I See Dead People

August 14, 2008

I would say that I want to be Jenny The Bloggess – this afternoon’s purveyor of guest-post awesomeness – when I grow up, except that the thing that I love most about her is that she’s not really a grown-up, she just plays one on the Internet. She’s actually – under the facade of lovely adult woman and mother with mad writing skillz – a thirteen year-old girl who loves to play dress-up and make sheet-forts and tell stories and I like totally want to be her best friend so that I can hang out in her fort on Saturday afternoons and drink grape juice and borrow her sparkly dresses. Although maybe we’d want to put vodka in that grape juice, in which case she should probably hang on to her grown-up driver’s license. Because I don’t have one, because I actually am 13.


Every time I walk into a public bathroom I do it really slowly and tentatively because I’m just sure there will be a dead body in there. Every. Single. Time.

People think this is a weird phobia but it’s actually not a phobia at all because you are supposed to be afraid of dead bodies. It’s what keeps you from hanging out with them and getting cholera. Then people point out that fear of dead people isn’t really the weird part but fear of finding them on toilets is, but a DJ friend of mine once went to her radio station because no music was playing and she found her boss dead on the soundboard thingy. She had to DJ over his dead body while waiting for the police to arrive, which the people at the radio station found brave and professional but which I found bizarre and unsettling. Just put on a long record and go hide in a non-corpsey room, Andrea. If anything, she’s the weird one. Not me.

Anyway I thought that maybe if I wrote about it I’d be less freaked out because the chances of me walking in on a dead body on the potty are slim but it seems like it would be even more unlikely for someone who actually wrote about walking in on dead bodies to actually walk in on dead bodies. So effectively, this post is lowering my chances of that happening. And raising the chances of it happening to you. I’m sorry but that’s how it works. It’s not like this is going to keep people from dying on the toilet. I’m not Jesus. I can’t bring bathroom corpses back from the dead. They’re still out there and someone has to find them and odds are it will most likely it will be you rather than me since I just wrote this. Except, what are the odds that you (who just read about the minute chances of finding bathroom corpses) would actually find a bathroom corpse now? Getting slimmer by the sentence I’d say. If anything I’m helping you.

You’re welcome.

In fact, you should send all your friends and family over here to read this to lower their chances of finding a bathroom corpse too. Because that’s what we do for people we love. I suggest the email subject line of “I’m sending this to keep you from finding a bathroom corpse because I love you” because that way they’ll know you mean business.

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    houndrat August 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    OMG—Marinka, it is stictly forbidden to mention Dulce de Leche and dead freezer corpse in the same sentence. Damn–now you’ve got me doing it!

    And I had never before considered the possibility of finding a decaying body on the john, so thanks so much for that lovely image. Which luckily my husband has a MUCH higher chance of seeing in the flesh than me, since I read this post.

    i can't read my nametag August 14, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I’m not afraid of discovering a Corpse on the Commode (hey, now there’s great band name), I’m more afraid of becoming that corpse. Ever since watching the movie Big Fish, in which the central character, Edward Bloom, tells of the time he met a witch in the woods who was known for her ability to show people their deaths in the reflection of her glass eye, and how one of his companions saw quite clearly, Expiration Upon Defecation, I have believed that my own end would come while seated, unceremoniously (is there any other way?) upon a toilet (most certainly a public one, to add to the posthumous embarrassment).

    Thus far, my fear has been just barely held in check by the fact that I haven’t yet met a witch with a glass eye who might confirm my suspicion. Of course, I might be wrong. Maybe if I happened to stare in that glass eye I would see a completely different death – like being stabbed repeatedly by a crazed, one-eyed witch, for example.

    That would be a relief.

    califmom August 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    If it can work for you and the dead-dude-on-the-potty thing, I can’t pass up this opportunity.

    I am commenting because I think it will make it less likely that I will find the Boogey Man under my bed. This means I can stop leaping from the doorway of my bedroom onto my bed, which hurts a lot more now that we got that really high footboard, and I sometimes don’t gauge the height correctly.

    stpaulslim August 14, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    If a guy died at the urinal, would he come back as a zom-pee? Thanks, I’m here all week.

    SoMo August 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I have 2 fears that I would rather no one know about. However, it would beg the question why am I putting it on the Internet? Ah, no one reads this stuff, right?

    Both of my fears have come from movies which means I am either easily brainwashed or should stop watching movies. I am scared to use the bathrooms at the movie theater. I am find in other restrooms, except for the smell. This came from the scene in Copycat where Harry Connick, Jr tries to strangle Sigourney Weaver in the public bathroom that was not in a movie theater. I don’t get the connection, either, but there you have it.

    The second fear comes from Four Rooms. I am very afraid that I am going to find a dead hooker in my hotel room. I guess to avoid this I should stay away from hotels that hookers would frequent and end up dead in. I am sure they are easy to spot.

    Hope you feel better about your fears and know that you are not alone in the weird bathroom/hotel fear arena.

    CaraBee August 14, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to the bathroom, I worry that a snake will come up through the pipes and either crawl up my ass or ladyparts or will bite me, fatally. So every time I go to the bathroom I look down between my legs about 10 times, perched at the ready in case I see any sign of a toilet pipe dwelling killer snake. Bet that makes your dead body fear seem normal.

