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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    Theresa August 14, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Thank you, for saving me from a loo-corpse. I had never thought about it. And you’re right. Andrea IS the weird one :)

    Issas Crazy World August 14, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Jenny, I heart you. I do, you crack me up.

    I’m not afraid of corpses in the bathroom, but I am terrified of someone going crazy and getting killed on an airplane and having to wait to land before I can get away form the dead body. Yours seems more likely to happen.

    gwendomama August 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    good thing you got that posted fast because some 13 yr old girl was threatening to burn down your house.

    wait! who the hell gets these comments anyway? catherine or jenny? i am so freaking confused.

    guest posts confuse me.

    Backpacking Dad August 14, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Whenever I go to the fridge and take out a drink to pour into a glass I have to keep the door propped open with my foot while I pour so I can put the bottle back into the same fridge that was there when I opened the door.

    If I let that sucker close I don’t know what I’m going to find inside.

    Will August 14, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I respect that DJ’s dedication. Plus I’m sure that as the boss he once said: “You’ll play that record over my dead body.”

    Little did he know how prophetic that would turn out to be.

    the slackmistress August 14, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    That’s it. If I ever visit I’m gonna pee on the floor.

    Marinka August 14, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Well, now that you’ve lowered your chance of finding a corpse on the toilet, the important thing is not to start obsessing with finding a corpse in the bathtub. Or in the freezer, next to the Dulce de Leche.

    Christine August 14, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    My grandfather died while on the potty, so that means I have an even less chance of finding a corpse in a bathroom than others, right? RIGHT?

    Kristine August 14, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I am always on the look out for dead bodies that people have thrown out of the car onto the side of the highway and black trash bags on the side of the highway that might contain dead body parts. The bathroom thing never really occured to me, but thanks for lower my chances of that one.

    ilinap August 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Do ghosts of those corpses yell “LOO!” when you walk in?

    Babybloomr August 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I feel certain that every time I walk on a kinda wobbly floating dock (private or commercial, no difference) that there is a rotting corpse with holes where eye sockets used to be and only wispy shreds of clothes remaining and missing genitalia due to the nibbling of the lake-fish (bream or crappie, no difference) somehow stuck up under the pylons and it is just waiting for my footfall and body weight to dislodge it and send it floating ethereally up to the surface where I’ll be forever scarred by its haunting visage.
    So I totally get the dead guy on the can thing.

    ChurchPunkMom August 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    my grandpa died on the toilet..

    but he was at home..

    and no one had to find him because grandma was right there with him.

    see? corpses on crappers not so creepy now?

    you’re welcome.

    Karen Sugarpants August 14, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I am the ultimate pussy when it comes to horror movies and this sort of thing. And now I will likely piss my pants before entering another public bathroom. SO THANKS JENNY.
    (I’m deadly serious, too. not even joking a bit. my imagination is warped and scary)

    whensheworeponytails August 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    “dead body on the potty”

    If I ever start a punk band I’m totally naming us this. Or maybe one of those goth bands.

    Heather August 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    See, I have the fear of dying naked on the toilet and sitting there until my husband finds me. I think about that every time I get out of the shower and use the potty.

    So now that I wrote that it won’t happen, right?

    Maura August 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    I’m trying to decide if I should be tickled or afraid that I have this very same concern as you when I go into a public bathroom.

    Thank you for helping to lower my chances of experiencing this!

    Coal Miner's Granddaughter August 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    My mother found her brother-in-law, boxers down around his ankles, dead in his bathroom. Does that lower my chances of me finding a bathroom corpse? With that added to this post? I’m set!

    Maternal Mirth August 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Jenny you never fail to make me SERIOUSLY consider and ponder something so utterly unthinkable and ridiculous.

    Now *I* am afraid to go pee … and before it was only flushing that scared me.

    Loon August 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Be glad you weren’t dating Elvis back in 1977…

    reeky August 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    wow. Never worried about corpses in the bathroom UNTIL NOW. thanx.

    Bad part is, I’m at work and have to go. Would it be viewed as odd if I ask a coworker to go check for corpses for me? There’s one for the performance review.

