Category Archives: Port A Potty

Thoughts on going inside.

Home Town Advantage and My Butt Cheek

The Fourth Ave St Fair is next weekend here in Tucson and I’m in my last stages of prep. I will have some ROCKIN’ good deals as I try to clear out this year’s inventory. I’ve been thinking of the first and only other time I participated in the event and I thought I’d share the story with you all.  It is a graphic story and sort of gross, so if you have a weak stomach, I would NOT read on. Skip to one of my other funny posts.

We moved to Tucson just around three and a half years ago. Fresh from New Orleans and the vibrant art scene there, I had high hopes for my new home town.  We arrived in Jan and I had applied for the 4th Ave St Fair prior to moving, knowing when our landing date was going to be. We were in a rental home in Sahuarita, AZ and were enjoying exploring the hiking in Madera Canyon. Up the mountain we went, to a trail with some old mines. There were three adults, two children and two dogs. When we arrived at the top of the trail, the mines were just a bit farther, but someone had to stay behind with the dogs since the last bit was up and around a small boulder field. I volunteered to wait with the dogs and sat down on a nearby log.

Over the next couple of days, I noticed I had a yucky looking “pimple” on my butt cheek. It was disturbing and it kept getting bigger and bigger over the next days.  (HERE IS A GROSS PART, IF THE IDEA OF MY BUTT CHEEK HAS NOT ALREADY GROSSED YOU OUT, THIS PART WILL) I began to have a low grade fever, and in the ultimately mostest disgustingest turn of events ever, the “thing” on my cheek broke open and started to ooze. The 4th Ave St Fair was a week off. I did some hot and cold compresses over the next week, standing modestly behind the counter in the evenings so my family didn’t have to witness and I could easily clean up. My fever was worse and I ached all over.

After passing out with cold sweats and chills, alternating tylenol and ibuprofen to no effect and being so deeply pained in my joints and body, I went to the emergency room. It was a full moon. It was 10pm at night. I sat for over 12 hours in the emergency room, overnight with a strange assortment of full moon patients. Being so close to Mexico, I heard Spanish just as often as English. I was an Arizona resident for all of 6 weeks. This was NOT New Orleans Toto, NOT New Orleans. There was no Jazz Band, no keg to keep you busy while you waited. Okay. That’s not true of New Orleans Hospitals, but it’s not far from the truth. I can remember my husband being annoyed that he had to see the boys off to school because I was STILL at the Emergency Room. Men. What the heck are you thinking?

After going back to the treatment area, exhausted, sick, sore from sitting on a hard plastic chair for half of a day and an entire night, I had a male nurse. Of course. He asked what was wrong. I informed him I had a puss-hole on my ass cheek. He inquired if I was “skin popping”. Huh? What the heck is that I said? I sometimes pick at my face, I confess, I am an over 40 year old woman who still has acne. He laughed and said that’s not what he meant, explaining the IV drug users will insert heroin under their skin if they have used up all their good veins. I learned something. I never ever would have known that and I’m not sure my life is richer for the knowing of it. I denied IV drug use and any associated “skin popping”.

Now came the fun part.

He looked at my butt cheek.

 He called in other nurses to look at my butt cheek.

They discussed my butt cheek.

In all my years as a female in the Navy, no one had ever been that interested in my butt cheek.

After the Dr came in, I was informed that I had a spider bite; most likely a brown recluse spider. I was lucky to be alive to have my butt cheek looked at. I was grateful to have my butt cheek looked at. If you ever see me at a show, however, my butt cheek is now off limits– it has surpassed its maximum number of butt cheek look ats. I’m serious. Eyes on the face art lovers, eyes on the face.

I was now two days before my 1st Arizona Art show. With a puss filled cheek and an order to stay in bed. Now. I had given up my paycheck at a defense firm and was totally self-employed. I needed income. I was NOT giving up the show.

All of you who met me that fateful show three and a half years ago in March should know that all the while I chatted and smiled, I had a kotex pad strapped to my butt cheek to catch the oozes as the strong antibiotics slowly pushed the poison from my system. I had a fever. I was hot. I was cold. I changed my wound dressing in the porta potty at the corner of 4th and 7th. What’s a girl to do? What’s an artist to do? (I cannot favorably report on the Tucson porta-potty experience. Beer. March. Basketball. Yuck. Enough said?)