    Anissa Mayhew August 14, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Ok, I’ve read one too many Stephen King books about dead bodies sitting on the toilet, possessing cars and birds, all about the birds! Now I’m officially creeped out. THANKS.

    Heather B. August 14, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Wow, you totally kicked guest posting ass. So ok then. No pressure for me though. NONE AT ALL.

    Off to drink myself into a stupor.

    kittenpie August 14, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I would say not hanging out with crazy overdosing rock stars would also help your chances of avoiding this unfortunate turn of events. After all, that is where they found Elvis… Oh, and maybe avoid white sparkly jumpsuits, just in case.

    Ambeezay August 14, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    CaraBee made me bust out laughing because I just made a post about snakes making a home in home in my nether regions after a verrrryyyy unfortunate experience with a composting toilet along a deserted stretch of highway at night on a road trip. I’m surprised I didn’t find a dead body on the toilet in there.

    Thanks Jenny for lowering the chances of me finding a corpse on the potty. You must really love me!

    TxGambit August 15, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I am now afraid to go the bathroom! I was always afraid of someone (alive) being in the bathroom. I always check by the curtain…. even in my own house. And if there is a closest in the bathroom, I just have to peek to make sure.

    Somewhat unrelated, I did dress up as Anita Brake (I need a Break) for Halloween… Her story was that she worked herself to death. I ruined a great suit for that costume but it was a big hit. Kinda goes with your DJ Friend’s story.

    Jenny, you rock.

    TX972 August 15, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Notice to anyone who finds ME dead in MY bathroom:

    I don’t appreciate what you just did! Especially since you could just as easily found me alive there. Just for that, I am removing you from my will.

    Now you all know why I’m not leaving anything to my wife and family. They could have just left my body to rot in there, but NO, someone just had to go and get diarrhea.

    NG August 15, 2008 at 7:17 am

    My uncle, who is a funeral director, went to a mortician’s conference one year and actually did find a dead body on the toilet in the hotel bathroom.

    I can’t think of anything more appropriate.

    (slightly) less cynical August 15, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Oh my god, that’s eerily similar to my thoughts upon entering the washroom at work… there’s a single stall at the end of the row of urinals, and it’s designed in such a way that it’s nigh-impossible to tell if anyone is already in there. I wander over casually, extend my index finger, and slowly push the door inward.

    Every time I think to myself “I don’t care if someone is in there, as long as they’re alive.”

    What’s the protocol if you REALLY have to go but there’s a dead dude on the toilet? Are the cops going to be suspicious if you leave, head to the bathroom upstairs to do your business, THEN wander back down to call security? What if there’s a corpse upstairs too?

    Jenny, the Bloggess August 15, 2008 at 11:01 am

    If there’s a corpse upstairs too then I’d say you have more important things to worry about than peeing. Like maybe the fact that there’s a bathroom serial killer in your building. At that point no one would blame you for peeing on yourself. They’d probably still laugh though.

    The Husband August 15, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I’m just commenting because I figure if I actually COMMENT on a post about finding dead bodies on the toilet instead of just reading it, then the odds are even better that it won’t really happen.

    Thanks for caring enough to post this, Jenny.

    Anonymous August 15, 2008 at 11:41 am

    so when i was 20 i was with a friend and she wanted to borrow some money from this older creepy scary guy she knew so we all drove to his place and when we knocked on door and he didn’t answer we went inside and he was dead on the floor it was gross we are talking maggots people.

    Brandy August 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Now I am going to be all freaked out any time I walk into a public restroom. Thanks! :-)

    simplypink August 15, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    I’ve always had a fear of happening upon a dead body in the post office. Honestly, doesn’t a post office seem like a reasonable place to find a dead body?

    mamadance August 16, 2008 at 12:48 am

    It’s weird to think that now there are 70, no, 71 people who will think of you every time they enter a public toilet. Nice.

    Lotta August 16, 2008 at 11:28 am

    You never really forget your first corpse do you?

    My sister and I were at the Charles de’something airport on a 4 hour layover. We spent most of it staring at this really pale, goth (french?) girl slumped in her chair. People came and went. Sat next to her, ate food, left. And she NEVER MOVED. Finally, some folks in blue jumpsuits casually came, put her on a stretcher and took her away.

    My sister and I were high fiving each other like, “Yes! I knew she was dead!”. Then awkward silence.

    anna August 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    If you’re in a public bathroom, wouldn’t the stalls containing the dead people be locked? So you wouldn’t really discover them, right? Unless they were already starting to rot and stink up the place.

    imaginary binky August 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Most accidents at home happen in the bathroom. Just sayin’.

    caramama August 20, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    OMG, hysterical! And thank you so much for lowering my chances of finding a dead body in a bathroom.

    The problem is MY fear that keeps me slinking slowly into bathrooms and check the floors under every stall is that there are bugs that will scuttle close to me when I’m on a toilet. My phobia of bugs means I will FLIP OUT if this happens. But the chances of finding bugs in a bathroom (especially when I work in the basement of an old government building) is high even if I write about it.

    Oh, and the freaky stall-killers, like in that Scream movie? I do worry about that too.

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