Is that a poop?

Paul Ryan

What is that on the floor of this light rail train? Is that a piece of poop? Is that a poop wrapped in a paper towel? It sure looks like it. Yep. No mistaking this one. I have been fooled by poops before, but this is definitely the real deal. Yes, sir—somebody pooped in that paper towel like a champ.

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for six years, through which I’ve seen many things, but this is the first time I’ve seen a turd hidden inside a paper towel. I’ve seen paper towels that people used to wipe their ass. Hobos leave those everywhere. I’ve seen poop on the sidewalk, rollin’ solo. Not small poops, either. I’m talking huge Marmaduke-style poops, long and terrifying, melting in the sun like a fudgesicle. But this is the first time I’ve seen poop neatly wrapped in a paper towel, as if it were a gift for a treasured friend. This is DUDE POOP, my friends. Poop from a dude.

Usually, when someone is of a certain nature by which they poop in public areas where others might find it, that person is not the type to be concerned about its presentation. That’s what makes this poop so damned interesting. It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a paper towel, three feet from my seat on the train.

You may ask why I’m so interested in this poop. Well, reader, I’ve always been a thinking man. A man of intelligence and higher thought. So you can understand how intriguing it is for me to discover that someone could be vile enough to poop within a train, yet also polite and cultured enough to wrap it up so pleasantly. Seriously, those old ladies who have been gift wrapping at Macy’s for the past 30 years couldn’t wrap a poop this well. No, the person or people who did this are clearly professionals. This is not the first time they’ve “princessed a poop,” which is a term I just made up specifically for this incident.

I’d guess that the artists who did this have been doing it a long time, and take tremendous pride in their work. Craftsmanship, presentation, and personal style likely mean a lot to them. That’s why they gift-wrapped their watery shit and left it inside this train. If you had asked me yesterday whether a dapper, stylish trendsetter could place a paper towel on the floor of a moving train and poop on it, I would have said no. But this poop is a game changer. Depending on how long it takes the conductor to find it and throw it at his co-worker as a prank, this poop could sit in place long enough to set a whole new trend for the wealthier classes. For centuries, the rich and poor have been separated by who can poop on a train. Jackie Onassis couldn’t poop on a train. She’s too wealthy. But a poop with this sort of style and careful presentation? Well, I’d venture to say she could pull it off.

What? No, I won’t change the subject. Why on earth would I do that? Why would I want to? Why would I leave a very interesting subject half-discussed so that I can start a less intriguing one? This is interesting shit. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book with hundreds of possible outcomes. We all start in the same place, here with this poop, and then we work out all the different probabilities. God, sometimes I think you don’t know how to connect with people at all.

Why don’t I just leave? I can’t. It’s a train in Los Angeles, and I have a seat. DURING RUSH HOUR. Do you have any idea how rare that is here? I’m not giving up a seat just because there’s a piece of poop near it. You could sit the poop right next to me, and I’d buy it a drink before I give up this spot. Do whatever you want, poop. I ain’t leaving. It’s the busy rush hour and The Backyardigans are on in 40 minutes. I’m not waiting for the next train and missing that.

I’m not even supposed to be writing about this. When I got on this train, I was planning to write a column listing the ways strippers are gearing up for the Republican National Convention, but then I saw this poop, and now I can’t think about anything else. I need answers. I need closure. I need to know WHY. And HOW, so I can do it, too.

In fact, I’m not leaving this train until I get the answers I need. If I have to, I’ll sit here all night staring at this... oh, um, that hobo just picked up the poop. It appears he fancies it and has decided to keep it. Maybe? I’m confused. He’s unwrapping it... and now he’s feeding it to his dog. Wow. That is... well, all right, I’m gonna get off at the next stop and maybe just take the next train. I just... I’ll take the next train. Yeah. You guys can have my seat. I’m done.