Art or Crap? Yes

Art or Crap? Yes

Strauss Home / Humor Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

So I'm in Kmart the other day with my three-and-a-half year old daughter.

Like clockwork, within 17 seconds of walking into the store, she had to pee.

"I gotta go pee," she told the world.

Like any good father, my first priority is to tend to my child's needs.

"Aw for cripes sakes, honey, can't you just hold it? I've just gotta get this thing for the car and we can be out of here in like, five minutes." 

Silly me. Was I just trying to rationalize with a female? 

"No, Daddy. I gotta go PEEEE!"

In her moment of need, I tried to do my best to calm her. 

I wanted to let her know that I was there for her like I always am.

"Are you sure you've gotta go? I mean like, super sure?"

There were no words. I did, however, get The Grab. And The Look.

The Grab being: hey Dad, look. My hand can double as a cork.

The Look being: I-swear-to-God-asshole-you-better-take-me-to-the-goddamn-bathroom-in-two-seconds- flat-or-I'm-gonna-cover-your-ankles-with-three-and-a-half-year-old-piss-and-then-you're-gonna-have-to- buy-me-new-pants-and-I'm-gonna-cry-for-like-an-hour-and-mom-is-gonna-be-pissed-at-you-and-don't- think-you're-not-going-to-tell-her-cuz-it'll-come-flying-out-of-my-mouth-the-second-we-walk-in-the-door- and-you-will-be-so-dead-so-quit-messing-with-me-dickhead-and-don't-ever-forget-I'm-stronger-than-you. 

At this point, I decided that maybe I should take the cute little munchkin to the potty. Because that's what a good dad like me would do.

And so, we walked into the Men's room. 

She sat on the toilet. And she peed.

I would say she peed like a racehorse, but she's kinda small.

She peed like a Shetland pony.

"C'mon," I said as I helped her pull up her pants, "let's go get the thing I need for the car."

Not so fast, dickhead.

"Look at all the pictures and words on the wall, Daddy! Tell me about them, Daddy!" Said the cute little girl with the empty bladder.


I can't get her to sit still for 10 minutes at home and read a book, but she wants to hang out in the bathroom at Kmart and listen to a heartfelt sonnet about some slutty dyke-whore.

Which, by the way, is something I would really like to hear about. 

Just not with my daughter. In a bathroom stall. In Kmart.

"Look at that, Daddy. What's that picture?"

My darling was pointing to some artwork above the toilet paper dispenser.

I must say, the penmanship of the piece was beautiful. The style was superb. And the detail was impeccable.

In fact, it was the best hard-on with hairy balls drawing I've ever seen.

The thing is, the artist didn't just draw any old dick. He took his two-dimensional stiffy to another level by not only adding testicles, but giving the testicles realistic-looking nubby ball hairs with a few flicks of his pen.

In a different time and place, perhaps those tiny pen flicks could represent man's unified struggle against an oppressive world. 

But here today, I'm pretty sure they just represented the nubby hairs on some guy's balls.

If this was the artist's personal hard-on and balls, I was impressed.

The thing is though, if I had a hard-on like that, I'm not sure I'd be spending time sitting in a bathroom in Kmart drawing a picture of it. 

I'm thinking I'd be walking through Kmart with my pants around my ankles saying, "Attention ladies, there's a blue light special in Aisle number…My Pants."

On the other hand, if this wasn't a self-portrait, and this guy's just sitting on the toilet in Kmart drawing dick figures, well…hello, Richard Simmons.

Who would sit there and think, "Man, y'know, I'm just sitting here. I really should do something constructive with my time. What to do. What to do."

"Hey, maybe I'll draw an astronaut. Or a racecar. Or perhaps something with a nautical theme."

"Nah, nah, nah…hey…wait just a minute! I know! I'll draw a hard-on with hairy balls! I think other guys would like to look at this sort of thing while they're moving their bowels. I know I would."

And to think, my daughter's ass was sitting on the same seat as the Penile Picasso.

Oh, and one more thing: Why the hell does someone bring a pen into a public bathroom, anyway?

"Daddy? Answer me! What is it? What is the picture?"

I'm no expert, but I've got reason to believe that three-and-a-half years old is not the right age to introduce your child to the concept of a hard-on with hairy balls.

I think you probably shouldn't bring that up at least until she's five. Maybe six.

"Oh that? Oh honey, that's…that's…that's a gun. A mean, bad gun."

