of enigmatic laxative the feeling to poo is intensified & feels more immediate (I’ve heard thinking of sex can help alieviate this feeling). And considering the difficulty that can be encountered attempting to convince store management etc to allow you to use their facilities this can be quite a frightening event. There have been a couple of times I have literally had to leave my basket in the store, run across the street to my apartment then return to finish my shopping. I have had a couple of really close calls with this scenario.

Please advise,
Sincerely,
Bothered Bowels

I think I speak for everyone, Golob, when I say that we’re looking forward to your reply.

RSS icon Comments

1

Funny - I get that in bookstores. Not quite to that extent, though. Some shops, too. I'll be interested to see the answer. =)

Posted by wench | January 22, 2008 12:57 PM
2

I always have to take a piss when browsing in music stores. I might've already relieved myself a short time before, but something about the gentle clacking of CDs being thumbed through makes my body search within itself for more urine to expel.

Never in bookstores.

Posted by Bont | January 22, 2008 1:02 PM
3

Wow, that's weird. I can't say I have the same problem. Coffee is about the only thing that makes me have to go right now.

Posted by Julie | January 22, 2008 1:04 PM
4

I try to avoid droppin' a deuce in a public restroom.

Y'all is crazy.

Posted by Shaniqua | January 22, 2008 1:05 PM
5

I get that when I'm on my way to the bathroom. That's about the only time.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 22, 2008 1:06 PM
6

@1,@2 - My wife has to drop the deuce every time she enters a bookstore or record store.

As I try to avoid public toilets for this purpose, I have trained my mind to crap my pants the second I walk into the house.

Posted by Mahtli69 | January 22, 2008 1:07 PM
7

Bookstores for me. For as long as I can remember.

Posted by fribster | January 22, 2008 1:10 PM
8

Wow, I used to always have to take a massive shite whenever I went to the library. It was uncanny!

It's been many years, though, since that was the case.

Posted by shitbrain | January 22, 2008 1:15 PM
9

Hmmm... Perhaps everyone's habit of reading on the toilet might be connected to having to poo in bookstores/libraries? Perhaps to your bodies book rich environment=poopy-time!

Posted by greendyke | January 22, 2008 1:20 PM
10

Well I'll be damned! When I clicked on the comments, I expected people to say they got the same feeling in a variety of locations, but (like me) so far it seems to be unanimously bookstores. What gives?!

Posted by TCBATL | January 22, 2008 1:22 PM
11

I think it must be the music they play.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 22, 2008 1:26 PM
12

Yes, bookstores, libraries. This happens with little kids, too. Lots of dropped diapers at the library. Something about the quiet and relative privacy?

Posted by Ariel | January 22, 2008 1:30 PM
13

I wish I could get my dog to have that response.

Posted by Curtains | January 22, 2008 1:34 PM
14

The last time I peed my pants in public was in the Belmont Public Library; I was 6 years old and mesmerized while watching my jonquil bodily fluid flow out over the top of my Oxfords and onto the wooden floor. Not to mention the book I was looking for: "The Sea Around Us".

Posted by PRECIOUS PEA | January 22, 2008 1:37 PM
15

within the first 10 minutes of sitting down to play a video game, I always need to shit. I'm not one of those 9-5 online players... I'm talking Ms. Pac Man, or Joust or Mario Bros, ye feel?

Posted by different | January 22, 2008 1:38 PM
16

My guess is that greendyke hit the nail on the head, and it has something to do with on-the-pot reading associations.

I'm with #6 - even if I'm getting home at different times, I'm almost always doing the pee-pee dance as I turn the key.

Posted by Aislinn | January 22, 2008 1:40 PM
17

I never read on the can and yet I experience the same thing in libraries, but not bookstores. Maybe there's something about the smell of old books vs. new that gets to me.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 22, 2008 1:49 PM
18

I have this same problem. Libraries and bookstores, yes, but also big box stores, like Home Depot or Bed Bath and Beyond. Every damn time! I don't go shopping much, thank goodness. I have friends who have the same experience. Glad to know there are others out there.

Also, I don't read on the toilet, so the book association doesn't exist for me. My trips to the can are quick n easy. No time for reading.

