Potty Training Setback

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This pedestrian toilet seems a fairly inoffensive common household implement.
However, on this particular day it did something markedly more sinister.

One night while taking call for our busy medical practice I got a most extraordinary inquiry. A woman called the clinic after-hours line to report an unusual medical emergency. She reported that somebody had crept into her home and cursed her with testicles.

I pondered her quandary for a moment, imagining the medical article I could get out of that patient presentation. A grown women sprouting a set of testicles should be good for the cover of “The Lancet” at the very least. Alas, I simply questioned whether or not she had been taking her psych meds regularly and discovered a much more plausible explanation for her problem. However, that did spark an interesting train of thought.
Testicles are indeed a curse. American women live, on average, a full five years longer than men. 93.2% of the incarcerated population in America is male. If that doesn’t sound like a curse, I fail to fathom what might.

The deleterious effects of testosterone toxicity have been vigorously explored in this very venue. I would assert, however, that the dark influences of this most potent poison take hold at a shockingly young age. In the case of the young man we will discuss momentarily, it began at a most sensitive time.

Mastering the basics of bodily functions can be a challenge for little guys this age.

Potty training is a difficult period in any kid’s life. One day you’re tearing about peeing anytime and on anything as the spirit leads, and the next your parents are imploring you to apply a certain unnatural discipline to this most natural of functions. That process can go smoothly or not so much.

Our hero was a little tow-headed nit, the kind of scamp whose very presence brings a smile. The only time he sat still was when he was unconscious. Some of his sustenance was derived via food he shoved down his gullet, while the rest he seemed to absorb through his face. This young man was simply adorable.

His parents were making great strides in the potty training process. The kid was eager to please, and his folks made it a game. No matter what he was doing, when the urge hit he scampered into the bathroom, threw up the lid, and did his business.

The kid had to step up on his tiptoes to accommodate the geometry of Mr. Crapper’s masterpiece (No kidding, the guy who perfected the flush toilet was an Englishman named Thomas Crapper. One of his nine patents covered a contraption called the Floating Ballcock. Google it.) Thusly configured, his little miniature manhood was just barely up to the task.

The kid’s mom had adorned the toilet seat lid with one of those covers made from thick shag carpet that were popular back in the day. I have no idea why people ever gravitated towards those things. It made the commode look like some enormous turquoise space fungus. Those thick covers also had some unfortunate effects on the physics of the device.

One day the young man was busily attempting to destroy the entire world when the urge struck. He duly dropped whatever it was he was breaking and made a beeline for the water closet. In one practiced motion he threw up the lid and threw down his pants. He strained up on his toes to get his plumbing properly arranged and let fly. However, in his haste he had approached the throne from a quartering angle.

As luck would have it the fluffy toilet seat cover kept the lid from quite reaching its position of rest past dead center. Occupied as he was with his urinary marksmanship the poor kid failed to notice the offending toilet seat as it gradually crept back his direction. With shocking ferocity the combination seat and lid slammed back down. Alas, fate is a foul mistress. One of the two plastic feet on the bottom of the seat described an arc straight down onto the poor kid’s diminutive manhood.

Much of human learning is the result of basic Pavlovian conditioning. Positive experiences draw us closer, while the negative sort tend to push us away. It was this time-rested process that ultimately put robots on Mars. In this sordid circumstance this inopportune geometry set back toilet training some months. Having a heavy toilet seat smack his little penis like a hammer was adequate to precipitate an insensate dread of all things bathroom-related. I lost track of the family soon thereafter, but the poor guy might yet insist on just going in the backyard to this very day.

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