Friday, June 25, 2010


Many years ago, I had the privilege of backpacking in Europe with my friend Larry. Larry isn't his real name. But let's just call him that.

Larry and I made great traveling companions. He laid out out an ambitious, low budget assault of continental Europe on a 30 day Eurail Pass and I was content to simply tail along.

We arrived in Frankfurt, caught the first train to Wiesbaden, hopped a boat along the Rhine to Amsterdam, then back to rail into Belgium and so on. Within a week, we were in Paris, munching on a baguette and drinking cokes in a city park.

Larry stood and said that it was time to go.

Go? Go where? We had just arrived.

Larry dusted the fresh crumbs from his khaki shorts and began to head across the street toward a quintessential European Cafe. I stirred, but he turned and motioned to me to sit back down.

You don't understand, he said. I haven't taken a shit since we were stateside. I have to go.
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I sat there dumbfounded, weighing the gravity of Larry's last statement. It had been a week since we were in the States. Seven days! Why, what -- how -- how was that even humanly possible!?

A long time passed. Finally, Larry reappeared at the entrance. He had a contorted sort of smile on his face as he picked his way through the parked mopeds and crossed the street. It was a puzzling look, one that could be taken simultaneously for both shame and pride.

Let's get the hell out of here, he said, and without breaking stride, heaved his backpack onto his shoulder.

I hustled to grab all of my stuff. Moments later, I caught up to him.

What happened back there?

The toilet couldn't handle it. It was a small bathroom. I nearly flooded the damn thing. I panicked for a bit before settling on a plan. First, I attempted to unclog the toilet. To do so, I unfolded four paper towels on the floor, and then reached down into the toilet with my bare hands and removed the crap, placing it on the paper towels. I tried the toilet again, but it was worthless. Plan A was out. By then I was gagging. Since the toilet couldn't take it, and I certainly couldn't leave it in the trash can, I had to go with plan B.

So what did you do?

There was a small window to the alley out back.

You didn't

I did.

It was the only solution. Gnarly, huh? I tidied up the bathroom and washed my hands for about five minutes. Then, without saying a word, I dropped a twenty franc note on the bar and walked out.

Later that day, we saw the Mona Lisa.

There's been a lot that's been said about the expression on her face.

Thanks to Larry, I have my own interpretation.


  1. Wow.


    A true masterpiece here, Sir Murphy.

  2. I can positively identify Larry. But I'll only use a psuedonym/monicker given to him by someone else who shall not be named.

    Larry= Claxiphone McGinglePie
    or simply "Clax".

    AhHA...Clax. Lax. Larry.

    The DaVinci code is broken.

    For the record, I ain't Larry

  3. Thanks for contacting me about your latest post. I will let you know if I ever post anything again. This weekend is not looking so good. I was thinking about posting a comment Bryan made a while back that ensured me that he doesn't crash and I should just take his line from now on or something. But then it was nice outside, so I didn't.

  4. Thanks Munson. I've had a lot of time to think & purge myself of that one. In hindsight, I can't say I feel any better though.

    There there, Murphini. You may not be Larry (this time), but you've got potential. Don't hold back.

    Hi Fred. Do you think that Bryan's paid for that comment many times over by now? I mean, how many flesh and blood sacrifices must he make to appease you? I encourage you to forgive and release him.

    Single Speed: you are the voice of the many

  5. you should crash more often, since you been typing up some funny "shit"

  6. Is this story about the relief that comes at the end of a cycle narcotic-class painkillers?

    Just asking ... uh ... for a friend.

  7. Some things are better left untold.

  8. Brady, Holy Crap, Larry's ordeal somehow doesn't fit in the realm of "wholesome," and "goodness," maybe "steel cut." Dumping on the French is an American past time and Larry's fete is a classic worthy of documenting. Ol' Dad