    Middle Aged woman August 14, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I am deathly afraid of not winning the lottery. Now if I can just get everyone else in the world to read this…

    Rose August 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    What if it’s the opposite? What if it’s like when you hear a new word and then you hear it everywhere?
    Now that we’re thinking about it maybe the risk is higher, not lower.
    Thanks a bunch. Totally calling you if it happens.

    dailypiglet August 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    i swear to god that i used to have a phobia about public bathrooms too. i outgrew it, never sure what caused it but it was during my “tourettes” phase.

    Ali August 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    yeah – so i check public toilet stalls for any remnants of vomit. i swear to god. i can’t pee in a stall unless i’m sure the person who was in there before me wasn’t puking.

    Steph August 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    So, if I’ve already found a corpse in a bathroom, what does that do for the lot of you? I mean, what are the odds that YOU’LL see one now that you know someone who actually has?

    Her Bad Mother August 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    As I told jenny by e-mail, I enter public bathrooms slowly because I’m convinced that someday I’m going to enter one and there’ll be a maniac in one of the stalls. So I have to enter slowly and then kick open each and every stall with my feet (each and every EMPTY stall, that is. I’m not a total freak) to double check that no maniacs lurk within. I do this in every single public washroom I enter. Ikea, even. Because you know that maniacs are drawn to Ikea.

    Mom on the Run August 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Do you remember the film “Witness”? the young Amish is trapped in the bathroom and witnesses a shooting.

    Jenny, the Bloggess August 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Holy crap you people are freaking me out with your bathroom corpses. Seriously, *how* many of you know of corpses found in the toilet? Answer: too many.

    From now on I’m peeing in my trashcan.

    'That Girl' August 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Ugh, dying in the bathroom would be bad enough, but dying in a PUBLIC BATHROOM?!

    Oh Jenny, you’ve given me completely new and original fears about the public restrooms now. Forget the serial killer in the next stall, forget flesh eating bacteria..from now on it’s all dead body on the toilet, all the time.

    Anonymous August 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm


    I try hard NOT TO USE THE BATHROOM IN OTHER PEOPLE’S HOMES (good friends and relatives included)and this is seriously difficult on occasions involving red wine or gin rickys.

    If I cannot hold on ’til I’m home, I ALWAYS CHECK BEHIND THE SHOWER CURTAIN.

    An untrustworthy soul could lurk there in the tub.

    It happens.

    I’m just sayin’…

    Kate McLaughlin August 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Hey–I’m Not Annonymous!


    I try hard NOT TO USE THE BATHROOM IN OTHER PEOPLE’S HOMES (good friends and relatives included)and this is seriously difficult on occasions involving red wine or gin rickys.

    If I cannot hold on ’til I’m home, I ALWAYS CHECK BEHIND THE SHOWER CURTAIN.

    An untrustworthy soul could lurk there in the tub.

    It happens.

    I’m just sayin’…

    Cassie August 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    My college roommate had this same fear, only she was only scared because she thought that if she happened upon a dead body then she would probably have no alibi and be blamed for the murder. Because of this, she spends a lot of time going, “Man, I bet this secluded dirt road would be a good place to hide a body.” LOL

    Domestic Extraordinaire August 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I am so glad that there is a slimmer chance of me finding a bathroom corpse now…thank you Jenny!!

    Katrina August 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Oh my gosh, Kristine! My sister and I BOTH think “dead body” every. single. time. we see a black bag of trash on the side of the road. Well, we actually think “dead body parts” but we’re sick like that.

    And from now on, instead of just checking for feet under the stall doors, I’ll be looking for a slumped over mass of passed person.

    gingela5 August 14, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I am so glad I’m not the only person who thinks that someone is hanging in a bathroom stall. I always think “Who am I going to call when I see the body” It’s not really a phobia like you but it is something I think about everytime I go to the bathroom at work! Yay for not being alone!

    Sarah August 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I have an overwhelming fear there are dead bodies behind my shower curtain but I’m to stubborn to check cause I’m like “THE ONE TIME I CHECK – Dead body” so instead when I’m peeing I just sit there super tense in case the body falls out in front of me and I have to jump up real fast to avoid being tangled up in bath curtain and deadness.

    I also worry theres a camera in my mirror a la Truman Show, but that’s a different story.

    JL August 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I actually have walked into the bathroom and some guy had died on the urinal which kind of propped him up like he was still peeing only hed had finished like 10 hours before and people just thought he peed for really long and were intimidated by his peeing, but he was actually dead. And then I realised that it wasn’t real and people were all like – “why’s he taking pictures of the urinal? faggot!” Only I’m not and then I thought the guy that I thought I saw propped up by the urinal was and mght be offended but then again he was dead but not really.


