>>> Bang for Your Buck
By staff writer David Nelson
November 25, 2007

Essential New Word of the Week: Chia-petulance (definition hint: it's a no-grow)

The walk of shame. We’ve all done it, we’ve all seen someone do it, and we’ll all do it again.
-Ali Wisch

Isn’t it funny how the same words can have a totally different meaning if you’re a college student? For example, before I moved on to higher learning, I always thought a “sausage party” was a culinary social event designed to enjoy variations on a beloved theme ingredient. I even went to one or two before I figured out that no Iron Chefs were going to descend from the ceiling and prepare encased meat scraps.

Likewise, I didn’t really know what was meant by “camel toe” until I enrolled in first-year zoology. No, ungulates weren’t on the curriculum, but my professor happened to have enormous labia and tight pants. It was a great class. And yet another phrase that holds a different meaning for me is “Walk of Shame.”

In a classic article, PIC’s harlot of yore, Ali Wisch, told us everything we needed to know about the Walk of Shame: how to find your underwear in an unfamiliar locale; how to sober up enough to pass as a jogger; and best of all, how to make it back to your own place while hiding the many liquor and semen stains that dot your clothing like a Jackson Pollack piece.

“What makes the Walk of Shame so potent is the unpredictability of public defecation.”

Truly, this was useful information. But it’s all predicated on Ali’s personal definition of “Walk of Shame.” You see, I know and use that term as well, but for me, it has nothing to do with post-coital exit strategies. The Walk I know packs in 10% more shame per step. Over, say, 100 yards, that’s a lotta shame!

Have you ever had a bowel movement that was so big, so loud, and so sloppy that you thanked the Norse Poo-God Fjeces that you were in the privacy of your own home? Well, take that BM and transpose it to a locale where dozens of your friends are within earshot. And, uh, nose-shot. Then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the other Walk of Shame is all about.

Look, in an ideal world, it wouldn’t happen. The human eliminatory process would involve some kind of alien microchip implant that prevents shit from forming in the first place. But until that becomes possible, some dumps are going to be a veritable carnival of horrors. And if you’re in a cozy restaurant, or an airplane, or a hotel room, for example, the walk back to your seat will be a study in humiliation (for you) and trying not to laugh (for everyone else).

What makes the Walk of Shame so potent is the unpredictability of public defecation. Anything could potentially happen. You could have an unexpected blast of diarrhea, leaving your underwear covered in ass shrapnel. You could realize that the only toilet paper available is Albanian half-ply that disintegrates in your hand, mid-wipe. The bowl might overflow, giving your brand new white Reeboks a quick and dirty tan. Or some other predicament I can’t even imagine.

I know I’m supposed to be mature about these things, but let’s face it, no comedian yet has ever devised a more hilarious punchline than the Walk of Shame. And that includes Eddie Murphy, back before he declared war on comedy with pre-op hooker incidents and Disney films. I’ve got a couple of “walk of shame” examples that, at the very least, are several times funnier then Holy Man or Dr. Doolittle.

The first takes place on the sandy beaches of the Dominican Republic. Now, to the best of my knowledge, this is an entirely different country from Mexico. Nevertheless, everything you’ve ever heard about Mexico, and the havoc it will wreak on your colon, also applies to the DR. You can be as vigilant as you want, but if you so much as chomp on an innocent ice cube in your drink, your vacation memories are going to include peeing blood out of your ass for at least three days.

I was down there with some friends, testing the boundaries of the words “all-inclusive” by drinking copious amounts of rum, creating artful little sculptures with dinner lobsters, and brushing my teeth with premium vodka. One night, our group met up with a couple of girls from Montreal. Most French Canadian girls are cute in a bookish sort of way, but these were real care-worn sluts. Needless to say, we all wanted to sleep with them.

My buddy and I were hoping to land these girls before the week was out, so we invited them to do some snorkeling with us the next day. Actual snorkeling, in case that’s not clear. They agreed, and it was awesome. Who knew fish were so goddamn interesting? Plus, underwater is great place to really check out a girl’s ass with little risk of being slapped. We were having a great time, flirting and splashing around like horny dolphins.

Then, the tenor of the situation abruptly changed. Without so much as a word, my friend made a beeline for the shore. He looked about as nonchalant as a trilobite taking the next evolutionary step onto land for the first time. The girls didn’t know what was going on, but using the powers of underwater telepathy that I inherited from Aquaman, I soon deduced that he had to take the Cosby kids from the ocean to the pool.