Posted by smells like roses | January 22, 2008 1:54 PM
19

it's relaxation and no tension, bookstores must relax lots of folks. I only pooh at home, public toilets make me tense and my bung hole close up tight

Posted by irl500girl | January 22, 2008 1:54 PM
20

Psychosomatic Diarrhea you people are all crazy

Posted by vooodooo84 | January 22, 2008 1:58 PM
21

Being a Ghost Hunters fan, I immediately think of electromagnetic fields. If they're really strong, you can get lots of physical effects. Maybe those kinds of stores have unprotected electrical boxes? Or the huge array of florescent lighting?

Posted by Emily | January 22, 2008 2:03 PM
22

It was always the library for me.


Miss Scarlet.


Lead pipe.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | January 22, 2008 2:15 PM
23

for years my sister has been saying that every time she shops at value village she gets diarrhea.

Posted by shittysibling | January 22, 2008 2:31 PM
24

my sister has to poo every time we talk on the phone.

its RELAXING.

Posted by max solomon | January 22, 2008 2:33 PM
25

yup...libraries and bookstores (big box stores to a lesser extent) ever since i can remember, and to this very day (i'm 33), almost without fail. i'm also an avid reader in the john, so maybe we have a significant correlation developing....what's up Science??

Posted by exiled in LA | January 22, 2008 2:39 PM
26

I am an avid on-the-toilet reader, but bookstores and libraries do nothing for my bowels. I can't think of any particular location that makes me want to go to the bathroom as soon as I enter it.

Posted by Andy | January 22, 2008 2:59 PM
27

Libraries. It's been happening since I can remember, within five minutes of walking in (but usually it's almost instant).

Posted by Lauren | January 22, 2008 3:16 PM
28

Browsing bookstores and libraries is one of my favorite pastimes, and has been for decades. I have never had a sudden or unusual urge to take a crap in either place. Youz all be crazy.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | January 22, 2008 3:31 PM
29

Jeep Liberty heated seats. Insta-crap.

Posted by wbrproductions | January 22, 2008 4:03 PM
30

I stopped going to the library I think because I was tired of that "omg, my ...i need...bathro... (wtf?)"

I wonder if librarians notice.. all the patrons walking through the doors, and then looking very worried for a second, and scampering off to the bathroom.

Posted by holy crap! this has bugged me for years | January 22, 2008 4:57 PM
31

One thing that makes me have to poo is...an enormous penis!

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle's Enormous Penis | January 22, 2008 5:39 PM
32

As a librarian, let me say "stop pooping in our bathrooms!!!" You're disgusting. Keep that shit at your own damn house.

Posted by M | January 22, 2008 5:42 PM
33

And I thought I was the only one who had the bookstore problem. It has gotten to the point where I make sure to poop at home before I go to one.

Posted by RainMan | January 22, 2008 6:48 PM
34

It's always second-hand stores for me.

Posted by marigold | January 22, 2008 8:03 PM
35

Concrete. My grandfather swore by it; be it Home Depot or his own basement workshop. He claimed he could be doing anything at anytime elsewhere, but if his "morning constitution" was less than, shall we say, fulfilling, standing around on concrete would cause any flow issues to cease in their entirety.

Not very scientific, I know (especially since I can't really say I've experienced the same), but the guy was just about the most practical-smart person I've ever known.

He also always said that he would miss watching the internet as it evolved. Having your 68 year-old grandfather say that was pretty goddamn cool, as even our elders recognize that we're standing on the precipice of something really cool.

Off to have a good drink, in his memory.

Posted by Nick | January 22, 2008 8:14 PM
36

My parents coined the term "library syndrome."

Posted by Sabine | January 22, 2008 9:20 PM
37

@36 You gotta add that to wiki. Now.

Posted by superyeadon | January 22, 2008 11:15 PM
38

For some reason I have to crap almost every time I shop at one particular grocery store. I can shop at any other of this particular grocer's stores with no problem, but not this one. (Trouble is, this store has a better selection, so I prefer it). I have wondered about this anomaly for years now. Thank you for broaching this subject.

Doesn't happen at libraries or bookstores though.Can't wait for Science's response.

Posted by lawrence clark | January 22, 2008 11:43 PM
39

At the reference desk, they can find you information about Pavlov's experiments with dogs. That is, if you can get there in time.

Posted by Don | January 23, 2008 10:26 AM
40

Me? Paramount Theatre.

Posted by Mike | January 23, 2008 9:54 PM
41

Book stores and Thrift Stores make me poo.
Craft stores make me have to pee.

Posted by Someone Light A Match | January 29, 2008 10:16 PM

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