    Scott W August 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    If I ever come across a dead body in a public rest room I might be a bit timid the next time I opened the door. But until then I am gonna try to not think about it.

    The worst place would be one of those creepy interstate rest stops, say, somewhere in Arkansas. Late at night when there is no one around, and you walk in and there in the piss yellow light are the dirty white tennis shoes hanging out from under the stall door. And the graffiti would read:

    Here I sit all disenhearted…

    Raging Dad August 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Wow, dead bodies on the pot are a scary thought, and I guess I can’t say that I wouldn’t be afraid of them myself. Just never thought about it before… After seeing The Shining I was afraid of finding a creepy dead old lady in my bathtub. But I think most folks who saw that movie felt similarly.

    procrastamom August 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Usually, when I read a blog post, I hear it in my head in the voice of the writer…even though I have never spoken to 99.995% of the people I read.

    When I read the Bloggess, I hear the voice of the female Jack Handey. Today’s “deep thoughts” have given me the confidence to boldly walk into any public washroom, assured that I most likely will not find a corpse in my stall of choice. I thank you for that Jack, err..Jenny.

    (when do we get to overcome the fear of finding an unflushed toilet? Cause, damn, those things FREAK ME OUT man!)

    Haley-O August 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    So, I should probably write a post about shower curtains and how I always open them tentatively to make sure there’s no dead person behind them…. Thanks for the GREAT advice!

    Undomestic Diva August 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    If you really love the family you’re forwarding this email to, you’ll add that they should “forward this on to 10 other people so they can also receive a gift card to The Olive Garden.” Because saving them from not finding a corpse on the pot is not enough. It’s never enough.

    Loralee Choate August 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Oh, dammit all to hell and beyond.

    I was already phobic of public bathrooms AND of finding corpses in places* and now I have to deal with CPBP! (Corpse-Public-Bathroom-Phobia)

    I totally think that Jenny needs to email me her cell number so that I can call her for support before entering my next public bathroom. (It only seems fair,yo.)

    *Swimming in lakes and oceans (and being trapped in a deep, dark well) is OUT due to all the people they have never found.

    for a different kind of girl August 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Based on the near crack den-like conditions of the public restroom in the store I work in, I predict it’s just a matter of time before I walk in on toilet corpse. In fact, a second base to base this theory on – based on what I’ve seen in there that people will ignore just to either pee and/or get off on the porn magazines, I predict finding a long-stewing toilet corpse.

    I shall now refrain from drinking all beverages at least 2 hours before clocking in.

    AndreAnna August 14, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    My mother works at a nursing home and she says the amount of people who die on the pot is astounding.

    Apparently, you can have a vasovagal reaction while er, pushing, and this can drop BP quite low.

    In people with already poor health, this can be The End.

    Sucks, eh?

    One Wink at a Time August 14, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Piglet sent me here… we have this weird (and wonderful) connection thing, and as proof for y’all, I just happen to be wearing my “I SEE DUMB PEOPLE” shirt as I’m reading this. Now, I don’t know if that’s going to jinx your theory of lowering your chances or not, I’m guessing you’ll maybe just see a dumb person in a bathroom. As I have, several times today…

    Brit August 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Brilliant, now that my chances of finding dead bodies in the john are diminished…I still run and jump for the bed so nothing can grab my legs before I get in. Can you help me with that? thanks.

    ShoeGirl August 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    OK. First of all I love this website. This is your friend who has the CBGB background. It should be “Her COOL Mother” intead of “Her Bad Mother.”

    This post is too funny! Last time you (Jenny) blogged about your neuroses I commented on mine and one of them is that I’m always scared when I go into a public restroom alone because I always think of that movie, “Blowout” and the crazy John Lithgow character who goes into the bathrooms and strangles women with a wire that comes out of his watch. Crazy, I know. But so is looking for dead people. The ones that were strangled by a serial killer.

    marymurtz August 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    You’re a freak, but a freak who cares what happens to the rest of us. Isn’t there an Oscar for that kind of thing?

    Queen of Shake-Shake August 14, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Now I’m going to storm into public bathroom stalls with full monty.

    Can any of us really say we’ve lived unless we find a dead body on the potty?

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