A mean, bad gun with a hard on and hairy balls.

"That's not a gun," she said. "I know what it is." 

I gulped.

She smiled. "That's a broken arm!"

"Right, right, right!" I said. "That's it. A broken arm! A broken arm with a really hairy elbow! You are one smart cookie, cookie. Boy, I can't get anything by you. You're really smart. C'mon, let's go."

Not so fast, dickhead. 

"I wanna look at more," said the smaller of the two women that run my life. 

"What's that say up there, Daddy?" said my sweetness.

There, to the left of the broken arm, I saw it. 


The classic.

The reason stall walls were invented.

The phrase that started it all.

There, before my eyes, was the King of all Bathroom Graffiti:

For a good time call Carla at 555-1234.

I've seen it a bazillion times. And every time I see it, I continue not understanding it.

I mean, let's say you're Carla's boyfriend. 

Call me silly, but if I knew I had a woman like Carla on my hands, I'm pretty sure I'm not telling anybody that she's got a neon sign between her legs that says "Open For Business." 

If I were Carla's man, sure I'd let friends know that she was riding the baloney pony. But I sure wouldn't advertise it to a bunch of guys while they were taking last night's dinner out for a swim. 


FRIEND: So how are things with Carla?

YOU: Good. (SMIRK). Really good.


FRIEND: So how are things with Carla?

YOU: Omigod dude! She's like a total slut-whore-nymphomaniac. The hell with Penthouse! I'm gonna write her number on the wall in the bathroom at Kmart and let other guys do her, too!

The other thing is, if you make a public display of her propensity for rug burns, and she finds out you did, you'd be so cut off. 

The funny thing is, total slut-whore nymphomaniacs don't really like it when you point out that they're total slut-whore-nymphomaniacs.

Trust me, within a week, she'd totally be doing some guy from the Men's Furnishings Department. And you'd be waxing the dolphin.

Hey buddy, you make your stall. Now sit in it.

Oh, and one more thing: why the hell does someone bring a pen into a public bathroom, anyway?

"Daddy, what does that say up there?"

"Huh? Oh sweetheart. It says there's a fun girl named Carla who's got lots of friends."

And apparently, they're all named Dick.

"How about that over there, Daddy?"

I turned, and there on the stall door, was a poem. 

And a lovely poem at that:

Here I sit, all broken hearted.
I tried to shit but only farted
You're so lucky you had your chance
I tried to fart but shit my pants

Tennyson, I think.

Truth be told, I admired the iambic pentameter of the piece. The flow of the verse. The rhythmic cadence.

If there was ever a perfectly written poem about crapping your pants, this was it.

Who, I wondered, is this shitiot savant?

Is the Poet in the Stall a moron to the outside world, but a genius with his pants around his ankles and the bare canvas of a metal door before him?

Oh, and one more thing: why the hell does someone bring a pen into a public bathroom, anyway?

"Daaaaad, hello? What's that thing say over there?"

"Um, it's a poem honey. It's a poem about…uh…hot dogs."

"I like hot dogs."

"Not until you're 35, if I can help it."

"Read it to me, Daddy."

Thank God I'm really good at improvising when I need to.

Once there was a hot dog.
And this guy sat on a frog.
But then this log called him a hog.
So they all went and ate Chinese food.

"That doesn't rhyme, Daddy."

"Close enough. Let's go, I think Steve from Blue's Clue's is outside."

As we left, I held my daughter's hand and found myself reflecting on the mysterious underground culture of the men's stall.

That private world where the ass is loose and the mind runs free.

Where Edgar Allen Poe meets Cottonelle.

Where the pen is as mighty as the sphincter.

Perhaps the stall is the last place on earth for man to express his most innate desires. 

Perhaps it's our only chance to expand our creativity in a judgement-free environment. 

Perhaps it's a reflection of the struggle existing between our super ego and the Oedipus complex which clearly overwhelms our subconscious.

Or perhaps it's none of those things. 

Perhaps we just like to draw pictures of hard-ons with hairy balls.

As the front of the store, I lifted my dear, sweet little angel and looked her in the eye. The left eye.

"I love you, honey."


"Yes, honey?"

"Daddy, I gotta go poopy…BAD!"

I immediately stopped and went back into the store. Because like any good father, my first priority is to tend to my child's needs. I wanted to let her know that I was there for her like I always am.

Besides, I never got Carla's number.

Christ, I wish I had a pen.

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