Port-a-John Protocol

I am so glad to be at home today writing this blog. Twelve out of the past twenty-three days I?ve been attending fall festivals and book signings. Thankfully I have a couple of weeks reprieve. Actually I only have four more book events scheduled for the year. You can find the dates and locations on my website: www.SarahMartinByrd.com


It has been an amazing three weeks since The Manger Mouse was released. Matty the mouse is scampering around everywhere. Matty has traveled to several different states in the USA, and yesterday a lady bought a copy to take to Ecuador. Matty has become a world traveler.


I feel very fortunate to be able to attend festivals, meeting people, and sharing Matty?s message with the world. However there is one part of festival life that I simply hate, and that?s the bathroom facilities. Port-a-John?s are not my favorite thing. But what?s a girl to do when she is at a festival for twelve to fourteen hours a day? It?s not like you can hold ?it? that long. I?d much rather squat behind a bush than venture into one of those things. But squatting in front of thousands of people would be a sure way of landing my naked butt in the local jail.


Having had lots of experience with Port-a-Johns these past few years I?ve come up with a list that I refer to as my ?PP? or ?Port-a-John Protocol? list. I?d like to share a few things on my ?PP? list.


  1. Always go to the bathroom before you leave home and never, ever, have that second cup of coffee before you leave the house.
  2. Use the ?PP? early in the day. As the hours progress the ?PP? gets fuller, and more disgusting. So that means you must stop drinking liquids at noon.
  3. Never, ever sit on the seat. In fact try to squat as high up as you possibly can so hopefully by the grace of God nothing from down under splatters back up on you.
  4. While squatting don?t touch the door with your head. Who knows what sort of coodies linger on the walls of these green monsters?
  5. Before you go inside take a deep breath, and hold it no matter what, even until death.
  6. Never, no matter how tempted you are, do not, and I mean, doooo? notttt? look down in the hole. There are some things that blue water cannot hide.
  7. Pray that the hand sanitizer dispenser is not empty. And just in case God?s not listening to you for one reason or another take your own disinfectant.
  8. Do not carry anything in the ?PP? that you can?t strap around your neck. Trust me, there are no dry spots to sit your purse, your child, or yourself.
  9. Always roll your pant legs up before entering the ?PP?. I?ve yet to find a ?PP? where the floor is not wet. And, we all know what that wet is. YUCK!
  10. Lastly, the most important thing. If for some reason your butt touches the sticky, sodden seat immediately try to wipe the horror from your mind, and your backside. Then engage the hand sanitizer. Apply it everywhere skin is showing. And, then when you get home burn your clothes and take a bath in bleach.


Hope these suggestions help when faced with using a Port-a-Potty. Always remember, a girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do. But that don?t mean we?ve got to like it.??rsz_port_-a-john

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