Her Bad Mother

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I See Dead People

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.



Blogger Theresa said...

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

1:16 PM  
Blogger Issa said...

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.

1:19 PM  
Blogger gwendomama said...

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.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

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.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Will said...

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.

1:40 PM  
Blogger the slackmistress said...

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

1:40 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

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.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

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?

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

1:47 PM  
Blogger ChurchPunkMom said...

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.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Karen Bodkin said...

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)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Kim @ Ponytaildiaries.com said...

"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.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

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?

1:58 PM  
Blogger Maura said...

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!

2:01 PM  
Blogger Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

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!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Maternal Mirth said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Maternal Mirth said...

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.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Loon said...

Be glad you weren't dating Elvis back in 1977...

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

2:20 PM  
Blogger unmitigated me said...

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

2:21 PM  
Blogger Jessica R. said...

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.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

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.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

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?

2:44 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

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.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Musings from Me said...

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

2:51 PM  
Blogger Jenny, the Bloggess said...

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.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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'...

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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'...

3:11 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

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

3:27 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

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

3:28 PM  
Blogger K said...

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.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

3:55 PM  
Blogger JL said...

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.


4:13 PM  
Blogger Scott W said...

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...

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!)

4:47 PM  
Blogger Haley-O (Cheaty) said...

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!

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

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.

5:02 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

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.

5:05 PM  
Blogger AndreAnna said...

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?

5:19 PM  
Blogger One Wink at a Time said...

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...

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

5:39 PM  
Blogger ShoeGirl Corner said...

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.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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?

5:46 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

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?

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

6:31 PM  
Blogger califmom said...

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.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

7:09 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

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.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Anissa Mayhew said...

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.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

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.

8:57 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

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.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

11:57 PM  
Blogger TxGambit said...

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.

12:50 AM  
Blogger TX972 said...

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.

1:05 AM  
Blogger NG said...

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.

7:17 AM  
Blogger (slightly) less cynical said...

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?

8:54 AM  
Blogger Jenny, the Bloggess said...

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.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

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

3:29 PM  
Blogger simplypink said...

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?

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Mom O Matic said...

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.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

4:56 PM  
Blogger imaginary binky said...

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

4:44 PM  
Blogger caramama said...

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.

10:31 PM  

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