Another anecdote I remembered from my childhood…
My mom used to take me shopping. A lot. More than I would care to. Going to Zayre was always something. For a period of time, you could get Atari 2600 cartridges for a meager 99 cents. (And people wonder why I don’t think games are worth spending $50 or $60 on??? Quite simply, it doesn’t cost that much money to have fun.)
Anyway, they had one bathroom with, perhaps, 2 stalls. I was 7, so this was about 1981. There was no internet available to civilians like me, nor would I even get online to BBS until 7 years later.
Thus, finding obscenity on a wall… Was something special to me. Something I couldn’t get. A similar thrill to finding a copy of Playboy under your friend’s dad’s bed. Meaningless by today’s internet-porn standards, but substantial to those of us who lived in the good ol’ days of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Back when CB and Ham radio was the SHIT for connecting to others, but was way too complicated for most people to become savvy in. (I never did finish learning Morse Code…)
Thus, I shall never forget the words of wisdom inscribed on the wall at Zayre, as I sit there, 7 years old, pooping in a public bathroom:
Those who write on shithouse walls
roll their shit in little balls.
And those who read these words of wit–
Eat those little balls of shit.
I shall never, ever, EVER forget that, until my dying day.
The best part was that it was erased. Censorship, because people would rather look at a blank surface than be offended — which itself is an attitude that offends me. Blank == sterile, cold, expressionlessness. Even vulgarity is far more entertaining, expressive, and individualistic… Than a sterile, cold, hard, blank surface.
But wait! Prohibition of any kind does not work! It wasn’t long before there was a sequel:
Though they paint the wall to stop my pen–
The shit house strikes again!
I knew someone out there was keeping the spirit alive, and fighting repression. Even if it was within the rights of Zayre to do whatever the hell they want with their boring bathroom stall walls, it made me very happy to know that the “shit house” could not be stopped, no matter what anybody tried to do.
Very happy indeed. I’m still beaming about it ~28 years later.
Music: Kreator – The Pestilence