By The Bootstraps

I also applied at the C + C Music Factory, but didn't pass the sweat test.

I also applied at the C + C Music Factory, but didn’t pass the sweat test.

In my early 20s, I had a lot of insurance problems. That means I got a lot of advice that boiled down to “You should get a job with insurance.” After hearing enough of this, I started to wonder if everyone was right and I was just lazy, so I picked up a 9 to 5 at the local factory. I’m pretty sure I signed something prohibiting me from saying what factory it was, but it was a popular chip manufacturer.

Previous to this, I had been working 32 hours a week doing third shift at a hotel. This was conducive to both my sleeping pattern and my need to sit on my ass for long stretches of time. However, I’d recently lost that job by ignoring the dress code and wearing a three piece suit to work. It was part of a larger conflict that included a Christmas tree full of stale Andy Capp cheddar fries and a long term guest who threatened to throw me through a plate glass window when a combination of my friend Andy’s detective work and my knowledge of Danzig album covers proved that the “wife” he always said was upstairs did not really exist. But that’s a story for another time.

Working at the factory meant switching from adding up numbers all night and going to bed at 8am to waking up at 7am and shoving bags into boxes as fast as I could.

The job itself wasn’t completely terrible and it did enable me to live my lifelong dream of seeing it rain potato chips. However, waking up at 7 and working in a factory environment all day meant that I got home around 5:45pm and went to bed around 6:30pm every day. It was rough, but I had picked myself up by the bootstraps and was slowly moving my way towards insurance.

Unfortunately, while I was slowly moving towards insurance, things started quickly moving downhill, mostly because my bowels stopped moving at all. Due to the realities of factory scheduling and the fact that I was trying to prove myself, I got in the habit of holding my shipment until my designated break period. This, it turns out, is feasible for almost exactly two weeks. Now when I tried to shit, my body was like “Fuck you. You didn’t want to do this anymore, so we shut it down. Have fun with the chips, asshole”, leaving me with a feeling roughly equivalent to having around-the-clock meat sweats.

I tried easing up on my digestive enzyme pills to see if that would get the party started, but the bouncer in my butthole was still blocking access to the porcelain pool party.

Being somewhat lunkheaded and determined to prove that CF wasn’t going to hold me back, I let this go on for three days until I decided I would have to address it directly. On the third day, I came home from work, chose my reading material—an old Auto Trader, which was just enough to give me something to focus on—then sat down and pushed.

I’ll spare you the graphic details, but I’ll say that enough poked out that the idea of grabbing it and forcefully pulling it out by it’s bootstraps seemed like a thing that was possible. Turns out, that is not how poop works. Not because it wasn’t hard enough to grab, but because it was wide enough to possibly fracture my pelvis.

So, I stabilized myself using the side of the tub and moved it out the old fashioned way, losing a small, but not unnoticeable amount of blood in the process. I don’t think poops—or anything for that matter—can divine the future, but looking at that bowl definitely showed me what WASN’T in my future: factory work.

I quit soon after and have shit every day since.


For more stories about poops I’ve taken, don’t forget to check out my book.

3 thoughts on “By The Bootstraps

  1. Blake Warren

    Dear Mr. Jay Gironimi,

    I am a fellow Cystic Fibrosis patient in the Cincinnati, Ohio. I read you article on (link for anyone who hasn’t read it: and I thought it was insanely funny. I’ve had CF now for 19 years myself and have had my share of ups and downs with this disease. I want to thank you for bringing some things to my teenage eye on stuff that I will have to face later on in life with managing this disease. With the new and advanced age of medical technology, I think we are both in the running for good things ahead. I hope to be able to pick up your book; “Can’t Eat, Can’t Breathe and Other Ways Cystic Fibrosis Has F#$%*d Me” sometime soon and I can’t wait to laugh at the stories, and link with you in between some parallels as well.

    I hope you are in well health here now and beyond.


    Blake Warren

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