The cause wasn’t hard to figure out either. We had been eating and drinking all kinds of insane things with coconut milk, and bananas, and for all I know, Metamucil. Also, according to my contacts at the Institute of Poo Science, underwater swimming puts some kind of atmospheric pressure on the bowels. All of these factors combined to brew the perfect storm.

Watching someone try to make it to a toilet on land is pretty funny, but seeing him trudge bow-legged through the water, clenching his ass cheeks together with his hands, was unforgettable. Even though he was wearing a mask and snorkel, I could still see the terror in his eyes. There we were, in full view of two hotties we were trying to impress, and he was about to have a spill that would make the Exxon Valdez disaster look like a grease spot on your driveway. In fact, I’ll just let him describe the scene:

Terrible. Just an awful feeling. When you finally reach land, all you can do is waddle like a Nazi penguin. I knew I still had a chance with those Montreal girls, but not if they caught me cranking out the chocolate soft-serve. So, I entered into a kind of a zen state. All that existed in the universe was me and my will not to shit down my leg.

He eventually returned, but by then the girls had more or less figured out what caused him to zoom off. The walk back included a long, highly conspicuous stretch of beach, so that the shame could multiply with each step. And truly, it did. We didn’t seal the deal with those girls, but at the very least, I got to witness a terrific story of love, and loss, and nearly crapping in one’s Speedos.

The other example I have involves the same guy, and, coincidentally, takes place in Montreal. I don’t know how much you know about Montreal, but it’s a great place to spend a weekend. The bars are great, there’s lots to see, and if you like strip clubs, they operate under a completely different paradigm than you’re used to: touching is encouraged, and the girls seem genuinely happy to be there. I didn’t believe it either, at first. It’s a place that will part you with your money very rapidly.

Unfortunately, it’s also a place that will forcefully part you from the contents of your sphincter. A favorite local dish is poutine, which, for my American friends, is a heaping pile of French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. As delicious as it sounds, this greasy concoction is sure to constrict your aorta just as it loosens your bowels.

I was in Montreal to celebrate my birthday (which is next week, incidentally) with some close friends. Actually, I fully expected to receive a gigantic poutine with a candle poking out in lieu of a cake. That didn’t happen, but we still ate of a lot of the stuff anyway, and washed it down with Fin du Monde beer. And at 9% alc./vol., you might not be surprised to learn this translates into “The End of the World.”

The next morning, we were enjoying a moderately hung over breakfast in a little greasy spoon. As we were eating, my friend once again took off for the bathroom with a rumbling stomach and his ass at Threat Level Omega. Sadly, the acoustics of this little diner were not in his favor. He later said it was like shitting into a tuba.

I swear, every sound in that bathroom was magnified ten or twenty times. By all accounts, it was a demonic BM, with squelchy fart sounds, and splashing toilet water, and the works. And just in case any of the other customers were deaf and couldn’t appreciate the situation, a horrifying stench soon began to permeate the air. It was hard to enjoy my omelette with this environmental felony being committed not five yards away.

After a while we could no longer ignore the elephant in the room. The noises and smells were just too conspicuous to ignore. And, because we’re 12 years old, the only acceptable reaction was hysterical laughter. He might have been straining hard enough to make his ears pop, but I know he must have heard our derision.

Once the fecal maelstrom died down, we heard him say in a sad, shaky, and utterly defeated voice, “Leave me my dignity!” These sad words reverberated off the bathroom tile and into our memories forever. It seemed an oddly stilted thing to say, which, if anything, made his predicament even funnier. When he emerged, red-faced and sweaty, he walked to his seat to a standing ovation.

Yes, the Walk of Shame, also known as the Brown Mile, is a rite of passage we’ve all encountered at some point or another. If you’re lucky, you can emerge unscathed, save for a few snickers and a story that makes the rounds for a few weeks. If you’re really unlucky, your exploits will be posted on YouTube, and you may have to buy a new pair of pants at the nearest dollar store. Either way, here’s hoping your next Walk of Shame is a memorable one.

Essential New Word of the Week:

Chia-petulance [‘? ija -‘pEtjulIns] n

Ever since I started doing this bit, people I know have tried to suggest new words. That’s really not the way it’s supposed to work; I prefer to use words that arise naturally. Nevertheless, some suggestions are contenders. Especially when I feel lazy.

So, this week’s catchy little bon mot is Chia-petulance. The creator claims it should mean “a small amount of petulance,” but I prefer to define it as, “The stubborn refusal of certain novelty potted plants to grow, even a little bit.” Not terribly useful, but there you have it.