Needless to say, I have avoided the 4th Ave St Fair until this showing. It was too strange to want to repeat. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to.

I’m reading a book called “the untethered soul: the journey beyond self” by Michael A Singer. In it he talks about Samskara’s– patterns and tetherings we create on our journey through life, they are blockages we hold on to and bits of unfinished business.  Well. Interesting idea. I for one am ready to move past my blockages and accept the amazing energies of the universe. I’m going to release my 4th Ave St Fair Samskara next weekend– letting go the energy stored and freeing it up for wonderful things. Won’t you join me? Help me release my Samskara which is titled “brown-recluse-spider-bite-puss-skin-not-popping-emergency-room-all-night-husband-pissed-about-getting-the-boys-to-school-pad-in-a-pota-potty-samskara”.  I live here. It is my hometown. And I’m ready for my advantage, universe.

And maybe help me clear out some 2012 inventory that I don’t want to carry over into 2013 either. I can promise the prices will be worth your while!

Potty Post- What????

Hello all!  Some readers may find this category of posts too far down the sh#$%er for them, and while I apologize for possibly offending the delicate sensitivities of some of you, I feel compelled to explore the dirty, nasty side of Art Festivals- Port-a-Potties.  I salute the logisticians and organizers who have to put other people’s poop and pee on their radar. Some Festivals get it right, and some fall straight down an open hole. Every region has their own style of port-a-potty, from air conditioned trailers to sad corners, wide doored, ground level, to narrow, step ups. This is the world of portable potties on the Art Festival circuit. Read on at your own risk.

Imagine this- you have driven anywhere from 500 miles to 1500 miles (longer even).  Your bladder is loaded with Vitamin Water Zero, Gatorade, Water and a sneaky Diet Cherry Coke. (Please don’t post comments in support of Cherry Coke Zero, I get enough of that at home.)  You have slammed more and more coffee more and more often as the sweet, endless miles of highway have rolled under the tires. You set up, sometimes in the dark, sometimes in the middle of a 90 degree day, and sometimes in the rain.  Ok. So you is really me. I drink that, drive that and have to pee and poop that. Everything that goes in must come out somewhere, somehow at sometime. At festivals, it comes out in port-a-potties.

This weekend, I was at the Beverly Hills Art Fair, a lovely show spread across a park along 4 blocks of Santa Monica Blvd abutting Rodeo Drive.  The road behind the park boasts homes of beauty, size and price. These brave neighbors put up with three days of set-up, show and break down. Brave souls, they are. The port-a-lets were delicately shielded from the lovely homes with canvased lattice work. Each block had a series of 10ish, although I did not have a chance to sneak down to the beer garden and see if they had more staged where the real drinking was going on. I was worried. How can the Honey Truck get to the potties if they are so walled off from the street?

The middle of day one saw the port-a-potties in standard state. I don’t understand why we all can’t just be neat and tidy. In an effort to avoid GERMS, folks make a little fiberglass haven into a Ganges River Banks experience. I go in armed with paper towels, Lysol spray and my own wad of TP. I’ve got pockets for a reason. I have added Clorox wipes this year. And I use them. I generously sterilize everything that touches anything in the little blue house of #1’s and #2’s. I’m not shy. If one is too gross, I move onto the next one. I need a place to start from, something I can work with. I will look behind every door to find an acceptable one, line be damned.  BH also had the foot pump hand washing stations and adequate trash barrels for the paper towels. Bravo!!  There was water, soap, and paper towels for the duration of the show. The trash was emptied regularly and there were no blowing paper towels in the area. Encore! Encore!  The park staff from the Greystone House is to be commended.

I was worried day two, but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Thank you Beverly Hills for shielding your homeowners from the unfortunate sight of the port-a-potties AND having the Honey Truck come.  Thank you for not letting the canvased lattice work stop the sh#$%t work from progressing!!  My only “Huh” for the port-a-let logistics is this– why put them directly behind ANY artist booth? I might have had a coronary if my booth was right in front of the the stand of sh#$%tters for two days. Folks do not need an audience getting in and out of those. Sometimes it is good to separate some types of work from other types of work. 

It is good to have the inaugural Potty Post a positive review. Let the Beverly Hills waste management program be so noted as a success!

Just one question– where were they recycling bins? I brought my bottles back to Pasadena for recycling rather than throw them out.